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As any photographer, pro makeup artist, or selfie-aficionado will tell you, good lighting is imperative. It truly can make all the difference between makeup application that looks beautiful and natural versus unknowingly ending up with unblended color streaks. Enter the beauty of a lighted mirror, which makes it easy to have perfect lighting, anytime, anywhere—and even more so when it’s a travel-friendly version. To that point, they can be a lifesaver when you’re traveling, and either have to do your makeup quickly on the go or aren’t sure what kind of lighting you’re going to be working with at your destination, says makeup and hair artist Tarryn Feldman. While it may seem like a little bit of an unnecessary ‘extra,’ trust us, once you try one, there’s no going back.
Keep reading for more on the best-lighted travel makeup mirrors.
Best Overall: Vanity Planet Pose LED Travel Mirror
Feldman calls this mirror, “amazing,” lauding the perfect size that folds up nicely, iPad-style, making it perfect for both travel and storage purposes. The border of the mirror is surrounded by LED lighting (which is also dimmable and adjustable, a great feature), giving you a ring light effect. Plus, you can easily charge it with a micro-USB cable.
Best Space-Saver: Fancii LED Lighted Travel Makeup Mirror
This option, a fan favorite on Amazon, checks all of our mirror must-have boxes. The five-inch size is big enough that you can see your entire face without any distortion, yet small and slim enough to easily take with you anywhere (especially since it comes in a compact size). It also touts two mirrors, one that boasts a 10x magnification, and, per the lighted part of things, has LED bulbs that perfectly mimic daylight and last up to 20,000 hours.
Best Splurge: simplehuman Round Sensor Makeup Mirror with Touch-Control Brightness
Pricey yes, but keep in mind that this is also one of the top-rated makeup mirrors out there. Cordless and rechargeable via a USB cable, one charge lasts up to five weeks. And the lighting can’t be beaten. It lights up automatically as you get close (cool!) and has a unique system that mimics natural sunlight, with a brightness that’s easily controlled via a touch-pad. It’s larger and heavier than the others on this list, definitely less for travel and more for daily use on your vanity, but still, well worth every penny.
Best for Magnification: Riki Loves Riki Skinny Mirror
Whether it’s to really nail a crisp cat-eye, perfectly shape your brows, or yes, maybe even squeeze out a few blackheads (no shame, we’ve all done it), sometimes you just really want some magnification from your mirror. This guy is available in two options, one with five times magnification and one with 10. Either way, it’s super slim and portable, touting LED lights with five dimmable levels, plus a magnetic phone holder and Bluetooth capabilities that make it easier than ever to snap a selfie of your perfect makeup application.
Best Compact: YLDJEFL LED Lighted Travel Makeup Mirror
You probably already keep a compact mirror in your makeup travel bag, but we strongly suggest swapping it out for this one. Feldman says it’s the perfect mirror to keep with you at all times, thanks to the small, three-and-a-half-inch size. Still, it has LED bulbs that impart plenty of lighting, and ten times magnification, too.
Best Budget: DeWEISN LED Makeup Mirror
Another favorite of Feldman’s, she says the smaller size of this one makes it great for keeping in your car or purse. (Because let’s be real, how many times do we end up applying our makeup in the car?) Despite the super wallet-friendly price tag, it still boasts many of the same features as its pricier counterparts, including 32 LED lights that can be adjusted to three different brightness settings. Plus, once opened, the foldable design lets you set up the mirror anywhere from a 90 to 75-degree angle.
Best for On-the-Go: Riki Love Riki Cutie Mirror
Sure, compacts are great for on-the-go, but here’s another cool option. The rectangular shape of this mirror (it looks like an iPhone) comes with a pop-out holder that lets you slip it onto your knuckles so that you can see yourself in the lit mirror, all while still having two hands-free to hold and apply your makeup. It’s super lightweight and scratch-resistant, and shatterproof, too, so you don’t have to worry about accidental drops.
You may not realize it yet, but you need a lighted travel makeup mirror in your life. The Vanity Planet Pose LED Travel Mirror is one top option, which folds up iPad-style and touts dimmable LED lights. If you prefer your mirror also be magnifying, check out the Riki Love Riki Skinny Mirror (we’re also big fans of the brand’s Cutie Mirror, great for using on-the-go). Speaking of, the Fancii LED Lighted Travel Makeup Mirror is another choice, a compact pick, ideal for keeping in your purse or makeup bag at all times.
What to Look For In a Lighted Travel Makeup Mirror
Broadly speaking, most use LED lights, which will give you the longest-lasting power. If you want more control over your lighting, there are options out there that have a dimmable or adjustable brightness.
Again, this is a matter of personal preference, but if you tend to get super precise with your makeup application, you may want to go with a mirror that does magnify.
If the purpose of this mirror is for travel, you’ll want to look at its size, how it folds up, and power features (e.g. if it requires a cord or is battery-operated).
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. Full disclosure, she only started using a lighted travel mirror when she started researching this story but is now totally hooked.
Meet the Expert
Tarryn Feldman is a hair and makeup artist who works in both Nashville and Los Angeles. Her celebrity clients include Kelsea Ballerini and Jennifer Nettles.
Are lighted mirrors good for makeup?
Yes, especially in areas that don't have strong natural lighting. A lighted mirror helps you see all areas of your face and skin more clearly; helping you be more precise with your makeup application.
Can you bring a lighted mirror on a plane?
According to the US Transportation Security Administration, mirrors are allowed on a plane either on carry-on bags or checked bags.
What are magnification mirrors for?
Magnification mirrors can help you take a closer look at your face. They typically range from 2x to 10x and are often used when addressing skin-specific issues or applying makeup.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any lighted makeup mirrors from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will evaluate the product ASAP.