I Got Madonna's Pre-Met Gala Facial—the Products Alone Cost $1030

Faith Xue

Faith Xue

Other than the one time we breathed the same air, Madonna and I don't have many things in common. She's one of the most iconic pop music figures in history; I'm still on my ex-boyfriend's Spotify plan. She has a facialist at her beck and call; I still wail, "Whyyyyyyyyy?" into the mirror every time I get the smallest sign of a breakout.

One morning in 2018, however, I felt especially connected to Madge in a way I hadn't since first singing "Like a Prayer" at karaoke when I was 12. This was due to the fact that her personal esthetician, Tarin Graham, came to our offices to give me the signature MDNA Skin facial—the exact one she would be giving Madonna shortly before she arrived at the Met Gala red carpet just a few hours later. My skin was beat, incomplete, been had, sad, and blue, but afterward, Graham's hands made me feel shiny and new.

Keep scrolling to read about the MDNA facial that made my skin feel like it was touched for the very first time (I'll stop now).

Meet the Expert

  • Tarin Graham is Madonna's longtime personal esthetician.
  • Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D., is a cosmetic dermatologist who helped formulate the MDNA Skin line. He's also the chief medical officer and founder of PFRANKMD, and he authored The Pro-Aging Playbook.

What Is an MDNA Skin Facial?

The main thing to know about the Madonna-developed MDNA skincare collection and treatment is what sets it apart from other beauty lines. "The hero ingredient common in the entire line is our 'holy water'-coined M.T.Parca, derived exclusively from the thermal volcanic waters from Montecatini, Italy, which has been known for its therapeutic benefits for hundreds of years," says Frank.

The facial that I received utilized a slew of products containing the miracle ingredient, including a rich mask, serum, and cream. More on those specifics, below.

Benefits of the MDNA Skin Line

  • Therapeutic
  • Moisturizing
  • Removes impurities

As Frank notes, the line is formulated to have therapeutic benefits, but it also targets specific skin concerns. The most innovative of all of the products, he says, is the magnetic clay mask. "The mask itself is derived from the volcanic clay from Montecatini," says Frank. "Its metallic floss allows for seamless removal with the magnetic wand, leaving the thermal water serum on the skin and the impurities removed. The wand also features deep derma technologies, which utilize electric current to enhance the penetration of the serum left on the face."

How to Prepare for an MNDA Skin Facial

I didn't have to prepare or do anything special before my facial treatment. If you want, you can come in with a clean face, but it's not necessary.

What to Expect During an MDNA Skin Facial

Faith Xue getting a facial from Madonna's esthetician
Faith Xue

The first step in Madonna's favorite facial involves using her line's signature set, the Rejuvenator Set. Graham spread the Chrome Clay Mask ($220) over my face, not unlike a baker frosting a cake. This part was incredibly soothing and satisfying in an ASMR type of way.

Rejuvenator Set
MDNA SKIN Rejuvenator Set $600
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The second part was probably the most fascinating to watch (and feel). The mask is made with clay particles that have a magnetic coating, which allows it to be sucked up when you wave the Skin Rejuvenator over it. Supposedly the dirt and gunk in your pores get sucked up along with the magnetic particles, while the nourishing ingredients in the mask are left behind.

Faith Xue gets a facial
Faith Xue

Next, Graham took the MDNA Skin Reinvention Cream and smoothed it all over my skin using the other end of the wand, which—surprise!—vibrates. This supposedly allows for better absorption, but, at the very least, it made it feel like my jawline and cheekbones were being sculpted and toned.

MDNA Reinvention Cream
MDNA SKIN The Reinvention Cream $75
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As the final step of the express facial, Graham dabbed the MDNA Skin Eye Serum around my brow bone and below my eyes. The serum is made with the patented thermal water found in all of the MDNA Skin products, along with hyaluronic acid and biosaccharide to plump up fine lines.

The Eye Serum
MDNA Skin The Eye Serum $180
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At-Home vs. By a Professional

This facial was a one-off treatment designed to demo the MDNA Skin launch, so you won't be able to book this treatment in-house. But don't worry—you don't need a professional. If you want to get that signature Madonna MDNA glow at home, you can purchase all of the products above (or even just the Rejuvenator Set with the signature wand) to do your own at-home facial.

Potential Side Effects

According to Frank, the products can be used on all skin types and won't cause any unwanted aftereffects.

The Cost

You might have noticed that Madonna's skincare products aren't exactly wallet-friendly. In fact, all the products Graham used on me ring in at over $1,000 combined, which is an extravagant number, to put it lightly. But if you have the funds or are looking for something to splurge on, the Rejuvenator Set will certainly give you noticeable results. And if you consider that a facial can set you back upward of $100 and you'll get at least six uses out of the mask, it evens out in a way(ish).

Aftercare

There aren't any special instructions to follow after you receive your facial. One of the biggest benefits of the treatment is that you're able to wear makeup and go about your normal skincare routine immediately afterward.

The Final Takeaway

The facial took less than 30 minutes, and afterward, I couldn't believe how dewy and glowing my skin looked. "I like my skin to glow like I just got out of the shower," Graham said, and I couldn't agree more. The clay mask definitely leaves a bit of a film behind, so if you prefer a matte finish, this isn't the ritual for you (but blotting your face a bit with some tissue takes care of the excess shine quickly). I'm not sure if my skin felt necessarily cleaner (my blackheads seemed just as prominent as ever), but it certainly looked brighter and more nourished—or lit, in millennial speak.

Regardless of price, I enjoyed picturing Madonna going through the very unglamorous act of getting magnetic particles sucked from her face in the name of better skin. Icons—they're (sort of) just like us.

Watch the video below to see me review the entire skincare line.

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