When it comes to makeup application or precision tasks like eyebrow grooming, here’s the truth: Even the best products or the steadiest hand are no match for poor lighting and a blurry reflection. If you do your makeup in a dim room or pluck your brows in a super-zoom mirror, you’re likely going to take a step back and think, “What have I done?”
The solution? Lighted cosmetic mirrors. Unlike a plain-old bathroom mirror, or a makeup vanity mirror with lights, these reflectors provide a light system that projects a halo of illumination directly on your face to make grooming simple and accurate, so you’ll never again walk out of the house with an unblended line of foundation along your jawline or overly plucked eyebrows.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options on the market, but don’t worry—we’ve done all the hard work for you and tested popular and top-rated lighted makeup mirrors. Our result for the best makeup mirror with lights? The Glamcor Riki Skinny(available at Amazon for $195.00), which features five bright light settings, an adjustable stand, and a magnetically attachable 3x magnification mirror and a phone connectivity setting that lets you take photos in stellar lighting. Not looking to spend too much? We have a recommendation for you, too.
These are the best makeup mirrors we tested ranked, in order:
Glamcor Riki Skinny
DeWeisn Tri-Fold Mirror
Conair Reflections 1x/10x LED Rose Gold Makeup Mirror
Absolutely Lush Rectangle Mirror
Conair Double-Sided Oval Mirror
Zadro Max Bright Sunlight Dual Sided Vanity Mirror
Maker2 Tri-Fold Mirror
Jerdon Tri-Fold Two-Sided Mirror
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Let’s start with the obvious: This is a pricey mirror and far above the amount that even I, Reviewed’s beauty writer, would typically spend for the ability to look at my own reflection. But the fact is, the Glamcor Riki Skinny is the most versatile and most intuitive lighted makeup mirror I’ve ever used. Its combination of bright lights, crystal-clear reflection, and compact, portable form elevate it far above the competition, and make it worth its higher-than-most price.
For starters, unlike many mirrors, the Riki is wireless and rechargeable, so I could unbox it and get right to...well, looking at myself. You control the mirror features via six buttons located along the bottom right corner of the frame. The first button has a battery emoticon on it and, when pressed, lights up to indicate how much charge you have left. Next, a Bluetooth button that, when held, allows the mirror to sync to your phone so that you can control the camera function on your phone (yes, stay with me). Next, the camera button, which when pressed, takes a photo on your phone once you sync it with the Bluetooth button. Next is the on/off button for the lights. And, finally, the last two buttons increase and decrease the brightness of the lighting.
Even sitting only a foot away, the placemat-sized Riki is large enough that you can see your whole face and immediate surroundings. I dislike sitting in front of a mirror and feeling like I’m not seeing the full picture of my face, my neck, and my hair as I’m getting ready. The reflective surface (referred to as 1x magnification, in mirror-speak) is large enough that I can see where I need to blend my foundation down my neck and do my hair without adjusting the mirror at all.
If you want to change the angle of the mirror, though, it’s a cinch—the V-shaped stand acts like an easel on which you place the mirror. If you want a different view, you spread the stands’ legs further apart or closer together.
If you were to travel with this mirror, you may collapse the stand down to a flat surface similar in size to a five-by-seven picture frame. The mirror itself is only 1.5 pounds, 9.5 inches by 13 inches in width and height, and less than an inch thick, making it easy to pack in a bag or store in a drawer.
The secret to the Riki’s excellent, even illumination is its 54 lights, each smaller than a pea, that line the rectangular edges of the mirror to illuminate every part of your face equally. There are five light settings, which you can control using the aforementioned brightening and dimming light buttons. Even if you are sitting in natural sunlight from a window and you don’t think you need more light, you may find these settings make a difference in clarity.
When you’re approaching tasks that require you to see close up, there is a circular 3x magnification mirror that attaches onto the rectangular mirror’s face with magnets. It’s smaller than other circular magnifying mirrors we tested, but it’s a secondary product that you may not use all the time anyway—and it’s adequate for precision tasks. The phone holder, which clamps your phone not unlike a selfie stick, attaches in the same way as the magnification mirror. The Riki quickly synced to my iPhone 7 and I was able to take photos using the camera button on the mirror with no problems—in case you’re curious and think that’s a function you’d utilize to, say, share your latest look with your Instagram followers.
In all areas, the Glamcor Riki Skinny exceeded my expectations. Before I began testing, I assumed these mirrors would offer about the same user experience, but I was wrong and this mirror proved that to me. And if it’s good enough to be one of Oprah’s Favorite Things, it may make your list of life-changing products as well.
