THE LANGUAGE OF LIGHT
Chronicles of a Makeup Artist...
Without light, we have no illumination for the darkness that creeps on to each day’s end and into the morning’s beginnings.
I want to break light down a little to help with the understanding of why light is so significantly influential in, not only our work but why it is important to all of us. But first, I’m going to be upfront with you. I sell a light. I sell The Makeup Light (TML) to be exact. I sell this very brand of light because I believe in it. I use it everyday in my personal life (bad bathroom lighting, anyone?) as well as using it in my freelance career as a makeup artist. I take it absolutely everywhere. It's the first part of my kit that is packed and ready to go every time I have a job. Even when the job or location I go to has lighting, I still get The Makeup Lights out and use them EVERY TIME. THEY ARE THAT GOOD. I will talk more about TML in a minute.
What is light and why is it so important?
Apart from the most significant part of light in the spectrum of illuminating up our world, without it we would have nothing and be nothing. No plants, no food, no life. In the beauty industry, light in its entire colour spectrum is incredibly important for us artist’s. We need to be able to see what skin undertones our clients have (something that can be hard to see and is often wrong), the exact colours we need to make the right choices when we’re choosing what colours to use for foundations, and if we have to mix in any correctors and what colour it needs to be, the choice of which colours to use for eye shadows, blush and lipstick to suit eye colour, skin tone, even the outfit our client is wearing and lastly, the exact placement of product for our clients bone structure, face and eye shape. With the right lighting, we can competently do our jobs as makeup artists, hair stylists, nail technicians and brow specialists.
Someone I greatly admire once said, "Good light + good tools = BADASS!"
Light isn’t just good for us on the artistry side of the beauty industry either. On the beauty side of the industry you have Aestheticians, Brow Artists, Bloggers, Permanent Makeup Specialists as well as Tattoo Artists all need balanced light to see their work. With blogging taking up such a huge space right now inside the world wide web that when you’re taking pictures for your content, you are completely dependant on using a good light to help capture all of your beautiful images. I know some bloggers that only use sunlight, which of course is the most beautiful and flattering light but they end up chasing the sun about. What does one do when the sun hasn’t come out to play? Bloggers whether they are in beauty, fashion, heck anyone who is taking photo’s of products for a living needs a light that not only is versatile but also is lightweight and easy to use.
What about if you’re not a makeup artist or any of the above? Does having a good light apply to you too? I say, yes it does. As I mentioned, I use my TML in my own personal bathroom and have done so for coming up to two years. Best decision I ever made. It doesn’t matter when I need to do my beauty routine or apply my makeup. If it’s early morning or evening, it makes no difference to me because I already have a really beautiful clean, diffused light that is consistent every time I use it. I’ve always got my TML attached to my mirror with a suction cup so it’s not a permanent fixture to my bathroom. My makeup and hair are always on point because I can see!
So I’m going to go full NERD BURGER into light for a moment. The colours that make up colour pigments (the colour wheel that we know and love) and the colours that make light are really different. In colour pigments, all colours are made up of yellow, red and blue which when mixed together in equal parts create black. Light is made up of three different colours. Green, red and blue which when mixed together creates white. This is the beautiful white light that we all want. It’s interesting that the primary colours that make up light and pigment operate in an opposite way.
Why do I love TML and why is it so good?
With a balanced white light, you basically have all the information. Having a full spectrum light like TML means you can see everything, your eyes read every bit of colour information in front of you and your decisions are then based on what you see. The decisions you make will be vastly different when you’re in different lights. Not all lights are created equally nor do they give off the same type of light. Some of the other lights on the market give off a yellow light, which in turn, gives warmth to what you’re seeing. Another light brand gives off blue light, giving the information you’re looking at with your eyes a cool tone.
Now, whilst you are in front of the light, it looks fine, it may even photograph well and hey, we’re going to put a filter or two over our photo so the cool or warm tone to the picture or makeup won’t matter but what happens when you step outside or into a different lighting situation? The information you had in front of you, in that warm/cool light has lead you to make certain decisions in what products, pigments, tones and colours you’ve used. This then becomes unbalanced in all other lighting situations. Have you ever done your makeup under a fluorescent light and then when your driving along in your car, glanced at your makeup in the mirror and cringed because your makeup looks different to what you thought it did? I have. I have also arrived at work after seeing my “heavy” makeup look in my rear view mirror, thinking I’ll just fix my makeup before I start only to see my makeup in the lights at work, was looking ok again. Lights! They are incredibly important in the world of makeup and most of the time are wrong. They can be the bane of our existence as a makeup artist or they can be our greatest tool.
Of course, once I started using my TML, my own makeup has passed all the different lighting tests because I’m now applying it in a crisp, white light that allows me to see every colour in true light. My skin tone, exactly where I need to colour correct, places I need a little extra foundation, everything. I see all the details needed; I have all the information to make the right decisions with what my skin requires at that time.
