Finding beauty products you actually love and mastering the art of winged eyeliner are only half the battle. If you really want to perfect your makeup, you have to make sure you're applying it in the right light conditions.
"Proper lighting is everything for a flawless look," Janice Kinjo, celebrity makeup artist, tells InStyle. "With the right lighting, you can even out, blend, and match foundation to your skin tone. Essentially, it is the most important factor in finding the right tones for all the makeup products that will be applied to your face."
That's where lighted makeup mirrors come into play. They typically have multiple light settings so that you can clearly see your face any time of day. But since there are so many types of lighted makeup mirrors available to buy online, it can be tough to figure out which are actually worth buying. To make things easier for you, we tapped three professional makeup artists for their tips on exactly what to look for in lighted makeup mirrors. From must-have features to types of bulbs, their expert advice will help you pick the right mirror for your needs. Our picks below include mirrors that the pros recommend themselves, plus top-rated options on Amazon with all the essential features.
These are the best lighted makeup mirrors in 2021, according to experts and reviews:
- Best for Vanities: Fenchilin Vanity Mirror With Lights
- Best Lighting: Simplehuman 8″ Round Sensor Makeup Mirror
- Best Tri-Fold: Bestope Makeup Mirror With Lights
- Best Celeb-Loved: Riki Loves Riki Skinny Makeup Mirror
- Best for Professionals: Glamcor Brilliant Mirror
- Best With Replaceable Bulbs: Chende Large Vanity Mirror With Lights
- Best Wall-Mounted: Simplehuman 8″ Wall-Mounted Sensor Makeup Mirror
- Best Rotating Option: Fenchilin Tabletop Lighted Makeup Mirror
- Best for Travel: JiBen LED Lighted 10X Magnifying Makeup Mirror
- Best Bluetooth: iHome All-in-One LED Makeup Mirror
- Best for On-the-Go: Fancii Compact Makeup Mirror With LED Lights
How do I choose a lighted makeup mirror?
When you're shopping for a lighted makeup mirror, there are a few specific things to look out for if you want a high-quality option. "Important features are dimmable function for brightness and a function to change color temperature from cool to warm orange hues," says Kinjo, whose clients include Mindy Kaling, Mary J. Blige, and Uzo Aduba.
"For deeper skin tones, a cool white light is horrible lighting and makes the skin tones look white and ashy," she explains. "Therefore, it is important to have some orangey tungsten hues to warm up the white light. A lighted mirror that you can control the color warmth and can get a perfect combo of cool and warm lighting is the perfect lighted mirror for all complexions."
For even better lighting, Sébastien Tardif, celebrity makeup artist and co-founder of Veil Cosmetics, prefers "when the light goes all around the mirror so that there are no features left in the shade."
Even if your bathroom or vanity area is already bright, you might still benefit from a makeup mirror with lights. "[A lighted makeup mirror] allows you to see yourself clearly when applying makeup without the cast of shadows typically caused by overhead lighting," adds Steve Kassajikian, global makeup artist for Urban Decay. "This way you always get an even application and blend."
While brightness, color temperature, and all-around lighting are all helpful, Kassajikian also recommends looking for a travel-friendly makeup mirror for taking on the go and one with mounting options for keeping at home.
Are LED lights best for applying makeup?
The short answer is yes. "LED lights are best because [they] will give you a more natural reflection without washing you out," says Kassajikian. Many lighted makeup mirrors on the market use LED lights, but you'll occasionally find some models with fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.
LED lights are also more energy-efficient than other types of lighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Plus, they might actually keep any makeup that's nearby safe, too. "LED bulbs don't emit heat and cool to the touch, so makeup placed by the mirror won't melt," Kinjo says.
Keep reading to learn more about the best lighted makeup mirrors you can buy online from popular brands like Simplehuman and Riki Loves Riki.
Best for Vanities: Fenchilin Vanity Mirror With Lights
Equipped with 15 LED bulbs, Fenchilin’s lighted makeup mirror will brighten up any space thanks to its wall-mounting capabilities and included base for tabletop use. “This vanity mirror has the dimmable color temperature switch,” says Kinjo. “It also comes with Bluetooth speakers and [a] USB outlet to plug-in devices.” That means you can effortlessly play music and charge your phone while getting ready for the day (or night). Plus, you can switch between three color temperatures depending on the time of day and adjust the brightness as needed. The classic Hollywood-style mirror will look great displayed on your vanity or dresser. Keep in mind that some reviewers thought it would be bigger, so be sure to double-check the measurements.
Size: 22.8″ x 18.1″
Magnification: small detachable magnifying mirror
Features: Bluetooth, USB outlet, and adjustable color temperature and brightness
Shop now: $140–$146, amazon.com
Best Lighting: Simplehuman 8″ Round Sensor Makeup Mirror
Simplehuman, the brand behind those sleek home essentials, also makes some pretty impressive lighted makeup mirrors. Not only does this one have a sensor that automatically lights up when your face is near, but it also has a two-tone lighting system that’s designed to simulate natural sunlight and candlelight. The makeup mirror is cordless and rechargeable, so you aren’t limited by poor outlet placement in your apartment. A full battery lasts up to five weeks, and customers appreciate that there’s a red-light indicator when it’s running low. “The lighting is great, [it’s] so bright and consistent and lasts [a] couple weeks per charge,” wrote a customer. “I can still see clearly everything on my face down to the pore. Seriously, this is the only makeup mirror I will ever need in my entire life.”
Features: automatic sensor, cordless, and rechargeable
Shop now: $177–$200, amazon.com
Best Tri-Fold: Bestope Makeup Mirror With Lights
This tri-fold mirror with 21 LED lights is one of the most popular makeup mirrors on Amazon. There are three different light settings, and you can still adjust the brightness with the touchscreen buttons. The mirror tilts up to 180 degrees, folds up for travel, and has a storage tray on its base to hold small items. It can be powered two different ways: either with four AAA batteries (which aren’t included) or a USB cable. “It folds pretty much flat when not in use, so I keep it tucked in the corner of my desk during the day,” said a shopper. “The intense magnification is perfect for doing my brows or eyeliner, and then the normal magnification is just like a regular mirror for getting my makeup done.”
Size: 8.2″ x 12.6″
Magnification: 1x, 2x, and 3x
Features: 180-degree rotation, three sides of mirrors, and adjustable brightness
Shop now: $36, amazon.com
Best Celeb-Loved: Riki Loves Riki Skinny Makeup Mirror
You’ve probably seen this lighted makeup mirror before, whether on your Instagram feed or IRL at department stores. It’s popular among celebrities and makeup artists, and according to the brand, both Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lopez are fans. The LED lights have five brightness levels, and the mirror itself has a retractable stand and charges via USB. The lighted makeup mirror comes with a magnetic magnifying mirror and a magnetic phone clip so your selfies can have perfect lighting. “Not sure how I did my makeup before this mirror,” wrote one customer. “The super bright lighting makes sure you never miss a spot. I would always find splotchy bronzer etc. when applying my makeup in regular bathroom lighting, but not anymore… Any ‘lighted’ mirror I had tried in the past did not even compete with this one.”
Size: 13″ x 9.5″
Magnification: 5x or 10x
Features: magnetic phone clip and mirror, five brightness settings, and adjustable stand
Shop now: $156–$200, amazon.com
Best for Professionals: Glamcor Brilliant Mirror
If you’re a professional makeup artist (or someone who’s simply willing to splurge), this versatile lighted makeup mirror from Glamcor is a great choice. It has all the features you’d need for perfect makeup in any lighting situation, plus two outlets that’ll come in especially handy for plugging in a curling iron or charging a phone. The makeup mirror’s lights are dimmable and adjust in temperature ranging from candlelight to noon daylight. It comes with a stand, but there’s also the option to mount it on the wall. The price is steep, but it’s an option that even celebrity makeup artists use. “I love my Glamcor [mirror],” says Tardif. “For people that travel, it can easily be brought anywhere you go without being a heavy burden.”
Size: 24” x 18.5”
Features: two outlets and adjustable color temperature and brightness
Shop now: $595–$880, glamcor.com or wayfair.com
Best With Replaceable Bulbs: Chende Large Vanity Mirror With Lights
This lighted makeup mirror from Chende is the biggest option on this list, and we’ve found it to be nearly identical to another one of Kinjo’s recommendations. Unlike many other makeup mirrors with lights, this one uses replaceable LED bulbs (14 to be exact) and comes with two extras just in case. Other expert-approved features include a side outlet and an easy-to-use dimmer — just rotate the knob to adjust the brightness. “I love that you control the brightness with a dial instead of using buttons/touch,” a shopper wrote. “Another reason why I bought this mirror instead of the others: You can replace the bulbs easily!”
Size: 31.5″ x 23.6″
Features: replaceable bulbs, adjustable brightness, and an outlet
Shop now: $285 with coupon (Originally $350), amazon.com
Best Wall-Mounted: Simplehuman 8″ Wall-Mounted Sensor Makeup Mirror
Kassajikian highly recommends wall-mounted lighted makeup mirrors, and this one from Simplehuman is a highly rated choice. Just like the brand’s tabletop mirror above, the wall-mounted version has the same LED lighting system that shows the true color of your makeup in every setting. There are both hard-wired and rechargeable versions available, and each has LED lights that were designed to last 40,000+ hours. The lighted makeup mirror has an adjustable and extendable arm, and thanks to its sensor, it’ll automatically turn on when you approach. “This is a spendy mirror, but it was worth it. It’s very nicely made, with a high-quality mounting system that made it easy to install” one shopper said. “Another plus for the Simplehuman mirror is that its design is clean and elegant — important for something that’s attached to your wall in plain sight.”
Features: wall mounting, automatic sensor, and hard-wired/rechargeable options
Shop now: $230, amazon.com
Best Rotating Option: Fenchilin Tabletop Lighted Makeup Mirror
With 12 LED light bulbs, adjustable brightness, and three color temperatures, the Fenchilin tabletop makeup mirror is another solid pick. Once you dim the lights and choose a level of warmth, the mirror automatically remembers your previous settings the next time you turn it on. It has 360-degree rotation, and Kinjo says this feature is key to “applying fake eyelashes” with ease. Plus, customers in the reviews section explain that the mirror actually stays put once tilted. Even though it’s not a cordless model, the lighted makeup mirror has a long 60-inch power cable. And since it’s available in three different finishes (black, rose gold, and white), you can pick the version that best matches your aesthetic.
Size: 14.5″ x 18.5″
Magnification: small detachable mirror with 10x magnification
Features: 360-degree rotation and adjustable brightness and temperature settings
Shop now: $60, amazon.com
Best for Travel: JiBen LED Lighted 10X Magnifying Makeup Mirror
This lighted makeup mirror from JiBen is compact enough to fit in your suitcase or duffel bag for travel, and its built-in suction cup base makes it possible to stick practically anywhere — even in tiny hotel bathrooms. Despite its small size, the makeup mirror still has important features like LED lights and a rotating base. It requires three AAA batteries that you’ll need to purchase separately, and customers recommend quickly popping them out before packing the mirror in your suitcase to prevent it from accidentally turning on. “If you are someone who travels, this is a perfect travel size magnification mirror,” said a reviewer. “The suction cup is very strong and the lightweight mirror stays in place.”
Features: battery-operated, suction cup, and 360-degree rotation
Shop now: $23, amazon.com
Best Bluetooth: iHome All-in-One LED Makeup Mirror
If a built-in speaker for listening to music or taking phone calls is an important feature for you, opt for this Bluetooth-enabled makeup mirror from iHome. It has a microphone and buttons to control the speaker without grabbing your phone. The rechargeable mirror has two light settings and magnification on both sides (1x and 7x), so you can tweeze eyebrows and apply eyeliner with ease. “I love that I can listen to my podcasts and answer calls while getting ready,” a customer wrote. “I can also charge my phone or other devices when I’m taking too long to get ready. All in all, this mirror is amazing.”
Size: 9″ in diameter
Magnification: 1x and 7x
Features: Bluetooth speaker and USB port
Shop now: $168 (Originally $190), amazon.com
Best for On-the-Go: Fancii Compact Makeup Mirror With LED Lights
If you’re looking for a lighted makeup mirror that you can quickly throw in your bag while on the go, then this compact might be exactly what you need. One side has a regular mirror with LED lights, and the other has a larger mirror with 10x magnification. The compact automatically lights up when opened, and you can adjust the brightness by holding down the power button. Customers appreciate that it’s rechargeable because they don’t have to stress about purchasing batteries. “It’s a staple in my purse now,” one wrote. “It is stylish looking, and, most importantly, quite effective in seeing what your makeup looks like ‘for real’ on the go.”
Magnification: 1x and 10x
Features: adjustable brightness and rechargeable via USB
Shop now: $47, amazon.com
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