The Best Lighted Makeup Mirror — Product Reviews
First things first: mirrors are important.
Whether you are a beautiful, awesome, incredible makeup artist, or just a beautiful, awesome, incredible regular person who puts on his/her face just like the rest of us, you need to actually see yourself when you're putting your makeup on. Because, after all, what's makeup worth if you can't put it on correctly?
So, mirrors are important. This is a post alllll about the best lighted makeup mirror you can by.
Below, we've put together a list to help you find you the best makeup mirror for your makeup table. We'll guide you through picking out what style you should get, what features you should look for, and what models might be right for you.
(One Quick note: This post isn't necessarily for makeup artists; it's for anyone who wants to find the right mirror for them.)
(Another quick note: We're not going to discuss vanities in this post---we review those here---this post is just about lighted makeup mirrors.)
Types of Makeup Mirrors
The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of mirror you're looking for. Here are your options:
- Table Top Mirrors. These usually have a base or a stand, will include one or more mirrors of varying magnifications, and will fit on a flat surface like a table or desk.
- Wall Mounted Mirrors. These are mirrors that you attach to the wall, and they're set up so that you can move the mirror closer to or further from your face. They're fantastic because they free up space on your makeup desk or table, BUT they have to be set up (we'll discuss that below).
- Vanities. These are full desks that are used solely for makeup, that feature a large mirror lined with bright lights. The desk usually has space for many different types of makeups and skin care products.
- Travel Makeup Mirrors. Last but not least, makeup mirrors! These are small, compact mirrors that are made to be stowed in luggage and set up on the go. We're kind of in love with these.
If you already have a makeup desk, or have limited space, or aren't permanently situated in your living space (for example---you may be living in a dorm or an apartment with friends), then a table top mirror is the way to go. If you're fairly situated and you're able to do some light construction (or have someone who can help you), a mounted wall mirror is pretty fantastic. And if you're about to leave everything behind and travel the world (or if you're just going on a business trip or a vacation), you're looking for a travel mirror.
Features and Considerations
Lighted makeup mirrors usually come with a couple of different features you need to consider. Here are the features you're most likely to come across, along with some information about each feature that'll help you decide on the right mirror for you.
Magnification of Mirrors
If you look at products online, you'll often see that there's a feature that's listed as "1x/5x/10x" or something like that. They're usually talking about the magnification of the mirror. A 1x mirror is what you're used to seeing---a mirror that reflects your image at 1x. A 3x mirror will magnify your image three times, a 5x will magnify your image five times, and so on.
Magnification is useful for a couple of different reasons. If you're applying makeup that requires a steady hand and some precision (such as eyeliner), having a close-up of what you're doing can be very helpful. If you're apply foundation or concealer, a magnifying mirror can show you how the colors meld together. And if you're plucking your eyebrows, magnification can be REALLY helpful so you don't blind yourself.
There are some situations where you can have TOO MUCH magnification, though. At a certain magnification, your face can look distorted and out-of-focus, and you'll need to get very, very close to the mirror in order to see yourself at all.
So, what's the right magnification for you? It actually depends on what kind of mirror you're looking at. Here's how it plays out:
- Every mirror should come with 1x magnification. You'll need that as a baseline, so don't buy a mirror that doesn't have 1x magnification (note: most mirrors have 1x magnification, but always check just to be sure).
- For a table top mirror or desktop mirror, 3x to 5x magnification is usually enough. Some people appreciate 7x and 8x, but many say 10x for a tabletop mirror is a little bit too much for a desktop mirror. As with all things, though, it's a matter of personal preference.
- Because you can bring wall-mounted mirrors and travel mirrors very, very close to your face, those mirrors tend to go to 10x magnification and beyond, and that's a great feature of those types of mirrors.
We'll talk more about magnification in each of the product reviews below.
Regular Light Bulbs vs. LED Lights
Lighting is a major consideration when it comes to choosing a makeup mirror. Because most bedrooms and bathrooms have a yellow-ish light---one that makes makeup application challenging---a makeup mirror usually has a lighting scheme that mimics natural sunlight. Some makeup mirrors even have multiple lighting schemes, and mimic indoor light, sunlight, evening light, and so on. Those are kind of rare, and most mirrors---even the high-end ones---product one kind of light, which is usually a blue-ish white light.
So, makeup mirrors usually come with two different kinds of lights: regular lightbulbs (like the kind you probably have around the house), and LED lights, which are super-bright and last forever (and are environmentally friendly, which is always a plus). LED lights are preferable, because they last forever, and never need to be replaced. However, if you find a mirror that you like and it has regular lights, that's fine, too.
