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The Very Best Lighted Makeup Mirrors

Never walk outside with mismatched foundation again.

Photo: Marcus McDonald
Photo: Marcus McDonald

In this article

Whether you’re going for a natural daytime makeup look, applying fiddly false lashes, or attacking the tiniest stray hairs with your tweezers, a lighted makeup mirror can help make sure you step outside looking like the very best version of you. And because I live in an apartment with a dark, cramped bathroom, I’ve found a lighted makeup mirror to be especially indispensable for making sure my makeup is seamless, blended, and correctly calibrated for the occasion. The lighted-mirror market is a crowded one, with tons of options out there for laypeople and beauty influencers alike and a large range of price points, so I interviewed makeup enthusiasts and professionals about their favorites. Then I tested several of them myself as I went about my regular routine: plucking my eyebrows, applying highlighter, curling my hair, and even selling clothes on Depop. Below are the ten best.

What we’re looking for

Type of light

The intensely heated incandescent lightbulbs surrounding backstage dressing-room mirrors are mostly a thing of the past. The majority of lighted makeup mirrors today — including all of the mirrors on this list — use LED bulbs, which are more energy-efficient and offer more versatility. Some mirrors have lights built in under the glass, emitting a calmer, softer light that’s ideal for natural daily makeup. They can also emit a range of light temperatures that serve different purposes: A warm light is best for applying makeup for a night out or candlelit dinner; a daylight setting is best for applying makeup for brunch or outdoor activities; and a cool light is best for a day spent in an office or classroom. Some makeup mirrors will allow you to toggle between light temperatures to suit a variety of looks and situations.

Energy source

Lighted mirrors can be battery-operated, rechargeable, or plug-in, which affects how portable the mirror is. If you plan for your mirror to take up permanent residence on your vanity, one that needs to be connected to an outlet might not bother you. But if you intend to move your mirror around or travel with it, battery-operated or rechargeable options are your best bet.

Shape and size

Makeup mirrors can either be wall-mounted or freestanding, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including circular, oblong, rectangular, and trifold. The best one for you really depends on personal preference, but you should also keep in mind your available space and how much room you want the mirror to take up — from a small corner of your desk to the full span of your vanity.

Magnification

Makeup mirrors come in different magnification levels, from 2x to more than 10x, to let you get up and close and personal and ensure that every aspect of your makeup is picture-perfect. Most mirrors provide a standard reflection with no magnification as well as an additional magnification between 2x and 5x, which is enough to offer a more precise and detailed view but not so much that your image becomes distorted. Mirrors with 10x magnification or above are best suited for extremely detailed work, such as intricate eyeliner art or brow tweezing.

Additional features

Makeup mirrors have gotten pretty high-tech. There are some that feature integrated speakers, phone chargers, and phone stands, dim and brighten when you touch them or automatically light up when you approach, even some that can analyze your skin. But as with any electronic device, your lighted mirror could potentially break or stop working, so you may also want to consider whether a warranty policy is in place.

Best lighted makeup mirror overall

Type of light: Natural daylight, soft white, neutral white | Energy source: Rechargeable | Shape and size: Oblong, 9.5” | Magnification: 1x only | Additional features: Touch-control, 2-year warranty

Fancii’s Vera mirror is sleek and attractive, highly functional, and fairly budget friendly as far as lighted makeup mirrors go, making it the best choice for the average person who just wants to see their face better and doesn’t need a whole lot of bells and whistles to do it. I found its elongated oval shape to be a distinct plus as it allowed me to check out my entire profile from the chest up; while circular mirrors were better for providing tight close-ups of my face, the Vera’s extended length reflected my entire head, neck, and shoulders so I could use it to dust some highlighter on my décolletage or curl and straighten my hair as well.

