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NOW READING Why You Need to Get Rid of Your Magnifying Mirror, Like, RN

Why You Need to Get Rid of Your Magnifying Mirror, Like, RN

We’re no stranger to self-inflicted torture when it comes to beauty: tweezing, waxing, chemical peels, curling iron burns – all in the name of looking better and thereby, theoretically, feeling better. So why do we torture ourselves with a magnifying mirror? Here, the case for ditching that anxiety tool from hell.


There are a bunch of skincare no-no’s that we all know are, like, the worst. Picking your skin? Please stop. Not using sunscreen? A cardinal sin. Forgetting to wash your hands before you wash your face? DON’T DO THIS PLEASE. Or maybe you don’t clean your makeup brushes often enough (put this on your calendar, OK).


But there’s one sin I’ve yet to see addressed, and really, we just need to put it out there and air it out. And that’s using a magnifying mirror.


PLEASE. Like let’s discuss this. Why are we torturing ourselves?! WHY?! LET’S STOP THIS UNJUST PRACTICE. OK, maybe I’m being a tad dramatic (I did graduate with a theatre degree, after all), but really, we all need to be singing “Thank U, Next” to the magnifying mirror.


magnifying mirror
istock/Lin Shao-hua


First of all, what is even the purpose of a magnifying mirror? All it’s ever done for me was bring on the Great Eyebrow Tragedy of 2005 where I plucked my eyebrows into oblivion. You’re just so up close and you can see so many little tiny hairs and I just kept plucking my life away until I stepped back and lost my mind and screamed in horror. My one eyebrow was a thin, tragic, uneven mess. And you know, you can’t keep one eyebrow a mess so then I was forced to overpluck the other one. It took monthssssss for my eyebrows to be restored to their full glory. It just wasn’t worth it.


magnifying mirror


You see, a magnifying mirror is kind of like a metaphor for life. You can’t focus on the micro. It always ends up being some drama. The smaller and smaller your perception of life gets, the more glaring and overwhelming it can feel. I have anxiety, and so I tend to get stressed about one thing, and then it turns into this spiral of me freaking out about this one thing on a loop for what seems like hours on end. But really, if I could just take a step back and look at the bigger picture, I’d realize that my problems aren’t as bad as I’m making them seem. I know, I just got deep there for a minute, but really, magnifying mirrors are like anxiety personified. Don’t stress yourself over it.


If that wasn’t enough to convince you, here are several other reasons you should ditch your magnifying mirror FOR GOOD.


Perfection is a myth


When you look at your face in a magnifying mirror, all of those things you thought weren’t “problems” are all of a sudden glaring at you in the face. The clogged pores, the whiteheads, the peach fuzz, the hyperpigmentation. You start feeling bad about yourself. Trust me, I’ve been there. We all see the Instagram pictures of people with seemingly gorgeous, flawless skin.


But listen, there’s no such thing as perfect. Having clogged pores is normal. Whiteheads are normal. PIH is normal. None of these things determine your self-worth and the magnifying mirror is like not even a realistic depiction of what is happening in real life.



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The health of your skin is at stake


Using a magnifying mirror only hurts your skin in the long run. Like I mentioned earlier, all of the problems we might have with our skin are amplified, which means you might start picking at your skin or using a more harsh treatment than your skin needs. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than picking at a pimple, and not only does it make the inflammation worse, but then you’re left with a nice little present in the form of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.


I’ve seen women on YouTube using a magnifying mirror and literally digging tweezers into their skin to “unclog” pores and all sorts of other nonsense. Your skin is an organ — like would you stab yourself in the liver because you thought someone was wrong with it? NO! So, yeah. Get rid of that mirror.


blackheads magnifying mirror
istock/Lin Shao-hua


Your makeup is a mess


Using a magnifying mirror to apply makeup is like a weird version of Alice in Wonderland. Like, sure, it makes sense in theory — you know, you can see just how blended your eyeshadow is and make sure your concealer is just right, but again, that mirror is not real life. You might look beat to the gods, but once you take a step back and look at yourself in natural sunlight, whew child. You’re caked up to the max. It’s not worth it! Don’t play yourself, my love!


magnifying mirror


So are you going to ditch your magnifying mirror?! Let me know in the comments!



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.




I agree that we are far too critical of ourselves. I always tell my clients to look at themselves in the mirror from 3 feet away to see how others see them. However, having poor vision makes a magnifying mirror essential to my beauty routine. I can’t wear my glasses when I do my makeup, and can’t see what I’m doing without assistance from my magnifying mirror. But we so need to be aware of how overly critical we are of ourselves.


"You can’t focus on the micro. It always ends up being some drama." I have for real heart eyes right now.


I have to say, the lighting in my bathroom always gives me this luminous, golden glow. It may not be ideal for applying makeup, but it does always make my skin look better. And hey, I'm all for any sort of confidence boost.

It also helped when I had my old glasses and everything looked nice and soft focus lol

I do have magnifying mirrors, but I try not to look at them too much. Only when I really need to see what's going on with a clog 😬


I have a (pretty expensive) Simplehuman lighted magnifying mirror. Why? I have very bad vision. My prescription is upwards of -15.00 for my glasses, and even though I wear contacts a lot of the time, the magnifying mirror helps me see details that I may have missed when using a regular mirror. When I do use glasses and need to do my makeup with my glasses off, there isn't enough room for my brushes between my face and the mirror when using a traditional mirror due to how close I need to be to even make out my face! (And... Read more


I have a Simplehuman magnifying mirror, too. They're actually lifesavers for doing makeup. And I feel like they're not that helpful for zooming in on my pores (maybe the way mine is sort of concave?) so it prevents me from getting too close to the minute details of my skin. I love it.


Yes. This is exactly what I struggle with.