We all have our different reasons for why we wear makeup. It could be for corrective purposes, some of us are enhancing our features or defining them, there are people who thoroughly enjoy the process of putting makeup on and wearing a look, maybe its for work so we look professional or aspirational, it could be for our blog, Instagram or YouTube followers, some people wear a new makeup look every day because that’s their jam. The reason for wearing makeup is a personal thing to each of us, what I would like to put out into the universe is that we need the correct equipment so our process of applying our makeup is done in the best way it can be. What’s the point of doing something that the world can see when its not always done in a way that is most flattering to us as a person?
TML lighting is the most advanced light in the market today. There’s a reason that it has a higher price point than the competing lights on the market. And it is worth every penny.
A few important key points to remember are:
· Lighting technology within TML. Technological LED enhancements are used inside the panel to make it a bright, daylight balanced light. There is no other light on the market today that can equal this quality of light.
· The LED lights inside project a crisp, white diffused light that whilst bright; don’t create light spots in your (or your clients) vision. The light can be used fairly close or can be used from a distance. The lights can project their clean, crisp light up to 1.5 metres away (5ft).
· No bare LED bulbs, which can be harmful on the eyes. TML light is diffused and reflected out which projects a beautiful crisp, white light. It’s a full spectrum light which means it picks up all the colours (all of the information) and the *colour temperature measurement of TML is daylight. (*5000K) which is like bringing the daylight inside to wherever you are.
· LED lights don’t have to be replaced. They won’t burn out quickly, so you could use your TML for eight hours a day, seven days a week and it would last over 10 years. LED lights last for 30,000 – 50,000 hours.
· The light comes with a built in dimmer switch, which can be used in different lighting situations and adjusted as needed.
· LED lights in general are not good with red reproduction, but TML 2.0 has custom technology to boost the red so you can see true skin tones, to see how much red is in the skin. Red is in every cosmetic product so to be able to see a full colour spectrum (*96+ CRI rating) helps you to work faster, more accurately, fewer corrections once on set, even personally with your own makeup, you don’t have to adjust anything.
· TML is extremely versatile. Not only have the geniuses at TML developed a system to make setting up and packing down the light really quick and easy (Quick Release) but there are several attachments you can use depending on what your requirements are and how much space you have. If it’s for your own personal use and space, you can use a Suction cup kit to attach to a mirror or window (or any shiny surface) where you do your makeup. If it’s going to be part of your working kit, I recommend getting the Pro Kit, which comes with a stand, suction cup and EZ Clamp. Any one of these attachments will see you through every job. If you’re not sure you would use all the attachments there are smaller kits available with one attachment only. You can then custom build your own TML kit as you go because all the attachments are available separately.
· As a Pro artist, you can take your TML on location with you and use with a converter plugged into your car lighter socket. I have done this on many occasions, which means it doesn’t matter where you are, what time your call time is, nor are you restricted in any way. You have your own light to suit each situation you may find yourself in. I just set up my chair right beside my car, suction cup my TML onto the back window of my boot, set up my kit in my boot and voila! Ready to rock n roll knowing the makeup will look its best because I have all the information I need in front of my eyes.
· TML doesn’t heat up, so it’s easy to pack up straight away with no waiting around for lights to cool down.
· The carry bag for TML is now small. Not only can you fit up to two lights, cords and accessories into a tiny bag (makes me think of Mary Poppins and her magic bag!) it’s also weatherproof and waterproof. Since the release of the new 2.0 bags, my kit feels teeny tiny and is so easy to carry on my person or attach to my makeup kit bag.
· One of my favourite things about TML as a company is that they are committed to manufacturing their products in an environmentally friendly way. The frames are built from sustainable products, they use Starfire™ glass and a mirror that is low in lead content. The LED technology uses 80% less electricity. All packaging is made from recycled materials and they are built and assembled in the USA
So I know I’ve hit you with a tonne of information but I think its best to have as much knowledge as possible when we’re talking about such an important subject as this. As you can see, this is an amazing product for ANYONE, whether you’re in the beauty industry or not, everyone can benefit from having a light that is going to help you see what you need to and give you all the information. And by having all the information means you make the best choices you can and put your best face forward to face the world and go rock your day on the stage of life!
For help with how to use TML, check out this amazing post by Sonia Roselli:
Peace, love & light
THE LOW DOWN…
* The colour temperature is a characteristic of visible light that has important applications in lighting, photography, videography, publishing, manufacturing, astrophysics and the list goes on.
*5000K means 5000 Kelvins which is a unit of measure for absolute temperature. (the higher the kelvins the bluer the light) Daylight measures in around 4800K - 5500K, depending on the time of day.
SOME RESEARCH RESOURCES: