Mirrors date as far back as 8,000 years ago when the people of Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) polished obsidian to a glossy finish so they could admire their reflections. Anatolians would most likely gaze in astonishment at modern mirrors, particularly those of the light-up variety. Mirrors produced even 10 years ago hardly hold a candle to the 2021 versions, in which super-powered lights, voice recognition features and iPhone charging capabilities are now the norm.
These high-tech makeup mirrors aren’t just for gawking at, though. They make everyday tasks like executing a bold eye look, plucking a stray eyebrow hair or simply brightening a dark vanity easier when you don’t have good access to daylight — or what experts call that perfectly white, diffused natural light.
“Lighting is instrumental to creating the best makeup results,” says Nick Lujan, Global Director of Artistry and Education at Kevyn Aucoin. However, “good lighting and mirrors are never guaranteed,” says editorial makeup artist Frankie Boyd. “I always travel with my own lighting and large light-up compact for when a client wants to view the process,” Boyd adds. “The best glam sessions sometimes start before the crack of dawn or in dark hotel rooms.”
But is gazing into a lit abyss a good idea? Are LED makeup mirrors actually bad for your eyes?
“In general, as a board-certified ophthalmologist, I recommend against staring into lights for prolonged periods of time,” says ophthalmologist and founder of twenty/twenty beauty, Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo. “LED makeup mirrors aren’t inherently bad for your eyes, but like all bright lights, you should use them with caution, especially if you tend to spend a lot of time getting ready.”
“Some preliminary studies show that LEDs can contribute to retinal damage, while others show that the blue light emitted by LEDs could cause a decline in your vision quality and even lead to macular degeneration in the future,” she continues. “However, these studies are limited and more research needs to be done to truly understand if there are ramifications to using LED.”
To be safe and out of an abundance of caution, she recommends changing the LED brightness to a lower setting whenever possible.
Below, find the 14 best lighted makeup mirrors backed by experts and glowing customer reviews.
1. Riki Loves Riki Riki Tall
Best Professional Lighted Makeup Mirror
There are many reasons why the Riki Tall is so beloved by professionals and amateurs alike. Not only is its compact size convenient, but its HD daylight brightness feature — with five adjustable settings — is so evenly bright, it’s as if the sun itself is harnessed inside of the one-eighth-inch-deep mirror.
“I love this mirror,” says makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes, known for her radiant looks. “The built-in LED lights allow you to adjust brightness and warmth. The light is balanced and will help you to achieve the best application.”
It’s designed with a color rendering index (CRI) of 95, which is around the number you want to aim for to see the truest skin, makeup and hair color in the mirror.
Plus, it will help you celebrate your inner content creator. Simply use the mirror’s Bluetooth selfie function, magnetic phone holder and remote control to take pictures and create videos of each flawless finish.
2. Riki Loves Riki Riki Skinny 5X Lighted Mirror
Best for Travel
“I travel everywhere with this light,” says Lujan. “It is about the size of a notebook and slides easily into my backpack or makeup briefcase, and it holds a charge.” Weighing at just 1.5 pounds, the Skinny is also able to connect to Bluetooth, has five brightness settings and includes a magnetic phone holder so you can seamlessly watch tutorials mid-application.
3. Fancii & Co. Mila Compact Makeup Mirror
Best Lighted Makeup Mirror for Touch-Ups
This compact mirror is near perfection at the palm of you hands. It has 90+ CRI LED lights, two mirrors (one standard and one 10-times magnified) and a rechargeable battery that can last over nine hours. It also includes dimmable lights that automatically adjust to its light surroundings, so you can retouch your makeup anywhere (aka at a dimly-lit dinner) more inconspicuously.
Boyd is a big fan of this style. “My clients are always impressed when I pop out this large illuminating compact,” he says.
4. SimpleHuman Wall Mount Sensor Makeup Mirror
Best Wall-Mounted Lighted Makeup Mirror
If you prefer your beauty light mirror to be wall-mounted, this SimpleHuman option is incredibly thoughtful. It includes a telescopic swing arm for smooth, seamless movement and a motion sensor that automatically lights up as you come near it. And miraculously, one charge will keep the eight-inch mirror powered for up to five weeks. This option has five-time magnification, allowing you to see everything in detail, but not get sucked into a time warp of staring at every pore for hours.
5. Leopara Makeup Lighting System
Also Consider for Travel
Rather than a single mirror with an imbued light, this lighting system includes four mountable LED panels that stick onto any surface — be it a mirror, screen or type of glass. Makeup artist Hughes says these are particularly great to use when you’re on the go.
The brand describes its patent-pending system as one of the most efficient options on the market because the four-sided, cross-illumination panels brightly and evenly light the face — meaning no dark shadows will trick you into over-applying concealer or blush.
