My whole life, I’ve been frequently unprepared. I used to come to the first day of school empty-handed without so much as a pen or a notebook, and show up to gym class having forgotten sneakers (OK, maybe that wasn’t so much of an accident). I still regularly fail to leave the house in weather-appropriate attire, opting for light jackets when I really need a heavy coat, and just the other day I left my keys in the door to my apartment after opening it. Overnight.
As a natural response to the fact that I’m often caught napping, so to speak, I find myself subconsciously drawn to things—products, books, self-help podcasts—that claim they’ll help me to become a more prepared person. A desk organizer I’ll never, ever use? Yes! A yearly planner I’ll forget about by January 8th? Well, of course. A facial mist that “prepares” your skin to ensure you’re getting the most out of your favorite face masks? Great, I’ll have that too!
Even if it served little to no real purpose, Origins Maskimizer Skin-Optimizing Mask Primer ($22) would still be a fantastic gimmick. It’s the kind of thing you see and think, How do I not own this already? But then on second thought it’s like, But do I really need it, or do I just want it? What could it possibly do? For my part, I needed it/wanted it/felt obligated to find out what, in fact, it could possibly do.
The formula of the Maskimizer is very, very simple: It’s pretty much a blend of conditioning agents (butylene glycol, glycerin, and ectoin) and proven antioxidants and skin nourishers like algae extract and camellia sinensis, better known as green tea. It’s meant to be spritzed onto a clean face from 10 to 12 inches away, presumably to avoid squirting it in your eyes, then patted into the skin so that it gets fully absorbed.
I did as instructed (a first for me!), and found that the spray on its own made my skin feel quite soft and generally pleasant once it had sunk in. Then I smoothed on Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque, which I’d used once before, and the difference was immediately apparent. The mask actually seemed to go on easier, which I am almost certain was not just an illusion. The removal process was easier, too—the first time I’d used the mask (without the primer), I had a hard time sloughing off the cranberry seeds left behind, even with a wash cloth. This time, they came right off. (But I still had to spend five minutes coaxing them down the drain instead of leaving them stuck to the sink.)
My skin, too, looked rather nice—I wasn’t left with any residual redness, which I had the previous time. I like the idea that this product is making my masks better, and honestly, I’m probably going to use it every time I do one, because I own it now and it takes two seconds to apply and why the hell not? Nonbelievers might balk at the concept of spending just over $20 on something that’s basically extra-hydrating, skin-softening water in a cute spray bottle, but not me. I’m into it … even though it’s yet to help me organize my overstuffed bookcase.