Here are 5 of the best makeup mirrors to help you apply makeup like a pro

·10 min read

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Makeup mirrors are a must-have when it comes to travel. Sometimes, the lighting in hotel rooms can be a little off, or just downright yellow and dark, no matter how wide you open up the curtains. With your own makeup mirror, you can do your makeup routine anywhere (even if it means sitting by the window for some natural light).

Regardless if you’re looking for something to use on the road or at home, makeup mirrors can be a total game-changer. No more walking out the door with unblended spots or too-dark eyeshadow.

Luckily, there are so many options out there when it comes to makeup mirrors, and they range in price. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, well, your search ends here with this list of the best makeup mirrors of 2022.

Top PicksEditor’s choice: simplehuman Travel Sensor Mirror

While makeup mirrors may appear universal, things like design and technological updates (like LED lights for adjustment) can mean the difference between knowing when you’ve applied too much or too little foundation, blush or concealer.

This makeup mirror by simplehuman, however, takes it a step further with a unique feature that not a lot of mirrors have – a travel sensor-based light.

Now, illuminating mirrors aren't anything new. They’re designed to make your face easier to see when applying makeup or skincare products. However, this particular mirror can actually detect when you get near it — the lights automatically turn on when you're near it, and to turn off when you leave. Fancy and convenient, you’ll save power and have fun with this device when it arrives.

Pros

  • Uses travel sensors

  • No-touch system

Cons

  • Limited height

Best wall-mounted option: Amazon Basics Wall-Mounted Vanity Mirror

Wall-mounted mirrors are handy for a few reasons. For one, they don’t take up desk space – which means you have more room for makeup and other items.

Secondly, they can be installed at just the right height so they align perfectly with your face.

Another plus? Wall-mounted mirrors are as sleek as they are fancy, and with them having a designated spot, you won’t have to worry about reaching for it whenever you apply your makeup.

This wall-mounted mirror by Amazon Basics is fairly simple in design, but it’s surprisingly good in terms of quality.

Pros

  • Can be set up to match your height perfectly

  • Good quality

Cons

  • Expensive assembly cost

Best handheld option: Diane Plastic Handheld Mirror

Wall-mounted mirrors and high-tech sensor mirrors are cool and all, but you don’t need any of that fancy stuff to actually apply your makeup.

In fact, you can get your hands on a cheap mirror for less than $10 and it will work just as good as any other mirror.

This mirror by Diane is a great example of this, with its handheld design making it an affordable and portable mirror on this list.

Handheld mirrors are great for emergencies and for carrying in your bag. The handle of this mirror serves as a stand, which makes it fairly convenient to use. The mirror is also double-sided, with 1x magnification on one side and 3x magnification on the other.

Pros

  • Double-sided

  • Easy to carry around

Cons

  • Plastic casing looks very cheap

Most versatile: Goody 2 Sided Makeup Mirror

The words mirror and portability may not seem like they should fit in the same sentence, but as it turns out, portable mirrors can be pretty handy.

As long as you’re careful with carrying it around, these mirrors can be great for putting on makeup on the go. This mirror is also the cheapest mirror on this list, so it’s ideal for those on a tighter budget.

It is worth noting that compared to the previous handheld mirror, this mirror actually looks slightly nicer thanks to its metal wire frame (versus plastic). The mirror has both 1x and 3x magnification on both sides, and the wire stand allow you to easily swap between the two magnification modes.

Pros

  • Looks great for its price

  • Light and easy to carry

Cons

  • Wireframe can bend if not careful

Best magnification: Conair Reflections Double-Sided Incandescent

Mirrors with lights are pretty useful, especially when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to clearly see the makeup on your face.

This mirror by Conair is one of the best incandescent mirrors you can get on the market today. It has a double-sided design for varying magnification, and the lights are also bright enough to light up your face in a dark room.

The mirror itself has a nice lustrous finish to really give it a premium look. However, the mirror only works when plugged in. Otherwise, it’s just like any other double-sided mirror if you can’t find a nearby outlet or the power cuts off.

Pros

  • Bright incandescent light

  • Great metallic finish

Cons

  • Oval design may not appeal to everyone

A few tips for purchasing a quality makeup mirror: a buyer’s guide

A makeup mirror can easily turn an otherwise mundane makeup routine into one that’s both fun and interesting. Here’s everything you need to know about makeup mirrors.

Why use mirrors with makeup?

The reason why you’d want to use mirrors for makeup is quite simple: Without a mirror, you won’t be able to see your face while applying product.

But not just any mirror will do when it comes to doing your makeup. You could, of course, use the mirror in your bathroom. However, makeup mirrors are specifically designed to be used for makeup routines.

Why makeup mirrors are best for doing your makeup?

