Sometimes I like to imagine a world in which I have a spare $600 to spend freely. "What could I do with it?" I ponder, dreamily. "Is it enough to buy a mini horse?" I ask myself next while Googling tiny sweaters for tiny horses. My first instinct is not to spend the cash on something rational per se. But even so, what I don't consider is spending that sweet, sweet cash on? A $600 face mask. Sure, the idea of investing that much money in my face does seem like it could be beneficial, but it's also intimidating — even if it is created and championed by Madonna herself. But given that I can't resist anything fancy and free, when Madonna's MDNA Skin Care's Rejuvenator Set (aka that pricey face mask) landed on my desk, I had to give it a whirl.
The thing is that the experience of using this mask does indeed feel luxurious, even if it is a ridiculous amount of money. While the actual clay itself looks like what I imagine a bunch of melted Crayons looks like, the sensation of it on my face is unlike any other mask I've tried (and I've tried a lot of masks). Of course, the mask is not actually made of melted Crayons at all.
Approved by Madonna herself and her renowned dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank — a man with skin so flawless he could be anywhere from 18 to 45 years old — the MDNA Chrome Clay Mask is sourced with clay from "Italy's famous wellness spa town of Montecatini Terme," according to brand's website. Known especially for its clay therapy, I can confirm that this Italian town and its magic mud is pretty damn good. So good, in fact, that the next time I find myself in Italy I may just save the $12,000 or so I will inevitably spend entirely on carbs and just head to Italian-magic-clay-spa-land instead. Yup, that good.
The full Rejuvenator Set (which includes the Chrome Clay Mask and the Skin Rejuvenator) comes in the above packaging, which is basically a cross between a tiny coffin for royalty and a treasure chest. It's lined with velvet and generally over the top, to say the very least. But, you know, it kind of works. If someone is paying $600 for a mask, I personally think all the velvet-covered stops should be pulled out. Would I like said velvet-lined treasure chest to be delivered to me on the back of a mini horse, and then I get to keep said tiny horse? Sure, of course, why not? In my mind, $600 should be buying me at least that. But one can't have it all, so I will settle for nice skin.
Above you can see me before applying the mask, filled with the kind of angelic peace that only the anticipation of six hundred dollars worth of Italian clay can truly bring you.
The Rejuvenator Set comes with a tiny, oblong spatula, which I appreciate. Given that I am usually just using my hand as a scooper to apply a mud mask like some kind of cavewoman, this felt very luxurious.
Here you can see me with something like $12 worth of mask on my face. The clay itself is incredibly cooling, soothing, and nourishing all at the same time. According to the site, this is because the "non-drying, therapeutic clay enriches the skin with a wealth of minerals and moisture while capturing dirt and impurities." In other words, this Italian super clay is special.
It's true that unlike a lot of clay masks, this one doesn't dry out the skin at all. It's moisturizing without being sticky. Hydrating without feeling pore-clogging. In the above image you might be able to detect a subtle sense of satisfaction on my face. Imagine the pleasure of getting a professional facial combined with the comfort of being your own home, surrounded by snacks and Netflix. That is how I'm feeling above. Best $12 of clay ever.
And now: the fun part. The Skin Rejuvenator in the set is a tool that contains a magnet that literally picks the mask off of your skin after you've left it on for 10 to 15 minutes or so (although you could definitely let it sit longer). Let me be clear in saying that this feels really freaking weird, but very satisfying. It's like the dirt is literally being sucked off of your face.
When you remove the mask, there is a little residue that's left behind, but the ingredients of the mask are so amazing that you can actually just rub that residue into your face for extra hydration. When you're done, you take the plastic covering (the set comes with a lot of these) off the magnet, and toss it. It's about as easy as it gets when it comes to mask clean-up.
What you're left with after this step is an extremely hydrated face, pores that have been vacuum-cleaned, and the subtle satisfaction that you probably have just done the first thing in your life that Madonna would actually approve of. In case you aren't sure yet, I love this mask. The experience of using it feels expensive, and the mask and removal system itself are both fun and actually effective. But the thing is, for $600, it should be all of these things, right? It has to be. In that sense, it's not necessarily surprising that this jar of Italian magic mud and the corresponding pore-sucking magnet are awesome.
The truth is that, like most absurdly expensive and glorious yet totally unnecessary things in life (looking at you, tiny horse), whether or not the Rujuvenator Set is worth it is less a matter of whether or not you will like it (you will), and more a matter of whether or not you have $600 laying around, with nothing better to spend it on.