While the Riki Skinny is a great option, I understand the desire to spend less, especially if you don’t care about the extra features, like the Bluetooth functionality. If you fall into that camp, consider the DeWeisn Tri-Fold Mirror, the Best Overall winner in our previous round of testing, and now our Best Value pick.
The DeWeisn has a tri-fold design, meaning the mirror can fold down into roughly the size of an iPad or expand into a multi-functional mirror with a 9.5-inch-tall, 1x magnification (regular reflection) centerpiece and side panels with 2x and 3x magnification sections. The 2x magnification is something the Riki doesn’t offer, so if you like the idea of having three gradual magnification options instead of just two, the DeWeisn delivers.
And with the lower price, you won’t be forfeiting quality lighting—the DeWeisn mirror features well directed, adjustable lightning and a crisp reflection, albeit smaller in surface area compared to the Riki. This mirror also swivels 180 degrees, meaning you can tilt the mirror far back or forward to capture more angles. A downside to the light settings is that there are only two, dim and bright, and these are controlled by the same touch sensor. Still, these settings were adequate for my needs.
The DeWeisn is powered by a USB cable, but you can also use four AAA batteries, if you prefer it to be wireless. The ability to fold the mirror together to a 10.38- by 6.3- by 4.72-inch size (including the stand the mirror is attached to) makes it more travel-friendly than others on this list. Plus you’re bringing along three mirrors in one with this because of the magnification options.
If you’re looking for a great, affordable lighted makeup mirror, we think you’ll be happy with this choice.
I’m Jessica Kasparian, the lifestyle writer at Reviewed. I write about everything from beauty to health to sleep. Need a new hair dryer? I’ve got you. Ready to properly pamper yourself with a foot spa? Look no further. My job also entails trying hyped products like Lady Gaga’s makeup line or customizable skincare from Curology. That, and the fact that I’m a skincare and makeup enthusiast outside of my job, means that I need a quality lighted makeup mirror to properly see (read: examine) my face during or after the makeup and skincare application process.
Prior to my update of this test, Reviewed called on Jessica Teich, our now-former health and beauty editor, to test each lighted mirror. We shared the same goal: To find a mirror that is undeniably great in its brightness, clarity, size, and adjustability.
A lighted makeup mirror is essential to really see what you're doing in any "getting ready" routine, whether you're trimming your beard or applying a full face of makeup: An artist doesn't paint in the dark, so why should you do your art in poor lighting? To find the best cosmetic mirrors on the market, we scoured best-seller lists across retailers, Reddit threads, and best-of lists at every price point. Then, we pitted the top-rated picks against each other to find the winner.
For this roundup, we chose free-standing makeup mirrors, as opposed to those that have a suction-cup that attaches to your bathroom mirror or shower wall. We tested them in the same way you might use one at home: We set them up in our bathrooms to use over a few days to apply and remove makeup, style our hair, and try precision tasks like tweezing our (respective) eyebrows or shaving peach fuzz. We also teamed up with Reviewed’s senior scientist to score and rate our experiences. For each mirror, I answered questions about:
Lighting: Is the lighting on the mirror effective, or is it too dim or too bright? Are the lights well-placed, or do they produce glare or shadows on your face when applying makeup? Are there multiple lighting settings, and how useful are they?
Features: Are there multiple magnification settings, and are they strong enough for precision tasks? Does the mirror come with any accessories, and if so, are they useful or just gimmicky?
Usability: Is the mirror adjustable in height and/or angle? Is the mirror portable, or is it a hassle to bring from room to room, store in a drawer, or toss in an overnight bag?
We then scored and weighted the results. Not all aspects are equally important: For example, lighting effectiveness was weighted more heavily than portability because, for the average person, traveling is an occasional occurrence and we sought to find the perfect everyday mirror. All things considered, it was clear that some mirrors we tested are far superior, and others are just not worth your money.
Why Do I Need a Lighted Makeup Mirror?
Applying your makeup in sub-par lighting is an easy way to overdo it with blush or bronzer, or to end up with harsh foundation lines. Take it from me—someone who once lived in a basement apartment and relied on a lighted makeup mirror to avoid looking too powdery—these things can be appearance-savers.
Another benefit of an LED lighted makeup mirror is avoiding eye strain from dim lighting, which can lead to headaches, fatigue, and reduced concentration. A good LED lighted mirror gives you the right amount of lighting to avoid eye fatigue while taking your time with grooming tasks.
Are Lighted Makeup Mirrors Energy-Efficient?
