It’s happened to us all. You’re halfway through a date and you realize you’ve missed a patch of whiskers on your chin.
The mood is right, the wine is delicious and your date seems great. The night’s only downfall is that your shaving job makes you look like a mangy goat.
What caused this fiasco? It’s the fact that you don’t own a quality, fogless shaving mirror.
A patchy shaving job can leave you looking like one of those guys who’ve been wasting away in one of those big and tall gaming chairs with a controller in one hand and a bag of cheese crackers in the other.
You know, the type of person who needs a bit of advice on the best solution for bad breath.
We’re guessing you’d rather look well-groomed and debonair, like the type of dude who probably owns a complete manicure set, knows how to tie a cravat and keeps a liquor cabinet full of finely aged wine.
What is a Shaving Mirror
It’s no secret – a shaving mirror is a mirror you use to shave. Because the shaving process generally happens in the bathroom, a shaving mirror is ideally going to have fogless properties that keep it from collecting steam.
While there are variations of the shaving mirrors that can be placed on counters, fastened over sinks and even held in your hand, this guide is mostly going to cover shaving mirrors intended for use in the shower itself.
By adding a mirror into your bath area, you’ll be able to cut the mess and stress of shaving.
With the addition of no-fog properties, these mirrors allow you to see what you’re shaving in crystal clarity, allowing for increased precision and performance.
Benefits of (Fogless) Shaving Mirror
With use, you’ll see more and more benefits to shaving with a fogless mirror. Here are some of them:
Because shaving mirrors won’t fog, they can be used in the shower. This means you can take your shaving routine from the sink to the shower.
This is convenient because it allows you to shave without the additional time to rinse or wash off the shaving cream. Instead, it can be removed using the showerhead during your normal showering process.
There’s next to no cleanup when you shave in the shower, besides using a shower squeegee to tidy up the chopped-off whiskers on the bath floor.
This means less time spent shaving and less mess. Which, if you’re a man who prioritizes efficiency and effectiveness, you’ll probably love.
It shaves minutes off your morning routine when you can complete your entire grooming routine in one place.
This way, after showering, you can simply moisturize with a face moisturizer, apply some aftershave and get on with your day.
If you’re looking to get on your way even quicker, you can employ the use of a top hair dryer to quickly take care of wet hair, rather than waiting for it to air dry.
Patches are great for quilts or style elements on a pair of the best pajamas, but there’s a pretty good chance you don’t want them on your face.
A shaving mirror, especially those which pivot for customized angles, helps make sure you never miss a spot again.
Concave vs Convex Shaving Mirror
Shaving mirrors can either be concave, convex or plain.
Both concave and convex mirrors are spherical mirrors which are frequently used for shaving and the application of makeup.
Unlike a plain mirror, concave and convex mirrors bow out either towards or away from you, causing distinct visual effects.
We could explain the physics of each mirror and the way they each bend light differently to achieve different effects, but there’s a pretty good chance you’re less concerned with how these contraptions work and more with how they’ll impact your shave.
Concave mirrors are one of the most popular types for shaving. Their reflective surface bulges inwards, which causes an enlarged image which allows for increased precision.
Alternatively, convex mirrors reflect the light outward, which makes you appear smaller. Although some variations of convex mirrors for shaving do exist, they’re certainly less popular.
These mirrors always produce a realistic, erect image which makes their image appear much smaller.
Then there are the plain mirrors, which are not warped in any way. Because they can be used for a multitude of grooming practices outside of shaving, they’re about as popular as concave mirrors.
Although they don’t usually provide any magnifying properties, they’re a great choice if you’re after a standard reflection.
Types of Fogless Shaving Mirrors
Chemically coated mirrors
The most popular form of shaving mirror is made fogless by coating the surface with specific chemicals. This base coating works to keep the fog at bay, so your reflection stays crystal clear.
The downside is that these types tend not to age well. Because their fogless property comes from a chemical coating, the mirror becomes useless if (and when) that coat wears off.
It could take months or years, but any chemically coated shaving mirror will eventually wear out.
You can increase the mirror’s life expectancy by cleaning it regularly and removing the mirror from the shower stall when it’s not in use.
Unfortunately, these added measures can become quite a pain.
Mirrors with reservoirs use a heating component to fight off the fog. With a heating element directly behind the mirror surface, these products work like a car’s de-fogging system – they heat the mirror glass to the water’s temperature, allowing fog to dissipate.
The biggest pro of heated shaving mirrors is that they should, in theory, last a lifetime. Unlike their chemically-coated competitors, there’s no expiration date on how long their heating component stays effective.
Their only downfall is that the heating reservoir, of course, requires a power source to function. For some, having to plug in their shaving mirror is no sweat. For others, it’s probably a pain.
By affixing directly to your shower pipe, attached mirrors use hot water to heat the mirror (much like the reservoir mirrors), so it stays clear and fogless.
Reservoir mirrors do this by siphoning off small portions of shower water and funneling it to warm the mirror’s surface.
Its only downfall? The nature of this mirror’s function makes it a pain to install.
While most fogless mirrors can be clipped, screwed or suctioned to the wall, attached mirrors require a bit of focus and expertise to install. Because they need to be hooked up to your water supply, they require a basic level of know-how.
This inconvenience makes it a no-go for many men. However, if you’re up for the challenge of a trickier installation, it might work well for you.
How to Choose the Best Shaving Mirror
So you’ve decided to invest in a fogless mirror and now it’s time to reflect on which one to purchase.
