Any self-respecting millennial knows that a good selfie can get you places. It’s the best social media tool for your well-curated life on Instagram and Snapchat — just ask Kim Kardashian West, queen of social media, who took it upon herself to raise awareness on the art of illuminated selfies. Enter: the LuMee case.

The brainchild of a professional lighting director, the LuMee case boasts the ability to “brighten your life,” one glorious selfie at a time. The infamous accessory has graced the phones of countless celebrities, and claims to be behind millions of flawless photographs.

So, does this case really work? Will this thing give me optimum party snaps? And more importantly, will it really give me fleek selfies that my online persona needs? I set out to find the answers to these questions.

The awkward first date

The lightweight LuMee Original attaches to your phone and uses LED lights that’ll brighten up any selfie. Just press the button at the back, and it turns on using power from its own external battery. (Thanking the LuMee gods for not touching my phone’s already fragile battery life!) The case’s battery lasted me days, and gave me at least a week’s worth of selfies on one charge.

LuMee

I may be cute in this selfie, but my hands were struggling to keep hold of my phone with the LuMee on; it was just too big for my small girl grasp.

But, the LuMee’s size leaves a lot to be desired. The case almost doubles the size of the phone! Holding on to the iPhone 6s is hard enough with my small, delicate hands — what more with the bulky LuMee? Imagine trying to hold on to this thing in a bar setting, while alcohol-infused and attempting a cutesy snap. Definitely a con, as I’m sure any drunken party girl with small hands can attest to.

My iPhone 6s with the LuMee compared to a plain iPhone 6s. The LuMee’s charging port is also visible in this photo.

 

The case took all my party clutch space and left no room for other stuff like my power bank and makeup, which are party essentials!

Finding the light

(L-R) Without the LuMee; with the LuMee at its brightest and showcasing all my facial flaws; with the LuMee, after adjusting the brightness.

The LuMee is definitely good at what it’s supposed to do, but maybe even too good.

A simple press and hold of the button adjusts the light’s intensity — either go brighter (if your makeup is totally on fleek) or dimmer (for softer light and a flawless selfie finish).

Personally, I’m not a fan of the brightest light setting for selfies, as I feel my fresh face realness gets overexposed. But, it works wonders for snaps and videos, because it gives you the perfect amount of lighting for the movement shown in the GIFs below:

Doggie snap in a low-light scenario, because doggie snaps are life. The LuMee lighting makes a world of difference.

I even tried the LuMee in a tricycle ride, because you never know when you’ll need a good snap. Results were conclusive: I was still cute, and the LuMee worked wonders.

Even on a dark street, the LuMee lighting does not disappoint!

The case works well not just in low-light situations, but also in crazy light scenarios (shadows, strobe lights — you name it). The LuMee assures perfect photo situations every single time. The separate power button at the back of the case is amazingly convenient, too. No need to struggle with your phone’s interface to turn it on while navigating to your Snapchat app.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

I have to admit (as with all first dates) I was skeptical about the case when I first tried it out because, really, who actually needs a phone accessory dedicated solely to selfies? I was convinced that good lighting can be achieved by other means. But, again and again, the LuMee proved useful and convenient during the time I spent trying it out.

The LuMee Original has one job, and it does that one job well. However, for its size and discounted retail price of $40, I would’ve wanted more in terms of functionality. The LuMee Duo, a newer model priced at almost $70, now has LED light bulbs installed at the back of the case for lighting your rear-facing camera, too. But, even then, I feel like the bulky size and extravagant price tag does not compensate for just those additional functions.

Me working the LuMee and the joy it now brings to my life.

So, how many flawless selfies does one actually need? The answer is a lot, apparently — and every single one has to be flawless! Since the LuMee gives you the opportunity to take better photos, it’s hard to go back to the dark, blurred selfies of the past. But, for the steep price, I might just have to resort to daytime selfies and content myself with evenings undocumented on social media. For $40, I’m buying myself good MAC foundation, and I’ll just look good in person instead.

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