LED lights with makeup - final result
We think the answer is yes. – Picture by Yann Bissonnette


Cirque du Soleil is known to be a market leader in performance designed makeups, and we wanted to see how we could use innovation and our skills to bring makeup to another level. Adding LED lights to makeup is this year’s first take at pushing the boundaries of makeup.

Using LED lights in makeup was something we never tried. Instead of thinking about it for years, we opted to try it out quickly and start from a trial-and-error approach.

Frank Helpin
Senior Innovation Director
makeup and light - drawing
Concept drawing by Chloé Poirier-Sauvé

LED lights and makeup : how did we proceed?

First of all, we had to create the LED matrix based on the drawing from the makeup artist. This was done with a bit of soldering and patience 😉

process - image

Once the matrixes were completed, we were ready to fix them on the model’s face…which ended up being a bit more complicated than anticipated. We first tried to glue them directly on the skin, only to remember that electricity and bare skin are not supposed to be that close to each other. We then decided to isolate the skin with a double-sided sticker.

Also check : The Cold Fire experiment

A few moments later, the revealing moment came with a little surprise…

Sorry about that Kyle.

We immediately fixed the mistake and got the LED lights properly powered so they wouldn’t overheat.

LED lights with makeup 1 - image
Kyle is happy not to have been burnt by the lights.

The silicon part

One thing that you should know about working with lights is that you probably will want to diffuse them with any kind of material to create the effect you are looking for. Unless you want to go full raw-in-your-face-blinding-everyone style  So we used silicon to encapsulate and diffuse the emitted lights. We then painted over it to add a layer of depth of the makeup.

LED lights with makeup 2 - image
Adding the silicon layer.
LED lights with makeup 3 - image
Some feathers, because why not?
LED lights with makeup 4 - image
Getting there.
LED lights with makeup 5 - image
Meanwhile, on the backstage.

And with a little setup, we finally were ready to shoot, to see if, as we thought, we could mix LED lights with makeup and get an interesting result. See it for yourself, and be our guest to try it out, remix it or share it.

LED lights with makeup 6 - image
LED lights with makeup 7 - image

Conception, design, artistic direction and programming (among others) by 4U2C.

Makeup conception by Chloé Poirier-Sauvé.

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