A compact mirror can be a great solution for an individual who needs to get ready on the go, retouch makeup, or fix a hairstyle when a full bathroom mirror is not available. For most people, the best compact mirror is lightweight, sleek, and small enough to fit into a small purse or pants pocket. Additional options, such as backlighting and magnification, also appeal to some individuals but may be annoying to others.
Some compact mirrors contain one mirror, either within a durable frame or inside of a protective case. Others have two mirrors, generally inside of a hinged case, that can be used to view different angles than a single mirror would allow. The case or frame is typically made of either plastic or some type of metal. Which option is better is often a matter of personal preference, as some users prefer lightweight plastic while others enjoy the durability of harder metal cases, even if they do tend to be heavier. Durability can potentially be an important issue if you are planning to primarily carry the mirror in your pocket, because bending and flexing movements, as well as sitting on the mirror when it is in a back pocket, may cause weaker plastics to crack and allow the mirror to break.
Mirrors with lights added into the case may help you see more detail if you, for example, are plucking a stray hair or trying to check or reapply makeup in a darkened setting such as a restaurant without having to go to the restroom, but some users also find that lit compact mirrors can be too bright and actually hinder more than they help. Additionally, the battery housings on lit mirrors tend to make them more bulky and less sleek. The lit variety of compact mirrors also tend to be more expensive than regular unlit compact mirrors. Many people find that, instead of paying extra money for added lighting, simply choosing a compact mirror with some degree of magnification can help bring smaller details into view.
If the mirror you plan to purchase is at all expensive, it would be a good idea to test it out in a store first, even if you plan to buy it online. Some compact mirror users complain that certain brands of mirror tend to reflect a distorted image. Use the mirror in the store to apply some of your makeup or check your hair, and decide how well you can see the details that are most important to you. Also, determine if you are satisfied with the size of the mirror. Many users also find that, after purchasing a compact mirror, they wish they had gone with a larger model that shows more of a complete picture instead of only small parts of the face at one time.