Ever wondered how those professional YouTube beauty vloggers always look so incredible on camera? Well, it’s all about the lighting. I’m going to be showing you how to achieve the same stunning definition with this guide to the best lighting for makeup videos.
So what is the best lighting for YouTube makeup videos? My pick for the overall best lighting for YouTube makeup videos is the Diva Ring Light Super Nova 18″ Dimmable Ring Light. It’s one of the most popular lights used by beauty vloggers thanks to its 5500K daylight bulb that makes colours pop, direct and even coverage, and affordable mid-range price tag.
‘Ring lights’ like the Diva Super Nova are generally considered to be the best type of lighting sources for YouTube makeup videos. Why? Let’s find out.
What Are Ring Lights?
Ring lights are one of the many different types of light sources used in filmmaking. Unlike softboxes and umbrella lighting, ring lights emit light from a ring-shaped source, which creates more direct, even coverage on the subject.
They’re also one of the most popular lighting tools used in portraits, beauty shots, and makeup videos. The reason they’re so popular in the beauty space is that they create lighting that is very flattering to the subject.
The bright, even coverage almost completely eradicates shadows for maximum clarity and definition. This is important if you’re making a video about your makeup as you’ll want to showcase it as clearly as possible!
They also create a characteristic glow in the subject’s eyes. If you’ve ever watched any makeup tutorials before, you’ve probably noticed it – that small white ring in the YouTuber’s eyes. Yep, that’s all down to ring lighting.
All of the above means that they’re the best time of lighting you can get for YouTube makeup videos and beauty vlogs. While it’s possible to create a good lighting setup using other types of lighting, you really can’t get better than ring lights. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best ring lights on the market.
The Best Ring Lights For Make Up Videos
There are a lot of great ring lights out there that will take your makeup videos to the next level, but here are my three top picks.
I can’t praise this ring light from Diva enough. It’s one of the best-rated ring lights on Amazon and used by a ton of beauty YouTubers – and for good reason!
Firstly, it’s bright, and I mean really bright. The 500W, 5500k bulb actually replicates daylight. It’s right in that sweet spot between looking super well-lit and still looking natural. If you’d like something a little more subtle, it also has a dimmable feature that allows you to reduce the power to 20% for a softer glow.
You can mount it on your camera, tripod, or light stand using the included mounting bracket or gooseneck.
It’s by no means a budget ring light, but it has an affordable mid-range price tag of under $200. Considering the quality of this light, it’s really good value for money.
Like the Diva ring light above, the Fotodiox Pro Flapjack C-318RLS is another excellent ring light that will make your makeup really stand out.
What makes this light special, though, is that it doesn’t produce a direct beam like most other ring lights. Instead, its LED lights are pointed inward so the beam can pass through layers of diffusers, which causes them to bounce around and produce a softer glow.
The great thing about this is that it’s much easier on the eyes. This is a huge bonus if you plan on spending hours in front of the camera while making your YouTube videos. Your eyes are less likely to start hurting.
The Fotodiox Pro is also very versatile. You can adjust the colour temperature between 3200k (for when you want a nice, warm, amber glow) and 5600k (for when you want bright white coverage).
If you’re looking for a ring light that’s more affordable, I’d recommend this LED ring light from Ocathnon. At under $20, it’s about as cheap as they come. Nonetheless, it will still do a fairly good job of making sure you’re well-lit.
Another feature that makes this ring light stand out is the fact that it’s designed to be mounted on your phone. If you plan on making your makeup videos using your iPhone camera, this is the light you need.
Best Budget Lighting For Makeup Videos
What if you can’t afford a ring light? Is it still possible to get good lighting for your makeup videos on a budget? Yep, it sure is! There are a few other ways you can make use of the lighting you already have to save yourself the cost of buying a new one.
Here are two ways you can get good lighting for your makeup videos on a budget:
Use natural light
The great thing about sunlight is that it’s free. The bad thing is that it’s not always predictable. Depending on the weather, sunlight can cast harsh shadows or be too dim to be effective. However, you can make the most out of it by following these three:
- Film your makeup videos during early morning or just before sunset, as this is when daylight is most flattering
- Make sure you’re facing a window that sunlight can enter through while filming so that the light is directly ahead of you
- Consider using reflector pads if you’re filming outside to reflect the light onto you and eliminate shadows.
Place two or more lamps on either side of the camera
If you already have some light sources lying around the house, you can make the most of them by placing them on either side of your camera. They’re probably not bright enough to make your subject really well-lit on their own. However, by doubling them up, you’ll at least be making the most out of them.
Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be able to get the same kind of professional-grade lighting you’d get from using a good ring light. Still, it’s better than no lighting at all.
Top Tips For Good Makeup Video Lighting
Before we finish up, I wanted to list a few more top tips that will help you to get the best possible lighting for your YouTube videos. Here they are.
1. Pay attention to the colour temperature
Colour temperature is a measurement of the colour of light quotes in Kelvins (K). Most lighting is rated with a specific colour temperature to help you get an idea of how it looks. The colour temperature of the light is important for setting the right mood in your YouTube videos.
Bulbs with temperatures of 5000k and above produce ‘cooler’ coloured light, such as white light and blue light. Natural daylight is white, so bulbs in this range tend to look more natural. Bulbs with temperatures under 5000k produce warmer lighting that’s tinged with yellow, orange, or red.
2. Complete your lighting setup with fill lights
The light that faces you head on is your key light. Your ring light source will be your key light. However, it’s even better if you can add fill lights to your setup. These extra lights will sit on either side of you to fill in the shadows left by the key light and give your face more definition.
3. Add a backlight for even more definition
For even more definition, you can add a third/fourth light and place it behind you, pointing at your head. This is known as a backlight and is there to give the scene depth. Backlights are especially important if you do hair tutorials too on your beauty channel as they also add definition to your hair.
That concludes this guide to the best lighting for makeup videos. Good luck!