Though this mirror doesn’t offer any magnification, it does come with three dimmable light temperatures: a soft warm white, a cool neutral white, and a natural daylight setting. I use the soft white setting the most as it has a warmer cast to it that I find more flattering than the other two settings, which are cooler toned. The mirror tilts 45 degrees forward and backward, and there are two buttons on the front of the mirror — a button on the right that “wakes up” the mirror and adjusts the brightness, and a button on the left to switch between light temperatures. (There’s also a power button on the back, which you can press to turn off the mirror completely and conserve power; otherwise, pressing the front-right button again will send it to sleep.) Holding down the right button allows you to adjust the brightness of the light, but I generally keep it on the brightest setting, which is still fairly soft and not at all blinding. The buttons are conveniently placed and intuitive; the only drawback is that, because they are incorporated into the glass, the bottom of the mirror collects fingerprints quickly and I have to wipe it down pretty frequently.

Because the Vera is rechargeable, I can easily move it wherever I want in my apartment, and Fancii claims that the battery lasts approximately ten hours; however, I usually leave it on for 30 to 45 minutes at a time, and I’ve found that I typically charge it about once every nine-to-ten days. Though it doesn’t have any especially high-tech features like the motion sensor on my pick for a more high-end mirror below, it’s the mirror I recommend to anyone who wants to make sure they don’t have foundation streaks at their jawline without spending too much.

Best high-end lighted makeup mirror

Type of light: Natural daylight, candlelight | Energy source: Rechargeable | Shape and size: Circular, 8” | Magnifications: 1x, 5x, and 10x | Additional features: Automatic motion sensor, touch-control, 5-year warranty

This elegant (and expensive) Simplehuman mirror is the Tesla of lighted makeup mirrors. Where the Fancii Vera doesn’t offer any magnification, the Simplehuman’s double-sided design gives you three different magnification options: One side offers a true-size standard reflection as well as a small 10x-magnified window that I’ve found is perfect for detailed work like tweezing my brows. The other side offers 5x magnification that lets me to get up close and personal to ensure my cat-eye flick is drawn with utmost precision. The Simplehuman is also outfitted with a motion sensor, so there’s no need to fumble for a switch or button — the light automatically flickers awake when I approach it, then dims and shuts off after a period of inactivity. I found this to be especially convenient since it meant I didn’t have to clean it as often because I never smudged the glass surface with my fingerprints. I also don’t charge it as frequently as the Vera — about once or twice a month, though that may be because I reach for the Vera on a daily basis more often.

When it comes to the light itself, Simplehuman’s “Tru-Lux” technology simulates sunlight’s full color spectrum so closely that when it’s on, it’s “just like looking at yourself in the natural sunlight … And everyone knows, if you look good in the sunlight, you look good everywhere,” says Strategist senior editor Crystal Martin, who owns a single-sided model of this mirror. I’ve found that this claim bears out, as the Simplehuman’s natural-daylight setting has a more natural, balanced hue that does seem to mimic sunlight more accurately than the Vera. In addition to the daylight temperature, you can also switch to a softer, warmer candlelight temperature if you’re doing your makeup for a night out. Lightly running a finger along the rim of the light allows you to dim and brighten the light output, so you can ensure your makeup is color-correct and appropriate for any and all occasions. However, while it’s certainly luxurious, the mirror has such a high price point that I typically recommend it for more serious and experienced makeup enthusiasts who are willing to splurge.

Best travel-friendly lighted makeup mirror

Type of light: HD daylight | Energy source: Rechargeable | Shape and size: Rectangular, 9.5” x 13” | Magnifications: 1x and 5x or 10x | Additional features: Adjustable stand, magnetic phone clip, Bluetooth functionality, 1-year warranty

When I first opened the Riki Loves Riki Skinny Mirror, I was immediately struck by how thin it is. The mirror’s lightweight, rectangular silhouette makes it perfect for jet-setters who are frequently doing their makeup away from home, or really for anyone who is short on vanity space and wants a mirror that’s easy to tuck away when it’s not in use. The separate, foldable stand is a cinch to adjust so that you can angle the mirror however you need, and it comes with a magnification attachment that snaps on and off magnetically, so you can pop it on only when you need it for extra detail. And because it also comes with a magnetic phone holder and has built-in Bluetooth connectivity for streaming and selfie-taking, it’s especially appealing to content creators and anyone else who regularly appears on camera: As Drag Race’s Michelle Visage told us, “Every drag queen that I know, you can’t travel without a Riki.”

