I made a terrible decision and want you to know about it so you can save yourself.
I bought a lighted magnification mirror.
Our bathroom is dark. The paint is dark, the lighting is dark. Every morning I do my hair and face in the near dark. The results range from so-so to comical.
I was thinking maybe it was time to redo the bathroom, paint the walls a lighter color, switch out the light fixture for a brighter one. I even taped a few paint swatches to the wall. The longer I looked at them, the more it came back to me that painting involves ladders, brushes, paint, cleanup, removing hardware, crawling on a tile floor and taping around door frames.
Bam! Just like that the paint chips were in the trash.
Then we stayed at a lovely hotel with a lighted magnifying mirror in the bathroom. I would choose a hotel that has lighted mirrors in the bathrooms over a free breakfast any day of the week. The lighted magnifying mirror was great. I could see what I was doing.
This was it! The answer to the dark bathroom.
So I bought one.
Some mirrors come with 7X magnification, others with 10X magnification and even 15X. I went with a 7X.
Do you know what happens when you’ve been looking at your face in low light, then suddenly illuminate it with intense LED bulbs and a magnified view? You nearly scare yourself to death. At the very least, it adds another five years to your face.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, don’t you have a single soft-focus filter at all?
It’s like the story about two friends having lunch. One points to two old women across the room and says, “That’s us in 10 years.” The friend says, “That’s a mirror, sweetheart!”
There should be warnings that come with magnified mirrors. “For personal safety and wellbeing, start with a 2X magnification, then ease your way up to 3X. If you’re over 50, you may want to stop at 4X.”
I am a woman who has long championed the 30-foot close-up. Why in the world did I get a 7X magnification mirror?
If you don’t get close enough to the 7X mirror, the magnification distorts your face so that you only have one eye.
It’s worse than I thought. I’m a cyclops.
It’s a tough call. Either you get so close you see every line, wrinkle, stray hair and broken blood vessel in what was once the white of your eyes, or you back up and do hair and makeup on a cyclops.
One of the hard parts of getting older is when you look your age, but don’t feel your age. Then again, sometimes waking up and looking in the mirror can be so startling it is just the shot of adrenaline you need to get going.
Some of the reviews warn that the bright lights fade fast on the battery-operated magnifying mirrors.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Send comments to [email protected]