Madonna is a legend. Her music has a place in everyone’s life, whether they like to admit it or not. She is a style icon, too, having reinvented her look for every album release. The pop star has a career that spans over almost four decades, and even still, she’s a hot commodity – she’s selling out tours while pushing 60. People still dress up like her for Halloween; they wear vintage concert tees with her name plastered on them.
Kim Kardashian West burst onto the scene in 2007 and is easily the biggest influencer on the planet. Especially in places like Los Angeles, you’ll see handfuls of women who could all be replicas of the Armenian star on every corner. Kanye West aptly created a campaign for Yeezy Season 7 in which “Kim clones” took over our Instagram feeds, showcasing new looks from his collection on women with straight, long extensions, a tiny waists, and large derrieres.
Both women have icon status. They’re both mothers. And now, they’re both beauty moguls: Madonna founded MDNA Skin in 2014, launching last year in Barney’s, which includes a patented, mineral-rich thermal water from Italy; Kim launched KKW Beauty online. And it’s fitting for both: Madonna, a classic; Kim, always looking for ways to connect. On a Tuesday night at the Youtube Space in Los Angeles, a meeting of the minds took place: Madonna and Kim sat with moderator Kandee Johnson to discuss their beauty inspiration and skin care routines. The night also celebrated the launch of MDNA Skin’s new Reinvention Cream ($ 75), in which a portion of the sales will go to Madonna’s non-profit, Raising Malawi. We were there! Here are some of the best moments from the discussion.
Kim on Meeting Madonna For the First Time
KKW: “She, for a period in her life, moved in with her manager, who happened to be our next door neighbor growing up. Kourtney and I would walk – our parents were good friends with her manager – so we’d walk their dog after school. So everyday we’d go over and we’d see Madonna. We were shaking.”
Madonna: “I was being moody in the kitchen.”
KKW: “It was a moody phase. And I just remember so vividly, her coming in one day, wearing jeans and a white T-shirt and these combat boots, and she had dark short hair, and this leather jacket. And she just walked and was like, ‘You know what, girls? I’m over these bracelets,’ and took off her bracelets and gave us these black rubber bracelets.”
Madonna: “They don’t make those bracelets anymore!”
KKW: “She gave us this shoe box full of all this neon jewelry. Kourtney and I went to school the next day and our friends were like, ‘That is so cool, where did you get those?’ And we were like, ‘Madonna gave it to us!’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, right.’ They didn’t believe us.”
Madonna on Her Daily Beauty Routine
Madonna: “I sleep on my face. So I wake up with puffy eyes. It’s disgusting. It’s the worst position to sleep in.”
KKW: “I’m a side sleeper.”
Madonna: “You’re smart. So when I wake up, my eyes look like small planets, so I made these eye masks that are filled with serum and I put them in the freezer and then I lay there. Sometimes I use cryo-sticks. And I cannot speak to anybody. I just sip lemon water. I can’t function or speak to anybody, or work, or deal with life until my eyes aren’t the size of planets. And then people can talk to me. Including my children. (Laughs) Actually, your kids are the only ones who get to see you ugly, right? They don’t care. They start to care when they’re 12. I’ve noticed there’s a turn. Actually, I was Facetiming with my son the other day, and I had a pimple. And I don’t get pimples very often and he’s like, ‘What’s with your skin, Mom?’ So that’s really my beauty routine. A lot of ice in the morning. A lot of caffeine.”
Madonna on Her Beauty Icons
“For me, it was about Hollywood glamour and movie stars and women like Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth. I said all their names in my song, ‘Vogue,’ but they were the personification of beauty to me. Feminine beauty. They looked like they all took good care of their skin – I don’t know what they looked like in real life. They had good lighting.”
On Their Best Beauty Advice
Madonna: “I avoided sunbathing and I never smoked. I feel like those two things, until I could afford skin care, saved me.”
KKW: “I got so much skin care advice from my mom and my grandma. My mom was a stewardess for American Airlines, so all the girls would save their money for – she’s here, so if I’m saying it wrong, Mom, just got with it – it was some beauty class they would teach you tips for. So when they’d stop at their destinations, all they wanted to do was go to this beauty class. So what she learned was that you should exfoliate your face with a hot wash cloth at every washing. So she’s lived by that.”
Kim on Why She Loves Giving Beauty Advice
KKW: “I love giving advice though. People always come to me. I love analyzing someone’s face and going with them to a doctor and being like, ‘Wait, a little Botox here.’ That kind of advice. That’s the advice I love to give. People write me, I will not say who, but some people in the business, people I’ve never met before will text me and say, ‘Hey, this is so-and-so, I heard you give the best advice. Here are my pictures and tell me what you think I should do.”
Madonna: “That’s a lot of responsibility.”
KKW: “Yeah. It’s a liability.” (Laughs)
Madonna on How the Reinvention Cream Got Created
“I’ve traveled the world and I’ve had a long career, thank God. I feel very blessed about that. I’ve had access to every kind of product, every kind of special treatment, every kind of spa, every miraculous mask. But a lot of it has to do with what I do for a living, performing. These lights that we’re sitting under are 1/100th of the heat of the lights on stage. And being on the road eight months to a year at a time for me, being under those hot lights . . . You get up in the morning, you work out, you wash your face. Then you put a little bit of makeup on because you have to go to the soundcheck and there will be cameras there. Then you have to wash your face again. Then you have to put more makeup on for the show. And you’re basically being baked in a microwave on stage. Then you finish the show and you’ve sweated all your makeup into your pores. Then you go home and take a shower. So your face is undergoing this kind of brutal abuse. I’d think, ‘What can I do to protect my skin?’ I did use a lot of products.”