They can easily be tilted or adjusted

One thing that not a lot of people seem to notice with makeup mirrors is how adjustable they are. Whether they’re small handheld mirrors or larger wall-mounted ones, makeup mirrors are designed to be able to accommodate you and all your angles. Yes, you can as close as you want when you apply your winged eyeliner.

Furthermore, let’s say you’re a fairly short person and attempting to apply your mascara. With a typical wall mirror, you may find yourself having to lean forward – or even sit on the floor – just to steady your hand positioning. With a makeup mirror, however, all you have to do is angle the mirror in a way that tilts toward your eyelashes, and voila!

They can magnify certain parts of your face

Makeup mirrors don’t just reflect light. They can magnify it, too.

Many makeup mirrors, especially double-sided ones, have a mirror with 1x magnification and one with slightly greater magnification (usually around 3x). This dual magnification feature allows you to use the mirror as you normally would, but then change it up to highlight a specific part of the face.

Another plus? Even though it’s called a makeup mirror, you don’t exactly have to use your mirror for makeup. If you have a stubborn pimple or a hair you need to tweeze, the 3x magnification feature can help you focus on the desired area alone – and you won’t have to worry about leaning forward to see better.

Types of makeup mirrors

Handheld mirrors

Handheld mirrors are makeup mirrors that you can easily carry with you wherever you go. These mirrors are by far the cheapest among makeup mirrors thanks to their low material cost and fairly simple design. Handheld mirrors also have the advantage of being relatively easy to use when on the go (like in the car or on an airplane) unlike with other makeup mirror designs.

The main downside to handheld mirrors is that they don’t come with a stand, meaning that the mirror will almost always sit below eye level. Because of this you’ll either have to tilt the mirror upward or downward or (if you’ve been there before) place the mirror on a pile of random items that will give it a little extra height.

Handheld mirrors can end up being more hassle than it is worth, so if you think trading stability for portability will be an issue, you may want to look into other options.

Mirrors with stand

Mirrors with stands are what most people think of when it comes to makeup mirrors. The stands on most makeup mirrors are adjustable, so you can get it to match the height of your head, no matter where you’re sitting. Depending on the design of the mirror, it may also be double-sided, though this is not always the case.

Mirrors with stands often come with extra features, too. For one, many of them come with built-in lighting to make it easier to see your face, no matter where you are. The mirror can also have a travel sensor that automatically turns the lights on and off, depending if you’re nearby.

Wall-mounted mirrors

Easy as they are convenient to use, the great thing about wall-mounted mirrors is how you never have to worry about placing them on a surface. For those with little counter space to work with, or if you’re someone who just doesn’t like cluttering your bathroom vanity, this may be a great option for you.

Wall-mounted mirrors are also adjustable, allowing you to tilt and move the mirror to suit your needs throughout the makeup application process. On the downside, if you’re not as handy with tools you may find yourself having to look for additional assistance to install the mirror onto your wall. Incorrectly installing your mirror, even if you’re confident, can result in potentially dangerous consequences – including the mirror falling forward due to a loose screw.

If you live in an earthquake prone state like California, a perfect installation process couldn’t be more important. Shaking floors can make a weakly installed wall-mounted mirror come loose and fall, once again leading to potentially hazardous consequences.

Makeup mirrors versus traditional mirrors

The main difference between makeup mirrors and traditional mirrors is size. Traditional mirrors are used for all sorts of things, including doing your makeup and trying on clothes. On the other hand, makeup mirrors only reflect a small amount of light and just enough to make out the entirety of your face.

While applying your makeup in a closet or bathroom mirror can feel convenient, makeup mirrors can magnify those smaller details of your face that would otherwise go unnoticed. And when it comes to adjustable LED lights, you really can’t beat the leverage of a makeup mirror.

People also asked

Q: Are makeup mirrors necessary?

A: Makeup mirrors come with additional features such as lighting and magnification, which is particularly useful for makeup. If the rooms in your space offer little to no good lighting, or the leveling of the mirrors in your house is forcing you to lean forward or stand on your tiptoes, makeup mirrors can help you say goodbye to those awkward stances and say hello to an easy, convenient makeup routine.

Q: Do I need a mirror to do makeup?

A: Generally speaking, it can prove hard (and even impossible) to apply makeup if you don’t have a mirror. Even if you previously found yourself satisfied with the smaller mirrors that are commonly built into blush, powder, and setting power – these mirrors simply won’t offer a great amount of lighting or space to allow you to see your whole face.

Q: How large are makeup mirrors?

A: Makeup mirrors themselves aren’t that large, and you won’t typically find a makeup mirror larger than your head in size. However, those makeup mirrors that are specifically designed for travel are generally smaller.

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