Just like a painter needs northern light, or a chef requires her mise en place, beauty experts and cosmetic artists need a proper place to practice and perform their work. Although a professional cosmetic setup may seem beyond your means, it’s easier than you think to build the beauty bar of your dreams.
Some people can set up the perfect beauty bar on their nightstand, kitchen table or desk, while others prefer the bathroom. Professional make-up artists can do their work in any environment, so don’t worry if your bathroom is super small or you have to share your beauty space.
Being able to organize your belongings and having reliable light is more important than the actual location. Simply figure out the best spot in your home in which to set up your lights, mirror, and supplies and focus on these three factors to make sure you are maximizing your make-up and beauty area.
1. The Right Surface
The ideal beauty bar will have a flat, durable surface that’s easy to clean and can withstand pigments, oils, creams and solvents. Sealed, natural stone is perfect for this, as is a manufactured product like quartz or laminate. If you plan on using a wood surface, like a nightstand or desk, purchase a piece of glass that fits on top.
If you need a mobile beauty bar, consider a rolling cart with a flat surface and storage underneath. Only have a pedestal sink in your bathroom? If you’re really short on space, consider purchasing a durable flat board (like a wood cutting board) and place it across the sink. To ensure that it doesn’t slip while using it, hot glue a non-skid shelf liner on the under side of the board. Although this isn’t as handy as a countertop, it sure beats balancing brushes on the lid of the toilet tank!
2. Organization And Storage
Depending upon how many products and tools you like to have on hand, you’ll want to invest in some organizational items to help keep your beauty bar clean and orderly.
Drawers with inserts can help keep your belongings dust-free; large bins or rolling carts can hold odd-shaped items like hair dryers or curlers; and desktop pieces can keep your everyday items within reach. You can also use vertical space (your walls) to hold shelving or hooks--this will help maximize your space and keep supplies within arm’s reach.
3. High Kelvin Lighting And A Large Mirror
The ideal beauty bar must have high quality lighting and a mirror. The best lighting will cast an even, direct light and closely mimic natural daylight. Lights that are placed too high or too low will cast odd shadows, and bulbs that are too yellow or green won’t reflect color properly.
Some artists use a combination of floor lamps as well as wall sconces to create an even casting of light on the face. Picking the right bulb can be confusing, so look for a bulb that lists a high Kelvin number as well as “full-spectrum light.” The higher the Kelvin and color rendering index (CRI) numbers, the more your bulb will look like daylight. Makeup artists absolutely need to see the full spectrum of light for proper blending and color matching (especially in our high-def world) and will want to invest in the best light bulbs possible. If you can afford it, try a professional light like The Makeup Light that comes in both tabletop and freestanding versions.
As for mirrors, install the largest mirror you can so that you can see as much of your upper body as possible. If you find yourself leaning closer and closer to the mirror for detail work, buy a separate magnifying mirror that can sit on your surface.