It's essentially a vanity that fits in your pocket.

By Lydia Mansel
July 04, 2017
Courtesy of Amazon

Picture this: It’s 7:15 am, and you just woke up from the world’s worst sleep wedged in the middle seat of a red-eye. It wasn’t comfortable, and it certainly wasn’t glamorous. Tossing and turning would be an understatement. You can physically feel the bags under your eyes and you don’t even want to think about what kind of tangled nest has grown in your hair.

Every overnight traveler has been there, and each one of us knows just how crucial a mirror can be in a moment like this. That’s why we’re deeming the HotLife LED lighted makeup mirror (, $11) the best travel mirror out there.

It’s everything a travel mirror should be: affordable, durable, versatile, compact, and accented with battery-powered lights (four batteries are included with your purchase).

Toss it in your trusty travel backpack and the plastic shell will prevent any unwanted cracks. Need to go right from fixing your messy bun to taming your unruly eyebrows? The double-sided mirror feature — one a polished glass, the other 2x magnification — will help you out. When you accidentally drift off to sleep with your (very dry) contacts still in, the eight LED lights, dimmable by a touchscreen control, will guide your way as you remove them.

The HotLife LED lighted makeup mirror is like your go-to lip balm when you’re boarding a plane, bus, or train to your next bucket list adventure. At first, it doesn’t appear to be an essential. You even consider leaving it at home. But when you need it, you really need it. At 5" x 3.3" x 0.4", it’ll slip right into your cross-body bag, taking up about a third of the space your e-reader does. And just like a good lip balm, it only takes a couple of seconds to fix any unfortunate circumstance.

As one Amazon reviewer succinctly put it, “You can [absolutely] see everything on your face and fix it.” What more could you ask for from a portable mirror?