Juggling YouTube on a phone, applying makeup, and looking in a mirror at the same time can be a royal pain. Sometimes, the makeup artist I’m watching moves too fast, leaving me with foundation all over the screen in my frantic attempt to rewind. Well, there’s a more effortless solution: the HiMirror Slide.
It’s dubbed a smart mirror, but it’s more like a traditional vanity mirror with a touchscreen tablet that slides out. HiMirror, owned by Taiwanese company New Kinpo Group, does have different models that display information through the mirror itself, which is a little more futuristic, but I prefer the simplicity of the Slide. Outside of offering a nice light and a convenient way of watching beauty professionals on YouTube, there’s a good deal more this little gadget can do.
You can use a Slide as a standard mirror for when you don’t need its smart features, and that experience alone is lovely (though overpriced if you just want a nice mirror with LEDs). You can turn the lights on and off with a single tap to the rectangle cutout at the bottom of the mirror.
This rectangle is also a mini screen where you can see notifications from some connected apps like Facebook and Instagram. It’s also where you can control music playback with apps like Spotify. I wish it was situated a little more to the edge of the mirror, rather than disrupting it in the bottom middle, but I’m nitpicking. Speaking of Spotify, the speaker quality is akin to what comes out of your phone, so you’ll likely want to rely on something else to pump music.
The lights aren’t just for making every detail on your face crystal clear, though. Slide open the tablet side of the mirror and you can set brightness levels and color temperature. There are five options: Sunny Day, Bright Office, Supermarket, Restaurant/Party Room, and Sunset. It allows you to see how your makeup will look in these common, if not oddly specific, environments.
The HiMirror Slide has a stand on the back, which can be adjusted so you can position the mirror horizontally or vertically, and it locks into place so you don’t have to worry about it tipping over. Not all functions on the tablet will rotate horizontally though, so this mode is best used when you want to follow along with a YouTube video.
Yes, there’s a camera. The good news is it’s on the inside screen that slides out so it’s always covered when you’re only using the mirror. The company says each device’s firmware is embedded with an encrypted key to prevent hacks. That’s no guarantee that the Slide is safe from prying eyes, so I’m glad it’s covered by default. It gives me peace of mind. Exactly why does it have a camera? I’ll get to that in a second.
The Slide’s worst feature, unfortunately, is the touchscreen tablet, which runs a version of the Android operating system. It often struggles to register my taps and the software sometimes lags. That’s not great when I have a face with half-finished makeup and I’m just trying to find out how to create a halo eye effect. The mirror does get software updates around once a month and HiMirror says it’s currently working on a major upgrade that will “greatly improve user experience,” which is promising.
Who’s the Fairest?
The home screen of the tablet shows off the date, time, and weather all the time. Scroll down to find some skin and fitness tips, which sometimes get cut off if the tip is too long (the company is looking into it), and all the way at the bottom you’ll see installable apps. Unfortunately, there’s no app store or anything of the sort.
Instead, HiMirror has a collection of apps that you download if you want. These include Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and Daily Horoscope. There are also apps like Flo, a period tracker, and SkinSafe, which analyzes products for possible allergens. The lack of an app store makes the experience very restricting. For example, if you use the period-tracking app Clue, you’ll have to use Flo on the Slide (or just not use the app at all). Want to play music on it? You have to use Spotify or Pandora. It’s puzzling.
Now, onto why the Slide has a camera. There’s a skin analyzer tool, which can offer a terrifying look at all your flaws. The tool takes a photo of you and then shows where you rank on a scale of “poor to excellent” in terms of how many dark spots, red spots, dark circles, pores, wrinkles and fine lines you have. It’s a feature you will either love or hate. I particularly like the ability to see a timelapse compilation of all the photos I’ve taken to see how my face has changed based on what products I’ve used.
The pictures are not pretty, especially for a pale and dark-circled face such as mine. But if you’re actively trying to clear your skin or prevent wrinkles, the Slide gives you real feedback on the products you’re using, potentially better than what you can see with the naked eye. Still, the results shouldn’t be taken as gospel. Our faces change, and that’s OK.
The company says the analyzer works on all skin tones, but facial hair can impact results so it recommends being clean-shaven. If more than one person in your house wants to use the skin analyzer, the mirror supports several profiles and you can log in with face or voice recognition.
A Helpful Hand
One of the more helpful parts of the Slide is HiMirror’s Beauty Box. It’s a section in the interface that lets you add products you have, mark when you started using them, and note when they expire. It’s a great tool to combine with the skin analyzer, giving you precise information on whether a product is actually improving your skin or not. I am guilty of buying multiple new products and giving up after a week of no results, but this tracker has helped me use them for longer to give them a proper chance.
The Slide’s highlight is the ability to watch YouTube on the screen while using the mirror. There’s an almost endless wealth of makeup and beauty tutorials on YouTube, and following along is something I regularly do. Having the video right next to the mirror has been extremely helpful. It could even come in handy if you’re watching tutorials while coloring, cutting, or styling your hair.
Oh, and it also connects to Alexa! Because why not. You can ask Amazon’s voice assistant anything you’d ask other Alexa-enabled devices, like what the weather is, or you can ask it to add items to your Beauty Box.
Can you prop an iPad next to your mirror and achieve many of the same features of the Slide? You can come close! There are apps that can analyze your skin, and others you can use to track the products you’re using, like Day One Journal or SkinSmart. But I like the convenience of having an all in one system connected to my mirror. Can I live without it? Yes. Do I want to? No.