If you’re a blogger, there’s a pretty big chance you’ve either heard of ring lights, looked at ring lights, or own a ring light. Not a blogger? You know the lighted circle you see in close up eye makeup photos? That’s the ring light. They cost anywhere from $99-$279, and every single time I talk about them on snapchat, I get asked tons of questions. So, I figured I’d lay it all out in a blog post!
First and foremost, I want to start off by saying you get what you pay for with rings lights. I’ve seen so many bad reviews on the cheapo lights available on Amazon. They break, the bulbs go out, they fall. Seriously, save yourself the headache, and get a good quality light.
The two leading ring lights you often see are the Super Nova (available online at the dvestore.com), and Stellar Diva Ring Lights. They cost about the same, but the lights (and what they come with) are different. I own both, so I’ll start with the Super Nova.
DIVA RING LIGHT – SUPER NOVA
The very first ring light I purchased, was the Super Nova. It retails for $249, and features an 18″ ring with a 5400k fluorescent light. It comes with a diffusion cloth (it velcro’s on), a z-bracket for mounting, and it features a dimmer. There’s also a Nova Ring Light, which is a little cheaper at $199, but it does not have a dimmer or a diffusion cloth.
One of the negatives about the Super Nova, is it doesn’t come with a stand. I didn’t realize that until I went to set mine up. I opened the box, and literally found a round light. For the cost, I expected this to at least have something to attach to! You have the option to add the stand to your cart upon ordering, but unfortunately it will set you back an additional $39.
In terms of the actual light, it’s phenomenal. I was skeptical of the so called “diffusion cloth,” but it really does soften the skin. It blurs imperfections, fine lines, blemishes. Even if you over-do foundation, you won’t look like cakeface. Plus, the dimmer feature is fantastic! I use mine somewhere in the middle, but it goes from barely there, to surface of the sun. The bulb itself, has lasted since December 2014, and does not show any signs of going out.
STELLLAR DIVA II
The Stellar Diva II is a newly launched ring light, featuring a few more extras than the Super Nova. You can purchase this 18″ light online through Stellar Lighting for $279, and choose between gold and purple (pictured). Unlike the Super Nova, this one comes with a stand, plus a carrying case, and a double sided magnifying mirror (also shown).
Some other awesome features on the Diva II include a dimmer, and a color temperature adjuster. If you want a blue toned hue, or a sunset blush, you can achieve it with the twist of a nob. In terms of actual lighting specs, it can go from 3200k moon light, to 6400k day light.
Rather than a separate diffusion cloth, the Diva II has a softener built in (outer plastic casing). However, unlike the Super Nova (which softens the skin), I find everythingggg is enhanced with the Diva II. I mean, your face and every tiny speck of makeup and teeny pore are on full display. I always hear YouTubers say they have to pack on the foundation, because their lights don’t lie, and now I understand. It’s not a negative per say, but I figured it was worth mentioning.
For the past two years, you’ve seen what the ring light can do in my Face of the Day photos. But, here’s a quick side by side of my makeup in natural lighting (in front of a window with flash), and then with the ring light. Both photos are great, but the ring light really helps brighten the complexion. You can see my highlight better, my lip color looks more true to life, and my skin looks softer. I do not edit my skin in blog photos, so the ring light really helps fake the look of a smoother appearance.
DIVA SUPER NOVA
STELLAR DIVA II
|$249 + $39 stand||$279 (stand included)|
|Dimmer||Dimmer + Temperature Adjust|
|No carrying case||Carrying case included|
|5400k light||3200k – 6400k light|
|No optional colors||Purple + Gold|
|Blurs imperfections||Enhances imperfections|
Overall, I’m super happy with my ring light purchases. The Diva II is quite new to me, so I am still mostly reach for my trusty Super Nova. But, once I figure out the best temperature and dimmer settings, I hope to use the Diva II more. What do you think of ring lights? Have you purchased one? I’d love to hear about your experiences!
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