One supposes there are many perks that come with being a global music legend. A rockstar-worthy wardrobe, for one. Courtside seats at every Knicks game. Weekends in Ibiza, South Beach, and Saint Tropez.
Some of the lesser-discussed aspects of international pop stardom: Hundreds of hours spent flying around the globe every year from one tour location to the next, leaving delicate facial skin dry and flaky. Performing under the sweltering heat of bright stage lights night after night, causing sweat to clog pores and induce breakouts. An on-off-on-off makeup routine employed multiple times during every show, subjecting raw skin to untold abuse.
“I was desperate for products that could help me out,” says Madonna, describing how she came to launch MDNA Skin, her luxury line of skin car that debuts in the U.S. at Barneys this week. “You know, I am a little busy,” Madonna deadpans. “I am an active woman, I have a full-time job, and I’ve got six kids. So I needed a range of skin-care products that was simple and easy to use—but also actually worked—because I was punishing my skin with the lifestyle I lead.”
Acknowledging that she’s received oxygen facials on tour for years to help her skin recover, Madonna was in search of products that could offer similar results in a fraction of the time. Enter: MDNA Skin, one of the most elegantly designed collections of luxury skin products you’ll ever encounter. The line was released in Japan in 2014, primarily because Madonna’s business partners, MTG, are Japanese, and secondarily because Japanese women are famous for their devotion to, and expectations of, skin-care regimens. As Sinatra once said, if you can make it there… “We received rave reviews from the Japanese market,” Madonna confirms. “It bumped up our release in the U.S., actually.”
The line includes six treatments, and major buzz is building around the Chrome Clay Mask and Skin Rejuvenator. At the forefront of beauty’s hottest trend, the Rejuvenator features a neodymium magnetic head that removes the mask with zero mess when suspended over the skin. The device doubles as an application tool for other treatments, emitting microcurrents that allow ingredients to penetrate the skin deeply, something Madonna’s personal dermatologist and consultant on the line, Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D., refers to as, “professional grade technology.”
“This is a product you’d normally see in an office setting,” Dr. Frank explains. “But Madonna never does anything half-way, so she decided it should be available to consumers as well.”
Though Dr. Frank plays the medical heavyweight for the launch, Madonna says some of his skin-care advice to her is decidedly less scientific. “He told me the number one thing I could do for my skin was to be happy,” she laughs.
“What I meant,” Dr. Frank expands, “is that there is no single procedure or ‘hero’ ingredient that is going to suddenly make your skin perfect. We’ve moved beyond that. It has to be a holistic approach.”
To that end, the MDNA Skin line is a blend of the artisanal and the high tech. Cutting-edge, lab-created compounds combine with purifying water from the Montecatini mountains in Italy to create richly nourishing, restorative facial treatments. Fed by four springs, the mineral-rich water is believed to have unique healing properties and is used as a base for the line’s products that also include the Serum, Rose Mist, Face Wash, and an Eye Serum and Mask. The range felt like the right number of products for the launch, although Madonna envisions a line of full-body products in the future. “I wanted to create a streamlined selection,” she explains. “I don’t have time for the 13-step approach they’ve got in Japan. But I also know quality, and I want quality.”
And though her world may be more art than science, there’s not a step of the development process that Madonna was not involved in. “I tested, I rejected, I suggested, I tried them again and again,” she relays. “In the end, I was developing these products for myself as much as anyone else—and I can be quite particular in what I want.”
Another perk of being a music legend.