welcome to SKINCARMA!

These are the musings of a skincare junkie + writer + brand guru with 25+ years of product wisdom put into action to demystify skin care. 

You can change your skin’s destiny.™


I did it.

No, I didn't finally make my own DIY moisturizing mask with mashed avocado, plain yogurt, olive oil and honey. I just don’t have it in me. But doesn’t that sound like a delicious, sweet guacamole dip that would go great with tortilla chips or a crudité? Allure has a cool piece I just discovered called 8 Skin-Transforming Face Masks You Can Make Out of Food. Read it here — it includes the recipe for the avocado moisture mask I’m obsessing over.

What was it I did then? I found my Brooklyn pizza!

If you caught last week’s blog article, you know that I went on a whole diatribe about my quest for good Brooklyn pizza after my recent move to Downtown / Fort Greene. I had all the friend recos, and one very clear destination in particular, but there are two pizzerias downstairs and just up the block that I needed to test first. Both fell short of my sky-high expectations.

If you’ve been to NYC, you’re probably familiar with the pizzerias all over the City named some variation of “Ray’s”. It’s a total New York thing. There’s Original Ray's, Famous Original Ray’s Pizza, Famous Ray’s and who knows how many more. The NYC-centric Gothamist attempted to solve the mystery in an article titled, The Hunt For The Real Original Ray's Pizza.

According to Google, “Ralph Cuomo opened the first Ray's Pizza, at 27 Prince Street in Little Italy, in 1959, named after his nickname ‘Raffie’.”

A bit further up the block than the two epic pizza fails is what is considered by locals to be the best pizza in Fort Greene.

Not Ray’s.

No, seriously. It’s called Not Ray’s.


I ordered a pie from Not Ray’s — half pepperoni, half cheese — Friday night. It was pure perfection. I found my holy grail. From now on, Friday nights in the Sky Pad | BK are gonna be lit!



Just like pizza, technology is often hit or miss. Look, I’m no fan of gimmicky tech. Some of it works, most of it just seems like it works — but every once in a while a skincare device is the bomb. The Foreo UFO Smart Mask is the bomb! There are many days where I get this tingling sensation deep down inside that says, I can’t wait to get home, double cleanse, and power up my Foreo! During the month of the move to Brooklyn, I was hardly thinking about high-tech sheet masking. When I got to the new place, the bins, boxes and bags of skin care were the last thing to be fully unpacked and organized. (There was just so much of it!) I remember the moment I found the Foreo device in one of the plastic totes. I grabbed it and set it aside on the bathroom counter, afraid I would lose sight of it again. Now, where were the mask disks —what Foreo calls the “UFO Activated Masks”? I found them days later in another box. It felt like my birthday three months early (it’s July 28th; write it down).

So what is the Foreo UFO Smart Mask device and is it worth the $279 cost?

The Foreo UFO is a high-tech skincare device that utilizes multiple technologies to maximize the benefits of sheet masking. The Foreo combines LED light technology with sonic pulsation and both thermal therapy and cryotherapy to more deeply infuse skin with pro-skin health ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, moisturizing plant oils, collagen and vitamins.

Small, custom sheet masks come in boxes of 6 each, with specific skincare benefits.

Small, custom sheet masks come in boxes of 6 each, with specific skincare benefits.

Here’s what Foreo says about their cool, Star Trek-worthy contraption:

“A transcendent smart mask treatment, UFO combines advanced dermal technologies with exclusive Korean mask formulas for a decadent facial treatment in seconds. Experience the beauty of innovation, and transform your complexion with UFO.”

Spock and Uhura would have loved a little self-care with the Foreo UFO!

Spock and Uhura would have loved a little self-care with the Foreo UFO!

I was a huge fan of Star Trek growing up. Starting with the original Star Treklike with Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Uhura! I can imagine Spock and Uhura chillin out on a Friday night in her cabin doing a UFO Smart Mask treatment.

The Foreo connects to an iPhone app and, well, the computer from the Starship Enterprise comes on and talks you through the process. She instructs you on how to adhere the small custom sheet masks to the unit, how to massage it over your face — and even stays with you throughout the 90-second process, explaining what the device is doing as it cycles through the four technologies.


Funny, Foreo plays up the whole K-Beauty masking craze by emphasizing that the serum-infused sheet masks are themselves made with Korean masking technology. Sure enough, on very close inspection, the mask boxes do claim Made in Korea!

As expected, each individually wrapped miniature sheet mask is drenched in serum. I prefer to remove the mask, situate it on the device, then massage the serum that’s left in the envelope all over my face before I begin. That way, I’m sure the device is pushing it into my skin and I’m getting the greatest benefit out of the minute-and-a-half sessions.

Upon completion of the mask session, there is very little of the serum left on your skin — a clear indication that it has, in fact, performed better than a standard off-the-shelf cotton sheet mask!

“Brighten your complexion, kill acne-causing bacteria, and erase signs of aging with this enhanced 90-second mask treatment. The UFO is preprogrammed with the optimal temperature, pulsation intensity, and LED wavelengths to activate the benefits of each single-use mask (sold separately).” - FOREO

Make My Day Activated Mask


Aside from the dope name, the Make My Day UFO Activated Mask is actually my favorite of the seven distinct mask formulas. The combination of Sodium Hyaluronate — the salt form of Hyaluronic Acid that’s more skin-compatible — and Red Algae Extract are a perfect combination. The formula also includes Broccoli Sprout Extract, which should have hydrating and antioxidant benefits. The Make My Day serum is a relatively simple formula, with a few stabilizers and preservatives.

I love how it leaves my skin looking and feeling plump and super hydrated!

Shimmer Freak Activated Mask

All of the mini-masks for the UFO device are intended for the entire face, except the Shimmer Freak Activated Mask. This “illuminating eye perfector” targets the entire eye area. It’s actually kinda awkward to use the UFO in the immediate eye area as it doesn’t move easily around the inside of the eye socket. No matter, the formula is actually just what you’d want for your eyes; it includes a combination of Caffeine for depuffing and Niacinamide to brighten the skin. I love the smell of this serum right out of the packet, but particularly as it’s being heated up by the device. I think it’s the Rose Flower Water. It’s not overpowering; it just smells really great. Again, a simple formula with added antioxidants in the form of Cranberry Fruit Extract — and a few formula stabilizers.


So, I answered the first part of the question: What is it? But, what about that second part, the one everyone asks about the Foreo: Is it worth it. Again, it’s $279. If you’re equating it to a $1.99 sheet mask, of course not. But if you believe in the benefits of the four distinct technologies — the LED light, sonic pulsation, and both thermal therapy and cryotherapy — then sure, it makes more sense.

For me, I can tell you honestly, I’ve never gotten a tingling sensation deep down inside for a $1.99 sheet mask.

Only my Foreo and a Not Ray’s grandma pie can achieve that!




The Ingredient List of the FOREO Shimmer Freak Activated Mask:

Water, Methylpropanediol, Niacinamide, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Caffeine, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Allantoin, Panthenol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite,1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Hydroxyacetophenone, Chlorphenesin, Butylene Glycol, Parfum/Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

The Ingredient List of the FOREO Make My Day Activated Mask:

Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dipropylene Glycol, Fragrance, Sorbitan Isostearate, Polysorbate 60, Butylene Glycol, Gelidium Cartilagineum Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Sprout Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate.