This is what it's like to have your face evaluated by a piece of machinery every day
The Himirror: a marvel of modern mechanics and finally a piece of tech worthy of my insatiable narcissism. It is described as a smart beauty mirror which communicates the number and depth of fine lines, “roughness” (whatever that means), red spots and dark spots on one’s haggard face, meaning that you can use it to track whether beauty products are working. In addition to this, it is supposed to provide tips and tricks to help you avoid the inevitable test of time, offers themed skincare education videos and the ability to surf the web. A product that serves many purposes, it took three years to develop and has been around since 2017, and yet, it’s not quite a household product yet. But should it be?
I’ve never been much of a beauty “consumer” per se; I admire the Tarte concealers and jade rollers from a distance but wouldn’t particularly indulge in them unless they were, say, given to me for free. My true forte lies in the knowledge of beauty tech – from neural networks to stem cell facials, I’m your guy. For these reasons, I jumped at the idea of picking up a 40-tonne smart mirror from the Dazed Beauty office and lugging it back to my White City apartamento.
For seven days and nights, I applied myself to using the Deus ex machina in the hope that my complexion complies and my tear ducts resist the urge to cry. Below, you can find an aggregation of my week's findings on the HiMirror Premium - the deluxe version of the HiMirror.
Day 1 - 0.5 wrinkles, 6 fine lines, 80% roughness
I researched the HiMirror before I embarked on my journey. It has had divisive reviews. However, I believe being divisive is better than being nothing at all so I have high hopes. I read that it provides a plethora of services, including but not restricted to: skin analysis, ego death, a selfie light. I prop up my techno-lummox upon my SKOGSTA Ikea table and turn it on. A range of sounds are spat out like a Hans Zimmer soundtrack as to notify me that it is activated. Following this pompous demonstration, I fill out my name, height, weight and age and I’m ready to be analysed. Or at least, so I thought. To my dismay, the first obstacle has arisen. To save my precious skin data, I must create an account on my iPhone and email, but upon creating it, the mirror still won’t sync up. Due to this, things I was looking forward too like access to YouTube, Alexa (because I thoroughly enjoy the idea of following a cut-crease tutorial while listening to Jethro Tull’s seminal album Aqualung) and ultimately sharing my scrutinised portraits online, have been reduced to unwanted push notifications and badly lit photos. Not swag. As for my reading, I welcome pain as I welcome the HiMirror: with open arms… but I was still not prepared to be labelled 80% “rough”.
Day 2 - 4 wrinkles, 4 fine lines, 30% roughness
The first realisation the HiMirror has led me to come to terms with is that we’re all ugly. Yet within that ugliness lies the real joy of being a lesser ugly on a spectrum of ugly.
I revel in the fact that I now have two lesser fine lines than yesterday (although I’m still telling myself those fine lines were misconstrued strands of hair). In addition to this optimistic diagnosis, I’ve also discovered the mirror has the ingenious capability to display News Headlines. You cannot click or read beyond these headlines, which is how I like my information anyway: trivial, succinct and highly clickable (if you could, in fact, click on them). Who said you can’t have beauty AND brains?
"Today I discover that my favourite feature of the HiMirror is the mood lighting"
Day 3 - 6 wrinkles, 4 fine lines, 90% roughness
My skin report mirrors that of my state of mind: bleak yet slightly delusional. I was too lazy to apply make-up today but the HiMirror provides moral support via its virtual make-up studio. I’m really thrilled to learn that contrary to popular belief I don’t need to blend my foundation and that a thick virtual veil of it over my grimacing face will suffice. The facial tracking is similar to that of a second edition Nintendo DS, which comes off as endearing and nostalgic. The HiMirror is growing on me.
Day 4 - 7 wrinkles, 2 fine lines, 60% roughness
Today I discover that my favourite feature of the HiMirror is the mood lighting, and more importantly, the names attributed to each setting, the best one being “restaurant/party room”.I think it's very commendable of them to have included office dwellers into this lighting simulation (to see this, click “office” in lighting settings) so that you can premeditate how you will look when you get to your office. About the machine’s harsh scoring, I’ve transcended to a state of indifference. And perhaps I’ve developed Stockholm Syndrome. But I really appreciate its tips on how to keep my skin and body in shape: drink more water, do Kegels, eat rye bread.
Day 5 - 3 wrinkles, 17 fine lines, 72% roughness
I encounter my second hurdle. The skin analysis tool isn't charging thus doesn’t work. I was looking forward to it telling me that under the superficial layer of my epidermis lay an even more sinister acne prone layer of the epidermis. But no. Face wise, I’m doing better, I’ve managed to lower my dark spot count to 4, but sadly I expressed joy one too many times today and my smile lines are 0.6% more defined than usual.
Day 6 - 6 wrinkles, 8 fine lines, 90% roughness
I slept in my make-up again, like the miserable lummox that I am. Please be kind to me mirror, I know I’ve sinned.
Update: it was not kind.
"Even though we have our differences I have come to see this mirror as somewhat of a companion"
Day 7 - 2 wrinkles, 4 fine lines, 68% roughness.
Today, I bid adieu to my Maschinenmensch. All in all, I appreciate anyone who seeks out something new for the sake of the greater, clearer-skinned, good. Even though we have our differences I have come to see this mirror as somewhat of a companion, and despite its harsh critiques, I know its algorithms have my best interests at heart. Admittedly, it did make me more conscious of the ways that I brutalise my skin and terrorised me into not picking my blackheads, which is commendable. But from a tech perspective, I am not totally convinced about the efficiency of the facial scanning itself and I believe it still has strides to make before it can accurately evaluate Epidermides. On the other hand, the machine itself provides so many other interesting attributes which have resulted in it becoming quite indispensable to me. Would I buy it for myself for €259? Probably not. Am I bewildered by the ever-expanding realm of beauty and appreciate its inception? Yes. Like zits, beauty fads come and go, but in the long run, I guess looking after your skin is important.
Find out more about the HiMirror on their website.