Do you cringe when you look into your bathroom/dressing room mirror?

Do you get the feeling that as you’re applying your makeup in the morning, the the fairy with a grudge made a visit during the night and etched a few more wrinkles onto your face?

Or, how is it that the bags under your eyes appear enlarged and you didn’t eat too much salt the day before?

For many years I owned a day spa. As a makeup artist as well, the lighting design was always of paramount importance because it was critical how my clients would see themselves.

I wanted smiles, not frowns, as they looked at their own reflection.

As women, we have the tendency to exaggerate every flaw we see. We see “flaws” that nobody else sees and poor lighting plays right into that vision that is almost always inaccurate.

I want you to feel beautiful and confident as you prepare for the day or evening ahead and the right lighting can do this. It’s not a matter of using any “tricks” either. It’s simply using the magic of good lighting that allows you to see and feel your own beauty in a real way. When this happens, it’s exactly what others will see and feel as well.

One thing is critical: When you look into a magnified mirror, concentrate on the area of your face that you are working on. DON’T look at your entire face because everything is magnified. Anyone else is not seeing you 5, 8, 10x’s larger than life.

I remember a client who said to me, “The pores on my nose are enormous!” I looked at her and truthfully saw very normal-sized pores.  In fact, I could barely see them. She said whenever she looked into her mirror they were enlarged. Well, her mirror was magnified 8x’s. I rest my case!

The best lighting is always on both sides of the mirror because it removes shadows which are the death knell for any of our faces. When light is evenly distributed a truer picture of your face is reflected.

Take a look at these photos and you’ll see some excellent examples.  Ideas that you can use to make getting ready a more joyful experience.

Swing-arm mirrors extend away from the wall, swivel and tilt. Men as well as women will appreciate getting in close for a shave or makeup application. This particular mirror is a hardwired version with the on-off switch on the mounting plate. Pricing starts at around $120 for hardwired wall mirrors.
This one even has an electrical outlet in the mounting plate.
Vertical light bars on the mirrors offer maximum even lighting here, while the lighted swing-arm vanity mirror makes close-up grooming easier.
This swing-arm mirror is placed at the appropriate height for a seated user. To install your mirror at the right height for sitting, sit in a chair and measure from the floor to the middle of your eye, and transfer that measurement to your wall. This location will ensure the mirror is positioned at the right height so that you’re not bending over or stretching to see yourself, and that the light will not cast any shadows.
Here is another example of using a lighted mirror for practical purposes, adding an extra bit of light in a small space.
This portable mirror is a cordless, battery-powered version — great for easy transfers to other rooms or when you can’t hardwire the mirror.
And for those who are really brave and ready for their close-up, behold this full-length lighted floor mirror. It has a cord and a plug with an in-line floor switch.
contemporary bathroom Contemporary Bathroom  

This lighted mirror is stationary, but it also serves as a medicine cabinet.
modern bathroom square vessel sink; wall mounted mirror; medicine cabinet; windowless bath  

I love how this bathroom combines several mirrors for different functions. The sink mirror, additional swing-arm mirror and side mirror offer views from many angles.

Photos: Houzz

If you need help with your bathroom lighting, please email me at for a lighting consultation. I’d love to help you love your close-up!

Until next time…



Dedicated to help you live your rooms—not the other way around


How to Make Your Home INSPIRE You! ~ Mindful Interiors Package

30 pages of design tips, 30 minute radio interview, and monthly Mindful Design Newsletter
Signup and receive your FREE gift:

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

More About

Read more about Nancy Meadows and her work as a designer...


Find out how Nancy can help you in solving your design dilemmas...


Begin the process of decorating your home or work space with Nancy Meadows...