6. Tweezerman Lighted Magnifying Mirror
Best Magnifying Mirror for Tweezing
Perhaps you like to take things into your own hands. This clever, handheld Tweezerman mirror has 10-times magnification, two bright LEDs and suction cups that attach to a non-porous surface. The small size and close magnification make it the perfect match for tweezing any stray hairs on the face. A reviewer on Ulta’s site says it best: “I was so happy to find that the maker of the best tweezers now makes a mirror.”
7. Browgame Signature Lighted Makeup Mirror
Arguably, some lighted mirrors aren’t exactly sleek enough to match your chic decor. But there are a few stylish options on the market, like this marble and rose gold beauty. The tech is gorgeous, too, including adjustable light tones and brightness that you can alter by simply rotating the mirror left or right. The mirror also stands at a mere 13 inches tall, so it can fit into any small space.
8. SimpleHuman Sensor Mirror Trio Max
This mirror’s internal ring light has surgical-grade LEDs, which show every single detail. On one side of the mirror, five-times magnification levels allow you to view your entire face with enhanced clarity. The other side of the mirror includes standard magnification levels that are ideal for makeup application, as well as a half moon portion at the bottom of the mirror with 10-times magnification levels for an extremely close-up view when applying Loveseen false lashes or tweezing hairs.
9. Jordan & Judy LED Light Mirror
Best Budget Lighted Makeup Mirror
Nearly 3,000 Amazon users have given this mirror a four- or five-star rating, making it one of the retailer’s best-selling lighted makeup mirrors. Perfect for those on a budget, this model includes 33 LED lights and a customizable brightness setting for just under $30.
“It isn’t so big you can easily pack it when you need to go on vacation, but it also isn’t super small,” said one reviewer on Amazon. “I like how it is a touchscreen to change the lighting settings — no trying to mess with switches.”
10. Fancii Magnifying Mirror
Most Highly Reviewed Lighted Makeup Mirror
This small Fancii mirror has over 12,500 positive reviews. While conveniently compact at just six inches wide, it doesn’t skip on power. In fact, its 16 bright LED lights and 10-times magnification levels should allow you to see every pore.
“The light is very bright on this, which is great, and sometimes I don’t even need the light because the magnification is enough on its own,” says one Amazon reviewer.
11. Easehold Ultra-Thin Trifold Mirror
Best Tri-Fold Lighted Makeup Mirror
Three mirrors are convenient, but five are even better. Ideal for the person that wants to gaze upon every single angle, eyelash and eyebrow hair, this lighted mirror has one, two, five and 10-times magnification levels. Its 38 LED lights allow you to switch from a dim nighttime tone to full brighter-than-bright setting, depending on whatever the situation calls for.
12. Wade Logan Macleod Frameless Lighted Mirror
Channel your inner starlet with an Old Hollywood-esque light-up mirror. The tone-altering LED lights on this style can be adjusted from warm white to cool and white to dim light white. And the USB port on the side makes it easy to charge your devices while your perfect your Sophia Loren-inspired cat eye or Lauren Bacall smize. The 28-inch mirror can be hung on the wall or placed on its stand atop a vanity.
This mirror also has replaceable bulbs, allowing you to customize your lumens preference. How many lumens do you need for a makeup mirror? The American Lighting Association recommends a minimum value of approximately 1,600 lumens for vanity lighting (one 60-watt incandescent bulb yields about 800 lumens).
13. HiMirror Mini Premium X Smart Beauty Mirror
Best High-Tech Lighted Makeup Mirror
This mirror feels right out of “The Jetsons.” Equipped with Amazon Alexa voice assistance, it allows you to analyze and track your complexion and get product recommendations tailored to your skin’s status. If you’re more of a visual learner, the built-in screen can display YouTube tutorials while you follow along. The mirror can be altered to two- or three-times magnification and has five makeup lighting options with adjustable brightness and color temperature. The product also has a time-lapse feature (use at your own discretion, folks) that can track complexion over weeks, months and years. If all this tech hasn’t sold you yet, let the augmented reality feature sway you. It allows you to “try on” makeup looks without applying a single swipe of lipstick or mascara.
14. Impressions Vanity Co. Luna Nightlight Bluetooth Makeup Mirror
Best Dual-Purpose Lighted Makeup Mirror
This LED-lit option looks like your standard, high-clarity mirror, but tilt the Luna all the way up and it becomes a chic nightlight with an automatic warm-light lamp mode. Not only can the mirror’s night light lull you to sleep, but the product also features Bluetooth speakers and is rechargeable. The mirror has five-times magnification levels and LED lights that adjust in brightness and alter between natural, cool and warm tones.