Unlike the Fancii Vera and the Simplehuman Sensor mirrors above, the Riki Loves Riki Skinny mirror offers just one light temperature: the slick, high-octane lighting often seen in vlogs and makeup tutorials, which the brand bills as “HD daylight.” The brightness can be adjusted between five different settings, and Visage says it’s “bright as a football-stadium light.” I’ve rarely gone above the first two settings, as they are plenty bright for me, and the fifth is far too blinding for my purposes.

In fact, because I’m mostly doing my makeup at home for everyday situations, and not with the aim of appearing on-camera, I ultimately prefer the Fancii Vera and the Simplehuman Sensor for their more naturalistic lighting. However, I can see why the easily portable, ultra-bright Riki mirror is a favorite of folks like Stefanie Fritz, a makeup artist and content creator who wanted a mirror that was “more modern and streamlined.” Once it’s charged she can put it on the counter for a client or to film and doesn’t have to carry any cords around. Monique Jayme, a prestige beauty adviser at Ulta, told me that when she takes photos or films videos, she even uses the mirror as a de facto ring light, and she likes that its sleek, iPad-esque profile slides into a laptop case to keep the mirror safe when she’s on the go.

The phone holder and Bluetooth capabilities are also pretty handy. Pairing my phone was fuss-free, and the holder magnetically attaches to the center of the mirror so that rather than awkwardly maneuvering to press buttons on the phone itself, you can hold the mirror in front of your face for the most flattering angle, then press the “camera” button in the lower-right-hand corner of the mirror. I’m not planning to start a YouTube channel anytime soon, but I did use the mirror to take photos of my clothes for Depop, and they came out bright and clear, almost as if they were taken in an actual studio. I think the Riki is a great choice for those who travel often or who have influencer aspirations. Although the price is steep, it’s still cheaper than the Simplehuman, and according to Visage, “it’s worth every penny.”

Best handheld lighted makeup mirror

Type of light: Soft white, neutral, natural daylight | Energy source: Rechargeable | Shape and size: Circular, 9” | Magnification: 1x and 5x | Additional features: Handheld capability, 360-degree rotation, 90-degree tilt

While a stationary mirror frees up both hands for makeup application or hair curling, sometimes you just want to get really up close and personal. A handheld mirror allows you to get inches away from your face at all angles and directions, whether you’re checking to see if your contour is sufficiently blended or monitoring that weird mole on your neck — which is exactly what I’ve been using PMD Beauty’s makeup mirror for.

The mirror comes in three parts: a sturdy base, a detachable handle, and the mirror itself, all of which easily snapped together. When I picked up each piece, I immediately noticed how lightweight they were, making this mirror another ideal travel companion. The power button and a toggle button are located on the front of the mirror, allowing you to switch between three light modes: soft white, neutral, and natural daylight. There’s also a section in the corner with 5x magnification, and the mirror itself can be rotated 360 degrees and tilted 90 degrees, which I’ve used to view myself from all sorts of odd angles, like the top of my head and underneath my chin. The handle is ergonomic and easy to hold for a long period of time. However, the mirror is fairly short, less than a foot tall. If you plan to use it as a free-standing mirror, you may need to stoop a bit in order to see yourself in it, so I suggest either placing it on a surface that’s around eye level or on a desk or vanity where you can sit down.