Here’s the breakdown of some of the most common features, what to look for, what aspects to consider and what kinds of mirrors might best suit you:
Especially if you share a shower with roommates who may also be using the mirror, a pivot head is a key feature in any shaving mirror.
Using incorporated joints, fogless mirrors with pivoting heads can be pointed upward, downward or to either side. This makes it easy to adjust and readjust for men of all heights.
Regardless of how comfortable you are with your body, you probably don’t want your neighbors watching your shower routine. For obvious reasons, there’s usually not huge windows or natural light sources in most showers.
For increased visibility in poorly-lit showers, you’ll want to invest in a fogless mirror that has LED lighting.
Especially if you have a thin or light-colored beard, a little extra illumination is necessary for getting those small, pesky hairs.
For increased ease of use and to ensure mildew doesn’t build up on your blade’s edge, razor hooks are a great added bonus on any shaving mirror.
While they’re definitely not a necessity, they do add a bit of convenience to the shaving routine. They also help your blades stay clean and ready for use, which helps extend their lifespan and efficiency.
Besides a razor hook, some products may include small caddies or knobs for storing loofahs, bath products and cosmetics like aftershave.
Magnifying or Not
When it comes to magnified mirrors, either you love them or you hate them. By employing a concave design, some shaving mirrors have enlarged images, which allow you to see much closer than a standard mirror.
For some men, especially those with poor eyesight, this is a welcomed aid. For others, it’s a pesky nuisance.
If you often travel or move between homes, you’re probably looking for a compact, portable shaving mirror that can keep up with your mobile lifestyle.
If that sounds like you, you’ll want to select a lightweight mirror that can be attached with suction cups rather than screws or adhesive tape.
This will allow you to suction it to the wall without worries and tug it off and pack it up when it’s time to go.
Extremely portable products can also be used outside of the shower when necessary. For example, if your best stubble trimmer happens to be electric, you’ll want to remove your shave mirror from the shower before use in order to protect its wiring.
The size of your ideal shaving mirror comes down to a matter of balance. You want your product to be large enough for a full view, but small enough to fit in your shower and fasten safely to the wall.
Larger mirrors are usually heavier and prove difficult to mount. If you’re planning to use suction cups or adhesive tape to fasten your mirror, you’ll want to go with a product that’s light enough to pass without worry.
How to Install a Shaving Mirror
Peel and stick adhesive tape is an easy, effective and versatile option for fastening a mirror. They’re more trustworthy than suction cups and easier to remove than screw-in methods.
In some cases, the adhesive tape can become slowly ineffective over time. Depending on the brand you buy, moisture can sometimes damage the product’s adhesive abilities, eventually allowing the mirror to fall.
Overall, they’re still a safer option than suction cups and a great alternative for those who don’t have the handyman skills to install a mirror in a more permanent fashion.
If you’re renting your home and feel reluctant to make any permanent alterations, you might look to a shaving mirror that fastens via suction cups.
These products utilize a rubber attachment which aims to suction to the wall, sealing the mirror on. However, they’re considered temporary alternatives for a good reason – they won’t hold up for extended periods of time.
Eventually, they’ll fall off your wall. If you’re lucky, the mirror won’t break and damage will be minimal. Otherwise, you’ll have some cleaning up to do.
A mirror that’s screwed in is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon, which is both its best pro and worst con.
Especially when a broken mirror is nothing short of a nightmare, many prefer the screwed-on route, despite its challenging installation process.
To put one in, you’ll need a drill and a few other supplies. For some, the added effort and consequential permanence of this method are enough of a turn-off.
For others, it’s the only worry-free way to make sure your mirror doesn’t spontaneously fall one day. If you’re renting your home or reluctant to make permanent changes, you’ll probably want to stay away from this option.
Cleaning and Maintenance of Shaving Mirrors
If you’ve chosen a fogless mirror with a chemical coating, you’ll want to be mindful about how you clean and care for it. To increase the longevity of the mirror’s fog-protection coat, you’ll need to wash it after use with warm, soapy water.
Additionally, you’ll want to remove the mirror from the shower stall when it’s not in use. This helps ease the strain put on the chemical coating and allows the mirror a longer lifespan.
If you’ve selected a shaving mirror that heats using the shower water or an outside heating element, then the product’s maintenance is much easier.
Using some soapy water, simply wipe down the surface of the mirror, removing the streaks or grime. Mirrors using reservoirs or other heat sources to stay fogless can generally remain in the shower indefinitely.
Where to place/install shaving mirrors?
While you can purchase shaving mirrors that are designed to rest on countertops or fasten above your sink, the ideal place to install one is in your shower, whether it be at the base of your handheld shower head or connected to the pipe of your wall-mounted spout.
Wherever you end up placing it, you’ll want it to be somewhere where you can easily clean up chopped-off whiskers. For this reason and others, the shower itself is ideal.
If you’re always finding missed patches, it could be your razor to blame. If the problem persists, it’s probably your shaving mirror.
Da Vinci didn’t paint the Mona Lisa with his eyes shut. Likewise, shaving is an art form that requires excellent visual focus.
The better you can see, the better you can shave. Purchasing a great shaving mirror won’t automatically make your facial hair a masterpiece, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Photos from: belchonock / depositphotos.com, Spaces / depositphotos.com, valphoto / depositphotos.com and Daxiao_Productions / depositphotos.com.
- What is a Shaving Mirror
- Benefits of (Fogless) Shaving Mirror
- Concave vs Convex Shaving Mirror
- Types of Fogless Shaving Mirrors
- How to Choose the Best Shaving Mirror
- How to Install a Shaving Mirror
- Cleaning and Maintenance of Shaving Mirrors