One concern you might have while using a lighted makeup mirror is how much energy it will use. LED lighted makeup mirrors are actually quite efficient, using almost five times less electricity and battery power than traditional light bulbs. They also produce only small amounts of heat so you never have to worry about burning yourself on one. Most LED lights are dimmable, as well as are resistant to shock, vibrations, and hot or cold temperature extremes.
A huge problem with other types of light bulbs (incandescents and CFLs) is that they emit light in too many different directions, producing a dimmer effect. LED lights are directional and when properly placed within these mirrors, they do not cast shadows on your face. When compared with fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen light bulbs, LED lighting lasts a whopping 10, 25, and 50 times longer, respectively, while using less energy.
Other Makeup Mirrors With Lights We Tested
Conair BEH17 Reflections LED Makeup Mirror
It doesn’t get much simpler than this lighted mirror from Conair. The circular mirror is 7.5 inches in diameter with six of those inches being the reflective portion, or “viewing area.” One side of the circle, which can rotate 360 degrees, is 1x magnification and the other is 10x—quite the boost from the Riki or the DeWeisn’s 3x magnification options, which could be helpful if you want to get very up close and personal with your face, but it may lead you to over pluck hairs or pick at your skin too much. The Conair uses three AA batteries (not included), which insert at the bottom of the stand, and has a simple on-and-off switch (no brightness settings). Beyond the ring of light around the face of the mirror, there are no bells and whistles to this mirror. It is, however, attractive for a vanity with a metallic finish, and a tall and slim appearance that doesn’t take up too much space. As the batteries lose power, though, the light gets dimmer, which is our main critique.
The design of this mirror, which is powered by a USB cord or four AA batteries, is simple yet very effective. It’s vanity-style lights surround the entire mirror and get very bright—they also may be dimmed down more softly than candlelight. The 8.8-inch-tall mirror could stand to be a bit larger as sometimes those lights can get in your eyes. It comes with a small attachable 10x magnification mirror. However, that bonus mirror blocks a big portion of the main mirror, so we preferred to use it separately instead of tacking it onto the glass.
Like the above (and newer model) Conair mirror, this one is attractive and in line with what you may picture when you think of cosmetic mirrors. The 8.5-inch oval mirror rotates a full 360 degrees, with one side that’s regular magnification (1x) and the other that’s 7x enlarged. The oval shape is excellent as it mimics the shape of your face, so you don’t have to twist and turn to see all parts of your face. Its biggest drawback—and it is a big one—is that the lights don’t get bright enough to give a true showing. It’s also only electric with no battery-powered ability, so it’s not as portable as the competition.
The Maker2, which uses four AA batteries and offers 1x and 10x magnification options, is nearly identical to the Absolutely Lush mirror, but there are a few things that bumped it to the bottom half of the list. The vanity-style lights only run up the vertical edges instead of all around the mirror, although it was advertised otherwise. The lights also don’t get nearly as bright as others, despite being adjustable. The Maker2 is also strictly battery-operated with no option to plug it in. If you like the design of this mirror, it’s a no-brainer: Opt for the Absolutely Lush one instead, which is superior and costs around the same price.
Zadro Max Bright Sunlight Dual Sided Vanity Mirror
The most obvious drawback to this mirror from Zadro is that it is clunky, at 11 by 8 by 17.5 inches. With its larger-than-most size comes a circular face that’s about an inch-and-a-half larger than the also-circular Conair mirror, which means seeing your hair and immediate surroundings is easier from the same distance away. However, the overall structure, including the base that has a very shallow tray designed for storing cosmetics, is too large to want to transport anywhere. The mirror is powered by a standard outlet cord and has only an on-and-off switch, meaning the lights are not adjustable. What is adjustable is where the mirror sits: You may have the mirror standing straight up, like the Conair, or you may tilt the mirror down on its horizontal axis all the way to 90 degrees (though we’re not sure why you’d need to). The mirror is two-sided, with a standard 1x reflective surface and a 10x magnification option on the other side.
This 1x and 5x magnification mirror had a lot of promise, with a three-panel design and a double-sided center mirror. However, it’s just way too bulky and poorly designed to recommend. Its design looks outdated and is difficult to adjust, and the lighting isn't effective or bright enough on any setting. It's more trouble than it's worth: Skip it.
Cailey Lindberg is a Staff Writer at Reviewed and full-time Dog Mom to @sandor_thebassethound. In her spare time, she dives deep into the inner workings of the restaurant industry for On The Line, a new publication for industry professionals launched by Boston-based software company, Toast.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.