Any make-up lover or frequent selfie taker will tell you how important lighting is. It makes all the difference when ensuring all your products have been blended perfectly with not a hair out of place.
A light-up mirror is one of the fastest ways to find flattering lighting, even if you’re in a dimly lit room which can be a hindrance when trying to perfect your foundation shade.
They’re also incredibly helpful when it comes to facial hair removal, as you’ll be able to spot clearly any pesky overgrown eyebrow hairs or upper lip hairs you might wish to get rid of.
Providing a ring of light around the edge of the mirror, they deliver a beam which allows you to clearly see your face with no shadows or poorly indoor light changing how your skin and hair look. Not only that, they can make a stylish addition to your bathroom or dresser, with plenty of styles to pick from.
We’ve spent weeks putting them to the test and have found the best eight, ranging from compact, handheld styles to stand alone designs with extra magnification features.
We’ve considered budget, too, and our selection is a mix of affordable and investment pieces, from supermarkets to specialist retailers. We rated each on their sturdiness, durability, performance and ability to help us perfect every brushstroke.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Beurer illuminated vanity mirror
Best for: Small spaces
We couldn’t love this more if we tried, it’s a minimalistic design and every feature left us impressed. From the swivel head – which is easily operated by simply switching the on button and pressing the ring on the front of the mirror – to the mini 5X magnification mirror that can magnetically be attached to the main mirror, it’s a well-thought out purchase that’s worth every penny.
For less than £30 you get two mirrors with two batteries included and the tray is brilliant for storing your products while you do your make-up. It’s spacious but doesn’t take up a lot of room on our dresser and is easily portable. Assembly is fuss-free, the base clicks together with the mirror heads with one quick twist and it’s easy to wipe clean from any foundation covered fingers with just a damp cloth.
Tweezerman tweezermate 10x lighted mirror
Best for: Handheld
When you hear “light-up mirror”, you may immediately conjure up images of a classic Hollywood style, framed with huge Edison bulbs. But, Tweezermate’s hand-held design is perfect for using anywhere at anytime to keep unruly eyebrow hairs in check.
As it provides an extremely magnified version of your face, we wouldn’t recommend using this to apply your foundation, but it’s ideal for up close work, such as detailed graphic eyeliner work, a precisely applied red lip or drawing on eyebrow hairs. It comes with a battery included too and is slim enough to fit in your handbag for on the go touch ups.
There are three suction cups on the back which you can use to fix onto surfaces too if you need both hands – a handy feature which you can use to attach to an existing bathroom wall mirror.
Illuminated Mirrors Hollywood x-press make-up mirror
Best for: Travel
The sophisticated design of this mirror is akin to an iPad, it’s super slim and easily portable, housed in a soft grey case that will fit seamlessly into a handbag, carry-on or suitcase. Simply open up the lid and it folds back to become a stand and plug in the USB to a wall or plug outlet for it to charge.
Light-up features aside, it’s the perfect rectangular size for doing a full face of make-up, without taking up much space on your dresser, or any surface. There’s two LED light settings, one emits a warm yellow glow, the other a daylight-mimicking, white light. While it’s obviously designed to be travel friendly, we make a lot of use out of it just at home, as it’s brilliant if you’re limited on space but still want a light-up mirror to help during dark mornings and in poorly lit rooms.
No7 look your best illuminating mirror
Best for: Cordless
One of the sturdiest mirrors we tried, this cordless design from No7 is a great affordable double-sided find. One side is the light up mirror which is touch sensitive, the other is a 5X magnification mirror that’s the same size. The mirror sits on a rollerball attached to the base so you can tilt it up and down depending on what suits you best, we found this useful when plucking eyebrows.
It’s quite weighty and feels high-quality despite the low price tag and is an effective bathroom or bedroom mirror with or without the light-up feature. It requires four AA batteries which come included and while the cordless aspect means no fiddly wires or searching for the most conveniently placed plug socket, the weight of it does make it better to stay in the same place, so it’s not as portable as others we tried, but it didn’t make it any less effective.
Wilko light up cosmetic mirror
Best for: On a budget
The assembly of this is much more fiddly than the rest. Batteries are included, however, you need to remove one side of the mirror to insert them on the inside battery bracket, rather than on the base of the mirror. Once you’ve reattached everything though, you will enjoy the benefits of a clear, even beam of light.
The stainless steel frame does feel cheaper, but if you’re a student or shopping on a budget, this is hard to beat price-wise. It lights up on both sides of the mirror and swivels between the two easily, with one having 2X magnification. Cheap and cheerful, this is great for a thrifty shopper.
Homedics illuminated cosmetics mirror
Best for: Adjustable lighting
More of an investment, this has a double-sided dimmable light to allow you to adjust the LED rim to the room you’re using it in and a rotating head, one regular, the other with 7X magnification. It comes fully assembled and batteries included, which can be inserted on the bottom of the base for a setup that takes seconds.
It’s easy to tilt, which is ideal for plucking unwanted hairs and the light doesn’t create a glare, so if you’re getting ready in the early morning, this is a helping hand. It isn’t, however, the brightest light of all we tried, so this isn’t the best option if your home is poorly lit all over, but it would be perfect for a dresser near a window.
Danielle Creations white hollywood beauty mirror extra large
Best for: Applying make-up
This looks like the classic Hollywood style mirror light up styles are well known for. Don’t be put off by the extra-large style label, it’s 39cm tall, so perfect for creating a makeshift dressing table if you add it to any table or desk you already have. It’s quite heavy and sturdy, making it best to remain somewhere permanently rather than be moved around a lot and there’s three light settings with the touch sensitive dimmer, which can be adjusted by tapping the on button on the front of the mirror. It looks and feels expensive too and the light is ideal for ensuring you’ve blended your foundation seamlessly.
Asda light-up mirror
Best for: Wall hanging
For a Hollywood style on a shoestring budget, this is a great compromise. It’s self-standing, but we would recommend putting it on a table or desk that sits against the wall so there’s no fear of it falling over or off. It doesn’t come with batteries so you will need three AA ones which are easy to install at the back of the mirror. It has a simple on and off switch discreetly at the side and one light setting. It also has two holes at the back which can be used to hang it up vertically or horizontally too. It’s not the brightest, so if you’re in a darker room you may struggle a bit but for £15, it’s a decent all rounder mirror.
The verdict: Light-up mirrors
We loved using the Beurer illuminated vanity mirror, and we can’t fault for its compact portability, nor the added mini magnification mirror which makes it perfect for make-up and up-close hair removal. The tray is also a much-needed way to make your products and tools always easy to find and free from clutter.
Give yourself the ultimate glam at-home set-up with the best dressing table mirrors
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