Referred to by many names: a makeup mirror, vanity mirror, woman's best friend… Men call it a shaving mirror. Depending on their purpose and location, makeup and shaving mirrors come in several types and styles. Some magnify the reflection, and others illuminate it in different light settings; such features might be a matter of personal taste, but they do affect the mirror's usefulness. To help you choose the perfect makeup & shaving mirror, here are the most important factors to consider.

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What type of makeup & shaving mirror will meet my needs?

Tabletop

Tabletop mirrors are probably the most common type. They can be easily moved around the house, which is especially beneficial when you want to get the best daylight when doing your makeup. These mirrors are best for bedrooms or an en-suite bathroom with an extra counter space that does not get overcrowded. Tabletop mirrors are great to move around the house, but they are not intended for travels as the exposed mirror surface might be easily damaged in your suitcase.

Lighted Tabletop Makeup and Shaving Mirror in White
Modern Lighted Tabletop Makeup and Shaving Mirror
Modern Tabletop Makeup Mirror in Pink
Large Makeup and Shaving Mirror with Bulb Lighting
Tabletop Magnifying Makeup Mirror
Classic Tabletop Magnifying Makeup and Shaving Mirror

Wall-Mounted

A wall-mounted mirror is your best option for a family bathroom, especially when you have young kids. It is harder to break it than a tabletop one. There are several things you need to consider when you are planning to get a wall-mounted mirror:

  • Measure your space - wall-mounted mirrors should extend to the edge of the counter or vanity, so you don't have to lean or stretch your body when you use it.

  • If you are thinking about installing the mirror behind the counter or vanity, you need to remember to choose a mirror with a double extension arm, which will extend far enough to prevent discomfort. Single-armed mirrors are typically mounted on side walls.

  • You can also find mirrors with a suction cup, which will save you from drilling holes in your rooms and can be moved easily.

Magnifying Traditional Wall Mounted Makeup Mirror
Wall Mounted Shaving Mirror with Shelves
Black Wall Mounted Shaving Mirror with Shelves
LED Wall Mounted Makeup Mirror
LED Wall Mounted Rectangular Makeup Mirror
Wall Mounted Lighted Makeup and Shaving Mirror

What style makeup & shaving mirror will match my space?

  • Round mirrors are a classic choice for any home, but they look extremely good in contemporary homessince they can soften the sharp edges. Oval shapes can soften a living space as well and offer a more whimsical feel.

  • Angular shapes such as rectangles and squares are generally associated with tidiness and can help you achieve a sterile but elegant look.

  • Metal frames are usually the best choice for a tabletop mirror since it will make for a heavier and more stable base. You can choose from a wide selection of finishes to match your personal and interior preferences. Industrial-styled homes would most benefit from matte black frames. Oiled bronze is a great choice for vintage or retro-styled interiors. As for traditional and modern rooms, choose a mirror frame made of polished chrome or brushed nickel.

  • Plastic frames and pedestals are typically associated with travel and foldable makeup & shaving mirrors because they are easier to store and fit in luggage. Plastic is not very durable and can get discolored with time, so it is not the best investment for home décor. However, if you are on a budget, they are your cheaper option. Because plastic is available in many different colors, the color palette of these mirrors will be greater too. You can choose the accent color from your decor and get your mirror to match it to create a cohesive look.

Tabletop Magnifying Makeup Mirror
Retro Pink Makeup Mirror with Bulb Lighting
Round Lighted Makeup and Shaving Mirror
Rectangular Portable Makeup and Shaving Mirror
Contemporary Makeup and Shaving Mirror in Brown
Square Makeup and Shaving Mirror

What features should I look for in a makeup & shaving mirror?

Once you have figured out the material for the frame and type of your mirror, you need to think about features that will best suit your needs.

Lighted

Lighting is a major concern when choosing a makeup & shaving mirror. LED lighting has become the gold standard because it creates lighting that is closest to natural light. Another alternative for natural lighting is a fluorescent mirror. Both of these options are up to 70% more energy sufficient. LED bulbs can last you a lifetime and fluorescent ones can last up to three years. You can also choose different color temperatures to match your room. Soft white color temperatures are best for bedrooms and living rooms. Both bright white and daylight color temperatures can look well in kitchens and bathrooms to provide a more energetic feel. Regarding the purpose of the mirror, the traditional incandescent light is a good option for shaving and combing hair, but if you will be applying makeup, it is best to pick a LED or fluorescent light.

Magnifying

A magnifying mirror is your best choice for applying intricate makeup such as lip liner or eyeliner and for cosmetic practices like tweezing eyebrows. The most common magnification is 3x and 5x, which is generally enough for people with normal vision. There is also a choice of a dual-sided mirror, which usually offers a non-magnified and magnified side. For people with poorer vision, opt for a more powerful magnification, which can be 10x or even 15x. Keep in mind that strong magnification can cause distortion, which can affect your choice of mounting type and lighting. Look for high-quality glass such as optical quality glass, which is an optician's lens that has been silvered and hand ground to enhance the magnification quality. Additionally, you will need to be very close to this kind of mirrors when in use, so choose a mounting style that will allow that.

Fogless

Fogless mirrors are men's best friends when they must combine shaving and showering in the morning. There are three different types of fogless mirrors on the market for you to choose from:

  • Chemically coated mirrors are the most popular choice, however, their slight disadvantage is that they need to be removed from the shower stall when not in use to reduce degradation of the coating.

  • Heated mirrors, on the other hand, can last you a lifetime. They come with a reservoir placed directly behind the mirror, which then wards off the fog.

  • Attached mirrors - in this type, you will attach the mirror directly to the pipe that is coming out of your wall. Water from the shower warms the mirror and removes the fog. The only disadvantage of this type of fogless mirror is that it requires a more complicated installation method.

Additional features that come with fogless mirrors are razor hooks and a pivoting head for ultimate versatility.