I’ve been reviewing makeup for many years, but one of the things I never really considered as very important, until recently, was lighting. I had an old makeup mirror that belonged to my mother that I almost never even bothered to light. My only other light source in the room was an old torchiere in the corner. However, as the days are getting shorter and very dark, I finally came to the conclusion that that the light I was using to “make do to make up,” was totally inappropriate. A Torchiere or overhead lighting cast shadows, giving you literally no way to really see what you’re doing. These shadows not only make it difficult to see details, the shadows make you look like you have even darker circles than mother nature has given you!
There are three basic types of light or light bulbs: LED, florescent and incandescent. But which one is best for makeup application? To find out, I consulted the experts at Conair. They ought to know the answer, since they are leaders in lighted makeup mirrors (they have lots and lots of them with different types of light).
Florescent lighting is the one they recommend as the most natural daylight bright lighting, which is essential in applying makeup. A florescent bulb, by the way, can last up to 10,000 hours and uses less energy than mirrors with incandescent or LED lights. A good quality florescent makeup mirror isn’t the same as the florescent lighting you see in offices. That kind of industrial lighting can give off a harsh, green cast that makes everyone look sick!
But I also liked the idea of LED lighted mirrors. They are also very bright, depending upon how many LED bulbs are in the mirror. For the frugal, LED lights never have to be replaced, and they are also energy efficient.
Incandescent light (what I had been using) is most traditional, and the brightness depends upon the wattage of the bulbs you put in the lamp or mirror. That means you have more flexibility, and incandescent bulbs also provide a soft halo illumination, that is flattering. Depending upon the time of day, you can generally get different light settings with incandescent mirrors, so you can see right away how you and your makeup will look in different places and times.
Where did this information leave me in my choice? Actually, very confused. I had already used incandescent lighting for most of my life, and thought it would be better to try a brighter light. Conair sent one of each for me to try.
Both mirrors came nicely boxed. Both mirrors feature an elegant, Elegant satin nickel finish, two sides that pivot for 1x/10X mangnification, and a neck that bends forward and back to adjust it perfectly to your liking, plus a limited one-year warranty.
Conair‘s top suggestion was the Reflections Home Vanity Collection Double-Sided Fluorescent mirror Model BE116T (srp. $74.99) with 1x/10x magnification. The mirror is 8.5″ diameter and has the energy efficient, fluorescent bulb that lasts 10,000 hours (for most of us, that’s a lifetime). The simple design works with every style, which I liked, although I would have preferred the on/off switch on the base instead of on the cord.
I really liked the look of the Conair Elite Collection Variable LED Lighting Mirror model: BE10108 (srp. $114.99), billed as the world’s first variable LED lighting mirror. This 8.5″ in diameter mirror has 1x/10x magnification, 3 variable light settings (office, home & day) and energy efficient, lifetime, LED bulbs. I was attracted to the mirror’s oval design with a larger viewing area than Conair’s other best selling metal mirrors, and I liked the fact that the switch was on the base.
I plugged both of these attractive lighted metal mirrors in, one on either side of my dressing table and they sprung to life (or should I say, light). Both mirrors have a magnifying side, and a regular side. Both mirrors were quite bright — much brighter than the traditional, incandescent mirror I’d been using. The mirrors were clear of distortion, and both had excellent magnification.
Nervously, I peered into the mirrors, almost tempted to ask: “Who is the fairest of them all?!” But the answer to this unasked question would have been: “Not you!” In both of the magnifying mirrors, I could see every single huge pore, blemish, uneven skin, tired eyes, and bushy eyebrows that my old and loving, incandescent mirror had been keeping from me all these years. It was actually kind of horrible!
On the other hand, for the first time ever, I realized that whatever I could see in the mirror, others could see, too. The old lighted mirror was more flattering, but the minute I stepped away from it, my makeup might look glaringly wrong, everywhere else!
The experiment with the LED mirror and the florescent one really taught me a thing or two about light, and makeup application. Since most of us don’t live in perpetually sunny places where the natural light is just right all the time to apply makeup, a Conair lighted mirror is a must. Whether you like the choice of the elegan LED or the brighter fluorescent one, you’ll always be able to tell if you blended that foundation, blush or eye shadow completely, or whether that shade to lipstick is too little or too much.
To shed a new light on your face in 2013, visit the Conair Online Store, or your favorite local retailer.