My RI Life: Meet Madonna Cardillo

Madonna and her children

Madonna and her children

Who Is She?

I am Madonna Cardillo, a 49 year old mother of twins. That seems to be how I have defined myself for almost 21 years, by being Anthony and Adrianna’s mom (Wouldn’t change it - best job I have ever had!). Since the twins are now juniors in college, I have been working on changing that. I have worked for attorneys for as long as I can remember; matter of fact, my 8th grade yearbook even states 'I want to be a Legal Assistant when I grow up.' (true story). I received my Certificate for Paralegal Studies many years ago, so I decided if the twins were going to get a degree, it’s time for me to get one too. I have been taking classes for a few years now and it's interesting sitting in classes next to kids the same ages as my kids. Best decision I ever made! 

At The Salon

Because I wasn’t busy enough working as a full time Paralegal, about 8 years ago, my sister, Michelle and I decided to open Total Look Salon in North Kingstown. The fun part about owning a salon is getting to try all the newest products. My go-to is It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Plus. I never leave home without it, actually have one in my car and one at my desk at all times. It’s no secret I straighten my hair and colour it. So I use Moisture Repair Shampoo and Conditioner by Moroccanoil for hair that has been weakened or damaged by color, chemical processing or heat styling. Every year, right before the summer begins, a Keratin Complex Smoothing Treatment is a must. One of the other benefits of the Salon is all the accessories we sell, including MantraBandsThey're fun to collect. My favorite one is 'She believed she could so she did.' 

More Tips

  • Most important thing I learned this year is to take Biotin for your hair. Makes a big difference! 
  • One of my favorite go-to (skincare) items is Dr. Jart’s Mask. At this age, hydration seems to be a big issue and a quick 15 minute mask can make a real difference. 

Food & Restaurants

Can’t live without my coffee - Feet hit the floor and my first stop is my coffee! I am a Dunkin fan and use the French Vanilla K-Cups because I need it as soon as I hit the floor in the morning. My 2 o'clock boost is a Starbucks Vanilla Iced Latte.

My favorite stop for a pick me up is Raw Bobs in EG for a 'Beets Me' juice.

RI has so many great restaurants, but like most Rhode Islander’s, my choices usually are based on the season. For summertime, I choose Matunuck Oyster Bar and Nautika. Close to home, for a lunch, it's B.Good. For a quick dinner, it's Bon (for sushi) or Papa Razzi


After all the food, alcohol and beaching I did this summer, it's time to get back to work on fitting into my jeans. First place you'll find me is at Nice Legs (cycle studio) in Cranston. If you haven’t tried it, you need to

Family & Friends

Family is important to me. When Adrianna and Anthony were younger, playing sports and homework made it tough to get to together all the time. Since they graduated, the family has gone back to having Sunday dinners together. It’s a great tradition, everyone should try it and I love that when my kids are home, they ask: Who’s house is dinner at this week?

I am truly blessed in my life with great friends. I have been told this many times and I absolutely know it is the truth. I have the same best friends from high school and many more that I have made along the way. We have a great time together, whether it’s just getting together for dinner, vacations, concerts or beach days I could go on and on...Bottom line - LIFE IS GOOD in RI for me! 



Photo Credits: Photos of Raw Bob's, Papa Razzi, B.Goode, and Nice Legs supplied by Photo of oysters may be found on the Nautika Facebook Page. All other photos are courtesy of Madonna Cardillo.