We test Madonna’s S$1,000 skincare product for ourselves

We test Madonna’s S$1,000 skincare product for ourselves

Is the MDNA SKIN line just another trumped-up celebrity vanity project? Or is it worth the premium spend to give good face?

MDNA Skin Singapore Madonna
Madonna partnered with MTG, a recognised pioneer in the Japanese beauty care industry, on her MDNA SKIN line. (Photo: MDNA SKIN)

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SINGAPORE: She is the queen of pop, multiple Grammy Award-winner, children’s book author, philanthropist and soccer mom. Now add beauty guru to the list of Madonna’s titles.

This May, her premium MDNA SKIN line will finally arrive in Southeast Asia, exclusively at Singapore's Takashimaya’s beauty hall. The comprehensive range of daily use and specialised products was originally developed for her personal use; but, as with her music, it had a greater calling: To “give good face” to everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity or gender.

That’s if you have S$1,000 and then some to spare.

That’s the price of the MDNA SKIN Rejuvenator Set – S$940 to be exact. It buys you a magnetised beauty wand (a device that looks like a sleek fancy sex toy) and a clay mask.

That’s just two items in the line-up of nine products that start at S$70 for a facial cleanser.

Quite a pretty penny, if you want to have Madonna’s skin when you too are pushing 60. Except she doesn’t plug it as such. There is no shout-out of the term “anti-ageing”, even though the products do that – they all promote “radiance, clarity and vitality”, words synonymous with youth.

Instead, MDNA SKIN is about pro-skin health: Taking good care of your skin, which is something Madonna is extremely passionate and disciplined about. Strip the products of its celebrity cachet, and at the core of its DNA is nature harnessed by science. Madonna’s partner in this venture is MTG, a recognised pioneer in the Japanese beauty care industry (it also makes ReFA rollers and Inbeaute beauty gadgets).

MDNA SKIN Singapore Product KV 2
Sleek chrome beauties, Madonna’s MDNA SKIN products embody form and function, seamlessly. (Photo: MDNA SKIN)

Only the best for the Material Girl, of course. Besides MTG’s expertise, the line also contains M.T.Parca thermal water – an exclusive, proprietary ingredient – sourced from four natural springs in Montecatini Terme, Italy. Legend has it that Roman warriors used to bathe in the town’s fountain to heal their skin.

Madonna’s facialist, who is also brand ambassador of MDNA SKIN, Edyta Jarosz, told CNA Lifestyle that the thermal water is rich in minerals such as sodium, magnesium and calcium; and has a similar composition to the water in human body, so it penetrates skin easily. This super-carrier of nutrients is said to boost hydration, balance the skin’s pH levels and keep sebum production and cell renewal in check.

Roman warriors must have been really pretty.

MDNA SKIN Singapore Montecatini
Montecatini Terme, Italy. (Photo: MDNA SKIN)

That’s all fine and dandy, but it’s not the only skincare brand that touts well waters – even if it does have Roman legionnaire endorsement. It begs the question: Once you take away the Madonna hype, is a beauty wand and mask worth S$1,000?

Spoiler alert: Yes.

THE BEAUTY ROAD-TEST

CNA Lifestyle road-tested several MDNA SKIN products, including the innovative magnetic wand that removes the clay mask without ever touching skin. They didn’t just impress – they trumped our jaded expectations.

The products offered noticeable and visible results from first use – results that lasted for days. What Madonna charges to give good face now seems very comparatively reasonable, especially when she seems to have bottled the fountain of youth.

THE PRODUCT: MDNA SKIN REJUVENATOR SET

MDNA SKIN Singapore The Rejunvenator Set landscape
MDNA SKIN originally launched in Japan in 2014 with only three products, including the Rejuvenator Set featured here. (Photo: MDNA SKIN)

A power twin-set, comprising a dual-headed wand and a clay mask. One end of the wand is a magnetised head, the other an Infusion end that works two-fold: Helping skin products penetrate better, and passing micro-currents into skin to re-energise cells.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Packed in a luxurious, three-tier, velvet-lined box is the Magnetic Flow wand, Chrome Clay mask, a wand caddy, spatula, polishing cloth, a box of mask remover sheets (50 pieces), and a Triple-A battery (it even has its own box). No attention to detail is spared.

It’s so gorgeous, it made me want to renovate my bathroom to keep up.

USER-FRIENDLINESS

Easy. A novice can do this in under an hour. It took less than 10 minutes to spread the mask onto face and neck; five to seven minutes leave-on time; another five to get it off.

You can give yourself a quickie face-and-neck rub with the Infusion head or a leisurely 15-minute job. Either way, much quicker than the 90 minutes you usually spend for a pro-facial to get the same face-glowing results – and that’s not factoring the time it takes to get there and back.

MESS-FACTOR

MDNA SKIN Singapore The Chrome Clay Mask
Butt-wiser: The Chrome Clay Mask, $190 for 50ml, $330 for 100ml; is a non-drying, volcanic-rich, skin-softening mask that Madonna also happens to use on her tush. (Photo: MDNA SKIN)  

Clay masks are the best for removing skin impurities but a pain to remove. But not this one. The mask is magnetised so it pulled away easily (along with dead skin cells and pore-clogging impurities) when I passed the magnetic head over my face. Just remember to cover the wand with the condom-like sheaths. Five covers got gunk off face and neck.

Do not stinge and use fewer protectors. The magnetised charge makes it hard to clean the clay off the wand. Otherwise, face and vanity counters were left spotless. And the mask doesn’t clog sinks up – the OCD in me is thankful.

RESULTS

Akin to a pro-salon facial – the kind that uses a combination of hand and machine work. My skin looked like it glowed from within. It was supple and well-hydrated, and looked like I had 24 hours of solid sleep when I really had 24 hours of cumulative naps the whole of deadline week. My eyes didn’t look puffy – all those tingling micro-currents and lymph-draining massages must have done wonders.

SAFETY CONCERNS

The manual for the Rejuvenator Set does caution those with a pacemaker to consult with their physician first. The MTG folks also assured us that since it was launched in 2014, there have been no reports of the wand giving problems to those wearing braces or dental implants. Titanium-implants are ferromagnetic but if you’re unsure, it’s always good to check in with your dentist

SPLURGE OR STEAL?

It may seem cost-prohibitive at first, but there is real value in it. We’ve benchmarked the results to a two-hour pro-facial session) – which typically sets you back around S$250 to S$300. A jar of the Chrome Clay mask (100ml) will last you at least two months, at twice a week usage or 16 applications.

That’s about S$3,600 on facials versus S$940 on Madonna. The beauty math doesn’t lie.

MDNA SKIN is currently available in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States. In addition to Singapore, it is also expected to debut in China and Korea this month.

Source: CNA/pw

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