How many of you have a magnifying mirror in your bathroom? Even better, who has a lighted one? These mirrors are wonderful for those of us who are farsighted because they help us apply our makeup without looking like we did so in the dark. They are great for detail work like eyebrow grooming because they allow us to really see the fine details. But sometimes they allow us to see too much.

In the magnifying mirror things that are otherwise not noticeable become unmissable. Every line, every blemish, large pores, broken blood vessels—everything is now seen in giant size, many times giving us a distorted view of our faces. When others look at you, they don’t see your large pores or that hair you missed while tweezing your eyebrows. They see YOU, the whole person. For many, using a magnifying mirror opens up a new set of insecurities about our appearance in today’s harsh world.

If you do use a magnifying mirror, my advice is to keep everything in perspective. Yes, use your lighted magnifying mirror to help you tweeze your brows and apply your makeup as needed, but try not to distort what you see by taking small issues and making them bigger than they really are.

It is a good idea to give your face an overall close-up inspection every so often to see if you might need to make a change to your beauty regimen. For example, if you see that your pores are looking clogged and dirty, you might consider adding a toner with glycolic to deep-clean those pores. This step can also help tighten the pores so they look less visible. If you see redness and broken blood vessels, some extra vitamin C and resveratrol-containing serums or lotions are a good choice to nourish and support those weak vessels. Dry, flaky skin? Time to add an extra weekly exfoliating treatment and perhaps consider a richer moisturizer with shea butter and vitamin E. Use the mirror to give you information, and then put it into its proper perspective.

So, go ahead. Take a good long look at yourself in that magnifying mirror, and use what you see to help you identify areas where you skin may need some extra TLC. Then turn it over and see your entire face in all its glory…and smile because there’s nothing more attractive than a confident person who feels comfortable in her own skin.

Click here to read Ginger Hodulik Downey’s book The Esthetician’s Guide to Outstanding Esthetics.

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