If you don’t want to carry a mirror around with you, there are smartphone apps available to do the same job. But do they work? I tried a couple to find out.

Do Makeup Mirror Apps Work?

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Do Makeup Mirror Apps Work?

The short answer to whether makeup mirror apps work is: yes, they do. But the real question is: how well?

So, out of curiosity, I tried a couple to see if they work as well as a real mirror. (I generally carry a compact mirror in my bag.)

On Android

I tried the 2 highest rated makeup mirror apps for Android because that’s the type of smartphone I use. I’m pretty sure you can find one of them (Mirror) for an iPhone, if that’s what you use. Or, certainly something similar.

Each of the 2 apps that I tested out had a rating of 4.7/5 stars at the time I published this post. However, for me, one was definitely better.

To make the comparison fair, I played around with the lighting/exposure, the frame choices, and the zoom/closeup features for each one.

Beauty Mirror Makeup App vs Mirror Makeup App

The 2 apps that I tried were called Beauty Mirror and Mirror. The frame choices available on Beauty Mirror were slightly better than Mirror, and the lighting and zoom were about the same.

However, I didn’t find Beauty Mirror as user-friendly as Mirror and there was a constant push to upgrade to the paid version. Mirror wasn’t as pushy.

Being more user-friendly and not as annoying in the free version is really what sold me on Mirror over Beauty Mirror. However, there weren’t a lot of noteworthy differences in the features and quality.

In the next section, you’ll learn why the lighting and zoom features are probably going to be the same no matter which app you use.

And, that your preference may very well boil down to how well the app is designed and how user-friendly it is. Plus, the scale of the annoyance factor when it comes to upsells.

Is a Makeup Mirror App Good? Or is Your Phone the Problem?

What it really boils down to is whether a makeup mirror app can do the job you want it to do.

Yes, it can. But for me, it wasn’t as good as using a real mirror. It has a decent zoom, but depending on the quality of your phone camera, you might find it too grainy for some tasks.

The Quality of Your Phone Camera Affects the Performance

And that’s an important point because these apps work using the front-facing feature of your camera. So, if your camera is low-quality, it will affect the performance.

And, this is why the quality of the app’s features is probably going to be the same for all of them, because it’s your phone camera that controls the quality of the reflected image.

However, when you’re out and about without a mirror handy, they can work much better than not having anything to use.

You Can Just Use Your Camera Front-Facing Feature

Some people, who don’t have vision challenges, just use the front-facing feature on their phone camera as a mirror.

And that’s probably fine if you can see well enough for quick checks on makeup, hair, or teeth when you’re out and on the fly. But you won’t have access to zoom and lighting options with just the camera.

To get all the features to apply makeup or tweeze hairs, you’ll need to install a makeup app. There are others available besides the 2 I’ve mentioned here. You could try out several to find one you like.

If You Prefer a Compact Travel Mirror

If you don’t like the idea of a phone app, you could choose a small travel mirror for the quick touchups and spot checks you like to do when you’re on the run.

We have a post covering the best types of travel mirrors to help with that:

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