May 30, 2022 8 min read

Struggling to figure out what level of magnification you need for your makeup mirror? You’re not alone. The question ”5x versus 10x magnification mirror: what is the difference?” comes up more often than you’d realise in the cosmetics industry.

While magnification levels are only one part of choosing the right makeup mirror, it’s worth noting that it can make makeup (among other things) a lot easier. When you can magnify your image on a mirror surface, you’ll be able to see significantly more detail. This means you can blend makeup colours more easily, tweeze stray eyebrow hairs quickly, and even apply contacts faster.

Magnifying Mirrors

Choosing the right level of magnification for your mirror will give you a better quality of makeup application while minimising the amount of time you’ll need to spend fixing common mistakes. Combine that magnification with other essential features, like the ability to adjust the angle of your mirror at will, and a lighting solution to help illuminate your features, and you’ve got the perfect makeup accessory.

Let’s take a look at how you can choose the right magnification mirror for your needs.

What is a Magnification Mirror?

A magnification mirror is a special kind of mirror usually intended for makeup. You’ll notice that a lot of smaller bathroom mirrors, compactor handheld mirror options, and tabletop mirrors usually have magnification built-in.

Magnifying makeup mirrors can come in a range of varieties. You can find wall-mounted mirrors which you can place anywhere in your bedroom or bathroom, as well as double-sided pedestal mirrors which have different levels of magnification on each side. There are shaving mirrors to help you really see the detail on your face if you’re a guy too.

Magnification cosmetic mirrors can also come with bonus features. For instance, a lighted mirror is often the best choice for anyone who’s applying makeup, because it allows you to see your face up-close, with the extra illumination you need for detail.

Many people will actually invest in a number of different magnification face mirrors. You may have one of these products on your dresser in your bedroom, another in the bathroom, and a compact mirror you keep in your purse for when you’re out and about.

Having more than one magnification mirror will ensure you always have the exact tools you need for any occasion.

Choosing Your Magnification Mirror: Where to Start

With so many different types of face mirrors to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by your choice. There are various factors you need to consider when purchasing any makeup mirror, after all. For instance, you may want to consider the design of the mirror, your personal style, and the size of the device.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all, there are a few points to consider before we start discussing power or magnification level. For instance:

How Will You Use the Makeup mirror?

Knowing how you’re going to use your mirror is a good first step when figuring out what kind of product you need. If you’re going to be applying incredibly precise eye makeup, for instance, you probably don’t want a mirror you need to hold in your hand. Instead, you’ll need a product you can place on a table at the right eye level, or attach to a wall with suction cups.

For detailed eye makeup and other specific needs, you’ll probably also require a higher level of magnification. This will allow you to focus on specific parts of your entire face. Close up mirrors with built-in LED lights are also particularly useful for precise makeup application.

Alternatively, if you’re going to be using your mirror for a lot of different purposes, you might choose a double-sided mirror instead. Think about the exact type of makeup application you’re going to be doing, and use this to guide your decision.

 

What is your Vision Like?

When choosing vanity mirrors for your makeup routine, it’s worth thinking carefully about your vision. A magnifying mirror can make it much easier to see the details of your face and your makeup when you don’t have the best eyesight.

If you’re near-sighted, you probably won’t need as much magnification, as your up-close vision will already be quite good. However, you may find it helpful to still use your magnifying mirror when applying your contact lenses.

If you’re far-sighted, or you prefer putting your makeup on before applying your contact lenses, you’ll need at least a magnification level of between 5 and 15 times. It’s also worth increasing you’re lighting on your makeup mirror. A lighted mirror will add to the magnification to improve your vision, and give you more focus.

Where will you place your mirror?

Knowing where you’re going to put your magnifying mirror will also be an important factor when making your choice. If you’re going to be putting your makeup vanity mirror right in front of you on the wall behind your dresser, then you don’t need as much magnification, because your wall mounted mirror should be at eye level.

Alternatively, if you’re going to need to angle your mirror up or down from a specific point, you’re going to need a higher magnification level.

It’s also worth noting that the way a magnifying makeup mirror works means that to take full advantage of higher magnification, you’ll need to be closer. High power mirrors shouldn’t generally be wall-mounted a fair distance away from you.

What Kind of Magnifying Mirror Do You Need?

