This is a recurring series about all my devices. I’d like to clarify that it is NOT a tech column — it’s about spending money to speed up self-transformation, and then buying more stuff when that doesn’t work. And so I have acquired an endless array of devices: from products that promise to make my face look more triangular and the skin around my eyes less purple to ones that shrink specific parts of my salt-logged body. Previously: The $168 pillow that has not made me more beautiful.
My first big, splashy post-vax trip was to see my endocrinologist. I’ve had an autoimmune disorder since I was 14, and, sorry to be a bummer, but the diagnosis process was fairly harrowing. I thought I was dying all the time. That preoccupation is now part of my personality, so when I say I like to buy things because staring at devices waiting for them to charge tamps down on my fear of oblivion for a few minutes, I am not sharing anything new. This is how I acquired the Foreo UFO 2 Device for an Accelerated Mask Treatment, a $279 hot chrome puck that allegedly makes sheet masks work harder and faster via heightened absorption, in the mint colorway.
I don’t like going to the endocrinologist because I often have to discuss my weight and mood with the doctor, and I become defensive. I’m not a defensive person, normally. I’ve been called an enabler by more than one mental health professional, and to that I’ve said, “Yeah, sorry, you’re right.” The other thing you should know is that while in Utah, I couldn’t find any endocrinologists who were not men, and presumably none who were not Mormon men, though I never asked because that would be a HIPAA violation, or something.
The appointment went fine. I probably cried. It doesn’t matter. As a treat, after being so brave for talking to this type of man, I drove to the Mormon-owned mall in Salt Lake City, directly across from the main center of LDS worship, Temple Square. You can see a gilded twelve-foot-tall angel Moroni statue high on top of one of the complex’s towers from the Mormon Nordstrom men’s section. It was always funny to me, a secular, non-native Utahn, to call everything at this mall the Mormon Apple Store, for example, or the Mormon Lululemon, or the Mormon Fabletics, or the Mormon Chick-fil-A. I went to the Mormon Sephora, one of my favorite places to live in god’s image and sometimes repair god’s image, if I can.
Masked up and unable to daub any of my regular emollients on the top third of my face due to CDC restrictions and rekindled agoraphobia, it dawned on me that the spark of mania I’ve felt every time I’ve entered a Sephora since childhood was probably gone forever. Even if one day I am technically allowed to apply a communal lip plumper anew that acts as a tithe to the Mormon church, you can’t go home again. But I was sad, and I figured spending money still felt good.
I reached for the most expensive, clam-shell protected item I could find, a squat, almost-UFO-shaped paperweight that sometimes heats up and sometimes cools down and sometimes vibrates and sometimes flashes like a crosswalk, depending on how you configured it in the accompanying bluetooth iPhone app. The Foreo UFO 2 isn’t just a facial massager, but a product that aims to revolutionize the Korean-inspired sheet masking game for American (and Swedish) chumps like me who want to be firmer on the outside and more beautiful on the inside. What all this rumbling and hot flashing (sorry, those are t-sonic vibrations) does is beyond my comprehension, and rubbing it over my face for 2 minutes straight was pretty boring, but I want to believe. This is a UFO joke.
What I didn’t understand before spending $279 on this item at Mormon Sephora is that the Foreo UFO 2 is intended to work with its own accompanying products, small pre-soaked microfiber rounds that fasten to the device under a plastic clamp. The UFO 2 came with two of these tiny sheet masks, but then I ran out, and I certainly was never returning to a real-life Sephora, even after quarantine. So I started just applying serums and heavy creams and running the device raw dog over my face. I do this now sometimes when I remember, but I’m sort of busy with many of my other devices. I look and feel the same. Maybe warmer, facially.
Is the Foreo UFO 2 the best thing I’ve ever bought? Is the Pope Mormon? Did the angel Moroni lead Joseph Smith to golden plates in upstate New York? Do I look the exact same? Is my thyroid still a hollow husk sitting atop my fifth chakra? The answer to all is yes.