“I’ve seen a lot of beauty rollers out there and I wasn’t happy or satisfied with the way they were made,” the icon said over the phone from London. “My Japanese company, MTG, presented the idea of the infrared carbon rollers to me and I thought they were superior, so that led to the development of the beauty roller.”
The Beauty Roller is the newest addition to MDNA Skin’s lineup. The battery-free product, which comes in a liquid-like silver hue with two carbon balls attached, debuted in Japan and is coming Stateside on Tuesday via mdnaskin.com, barneys.com and select Barneys New York locations. At $200, it incorporates ultrainfrared sculpting energy that lifts, firms and eases tension in the face and other areas of the body.
Madonna and MTG brought MDNA Skin to the U.S. in 2017, three years after its initial launch in Japan. MTG, a public company, is valued at $2.3 billion and did $401.2 million in net sales for the 2017 fiscal year. It is projected to do $531.4 million in net sales for the 2018 fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
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The beauty roller is MDNA Skin’s second tool. One of the brand’s original offerings is the Skin Rejuvenator, which retails for $600 as a set with the Chrome Clay Mask.
Madonna said she uses the beauty roller a couple of times a week, “especially when I’m tired, if I have to go out, if I’ve had a whole week where I haven’t had a moment to get a facial or take care of myself and I need a pick-me-up.” And when she uses it, she uses it “for everything.”
“I use it for massage, if my quadriceps or my hamstrings are tight. I also use it to work on cellulite on the back of my legs,” she said. “I use it for neck massage on the side of the neck when my neck is stiff and then of course I use it on my jawline and my cheek bones for firming. And to help penetrate specific products that I want to sink deeper into my skin.”
Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, brand consultant for MDNA Skin and Madonna’s dermatologist, recommends using the roller along the angles of the face in an upward motion. He said the product has “therapeutic benefits” similar to those of Reiki healing, and aids with lymphatic drainage and DNA repair.
“This type of pure carbon is an inert form of carbon that happens to release a very large amount of far infrared energy. When you put it on a plate of ice, it will actually melt it,” he said. “There are plenty of studies that show far infrared energy can help during healing processes. Mixed with the mechanical energy of a roller, which has both immediate and long term benefits, [it is a] one-two combination.”
True to Madonna’s aesthetic, the roller’s design is futuristic and sexy, which separates it from other beauty rollers on the market — the Instagram-friendly jade roller, for example, which now comes in various Millennial-approved crystal variations. Madonna called the Beauty Roller “a piece of art” — one which warranted a video series shot by Steven Klein.
In one video, Madonna, dressed as a bride, walks the beauty roller in a transparent case down a hallway. “Who do you spend your entire life with? Your skin,” she says. “So marry it, be good to it, take care of it. Love yourself, love your skin.”
In another, she lies on a chaise lounge, rolling the device on her body while whispering, “The perception of beauty is all an opinion and opinions come and go. So the perception of beauty is not anything real.”
Asked about the videos, Madonna said, “Usually what Steven and I do is connected to my music or something artistic that I’ve done. I wanted to work with him because I wanted to present the skin-care line and the beauty roller as a work of art, not just a gadget.”
This is, she said, how she approaches packaging for all of MDNA Skin: as art.
“I do put a lot of time and effort into developing the formulas, but I also put a lot of time and effort into presenting the whole line and the packages as something beautiful to look at, a magical world that you can enter into, but also something that’s completely practical in your daily life,” she said.
When it comes to testing the products, she tries them “on anybody who walks in the door.” She has also tried them out on her children, who “think [the beauty roller is] their toy.”
Though MDNA Skin is Japanese-owned, Madonna gets inspiration for future launches “from all over the world, not just one area,” i.e. Japan. She was most recently inspired by the markets in Morocco, where she spent her 60th birthday.
She has previously stated that she’s considering launching a men’s grooming line, and though she still has plans to do this, she doesn’t consider MDNA Skin to be gender-specific as is.
“I’ve considered this skin-care line to be not gender-specific,” she said. “I think men like it just as much as women. I would like to create some very specific products for men in the future. I do see that happening ‘cause I know a lot of men like the skin-care line, so that’s definitely in the future.”
Men’s grooming is a growing trend in beauty, with established brands such as Chanel debuting a line of men’s makeup. Asked about the trend, Madonna said, “Men should care about their grooming. In fact, I’m irritated when they don’t. It’s always been around and men always have, but I think they’ve been made to feel like they have to keep it on the down low or be ashamed of it or hide it, which is ridiculous. It’s great and it should be embraced and we should all look after ourselves and take care of our skin and hair and grooming. In my opinion, it’s just sexist to say only women should take care of themselves. Men need to look good, too.”
Asked how she wants men and women to feel using her line, Madonna replied, “tight and lifted and snatched.”
She is continuing to work on new formulas — yes, a color cosmetics line is on the horizon for “some day in the future” — and is simultaneously working on new music.
“I’m finishing my record, which I’m going to release next year,” she said. “Yep, in between rose mist spray and serums, I’m actually making music. Can’t quit my day job.”