I don't know about you, but after years of abusing my skin in the form of too many nights accidentally sleeping with makeup on, junk food, and over-exposure to the sun and harmful environmental toxins, I'd give just about anything for my skin to feel like a virgin (touched for the very first time) once again. Pardon the Madonna reference, but I feel it's particularly fitting given the Madonna skincare line realness about to be served up here. No joke, this MDNA SKIN Chrome Clay Mask review is like a prayer (sorry, I can't help myself) of thanks to the skincare gods.
Let's start with a little background before we hit the ground running on this skin journey. MDNA SKIN is Madonna's eponymous, luxury skincare brand, developed alongside Japanese beauty brand MTG, meaning it builds off some of the most innovative beauty advancements. The line made its U.S. debut toward the end of 2017, bringing its collection to the Western Hemisphere, specifically at Barneys New York locations.
If you've heard of the line, then you're likely familiar with the brand's buzzy Skin Rejuvenator Set ($600, mdnaskin.us). The set of two products features the ever-popular Chrome Clay Mask ($120, mdnaskin.us), which mixes renowned Montecatini (a town in Tuscany) clay with lots of minerals to help cleanse the skin of any dirt and other impurities, as well as the Skin Rejuvenator, which boasts a magnetic head to easily remove the mask and an infusion head to "analyze the skin’s moisture levels and optimize delivery of the moisturizing serum that remains after removing the Chrome Clay Mask," according to the brand's website.
Now, I know what you're thinking. $600 seems like a pretty hefty price to pay for a clay mask and a magnet to remove it. I get it, I really do. I could buy, like, 600 lottery tickets. Hell, I could buy this literal $590 plastic bag if I were really committed to quality plastic bags.
However, aside from the benefits this set brings to your skin, particularly the fact that the Skin Rejuvenator's infusion head can literally analyze how moisturized your skin is, know that there is a cheaper alternative. MDNA SKIN recently introduced their Mask Remover ($80, mdnaskin.us), which has the same magnetic head for easy mask removal. This cheaper remover doesn't come with an infusion head, so it's up to you to rub the serum left behind by the mask into your skin.
Though I haven't been lucky enough to meet Madonna in person, I was lucky enough to try the Chrome Clay Mask and Mask Remover out for myself, and what a journey it was. To start, I washed my face with my cleanser of choice and patted my skin dry with a cloth.
For reference, here's my face post-cleanse and pre-mask, a little redness on display, but otherwise clean and ready to go:
(Yes, those are authentic water stains from cleansing my face in the sink. Yes, the face wash commercials that show models splashing water on their face — and only their face — are a damn lie.)
Luckily, the Mask Remover includes a small spatula for easy application of the Chrome Clay Mask, and so you don't waste any product by getting it all over your hands instead of your face (i.e. my usual M.O. for face masks). Using the rounded side of the spatula, I applied the mask directly onto my cheeks, forehead, and chin, filling in my full face, apart from the area around my eyes and eyebrows, my lips, and my nostrils.
Madonna's personal tip, via the MDNA SKIN website, suggests applying the mask "on your neck and décolleté before a big event for a look of astonishing radiance." Considering the only red carpet I was stepping onto after this mask was the red carpet in my living room, I personally didn't cover my neck and collarbones. But you can bet your a** I'll do this the minute I get famous one day. Then, they'll all be sorry.
Here's what the mask looked like when I was finished applying. Cue me looking luxurious AF:
Per the website, it's suggested you leave the mask on for about five to 10 minutes once you finish applying, though I'd venture to say you could leave it on for a little longer if you wanted, as you should not expect it to dry. (That would make it pretty difficult for a magnetic to pull it off, now wouldn't it?) As I was putting on the mask, I immediately noticed a refreshing cooling sensation, which continued for the entire time I kept the mask on.
As the mask sits on your skin, the formula, particularly the volcanic clay, works to pull any impurities from the surface of your skin and your pores. The clay is then pulled off your skin, along with said impurities, while a skin-quenching serum, packed with white willow bark extract, orange essence, soothing lavender oil, vegan squalane, and hyaluronic acid, is left behind to give you the biggest glow-up you could imagine. And finally, MDNA SKIN credits their "exclusive mineral-rich holy water" for the surge of hydration the mask leaves your skin with. If you're an avid face mask user like me, you'll know this is a welcome difference from other clay masks, which typically dry skin out a bit.
So, after staring at myself for 10 minutes straight and making weird faces in the mirror, it was go time. I slipped one of the Mask Remover Sheets ($15 for a set of 50, mdnaskin.us) over the head of remover and then began to hover the remover head right above my skin. The force of the magnet was a bit stronger than I had anticipated, as evidenced by my "oh my god" in the below video of me removing the mask:
(Behind me is my girlfriend, who masked alongside me and ruined all of my Very Important Videos. Roast her.)
According to the brand, you should avoid putting the head of the mask directly on your skin. Rather, the remover head will pull the mask from your skin just by hovering, thanks to the magnetic force. So I held the remover about a couple centimeters from my skin and watched as the darker clay was immediately sucked up from my face.
Yes, the entire mask removal process was as satisfying as it sounds and as it looks. The collection of clay on the mask remover head looks like a bunch of scary spikes sticking straight out (though, they'd obviously turn to mush if you pushed on them).
Here's a close-up shot of the action happening when my girlfriend removed her mask, as well as a video. Trust me, these are too satisfying to look away from:
One thing to note about the mask is that the remover head fills up quickly. While it can still pick up a good amount of the mask, even when it's saturated with remnants, you should expect to use both sides of the head, as well as multiple remover sheets, to get the job done. I personally went through about four remover sheets to fully remove the mask as best I could.
I did notice that, using the mask remover, there were some incredibly tiny bits of clay left on my skin that the mask remover had difficulty picking up, so following removal, I still had a few clay specks left on my skin. I do wonder if the Skin Rejuvenator magnetic head works more effectively to pick up all the particles than the Mask Remover does, or if this is just a common occurrence with the mask.
Nevertheless, I took a wet, warm cloth to very carefully swipe away the clay specks remaining, without wiping my entire face so as not to get rid of the serum left behind. Once my face was clear of clay, I massaged the leftover serum into my skin, as the brand suggests, and I don't think my skin has ever felt so hydrated and dewy.
At last, here is the final product after the serum had set in. No, I'm not Madonna, but thank you for asking:
Aside from my skin feeling hydrated, I did see a noticeable change in how radiant my complexion was. My pores had also tightened up a bit, my under-eyes even appeared a touch brighter, and my skin felt incredibly soft to the touch — which continued throughout the day following my mask.
Peep the comparison below, and please @ me with all of your Madonna requests at karaoke:
All in all, a $120 price tag for the smaller size of the mask and an $80 price tag for the remover certainly isn't a casual, everyday spend. (600 lottery tickets, remember???) However, if you're looking for a splurge product that's high-quality and shows pretty immediate results — especially with the holidays approaching — I could definitely make the case for the MDNA SKIN Chrome Clay Mask.
Why would anyone wanna splurge on this set? Because, well, IT FELT NICE, OK? The radiance, hydration, and overall clean and healthy feeling the mask left my skin with aside, I'd be lying if I said I didn't secretly relish the how luxurious I felt using this mask. I mean, you're getting a professional-grade, celebrity- and dermatologist-approved facial at home, and you don't even have to put pants on. Call me a material girl, but I love using this mask, and I'm not afraid to say it.
After all, who doesn't want complexion as stunning as Madonna's and for their skin to feel like it was touched for the very first time again?