Whether you’re looking for a tabletop mirror for your magnified image or a compact mirror you can keep in your pocket, you’ll have a range of options available. When choosing how much magnification you need, you’ll need to consider exactly how much detail you need to be able to see at any given moment. Some of your most common options include:

·         2x magnification:The lowest magnification level will only slightly increase your image size. If you have perfect vision or relatively normal vision, this could be a good mirror choice for you. Lower magnification level options are usually helpful when you want to apply makeup using a compact mirror. With good vision and a decent light source, you won’t need to go much higher than 2x magnification.

·         5x magnification: One of the most common options for magnifying mirrors, 5x magnification options are a personal preference of many makeup artists. They don’t give you too much of a close-up view, but they can help with minimising vision problems and giving you a more detailed view of your entire look. These mirrors are common in bathroom mirror choices, and on vanity or dresser tables.

·         7x and 8x magnification: Slightly less common than the other options covered so far, these mirrors are intended when you need extra focus for a specific part of your face. For instance, you might find 7x or 8x magnifying mirrors are a must-have for your vanity when you’re tweezing, or applying very precise makeup. Most of these mirrors are designed less for quick touch ups and more for comprehensive and precise application.

·         10x and higher magnification: Producing a much larger image than the other options covered so far, the 10x magnification and higher mirrors are far more intense. Notably, it’s worth remembering that ultra-high levels of magnifications require the largest mirror faces, so you won’t be able to find one of these mirrors in compact form. Depending on how high you go, you can use these mirrors to apply makeup without glasses, and see every pore on your face in the right light.

If you’re not sure which level of magnification you need, the best option might be to take a dual-sided approach. Many women invest in mirrors that have two sides, so you can decide exactly how much magnification you need at any given time. If you’re going to be using your mirror for standard touch-ups, you can use one side. On the other hand, for tweezing and complex makeup applications, you can flip to the other side.

Upgrading your Magnification with Lighting

On their own, magnifying mirrors with a larger mirror face can be an excellent way to get more out of your makeup routine. They can make up for bad vision to some degree, and ensure you have your whole face visible and clear for a makeup application.

However, when choosing the right mirror for your personal needs, it’s worth remembering how significant the right lighting can be to upgrading your experience. Whether it’s for quick touchups, hair styling, or anything in between, extra lighting works wonders for your mirror.

A light built into your magnifying mirror will ensure you have the right level of illumination to really take advantage of the extra details you can see. However, it’s important to get the type of light right too. When choosing your mirror, consider:

·        Variable lighting options, just like having different magnification levels on either side of your mirror, can help you maintain more control over your view. A good mirror may allow you to change the type of level you light at any given time. This means you can adjust how the light hits your face when you’re applying makeup.

·         Incandescent bulbs: These soft and warm lights are common for old-fashioned makeup mirrors, but they’re not particularly durable. They can be useful for some forms of makeup application, but they’re not ideal for close-up makeup, as they can alter the appearance of your skin, and even heat up your face over time.

·         LED lights: LED lights are generally much brighter and closer to natural light, which can be very useful when you want to see exactly what your makeup is going to look like when you’re out and about. If you decide to choose your makeup mirror with LED light options, you should also find it’s a little easier to find replacement bulbs.

Remember, magnification mirrors with multiple light settings and variable lighting options will usually include LED bulbs, because these will give you more freedom to change the temperature or type of light you’re dealing with.

Choosing the Best Makeup Mirrors

When you’re choosing the right makeup mirror for your specific needs, it’s worth remembering that magnification can play a significant role in how useful your new accessory is.

However, magnifying your appearance isn’t the only thing you should be thinking about. It’s also worth considering the level of illumination you’re going to have from your chosen mirror, and how you’re going to position your accessory when you’re using it.

Other points to keep in mind include:

·         Style:Just because a mirror is practical doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish too. There are plenty of makeup mirrors available that come in a range of styles, with different frames and designs to suit specific preferences. Find something that appeals directly to you.

·         Quality: Your makeup mirror should always be built to stand the test of time, so make sure you choose something featuring the highest quality of materials and a good level of consistent durability.

·         Versatility: A more versatile makeup mirror with multiple magnifications and lighting options will usually be the preferred choice for the majority of women, as it will allow you to jump between different options depending on your needs at the time.

Remember, the best makeup mirror is often the number one accessory you can own when it comes to making your makeup routine a success. Get your mirror right, and you’ll find it much easier to practice even the most complicated makeup styles.

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