When you're sitting down to get ready – morning, afternoon or night – you need good lighting.

A poorly-lit beauty station isn't going to help you fix your hair or blend your eye shadow. Equally, a luminous spotlight pointed directly at your face may put unnecessary stress on your confidence levels. Lighting is a very personal choice, and getting it right is important.

For some, it has the power to make or break a day.

So, what's the solution?

The first task is to pick a good spot in your home for your dressing table. Natural lighting is great, but if you end up half dark shadow and half blinded by the sunlight, this is not really optimal.

So, choose your positioning carefully and watch out for windows. The next step is to check out where your central room lights are. This is less of a problem, as not many of us will be placing a dressing table in the centre of a room. However, if you do get a little close to the main light, watch out for emphasised dark rings under your eyes and startlingly bright forehead.

Once you're happy with your positioning, it's time to choose your dressing table lighting. After all – you don't want to be relying on the weather for sparkling rays of light or blush-pink sunsets. If you're like me and reside in the UK, you'll be familiar with overcast days, rain drops on the window and the colour grey. Now comes the fun part – choosing your lighting. And, like with many things in life, a variety is always best.

Personally, I like a bright light option for doing things like painting my nails or applying any sort of colour to my face. Dewy rose petal can quite quickly turn into pantomime villain if not given the right amount of clarity.

I also like a soft lighting option. The type that just catches the glimmer of your eyeshadow or is a little more forgiving when it comes to blobbing on creams last thing at night.

Ready to get started?

Here are my top five tips for lighting up your dressing table to help get you feeling inspired!

Dressing table lighting ideas


1) Frame your mirror

Lights around your mirror can create a wonderful halo effect and is guaranteed to provide you with boundless amounts of soft, clear lighting. The lights are pointing into the room rather than directly onto your face, but they are close enough to give you a nice bright area to get ready in. Large mirrors with built-in lighting are great for adding that touch of glamour. But they can also be quite an investment. One solution (and a personal favourite of mine) is to use fairy lights.

Drape them around your mirror for a delicate touch that is also clear enough to do your make up in. Flower lights are great for a vintage look. However, rope lights are perfect for winding around table legs, mirrors and even chairs. You might even like to get some fairy lights that are battery powered and fill a pretty bottle or vase with them. That way you have an arty-looking light that you can switch on and off, as well as move around, at a moment's notice.

2) Keep natural light behind you

As mentioned, natural light can't be relied upon. Even on the best and brightest of days, you still need good lighting for getting ready in the evening. However, if you do have a large window, making the most of it will help on those days when you do need a little boost of radiance.

And if you can organise your room so your window is behind you when you sit at your dressing table, all the better. This will help illuminate your face, without that unsympathetic honesty that natural lighting can sometimes bring. You can face your dressing table towards the window if you prefer - but watch out for those days when the sunlight is super bright. Voile or net curtains will help take the edge off, so you can avoid watery, scrunched up eyes while trying to do your mascara.

3) Keep your options open

Sometimes, we need bright lights. And I mean, the brightest of lights. Pore work, eyebrow shaping, concealing and contouring all require an element of precision. Most of us are looking for perfection, not Picasso. For these sorts of details, I keep a small, illuminated magnifying mirror on my dressing table, so I can use this for more intricate work. It's really helpful and doesn't take up too much space either – perfect!

4) Suspended lights


This requires a little more design and investment. But if you're feeling particularly inspired and want to create a space of exceptional beauty, suspended lights are the way to go. You can make this as rustic and industrial looking as you like, or as twinkling and delicate as you like. Use naked bulbs on wires or soft shaded lights to create your own effect.

Birdcage lights are also lovely for this sort of look. If this is too much of a project to take on, net lights can be really stunning. Line your walls with them, hang them from the ceiling – this looks especially lovely on sloped ceilings. Or you could even drape some down your windows for an eye-catching effect. Give your room a touch of elegance, innocence and charm with these beautiful lights. Plus, it'll feel all Christmassy while you pad around and pamper.

5) Orb lights

You may have already come across orbs in your quest to find the perfect dressing table lights. If not, check them out! They are really beautiful. You can get them in all different sizes and colours – though I'd stick to neutral tones for around your mirror. And you can even get floating ones too! Pop them in a bowl of water and place on your dressing table for a beautiful focus that's calming and eye-catching. Use different sizes for variation, or get lots of the same size and line your table, windowsill and bedside cabinet for an all-room glow.


And of course, don't forget to use lights as decoration too! Many decorative lights are battery powered so you can dot around your room without worrying about where the plug sockets are. My personal favourites include heart lights, fluffy cloud lights and star-shaped lights.

Perfected the look? Send us your pics on Instagram and Facebook @HartleysDirect to inspire others!