Batteries vs. Plug-in Mirrors
This, too, is a matter of personal choice. Mirrors with batteries are easier to move around, but you need to replace (or recharge) the batteries every so often; plug-in mirrors clutter up a room a little bit because of the cord that goes to the electrical outlet, but you never need to worry about them running out of juice. Again, a totally personal choice, and one that doesn't really affect the quality of the mirror, but something to keep in mind as you look at different models.
Best Tabletop Mirrors
OK! Our first type of mirror:
Modern Mirror Dual-Sided LED Tabletop Mirror
The Modern Mirror is a great starter mirror for someone just getting into makeup. It's petite, stylish, and it won't take up too much room on a tabletop. It's got three excellent features going for it: inexpensive mirrors don't usually have LED mirrors, and this one does; it runs on batteries, which are actually included when you buy the product; and the 1x/5x split is actually perfect for a mirror this size: you'll be able to apply primer, foundation, concealer, etc. but also get in close to do your eyes and eyelashes.
The Best Lighted Makeup Mirror -- The Conair Reflections LED Lighted Collection Mirror
Conair is the classic model of lighted makeup mirrors. If, when you were a little kid, you hung around your mom while she was putting on her makeup, chances are pretty strong that she was sitting in front of a Conair makeup mirror! That's not to say that Conair is outdated---in fact, there's a reason why they've been around so long: they make fantastic products.
The Conair Reflections is a great option: it's juuuust bright enough so that you can see exactly what you're doing when you're applying foundation or concealer (and you can use the 7x magnification side to remove any unwanted eyebrows hairs). The light function has a high and low setting, and the LED lights are a BIG bonus, because they last forever and won't need to be replaced (if you've ever used a lighted makeup mirror with regular bulbs that blow out every three months, the LED lights are an awesome feature). The mirror has a sturdy base, and it's small enough to fit on most makeup tables.
This gets our vote for best lighted makeup mirror--it's a classic that's been around forever, and probably will be around forever.
ASSIS LED Lighted Makeup Mirror
The Assis LED is another one of our favorites, and it has a number of really wonderful bonuses: the LED lights are designed to last forever; at 8 inches, the mirror surface is pretty large; and---this is a really cool feature---you can use batteries or plug it into the wall, meaning that if you use batteries and they run out of juice, you don't have to stop what you're doing and go to the store. You can simply plug it into the wall and continue making yourself look absolutely beautiful.
If you live in a humid area---or if you like to do your makeup in the bathroom---this is a good option because of the no-fogging feature.
simplehuman Sensor Mirror
The simplehuman Sensor Mirror is fantastic. The light is super-bright and clear, it and mimics natural sunlight (so it's great to use if your bedroom or bathroom has very yellow-ish light). The 5x magnification is juuuuust about right---most people say 7x or 8x is too much, and 3x isn't enough, so 5x is perfect. Plus, it's simply gorgeous: it's petite, smooth, streamlined, and subtle.
Perhaps the coolest, we-live-in-the-future aspect of the whole thing is that it lights up when you sit down in front of it, and it turns off when you step away. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand it's rechargeable, so you can feel good about yourself for being eco-friendly, and tell everybody that you're saving the earth by applying makeup.
This model has a 5-year warranty, and that's a great feature, as most mirror manufacturers offer a 1-year warranty (or a 3-year warranty, if you're lucky). If you have any trouble with the product, you can call simplehuman and they'll replace the broken part or fix the entire thing.
Best Wall-Mounted Mirror
As we mentioned above, there are a few different types of lighted makeup mirrors. There are the kind that lay flat on your makeup table or counter, and there are the ones you affix to the wall.
These are a little bit more glamorous, and, because they don't take up any space on your vanity or makeup table (after all, they're mounted to the wall), you have much more space to do your makeup.
Jerdon Wall Mount Makeup Mirror
The Jerdon Wall Mount Makeup Mirror is a gorgeous model, and the manufacturer mentions that the model is used in luxury hotels throughout the world. So that's nice. It's got a slightly larger-than-average mirror surface (always a plus), the option for regular reflection or 5x magnification (which, again, is just about perfect), and an anti-fogging mirror face, which means you can set it up wherever you like. Wonderful!
There's only one challenging part about wall-mounted mirrors: they need to be installed. It's pretty easy, though, and all you'll need is a drill and a screwdriver. Buuuuuuuuut if that's not something you're interested in, you can either have a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse install it for you, or return to our "Best Tabletop Mirrors" section!
Zadro Round LED-Lighted Wall Mirror
This one is MARVELOUS. It has LED lights, so you don't have to worry about the bulbs flaking out and needing to be replaced. It uses batteries, so you won't have any wires or cords running across the floor (although you can actually use a cord if you prefer to). It's gorgeous---silvery and sleek and smooth---and it has a nice big mirror surface at 7 inches in diameter. The ooooonly thing that's not quite perfect is that it magnifies at 10x, which, for a lot of women, is a little too much BUT, because it's a wall-mounted mirror, you can bring it veeeeeery close to your face, so the 10x magnification may actually work like a charm.
