this thing's incredible

I Wear Less Makeup Now Thanks to This Illuminating Mirror

Photo: Bill Ross/Getty Images

Rushing out of my apartment building one summer morning, I ran into my neighbor. She stared at me, squinted, and said, “Under your eyes, it’s white.” My concealer was apparently so off tone that it read ashy in the sunlight. To be fair, it was summer, and I was a few shades darker than October through April me. But still, I had checked myself out before I walked out the door, and the makeup seemed respectable. It wasn’t.

I didn’t know it then, but a great mirror is key to makeup self-application. Three months after that encounter, I went on Amazon and ordered the Simplehuman Sensor Mirror, because I’d heard about it from a friend who had been using it for years. Yes, the five-times magnification is scary at first. Everything is visible. Every pore, every dark spot and scar, every hair (“Am I growing a goatee?”). But after a few weeks I got used to seeing myself in detail. The mirror illuminates all the nuances of makeup application. Is my smoky eye transitioning seamlessly from dark to diffuse? Is my blush buffed in so that it melts into the skin? Is there a harsh line from highlighting, bronzer, or contouring? (Sidenote: I’m a beauty writer, so it’s my job to notice these things.) I apply less makeup now because I can see just how much is going on and where I need it most.

Other magnifying mirrors I tried before the Simplehuman gave my face fishbowl-like distortions — unnatural bulges and curves that were so distracting, I forgot what I was looking at. The Simplehuman mirror is just like looking at yourself in the natural sunlight; the mirror’s light comes on automatically when you get within a few inches of it. And everyone knows, if you look good in the sunlight, you look good everywhere.

Simplehuman Sensor-Activated Lighted Vanity Mirror

Note: This mirror is also available in a smaller, 6.5-inch size and a 5-inch travel size.

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I Wear Less Makeup Now Thanks to This Illuminating Mirror