Madina Milano: The Haul Report
With the shows in Milan officially wrapped, we can’t say we brought a ton of new acquisitions from the Italian fashion capital to Paris. It’s not that we didn’t want to spend hours in Corso Como, Prada, and Miu Miu. It’s that our better judgment (and steadily decreasing credit limit) prevailed. We did have one epic splurge, though, when we discovered the Madina outpost located directly across the street from the Palazzo Serbelloni. With an hour to kill between our backstage duties at Pucci and the actual show, self-restraint never stood a chance.
The retail arm of InterCos, one of the cosmetics industry’s biggest innovators and manufacturers of makeup and now skincare, Madina’s chain of seven stores get all of the products you’ll see released by big-name brands months and sometimes years before they ever hit your local beauty counter. On the recommendation of makeup artist and Milan’s Violette Nails proprietress Helena Komarova, we made our way directly over to the new Revolution range display, where we ran right into Yves Saint Laurent international makeup artist Lloyd Simmonds, who was also checking out the goods while in town. ”You need to get one of these,” he said, directing us toward a new liquid version of the brand’s best-selling Chic & Shine Stick, which is a favorite among backstage regulars like Lucia Pieroni (we picked up the original twist-up cream version as well, you know, because you can never have too many highlighters). Running into Simmonds was a real treat, as we proceeded to simply follow him around; whatever he picked up, so did we. ”These are them,” he said, pointing to a white gold eye shadow compact embossed with a basket-weave pattern. “These are the favorite of Pat McGrath,” a sales associate chimed in, sidling up behind us and spreading the unbelievably soft, super-pigmented powder across our hand to illustrate its truly remarkable consistency and color.
Rounding out our haul was Madina’s Exact Color Wet Blush with self-adjusting pH pigments that allow the glossy stick to transform into a light wash of color on contact with cheeks; a compact of the Crystal Glass, a totally unique clear face powder that instantly mattifies skin and leaves it feeling silky smooth; and a bullet of the Exact Color Lipstick, which acts more like a balm with “phantom” pigments that enhance your natural lip color for a slight, stained effect (if you’re familiar with Sephora’s new Hot Hues Neon Lip Balms, the difference is indecipherable between the two except that Madina’s version has been in stores since last fall). Before you get too jealous, a piece of good news: As we were frantically adding more and more items to our stash at the register, we learned that Madina ships to the United States from its online store. Let the cyber-hoarding begin.