Best Tri-Fold Mirrors
It's always a little surprising that you don't see more of these around.
If you look online or at your favorite home goods store, you'll find that there are always fewer choices when it comes to tri-fold lighted makeup mirrors. Why is that? Do people not realize how fantastic tri-fold makeup mirrors are? Because---and we're speaking from the heart here---we love them. Like, a burning love. What other makeup mirror allows you to see that sides of your face, and will show you that the foundation on your jawline is, like, 28 shades darker than the foundation on your cheeks?
Sigh. Anyway, there's only one tri-fold lighted makeup mirror we recommend, and it is:
Jerdon Tri-Fold Two-Sided Lighted Makeup Mirror with 5x Magnification
The Jerdon Tri-Fold Two-Sided Lighted Makeup Mirror may be our favorite on the whole list. It's a very versatile mirror, and it comes with a lot of neat perks. For a tabletop model, the 5x magnification is just right. It'll allow you to do some close-up work, but won't make it seem like you're looking in a funhouse mirror. The flank mirrors will allow you to focus on areas of your face that you might overlook in a normal round or oval mirror. And it's small enough to fit snugly on most tabletop makeup stations.
The best feature of the model, though, is the "choose a lighting scheme" option. Most mirrors have one light setting that mimics natural daylight (to varying degrees of success). This has four different lighting schemes, and you can experiment and see how different lighting schemes affect your makeup. This is a GREAT option for future makeup artists. Being able to practice on your own face and see how different lighting schemes affect color and tone---that's fantastic, and it'll help you develop your skills.
BUT---and this is fantastic---if you're in college or go to classes, the different lighting features are a huge bonus. As you probably know, the fluorescent lighting in most classrooms is abysmal. You look great in front of your makeup mirror, and then you ge to class and you look like a maniac. The "evening" lighting setting is somewhat similar to the fluorescent lighting you see in a lot of college classrooms, so this can help you apply makeup for the hard lighting of the classroom.
It's not perfect, of course---but what is? This is an excellent choice, and an EXCELLENT choice for the aspiring makeup artist!
Best Mirror for Traveling
Why is that whenever you're away, you've feel like you've got to look BETTER than normal? You may be at a friend’s wedding, or on vacation, or on a business trip, but that feeling is always the same: "I want to feel wonderful, and I know I need to look great to feel comfortable."
But here's the thing: when you're at home, you've got a groove, you have your routine down, and you know where everything is. When you're traveling, all of that gets blown up. You don't have your regular makeup, you don't have your regular environment, and you're out of your groove.
That's why travel mirrors are the unsung heroes of the makeup game. If you've got a great travel lighted makeup mirror, you feel confident that you can put on your best face and live your experiences fully.
So here are our picks for the best lighted travel makeup mirror.
Zadro Next Generation LED Lighted Travel Mirror
How cute is the Zadro Next Generation Travel Mirror? It folds up into a little pod so you can slip it into your purse or carry-on bag. It's petite and sleek and it looks like a cupcake. Awesome.
10x magnification would be a little bit much for an ordinary makeup mirror, but because this is a portable model, you can literally bring it within inches of your face, so the 10x magnification feature is actually pretty wonderful. It's battery-operated, so if you purchase it and you go away on business or on vacation, make sure you've got replacement batteries! It's such a pain when you're traveling and your gears flakes out.
The light is not super-strong, but it gets the job done. An excellent option.
Floxite LED Lighted Travel and Home 10x Magnifying Mirror
The Floxite Lighted Travel Mirror is very similar to the Zadro model, but it's a liiiiiiiiiiittle better (in our humble opinion). It's a little brighter and the mirror is a little bigger. It's also a little more durable, which is a good thing, if you're out traveling all over the world.
Plus, it looks like a shell, and that's lovely.
The big advantage of this model is the wear-and-tear factor. It should be good for many vacations---the kind of thing you buy, throw in your suitcase or backpack, and don't think about until you need it. The LED lights are a nice touch because they're durable and long-lasting. Recommended!
So, obviously, makeup mirrors are fantastic. Hopefully there's a model in the list above that gets you super excited.
But there's something more to it than just mirrors, isn't there?
The mirrors are important, but there's something very sophisticated about actually sitting down and putting on your makeup. Something very dignified about stopping, really looking at yourself, and preparing yourself for whatever event you're heading to.
You can't do it every day---some days you throw on a little foundation in the mirror and off to work you go---but when you've got time for it, sitting at a makeup desk and really, truly, deeply paying attention to yourself---that's a very nice ritual.
I think we've said all that we can possible say about lighted makeup mirrors for now. So, questions? Leave them below!