A Magnifying Mirror is the Perfect Makeup Mirror

Looking for a mirror that lets you zoom in on your beautiful face to flawlessly apply makeup, or find and pluck that stray hair?  Get yourself a magnifying makeup mirror for a crystal clear, larger-than-life view of you!  The cost of these “fancy” mirrors used to be prohibitive, but prices have come way down. Now everybody can have one!

Magnifying mirrors – which make the very best makeup mirrors – come with magnification levels, ranging from 2x to over 10x, all of which let you get up close and personal with your face – even without glasses.  Some premium mirrors come with two or more magnification options, so if one view is too close for comfort, you can quickly back off by flipping to the lower level.

When you’re shopping for your mirror, make sure to choose a makeup mirror with lights. A close-up view that’s illuminated pretty much guarantees perfect results, whether you’re putting on your day or evening face, tweezing brows, going after a rogue hair, or just trying to get your contacts in on the first try!  All the benefits of a magnifying mirror get better with lights!

How Do Magnifying Mirrors Magnify?

Think about those funhouse mirrors that make you look so weird. Fat and short. Super tall and skinny. All wavy.  Tiny head and big body or mostly just huge head with a little body.

Magnifying mirrors work in a similar way, distorting the standard view of you!  Neither funhouse mirror nor magnifying mirror surfaces are flat. In the case of the magnifying mirrors they’re uniformly and slightly concave. So they’re not shaped exactly like funhouse mirrors, but the images in both are still changed depending on where the light is reflected.  In a makeup mirror, light hits your face (the focal point) and gets reflected in the mirror.  The concave, or parabolic, shape of the mirror surface concentrates the light beams, intensifying light as it gets closer to the focal point. As you move away from the mirror, the magnification gets stronger and the field of view gets smaller. The really high magnification levels will give you a great closeup of a tiny section of your eyebrow!

When Choosing a Magnifying Mirror, Consider Your Eyesight

Those lucky enough to have 20/20 vision can easily get the clear views they need to put on makeup. To pluck tiny hairs, a lower magnification (2x to 5x) mirror can help a lot. If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, you might be able to take them off and let the mirror see for you!

Closeups and Comfort Level

There are a lot of magnification levels available in makeup mirrors today. And depending on where you’re putting your mirror – table or countertop or mounted on the wall – you may need a lower or higher magnification. Only you can decide just how close you want your closeup! You may even end up selecting a mirror with more than one magnification level. But the first question to ask is: How big a view of you do you want to see?!

A 15x magnifying mirror can sometimes be way too close for comfort. You may not need that level of large! Consider what you want to use your makeup mirror for, then decide which magnification level(s) work best.

The degree of magnification is simple to understand, but kind of hard to envision. With a 5x magnification mirror, for instance, your face is magnified five times life size. But how does that translate to what you see in the mirror? Which magnifications level(s) do you need on your makeup vanity mirror –  powerful, in-between, closer to life size?

2x Magnification

This magnification level only minimally increases image size, so it works best for those with close to, or perfect vision. The 2x magnifying mirror is commonly used for compacts and quick touchups. With good vision, you won’t see much difference, so you might decide to go higher.

Conair LED Lighted Mirror with Rose Gold Finish

Conair LED Lighted Mirror with Rose Gold Finish

5x Magnification

Affordable and easy to find in all kinds of styles and sizes, 5x is the most commonly used magnification level, and the No. 1 pick for shaving mirrors. It’s the most popular mirror for makeup application, and perfect for putting on contacts. For most people, a makeup mirror is a must-have, and if you’re looking for just one magnification level, 5x is probably the best choice.

Conair LED Lighted Mirror with Rose Gold Finish

Conair LED Lighted Mirror with Rose Gold Finish

7x and 8x Magnification

Higher magnification requires a larger mirror face for the clearest closeup views. Double-sided pedestal mirrors that swivel a full 360°, with normal magnification on one side and the magnified view on the other are great. They let you see your full face on the standard view side, and then can be flipped to zoom in for closeup 7x/8x or other views. Perfect for precision makeup application, tweezing, etc.

Reflections  1x and 7x Oval Satin Nickel Incandescent Mirror

Reflections 1X/7X Oval Satin Nickel Incandescent Mirror

10x and Higher Magnification

These levels of magnification are intense, and ultra-high levels require the largest mirror faces. Most people are uncomfortable with the intensity, but anyone with poor or deteriorating eyesight may want a 10x or 15x magnifying mirror, which zooms in extremely closely on small sections of the face. Amplifying your face 10 times lets you see every pore and eyebrow hair. If you’re choosing a makeup mirror with 10x or higher magnification, it’s a good idea to make sure it has two sides, one with a standard view or lower magnification level as well. Some standard view or 2x, 5x and 7x magnifying mirrors include a small, round 10x spot mirror that sits on the larger mirror’s viewing surface. This may be all you need for infrequent mega closeups.

