Madonna Used To Shop For Beauty Products At The Bodega

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It's a hard thing to imagine now, but there used to be a time when Madonna, the woman who's changed the entire landscape of pop music and holds the #26 spot on Forbes's list of America's Richest Self-Made Women, would go to New York City bodegas for her beauty products.
"I was just broke," Madonna tells Refinery29. "I think I used to use some sort of rice soap, in little white packages, and really basic things I could find in bodegas or on the Lower East Side. The only thing I could think about was food, and where I can find my food."
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Of course, now Madonna is Madonna, someone who has not only graduated from bodega beauty, but has since become an icon and entrepreneur in her own right. Now at the helm of her very own skin-care line, MDNA Skin, the star just released a beauty facial roller in true Madonna fashion: With an over-the-top Steven Klein photoshoot that shows her rubbing it all over her body. Madonna says she uses the suggestively-shaped contraption, which utilizes ultra-infrared energy created by two high-density carbon balls, to firm and lift her skin everywhere.
Steven Klein
"I use it obviously for facial firming and contouring," Madonna says. "I use it to penetrate product into my skin. I use it for muscle soreness. I use it for lymphatic drainage. I use it to help reduce cellulite when my muscles are sore. Sometimes I use it to massage my kids, like their lower back or the back of their legs. They love it."
We sat down with Madonna to talk about her rich beauty history, the skin-care advice she's passing on to her daughter, and what the changing industry means to her.
What has it been like to see people all over the world look to you as a beauty icon for 30 years now?
"I’m not sure people actually look at me as a beauty icon. I think people look at me more as an innovator. When people think of me, they think of discipline, they think of hard work, they think of me as being a survivor, they think of me as having self belief and confidence. Ultimately that is equal to beauty, just not in a conventional sense."
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Is there a look from the past you'd love to revisit? That beauty mark, perhaps?
"I don't like to go backwards and I loathe the idea of repeating myself. So I honestly don't think I would go back to any of those looks. I’ll leave that job to other people. I think I’ve tried everything."
What's the craziest thing you've done for beauty?
"Well, on my last tour I used an oxygen chamber, which is like this tent you get inside of and they regulate how much oxygen comes into the tent. I used it mainly for injuries that I got on tour, but I noticed that it did great things for my skin as well. And actually, I keep thinking that I’m gonna resurrect it and put it together in my room, but it’s a real eyesore. So ugly."
What sort of beauty advice have you already told your kids?
"To look good when you’re older, you need to take care of yourself when you’re younger because time tricks you. I tell that to my daughter all the time, who’s just in the sun way too much. I just follow her around with SPF protection and tell her to cover her skin up, wear a hat, drink more water. What you do in your 20s shows up in your 40s and 50s and 60s."
Women, LGBTQ people, and people of color are finally getting some representation in the beauty industry. What has it been like to witness this cultural evolution over the years?
"I think it’s amazing. I think it’s about time that the beauty industry embraces the diversity of the human race. Now everybody can go to Sephora and buy a foundation that works on your skin, or an eyeshadow that looks amazing on your skin color. I have four adopted children from Africa and it affects their lives as well. I think it’s great."
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