How Do Magnifying Mirrors Work?

How Do Magnifying Mirrors Work

We all are familiar with the magnifying mirror on our dressing corner.  But have you ever wondered how do magnifying mirrors work? It literally shows every tiny detail of our face from hair follicles to small moles. 

Magnifying mirrors play tricks with our eyes. When looking at yourself in the mirror, parts of your face such as the eyes, or other skin detail appear larger than they actually are.  

But how does this happen? To answer your question, we have written this article on how magnifying mirrors work. 

What is A Magnifying Mirror? 

What is A Magnifying Mirror

Magnifying mirrors are concave mirrors, designed to show a larger image than regular facial or subject ratio. 

These kinds of mirrors are usually used for makeup or shaving. Skin works are always sensitive and often require precision and an additional hand. 

Magnifying mirrors can help you achieve more speed and accuracy. They can be zoomed out to 5-10x. However, some make-up mirrors can be zoomed up to 30x and above. 

Difference Between Regular Mirror and Magnifying Mirror

Regular Mirror and Magnifying Mirror

The major difference between magnifying mirrors and regular mirrors is that regular mirrors don’t enlarge your image. They can be large enough to preview the entire or half of your body. 

However, when it comes to magnifying mirrors, they are smaller than regular mirrors. They can only preview a part of your face but as a larger version. Small details of your face such as pores or moles are clearly visible with these mirrors. 

Due to this feature, magnifying mirrors are used in saloons, operating tables, or simply for shaving or putting makeup on. It captures the details and helps you fix them. 

How Do Magnifying Mirrors Work? 

Magnifying Mirrors Work

Magnifying mirrors are concave mirrors. They have a curve inwards on their surface. Learning how magnifying mirrors work is actually learning how concave mirrors function. 

The principle behind every mirror is reflection. Makeup mirrors work based on the law of reflection. Concave mirrors are not exceptional as well.

They are not plain like any other regular mirrors. There is a curve in the middle of the concave mirror. 

Their surface contains this curved angle which is known as the incident angle. This is what makes concave mirrors different from regular mirrors. 

Not just for the makeup room or shaving, at the time of crossing a road full of turns (like the hilly areas), you will find concave mirrors on each turn. 

They help to view any vehicles coming from the opposite direction. Not only that, here images appear larger than they actually are to warn the drivers. 

This is the property of concave mirrors. However, let’s get back to the point. 

Here’s what the incident angle does: 

The incident angle is the angle between the perpendicular line on the surface where light hits and the light that falls on the surface. 

It is the main reason why images appear larger in concave mirrors. The curved surface is where the light hits the mirror. 

Mirrors work like a camera. Its overall function is to create an image based on where the light falls on the surface. 

Virtual Image

When you stand before the magnifying glass, light from your face reflects on the mirror and creates a virtual image on the other side of the mirror. 

Virtual images really don’t exist and they are upside down than the actual image. They are only created to form the real image in front of the mirror. 

The incident angle of the mirror influences where the actual image will be formed.  


Q: What is the best magnification for makeup mirrors?

Ans: Makeup mirrors are made to enlarge the facial structures or detail of your face. Especially for people who suffer from long-term visual problems, a magnifying makeup mirror is mandatory for them. 

But which magnification is the best for you? Magnifying mirrors are available in different magnifying levels. The most common magnifying makeup mirror one can use is of 5x level. 

However, there are also 10x, 20x, and 30x also. Having a mirror with more magnification really doesn’t mean it will be of better service. 

Rather the larger the magnification, the narrower your field of vision will become and it will cover lesser parts of your face. 

This is why it is important to know which level of magnification you need before you purchase a magnifying mirror for yourself.

Q: What does 5x magnification look like?

Ans: Your makeup mirror having 5x magnification means it can create a 5 times larger image than the real object. 

5x magnification is not quite powerful to reveal every detail of your face. Those who wear glasses or lenses are recommended to buy 5x magnifying. It can help them get a clear detail of their face without having additional eyes. 

Otherwise, people with healthy vision are suggested to have 3x magnification. It is enough to take a close look at their face and reveal tiny details for makeup or shaving. 

Q: Why concave mirrors are used for makeup 

Concave mirrors have their focus points inwards and thus magnifying the image of the subject in front of it. 

People who have to regularly put on make-up need concave mirrors a.k.a magnifying mirrors to see their face details. Lines on the lips, eyeliners, or tiny pimples everything are easily visible in concave mirrors, making it easier to work on them. 

Concave mirrors are also used for shaving, operating tables, or by the roadside for better direction. 

Makeup mirrors are not very costly. The price depends on which type of mirror want for yourself and of which magnification. 

Final Words 

Having a magnifying mirror by your side is really useful. You can check the detail of your face and remove any dirt in an instance. 

However, regular using the mirror can often raise questions to your mind about how do magnifying mirrors work? 

Also, knowing how mirrors work can lead you to get the most effective one for you and let you know about your capacity. 

This is why it is important to go beyond the box sometimes and know how things work. Hope our article served the purpose today.

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