Home / iPhone / I tried the TikTok-viral ‘Alix Earle phone light.’ Does it live up to the hype?

I tried the TikTok-viral ‘Alix Earle phone light.’ Does it live up to the hype?

Someone holding the Newmowa 60 LED clip on light against an nyc cityscape.

Christina Darby/ZDNET

In the past few months, Alix Earle has taken TikTok by storm. The influencer is known for “get ready with me” videos, doing her makeup as she talks about her life to her 4.9 million followers — which, admittedly, I am one of. And like many of her fans, I wondered how her skin always managed to look flawless despite her recounts of a wild night prior and surrounding dim lighting. 

While the influencer is open about using TikTok’s beauty filter, she admitted her secret to glowing, top-tier videos is actually the $36 Newmowa 60 LED clip-on phone light. Unsurprisingly, the light, now known as the “Alix Earle light,” has been sold out for months. Last week, however,  I was finally able to get my hands on it to see if it’s truly worth the hype. 

I have to say, despite the millions of TikTok reviews of users praising the light, I still had low expectations. Those were quickly lifted, along with the quality of my photos. The clip-on light, which easily attaches to your phone or laptop, has three different light strength settings: a white/blue light, a warmer yellow, and a mix of the two. 

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All three add dimension to my photos, giving the appearance of glowing skin, but without looking unnatural. Everything simply appears enhanced. There’s also an option to amp up or simmer down the brightness on each respective setting. I personally like the mix of softer and sharper lighting as it takes away the cloudiness of the raw smartphone photo, replacing it with a clearer image with more “pop” — even in less-than-ideal office lighting. I used this setting when FaceTiming my family and have never received so many compliments on my video-camera appearance. 

At only 4.76 x 1.85 inches and 6.7 ounces, the light is practical to take with you — which makes sense given Earle’s on-the-go lifestyle. I easily carried the light around New York City with me in a standard-sized purse, ready to turn the cityscape into a photoshoot opportunity, regardless of the embarrassed look on my roommate’s face. I also like that you can easily adjust the light to 90 degrees, getting whatever angle best suits you or the surrounding environment. To make it even more convenient, the light is rechargeable via a USB micro port, coming with the compatible cable. 

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Essentially, this light is making it way too easy for me to take flattering photos and therefore try my hand at blowing up on TikTok. But until then, I’ll let the Alix Earles of the world rule the app and use the accessory to light up my camera roll or Zoom call quality. All this to say, this light is, in fact, worth the hype — for content creators and the average smartphone photographer or video conferencer alike. 

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