A Facial Fit for a Queen (of Pop) at Nagomi Spa

By Kelly Wetherille
March 29, 2016
Health & Beauty

From singing, dancing and songwriting to acting and filmmaking, it seems there is little that Madonna can't do if she puts her mind to it. And since she's a notorious perfectionist with a flawless complexion even in her mid-fifties, when I heard she had launched her own line of skincare products, naturally, I was intrigued. But the MDNA Skin line doesn't come cheap, so the treatments currently being offered at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo's Nagomi Spa are an excellent way to give the products a try without committing to purchasing the whole set.

I arrived at the spa a few minutes early for my treatment. My therapist offered me a cup of hot tea while I filled in a simple questionnaire, then led me into the treatment room and showed me the locker I could use to store my clothing and accessories during the facial. She explained that, because the MDNA Skin treatments use magnetic charges, I should remove all of my jewelry, including my earrings and wedding ring.

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When the therapist knocked softly on the door a few minutes later, I was already feeling relaxed and comfortable, lying on the treatment bed between two of the plushest towels I have ever felt. When I said this to her, she replied that Madonna had chosen and approved even the towels herself, leading to a last-minute color change when she decided during her recent stay at the Grand Hyatt that the original black ones weren’t quite right. This was just the first clue that what I was about to experience would be extraordinary in every way, with even the most minute details being precisely considered.

The MDNA Skin line currently consists of five products, as well as unique devices designed specifically to be used together with the products. The 90-minute facial (¥32,000) uses all five items in the line, beginning with the face wash. The therapist used this to gently remove my makeup and cleanse my skin, before moving on to the part I was most excited about: the chrome clay mask. Unlike other clay masks I have used, this one didn’t feel at all dry, grainy or sticky when applied. Instead, it went on smooth and had a slight warming effect on my skin. But the truly unique thing about it is the way it is removed. Rather than waiting for it to dry and crack before rinsing it off under warm water, this mask comes off easily with a device called the “skin rejuvenator.” Holding it a few millimeters from my face, the therapist used the wide, magnetized end to “pick up” the chrome clay mask, which was easily—almost magically—lifted away, taking the impurities in my pores with it. All I felt was a very slight tickle, making this by far the most painless, least damaging extraction treatment I have ever experienced. After the entire mask was removed, my skin felt smooth and clear, with only a light moisturizing oil left behind.

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The next step in the treatment was a facial massage using the MDNA Skin serum. My therapist applied this liberally, mentioning that Madonna is said to go through an entire bottle in a day. She used upwards motions to massage my face using the narrow end of the skin rejuvenator, which is modeled after a human thumb. After completing one side, she handed me a mirror to look at my face. I was shocked to see what a difference the massage had made, with the post-treatment side looking plump and lifted, while the other side seemed to sag in comparison. (Don’t worry; she did massage both sides, so I wasn’t left looking like a Picasso painting.)

After the face massage came a moisturizing eye mask that is applied in sheets under and around the eye area. Most eye masks like this that you can buy at drugstores or cosmetics shops are designed to be worn for about 10 or 15 minutes, but apparently Madonna insisted that hers be able to stand up to a full hour on the skin. My therapist told me after the treatment that she tried this once at home, and was impressed to find that the masks did keep their moisture throughout the entire 60 minutes.

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I was feeling so relaxed (I was even drifting in and out of sleep) that I have no idea how long the eye masks were left on for the treatment, but I did notice a lessening in my dark circles and fine lines afterward. A few light spritzes with the MDNA Skin rose water helped to gently bring me back to consciousness, and I heard the therapist softly thanking me and telling me to take my time getting dressed.

In order to get the full benefits of the facial, I decided not to wear makeup the rest of the day and left the spa fresh faced and feeling a bit lighter on my feet. Back in the light of day, I looked at my skin in a mirror and was genuinely impressed by the results—this was probably the most noticeably effective facial I have ever had, with my skin looking tighter, clearer and more lifted. It was definitely enough to convince me that, like everything else she does, Madonna made sure her skincare line was unlike anything else. And if these products are good enough for the Queen of Pop, they’re good enough for me.

The Deets

When: MDNA Skin treatments are available now through the end of May 2016.

Where: Nagomi Spa, Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Roppongi Hills, 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

How much: Three facial treatments and three body treatments are available, lasting 60 to 240 minutes and ranging in price from ¥27,000 to ¥100,000.

Reservations: Bookings can be made by calling 03-4333-8825.

Kelly is a freelance journalist, editor, copywriter and translator who has lived in Tokyo for over 10 years. She was Savvy's founding editor, and her work has appeared in Women's Wear Daily (WWD), The New York Times and CNN Travel. When she's not at her desk or working from a café, she can usually be found zipping through the streets of Tokyo on her black Cannondale or enjoying a cocktail with friends on the balcony of her apartment. On weekends she teaches stand up paddle boarding and paddle board yoga from the beaches near Tokyo.

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