Best lighted compact mirror

Type of light: Natural daylight | Energy source: Rechargeable | Shape and size: Compact, 4” | Magnifications: 1x and 10x | Additional features: Automatic shutoff, 2-year warranty

Maybe you don’t need a full-blown makeup mirror, but you still want a lightweight and portable mirror that will help with touch-ups here and there. I tested the Fancii Mila, a lighted compact mirror, by bringing it along on a night out, and it was perfect for fixing my smudged eyeliner in a dark club bathroom. It has bounced around in my bag on multiple outings now and emerged unscathed, though because I only use it on occasion, I usually have to make a note to charge it an hour or two before I head out. The Mila has the same sleek, attractive look as the Fancii Vera, though it only has one temperature setting. The clamshell shape is outfitted with two mirrors: one with standard magnification and one with 10x magnification. The light, which outlines the standard mirror, automatically turns on when you open the compact and off when you snap it shut. The mirror also comes with a velvet pouch to protect it from scratches. Because it’s so small — about the size of an ashtray — it can be tucked into “literally anything,” according to makeup artist and content creator Roxanne Latulippe. “It fits in my makeup bag, it fits in my smaller purses. I carry it everywhere with me.” Latulippe says she’s been using the mirror for over two years, and it still works great: “If you really take care of it, it’s going to last you a really long time.”

Best ring-light makeup mirror

Type of light: Cool, warm, blend | Energy source: Plug-in | Shape and size: Circular, 9” | Magnifications: 1x and 5x | Additional features: Phone holder, 1-year warranty

This makeup mirror from Ilios Lighting is equipped with a thick, ring-light-esque band that’s ideal for those struggling with their eyesight. Sharon Brown, a director at an assisted-living facility, bought it after resorting to doing her makeup in the car in order to see better. “I don’t mind saying it — I’m 51, I’m getting older and having eyesight issues,” Brown says. “So having that extra light with the bigger surface area really helps to be able to see what you’re doing.” In conjunction with the 5x-magnified mirror, she’s able to get so up close and personal that she’ll notice “when my skin starts peeling” as a result of her anti-aging cream. But it’s not just an older demographic that benefits from this mirror: Brown bought a second one for her 17-year-old daughter, who likes to pop out the mirror and replace it with the phone holder to take pictures and videos.

Although Brown does mention that the mirror is hefty, that hasn’t posed a problem for Stephanie Antillon, a makeup artist and content creator who is disabled. Depending on whether she’s on a video call or working with a client, she’ll often transition the mirror between a desk stand and a floor stand, so she had asked the brand how much it weighs (about 6.5 pounds) before buying it “since my capacity to carry things isn’t the best,” Antillon says. Compared to other setups she’s had, she finds the Ilios mirror to be a breeze. “It’s so easy to detach and attach,” she reports. “It means a lot that even someone who has limited mobility is able to use this product.”

Best trifold lighted makeup mirror

Type of light: Natural white, warm white, cool white | Energy source: Battery-operated or plug-in | Shape and size: Trifold, 7.7’” x 3.2” | Magnifications: 1x, 2x, 3x, and 10x | Additional features: 90-degree and 180-degree rotation

A trifold mirror, while typically bulkier than regular mirrors, lets you view your face from various side angles in addition to head-on. This Easehold mirror comes with four magnification levels (regular, 2x, 3x, and 10x) and holds the distinction of being the top-rated makeup mirror among Amazon reviewers, with over 8,500 five-star ratings and multiple reviews praising its rotational abilities and light settings. “The vanity design is very efficient; I can see all sides of my face so I won’t miss a spot!” one reviewer enthuses. “[It’s] a perfect size and it doesn’t take up much space.” Another agrees that viewing multiple angles of your face at once is very helpful: “The side mirrors work great for me in managing my piercings,” they say. “I [also] wax my eyebrows with it. Tweeze the stray hairs. Apply makeup. The wings fold in so it’s thin and easy to store.” It comes with three dimmable light temperatures (daytime, office, and evening) that are “bright but not glaring, and they don’t distort or filter skin tone or makeup coloration,” according to a third reviewer.

