HiMirror Plus: The Future Is Here And It’s Awesome
This post is sponsored by HiMirror in partnership with the PRIMP network. Opinions here are all mine & based on my personal experience.
You guys, there’s a smart version of everything these days. Smart phone. Smart watch. Smart fridge. Smart thermostat. I for one welcome this, because I’m all about convenience. Why would I want to do things when a nifty gadget can do them just as well? Or better, maybe. So naturally I’m extremely excited that a smart beauty mirror exists to help me out with my skincare routine.
I’ll start by saying the HiMirror actually isn’t my first acquaintance with smart mirrors. The idea has been popping up on DIY sites for a while now, mostly as a novelty. The husband and I tried our hand at one using an old flat panel monitor and a Raspberry Pi a year or so ago. Even though it was really neat, it had enough issues that I didn’t actually put it back up in my makeup room after we moved. For one thing, we used an acrylic mirror, which I couldn’t get to sit flat to save my life. But the main thing was, it didn’t actually do anything. Sure, it showed me the time and the weather, but that’s about as far as we got with the functionality.
Imagine my excitement then when I opened up the HiMirror Plus. It has some of the same features as my home-grown attempt – time, weather, an IR sensor to turn it on when I sit down in front of it – but oh, also this nifty feature that just analyzes my skin to tell me objectively whether it’s getting better or worse. Now that is a useful feature for a smart mirror.
But first things first
The HiMirror Plus is an updated version of the original HiMirror, with an improved interface and some new functionality. The latest and greatest version has more memory (meaning you can keep a longer history and have more users). They also added built-in LEDs that you can set to different colors so you can check your makeup under different lighting situations. They aren’t bright enough to use as my main lighting source, but very handy for checking finished looks.
In the box you get the mirror (of course) along with a power adapter and a mounting plate that lets you mount it either on the wall or on a larger mirror. I wanted to use mine at my makeup table, so I picked up a small easel to set it on. I also received the version that’s bundled with the HiSkin device, an accessory that measures your skin’s moisture levels.
Unlike my own attempt at making a smart beauty mirror, I don’t need to remote into the HiMirror from a laptop to control it. Instead it uses voice control and/or hand gestures. The sci-fi nerd in me is delighted, because it’s like something right out of Start Trek. Or Minority Report, if you’re more into the dystopian stuff. Check it out:
Other nifty features on top of the skin analysis:
- Facial recognition for login (so no roomies peeping at your progress pics!)
- Built-in camera cover
- Companion app to see your data on the go
- Spotify & internet radio
- Skincare & workout videos
- Weather with UV index & news
- Custom photo slideshow in clock mode
- Integrates with HiMirror‘s Smart Body Scale, which can be purchased separately
The Future of Skincare
Aside from just being really, really cool, it’s also shaping up to be a really useful part of how I evaluate my skincare routine. Which is really the point, right? The skin analysis feature works by taking a photo of your face and evaluating different factors to create a skin index. The factors is uses are:
- Dark circles
- Red spots
- Dark spots
- Fine lines
Right, so it takes a picture and scrutinizes your face to find all your opportunities for improvement. Depending on your perspective, that’s either incredible or horrifying. I was pleasantly surprised after my first analysis when all of my numbers except dark circles were above 90 on a 0-100 scale. That’s not a humblebrag, it was just a lot better than I expected and it goes to show we’re our own worst critics. The HiSkin device does a similar thing, but with moisture levels. It’s a little like the Color IQ device they use at Sephora – you hold it against different areas of your face and neck and it takes an average measurement of your hydration levels. So far I seem to be normal to well-hydrated, but I’m very interested to see how that changes once winter rolls back around.
Even though the device is great about reminding you, I’ll just break in here with a PSA that HiMirror gives you lots of useful info, but it’s not a doctor. So still talk to a medical professional if you think you need to.
Skincare Routine Game Changer
I’ve always tried a lot of different skincare products, even before I got into the whole beauty blogging thing, and I think this is going to be a game changer in how I evaluate whether particular skincare is working for me. Why? There are a few reasons.
My biggest struggle in long-term skincare projects is progress photos. Half the time I forget to take them, and it’s also really hard to get consistent lighting, positioning etc. With this gadget, you take the photo by standing with your face inside a guide on the screen and the exposure is adjusted automatically to keep the photos as consistent as possible. You can also set it to remind you every day to do your analysis.
No longer can I judge my skin too harshly just because I’m PMS-ing (though to be fair it does tend to have hormonal freakouts). And I try to maintain a healthy level of skepticism about all products anyway, but this will hopefully make it easier to tell actual improvement from what I just think is improvement. I’m all about approaching skincare scientifically, so bring on the evidence!
It lets you track particular products
Trialing a new product and trying to figure out if it’s making things better or worse? After you add a new product to your beauty box in the software (which you can do from the mirror or the smartphone app), you can use the Product Usage Record feature to make a note of it and follow how your skin changes while you’re using it.
It helps you focus
I’m very, very glad that my skin isn’t as troublesome as it used to be, but that’s left me a little bit unsure about what type of skincare would give me the best bang for my buck. Right now my lowest scores are for dark circles and roughness, so the next time I need to go skincare shopping I’ll probably look out for some stuff to help with that and stick with my current routine for everything else.
Like any new-ish tech, there are some things about the HiMirror that take some getting used to, and a few kinks to work out. The hand gestures were definitely the steepest learning curve for me. Moving too fast or too slow will keep it from working consistently, and it took a minute for me to learn to keep my hands out of the sensor’s range when I don’t actually want to switch pages.
There’s also some room for improvement in the non-core functionality, by which I mean the Spotify app crashes a lot. The internet radio option works much better. The iPhone app is also a little glitchy, though I haven’t followed the tech support ritual of turning my phone off and turning it back on yet. Luckily those are things that can be fixed through software updates, so for me they don’t even come close to being deal-breakers.
My next experiment
So what’s going to be my first product trial with the HiMirror? I picked up the Clarisonic SmartProfile Uplift last month during their friends & family sale, so I’ll be spending the next couple months testing that out and using HiMirror to track my skin and see how much of a difference it makes. Stay tuned for that, and leave a comment about your favorite beauty tech tools!
The HiMirror Plus + HiSkin bundle ($356) is available at himirror.com