The whole point of having a vanity mirror is so that you get good lighting when applying your makeup and that’s important and definitely worth some attention. Finding a nice mirror at a decent price can be a real challenge but as always the DIY option is available. If these projects don’t inspire you to make your own vanity mirror with lights then I don’t know what will.
How to choose a vanity mirror
The mirror is basically the most important accessory of the makeup vanity, the one that can’t be missing. So how do you choose it? With so many different choices and styles it can be easy to get lost in the details. Here’s a few things that can help you narrow down your options:
Knowing exactly where the mirror will be placed helps to decide a few important things about it like size, mounting style, shape and so on. If for example you want a mirror for your bathroom vanity where there’s rarely room to spare, it might be wise to get a wall-mounted model. On the other hand, a bedroom vanity could give you a bit more freedom and more space to work with so you can potentially opt for something else.
It’s also important to think of how you’ll be using the mirror each time. If you’re going to be seated, the mirror should sit at a comfortable height and not too far away from you. It should also sit at a good angle so you don’t have to twist and turn in order to use it. Take some time to find the perfect spot for it and consider all the mounting options.
Size is always important. A vanity mirror shouldn’t be too small because that defeats the whole purpose of having it in the first place. It shouldn’t be too big either because it can get in the way. Its size should be relative to the space available around it and the size of the vanity itself. Of course, size is also linked to the type of mirror that you want to get. A wall-mounted one with a double extension arm is usually not as big as a freestanding mirror.
Yes, natural light is the best but you can’t always rely on it. It would be great to place the vanity in front of a big window but that’s usually out of the question if the vanity is in the bathroom for example. Luckily, a lot of vanity mirrors feature some type of built-in lighting. The best lighting for a mirror is the one that’s distributed uniformly and doesn’t blind the eye. If the light is only coming from the top that will produce shadows and won’t give you a good image of how you actually look like.
This is a nice feature designed to allow you to be very exact when applying makeup and doing other things in front of the mirror. The magnification of a mirror is also very helpful if you wear glasses because you’ll need to get rid of them when applying your makeup. One thing to consider is that you’ll need to sit close to the mirror in order to get a clear magnified image.
There are various degrees of magnification to consider. The most common ones are 3x and 5x which is usually enough for most users with good vision. If you need something a bit more powerful, you can also find 10x and even 15x magnification mirrors. Keep in mind that you’ll need to get very close to the mirror to avoid distortion and this amplifies the more powerful the magnification is.
A lot of makeup mirrors have two sides. One is the regular mirror and on the other side you have a magnified mirror. You can switch between these whenever you need to depending on the task. This applied to just about all types of mirrors, including those with built-in lighting.
Also keep in mind that the quality of the mirror can bring additional benefits. For example, some high end makeup mirrors use optician’s lenses that enhance the magnification quality and offer a distortion-free image which is very clear. Of course, better quality means a higher price.
Easy DIY Vanity Mirror Projects
Since the mirror part is not exactly that interesting, we’re going to focus mostly on the frames and the different ways in which you can add lights to a vanity mirror. This project from insightgirl explains how this simple frame was made before the mirror was glued into place. It may seem complicated since there are lights and power sources involved but it really isn’t.
The frame can also be part of the mirror itself, just painted a different color. Use paint to mark a border around the mirror, cover the center with paper and then spray paint the rest. This rose gold nuance looks very chic and glamorous. Once this part is complete and the paint is dry, all that’s left is attaching the lights. Check out instructables to find out more about this part.
A vanity mirror is pretty much useless without a table or even better a desk with some built-in storage for all the makeup products and accessories. That being said, check out this stylish setup. It includes a glossy desk with a minimalist design and a big mirror with lights around the frame. If you want to find out how the mirror was made, check out the DIY project on instructables.
If you prefer your vanity mirror to have an actual frame, not just one that’s painted on, go ahead and build something. You can make a wooden frame for your mirror which would actually also have a practical use. Drill holes in it for the lights and carefully hide all the wires behind the frame. This way your new vanity mirror will look neat and stylish and will have lights all the way around. Check out thesorrygirls for more details.
This DIY vanity mirror looks pretty amazing so if you’re interesting in how you can make something similar for yourself feel free to check out mrkate for all the details. The supplies required for the project include a frameless mirror, three vanity light strips, a bunch of light bulbs, plywood and some basic tools such as a table saw, sandpaper, screws, a measuring tape and also some paint.