Reflections 12x LED Spot Mirror

Reflections 12X LED Spot Mirror

Two Degrees of Magnification Are Better than One

Some two-sided mirrors offer two levels of magnification instead of dedicating one side to the standard view.  Depending on what you use your mirror for, this can offer more versatility in viewing. If more than one person will be using your mirror, consider which magnification levels work best for him, her… or them! 

Reflections Double-Sided Lighted Round Mirror

Reflections Double-Sided Lighted Round Mirror

The Right Light Is the Best Reflection on You

All the benefits of a magnifying makeup mirror get better with lights! No matter how good your mirror, or how high the magnification, flawless makeup and precision grooming requires good lighting. And you want it built into your mirror. Light can be more natural, softer or brighter, or warmer or cooler in tone.  When choosing a makeup mirror with lights, consider what you’ll most often be using your mirror for, then weigh the pros and cons of the different types of lighting available. Magnifying mirrors with adjustable light settings, like low, medium and high are especially versatile, reproducing the lighting levels and tones of different environments, such as home, office, outdoors, etc. Conair is one brand that offers an extensive selection of magnifying makeup mirrors with lights.

Light Types

Incandescent – this is the “lite” light.  Soft, never harsh,  warm in tone, and often described as having the effects of soft halo illumination. A nice light for doing your makeup, and it’s a good choice for brushing hair or grooming. But doing closeup work may not be your best bet with incandescent lighting, because there’s usually a secondary light source that could alter the results.

Reflections 3-Way Touch Control Lighted Mirror“

LED and Fluorescent  – These are both brighter than makeup mirrors with light from incandescent bulbs. Their illumination is a little closer to daylight. The best thing about choosing a mirror with LED or fluorescent lighting is that both save energy – a lot.  Up to 70%  less than incandescent bulbs. And if you choose an LED magnifying mirror, you’ll never have to change the bulb!

Reflections LED Lighted Collection Mirror

Reflections LED Lighted Collection Mirror

Light Settings

Most lighted mirrors have just one light setting, but some premium brands and models offer adjustable or variable lighting. Conair has a variety of these top-quality mirrors to choose from.

Makeup mirrors with lights that adjust are ideal for applying makeup for different environments. These mirrors might have High, Medium and Low settings, like Conair’s Touch Control model, or specific kinds of lighting for Daylight, Office, Evening, etc. You’ll always look your best, regardless of the setting!

Reflections LED Lighted=

Reflections LED Lighted Collection Mirror

Style Savvy Makeup Mirrors

With all the stylish mirror options out there ­­­­– colors, finishes, shapes, sizes, etc. – there’s no reason your makeup vanity mirror shouldn’t reflect your taste.

Metal mirrors in brushed stainless or nickel, polished chrome, oiled bronze, and black matte are the classics. These metal mirrors are always heavier than plastic mirrors and therefore will be a little more stable.

But color matters and lots of mirrors reflect that trend! Most colored mirrors are plastic, although new models in rose gold adds an elegant hue to metal as well. Because plastic mirrors are lighter in weight than metal, they’re probably the smarter picks for traveling. If choosing a plastic mirror, make sure the plastic is high grade and durable. Quality counts –  your mirror will last longer.

Tabletop Mirrors. Wall-Mounted Mirrors.

Before you buy, decide where you want to put your mirror.  That will make a difference in the magnification level you’ll want, too. If you choose a wall-mounted lighted mirror, you’ll probably need to select a higher magnification. If you’re putting a tabletop mirror on a dressing table or bathroom counter, you won’t need as high a magnification.  So look around and decide where you’re going to put your mirror before you buy!

Magnifying Makeup Mirror with Lights Checklist

  1. How much magnification do you need (without your glasses!)?
  2. Want a standard view on one side, or different magnification levels on either side?
  3. Are you more comfortable with warm incandescent lighting or brighter LED or fluorescent?
  4. If you’re not in one place from wake-up to bedtime, consider a makeup mirror with variable lighting.
  5. Which kind of mirror best fits your style: Classic metal? Trendy colored plastic?
  6. Decide where you’ll put your mirror and then double-check the magnification level you’ll need.
  7. Finally, check out shape and style options. The Conair Reflections line has a stunning selection that offers them all!