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Lighting and Beauty:
How to Look Glowing in Any Light Conditions

Beauty is all about light. We are constantly in search of glowing skin, sparkling eyes, and shiny hair. In fact, (as any movie star will tell you) much of what passes for external beauty is a carefully controlled mixture of reflection, absorption and shadow.

Glowing Makeup: Tips that Help with Shine & Skin Appearance

People with shiny, oily skin try to make it matte, absorbing light so pores also appear smaller. Powder is the most frequent remedy for shiny skin, and the finer the powder, the more likely your chances of applying it effectively. Cheap powders can cake, or may contain talc that irritates skin. Some foundations also claim to contain powder, to minimize shine, but I haven’t found a good one yet. I’ll let you know when I do!

--Editors Tip ----------------------------------------------------------------------

A Quality Lighted Magnification Mirror is Must-Have Beauty Item

Lighted magnification mirrorsPerfect makeup and brows begin with being able to see yourself in the right light. Many bathroom vanities are constructed with low-wattage or even dim fluorescent lights that don't show you what other people will see. Do you work in daylight, under office lights or with halogen lamps? All these things affect the color of your skin and makeup, the visibility of blemishes or facial hair, even the lines on your face or the circles under your eyes. If you're blessed with great light, terrific! But most of us aren't, and it makes a difference in your overall look.

For plucking the perfect brow (or eradicating other unwanted facial hair), there's nothing more helpful than a mirror that magnifies. With magnification, you can grasp the unwanted hair with the right tweezers the first time. Add light to the mirror, and you can see everything up close; perfect for applying moisturizer, makeup, and tweezing.

See our favorite selection of lighted magnification mirrors that will make you morning beauty regime much easier to do and see.


As women age, our skin tends to dry out, so older women are often concerned with achieving a slightly shiny finish, which can be done with powders or foundations containing mica. Unfortunately, mica can also irritate skin or create sparkle (not glow), which is all right in the evening, by candlelight, but looks garish in broad daylight. Best of all in achieving glow without sparkle or grease, is finding the right moisturizer. A good moisturizer combines water with some sort of lipid, which helps skin absorb the water and hold onto it. The most popular lipids these days come from the all-powerful soybean plant.

Natural Light is Best for Applying Makeup

Aside from using the right cosmetics, there are a few things you can do in regards to light to increase your outer beauty. First of all, pay attention to the light in your house. Your bathroom, or the room where you do your makeup should have strong, natural light. It plays hell with your ego, but you’re more likely to catch stray hairs or makeup mistakes before leaving the house, not after. Replace anything fluorescent with halogen track lights, use bright but soft-white bulbs in common areas, and make sure your reading lamp is bright but without glare, to prevent eyestrain.

Sit with the Light Behind You & Keep Direct Sun off Skin

If you’re going out for lunch and want to look your best, sit with the light behind you, and let the other person get the light in his or her face. You’ll get a halo, and your lunch partner will be temporarily blinded. Choose a shadowed spot over a bright window: it’ll keep the UV rays off your epidermis, defray crow’s feet for another month, and soften the focus.

Everyone Looks Better in Soft, Dim Candlelight

Anytime you can opt for candlelight at dinner, do that. I can’t think of a person in the world who doesn’t look better by candlelight: its soft, flickering play softens features, tones uneven colors and hides a multitude of skin imperfections. (Why do you think the best restaurants are also the candlelit ones?)

You can’t give makeup for a gift (it would be like giving control-top panty hose), but you can give the gift of perfect light. When I’m not sure what to give someone, I always choose candles and candleholders. I’m of the firm opinion that you can never have too many candles, and you can make them fit any gift occasion by altering their number or composition. If you want to spend a hundred dollars on something great, you can buy beeswax pillars. If you have six bucks, you can get a nice scented candle in a glass holder. Last week, I bought some terrific, exotic sandalwood candles for a co-worker’s birthday present, and had enough money left to buy myself a bunch, too.

Light and Inner Beauty: Light Exposure (i.e. Vitamin D) Keeps Humans Happy

Light has another important role in beauty--the beauty that comes from feeling happy and healthy. Research on light has shown that the amount of light most of us experience from day to day is inadequate for keeping us healthy. You have probably heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), in which people experience profound depression during the winter time, when light grows scarce. In northern regions like Scandinavia, Canada and Siberia, depression is significantly greater than in sunny, southern lands. But there are ways to mediate the effects of short, northern, winter-time days. SAD has long been treated by having sufferers sit under full-spectrum lights that mimic sunlight. A short exposure to bright light in the morning increases energy, decreases appetite and makes us feel better.

The human brain needs light coming through the eyes in order to create and release optimal amounts of serotonin, an important chemical for brain functioning. Without enough serotonin, we become sleepy, slow and depressed. Our bodies don't metabolize the way they should, leading to weight gain. As research becomes more sophisticated, we begin to understand the importance of daily amounts of bright light for our mental and physical health.

Outdoor light, even on a rainy day, is approximately twenty times the amount of normal indoor light. Since most of us spend our days inside, the available light is drastically cut, resulting in depression, lethargy, and a craving for sweets that hits hard once or twice a day. It is possible to remediate the effects of inadequate light by purchasing a full-spectrum light, or by making an extra effort to get outside for an hour during the day.

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