Best Hollywood-style lighted makeup mirror

Type of light: Natural daylight, warm white, cool white | Energy source: Plug-in | Shape and size: Rectangular, 29” x 19” | Magnifications: 1x and 5x | Additional features: Touch control, 1-year warranty

If you want to feel like a glamorous old-Hollywood movie star, this mirror from Impressions Vanity mimics the look of lighted dressing-room mirrors — with some contemporary touches. While the mirrors of yore were studded with incandescent bulbs, this one uses LED bulbs, saving energy and allowing you to switch between natural, cool, and warm lighting. The company also offers a multitude of sizes and designs, from $100 tabletop mirrors to over-$1,000 full-size vanity mirrors, so you can choose one that best fits your space and budget.

Makeup artist and content creator Liv Reese initially bought a smaller model that could fit in her makeup case, but loved it so much that she upgraded to this larger Tri-Tone Plus version. “It has feet, so it can sit on your vanity, or you can anchor it to your wall. There’s also a button in the middle to dim the brightness,” Reese explains. “Because I shoot content all day, every day, and at different times of the day, depending on what natural light I’m getting, I’ll adjust it.”

Some larger vanity mirrors from this brand also come with features such as a digital thermostat, so that you can apply an extra blast of setting spray if it’s a hot day out, and Bluetooth connectivity and speakers, so that you can listen to your favorite playlist or podcast while getting ready. Content creator Trinity Nicole sprang for her “dream vanity,” Impression Vanity’s nearly 45-inch-long Hollywood Premiere Pro Vanity Mirror, and “is absolutely in love” with it. She reports that the speakers “are loud and clear” when she’s listening to music while doing her hair and makeup and that the mirror is so big that she can see nearly her entire outfit in it. “It gives off a very luxurious vibe to my bedroom,” she adds. “I feel like a princess.”

Best wall-mounted lighted makeup mirror

Type of light: Natural daylight | Energy source: Hardwired | Shape and size: Circular, 9” | Magnification: 5x | Additional features: Automatic motion sensor, telescopic swing arm, 5-year warranty

Although Havenly design director Heather Goerzen acknowledges that a hardwired, wall-mounted makeup mirror “can be a costly investment,” she thinks this sleek, stylish Simplehuman mirror “brilliantly blends form and function.” It’s a bit more simplified than the freestanding one recommended above — it offers just one light setting, “natural daylight,” and it’s only equipped with 5x magnification. However, it comes outfitted with the same automatic motion sensor as well as a telescopic swing arm, which allows it to be easily adjusted and tucked away neatly when not in use.

Best full-size wall-mounted lighted makeup mirror

Type of light: Warm white, cool white | Energy source: Variable (outlet or hard-wiring) | Shape and size: Oval, 24” x 36” | Magnification: 1x | Additional features: RGB color option, dimmable switch, 5-year warranty

For those who want to skip squinting into a small circle, there’s also the option to splash out for a full-size, wall-mounted bathroom mirror equipped with a luminous perimeter. L.A.-based interior designer Jaqui Seerman loves installing illuminated mirrors in her clients’ bathrooms because they are both aesthetically pleasing and functional, casting “a warm and even glow that’s flattering and precise.” Seerman recommends the brand IBMirror, which offers bathroom mirrors in a cornucopia of sizes with both front and back illumination options — and since it has a plug-in version, installation is effortless, with no electrician required. The classic oval shape is an especially popular choice among Seerman’s clients, but rectangular, oblong, and round shapes are also available, so you’re guaranteed to find one that’s the perfect fit for your bathroom.

Other things we recommend for your vanity

Our experts

Cortne Bonilla, fashion market editor at the Cut
Crystal Martin, Strategist senior editor
Jaqui Seerman, interior designer
• Heather Goerzen, design director at interior design service Havenly
Liv Reese, makeup artist and content creator
Monique Jayme, prestige beauty adviser at Ulta Beauty
Roxanne Latulippe, makeup artist and content creator
• Sharon Brown, assisted living facility director
Stefanie Fritz, makeup artist and content creator
Stephanie Antillon, makeup artist and content creator
Trinity Nicole, content creator
Michelle Visage, RuPaul’s Drag Race judge

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The 10 Very Best Lighted Makeup Mirrors