It’s not just the mirror that you can build yourself from scratch but also the vanity that holds it. One such complex project is featured on instructables and is very interesting because the mirror and the lights are attached to the table itself, more specifically to a central piece which folds up to reveal the mirror and can keep it out of sight when not needed.
The mirror and the lights can be separate. You could for example make a round frame that lights up which can fit around an existing mirror. This is a very ingenious project which requires some unexpected supplies such as a metal wreath form, metallic tape, picture hangers and rope lights. Check out the video tutorial on youtube.
Another idea is to use an old mirror and to give it a makeover. Ideally, the frame would be wide enough to accommodate the lights. You’ll have to drill some holes into the frame for the lights and to find a way to neatly organize all the wires and to hide them behind the mirror. Check out this lovely rustic mirror project from designasylumblog if you need some inspiration.
Giving an existing mirror a makeover and adding lights to its frame is actually a great idea. One such transformation is featured on imgur. The supplies used throughout this project include electrical wire, shrink tubing, a dimmer switch, glue, a wall plug, 12 round light bulbs, cable covers, 12 light bulb sockets and of course the framed mirror. This is just one way to get things done.
You might not think you actually need a vanity mirror right now but the more you look at these projects the more enticing it becomes to want to build something like this for yourself. So here’s another tutorial from imgur which describes how you too could craft something very similar.
Available on the Market if you are not a big fan of DIY
A simple design and a perfect size of 22.8’’ x 18.1’’ make this a perfect companion for a stylish vanity of your choice. It has 15 LED bulbs arranged around the three edges and the brightness level can be adjusted according to the user’s needs. You can also choose between warm light, daylight and cold light tones with the touch of a button. The base is detachable and the mirror can also be hanged on the wall if desired. Additionally, there’s also a USB charge port integrated into the frame.
The Fenchilin vanity mirror is also based on a simple Hollywood-inspired design, featuring 12 LED bulbs evenly spaced out around the edges. It measures 19.68’’ x 15.74’’ in total and allows you to adjust the brightness and the light color based on your needs. Simple touch controls let you choose between warm yellow, warm white and cold white light tones as well as easily turn the lights on and off. The memory function preserves your last used settings.
This mirror is every bit as practical and as stylish as the previously mentioned models and in addition it also has a built-in bluetooth speaker. You can easily connect your smartphone and listen to music, play a tutorial or take a call. 15 LED bulbs can be adjusted to the desired brightness level as well as the preferred color tone setting and your choice will be remembered and applied next time you turn on the lights. The base is detachable in case you want to turn this into a wall-mounted mirror.
If you have a corner vanity, a regular mirror won’t make much sense. That’s why this vanity table has a three-section mirror. The combo works out perfectly, making this makeup table both practical and space-efficient. You can easily fit in into a bedroom corner or perhaps even in a larger bathroom. The table is made of solid white particleboard with the high gloss finish and has a white MDF top that’s resistant to water damage, stains, scratches and UV rays. The mirror is really great because it gives you side views thanks to the three-panel structure.
This is a really cool freestanding makeup mirror with a great stand which lets you adjust the angle and inclination however you want to in order to get the best view. The mirror is 14.56’’ long and 8.97’’ wide and has 35 LED lights evenly spaced out all around the four edges. The light level is adjustable and the mirror can be powered either through a USB charging cable or using four AA batteries. The 10x magnification mirror is detachable.
In case you prefer softer edges as opposed to a clean rectangular or square shape, the Strawser mirror has a nice design that blends utility and beauty. It has a simple flat base that allows you to seamlessly add it to your desk or dressing table and a stylish glossy frame which adds character without standing out. The mirror features 10 LED bulbs and the brightness level can be easily adjusted with the touch of a button.
Unlike most other vanity mirrors we’ve mentioned so far, this one has a cleaner and more contemporary aesthetic. Instead of the typical Hollywood-style bulbs around the edges it features a sleek built-in LED band that looks like an inner frame. This border casts a warm and uniform glow without being overpowering. The back panel of the mirror is made of steel and is a separate piece. The mirror is designed to be wall-mounted and is perfect for bathrooms and powder rooms.