You might have read my hands-on with the original HiMirror, which I saw at a briefing in November. Since then, the company has added a few software updates that integrate playlists of how-to videos on YouTube. But the most obvious difference between the two generations is the addition of what the company calls ambient lights to the long sides of the device. You can press a button to scroll through different scenes, such as daylight, restaurant and sunset, and the lights change color to simulate the selected setting. The idea here is that if you know what your face will look like in the place you're going, you'll be able to better tailor your makeup for the situation.
During my time with the Plus, I never found this tool all that useful for adjusting my makeup, since the different lights in my bathroom, bedroom and living room did a good enough job of giving me an idea of what my face would look like in all of my anticipated environments. I did, however, get a huge kick out of taking a ton of selfies in front of the mirror, playing with the lighting until I achieved the most Instagram-worthy effect. Basically, then, there's no real utility here other than goofing around and growing an Instagram following.
Those who are that dedicated to their social media careers may find it worthwhile to get the Plus over the original mirror. What's more, someone who's choosing between the first HiMirror and the new one is most probably as narcissistic as I am and just as likely to enjoy this feature.
Aside from the new ambient lights, the HiMirror Plus is basically the same as its predecessor. Its voice-control capabilities are still limited, and its well-meaning words of encouragement, such as "You can do better!" continue to be funny. Having had one in my apartment for a few days this time around, I can more easily see the device's appeal. I actually wanted to stand in front of the mirror and take a picture every day to see how my skin fared compared to the day before.
Taking a picture for the analysis is fast enough: You hold your hand in front of the infrared sensor that detects your movements, which triggers a three-second countdown before snapping your photo. Getting my results took close to a minute, though, during which I tended to walk away from the mirror to attend to other tasks. It's a testament to HiMirror's appeal that I always came back to check out my results and look at how I did in specific areas such as clarity, dark spots, red spots, firmness and fine lines.