Shani Darden is known as LA’s favorite facialist. Her clients include Emily Ratajkowski, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Jessica Alba and Chrissy Teigen, to name drop a few. They are all known for having incredible skin, and all of them credit Shani with helping them get there. She started her life in Hollywood as a dancer in a Destiny’s Child video, and now has her own clinic in Hollywood Hills. Life as a super successful facialist is busy, so we sat down to find out what’s on Shani’s desk and how it helps her get things done.

I’m an esthetician in Los Angeles, and in between back to back facials, I’m currently working on my new product line. My clients keep me extremely busy. I’m booked out for a year, but I always try to squeeze in that last minute peel (since my clients are always in need of photo shoots or red carpet events). In between clients, I create content with my social media team, juggle product development meetings, and do virtual consultations. It’s been so great to be able to reach a global client base through virtual consultations
(which I do via FaceTime or Skype). I want EVERYONE to have glowing skin!

My “desk” is an extremely intimate, one-on-one space with my clients. I converted my old house into my office, so my space truly does make my clients feel at home. When I’m working on someone’s skin, that’s their time. I only have anywhere from 5-15 mins between clients, and when I’m in facials, I’m not on my phone, not rolling calls, and not watching IG stories with the volume up! It’s important that my clients feel like they have a sacred space. I do have a “traditional” desk where my assistant sits, which is typically covered in products, like serums and cleansers – even though I am a crazy neat freak!

It’s so important for me to have a clean, beautiful workspace. I always have fresh flowers in my space, and a perfectly curated playlist to set a calm vibe. My favorite task is to literally make sure my clients walk in the door as their stressful selves but leave calm and relaxed with the perfect glow. Nothing beats seeing a client walk out of the treatment room with new energy and feeling like their most radiant selves. That’s my favorite part about being an esthetician, helping people to feel (and look!) beautiful.

On my desk, fresh flowers are an absolute must. My desk is also typically covered in products, or samples from the lab of new products we’re testing (FYI – I test products on MYSELF, never on animals). I also have a planner and notebook with me at all times so that I can make notes about whatever I need to remember that day or jot down ideas I have about products. I am heavily invested in my social media content, which involves creating daily skin tips and a ton of stories. Have I mentioned how much I love IG Stories?

Every morning, when I get into the office, I check my schedule for the day and see what appointments I have, decide who needs a follow-up, and juggle last minute requests. It helps me to get centered for my day! I will take notes of anything I need to remember for the day and contact my clients. I also NEVER eat at my desk, which is pretty funny. This is just a personal pet peeve of mine, but I don’t like my office smelling like food. I burn Palo Santo because I love the smell and it cleanses energy – win, win.

I’m a list maker. I’m avidly writing in my iPhone Notes. I also go through texts and emails, because I forget everything unless it’s written down. My planner also helps me stay on track. I’m an organization junkie – anyone who knows me knows that, in order for me to stay sane, I like to keep things very neat and tidy. I’m not into clutter, it distracts me. It’s extra important for me to have a clean space.

I have an interesting perspective on success. I wasn’t actually sure I’d ever be successful at anything. To me, success is helping people feel good about themselves. If I can change someone’s skin and help them feel good from the inside out, knowing that I’ve contributed to their confidence or being a part of how they feel beautiful makes me feel like I’m doing the job I was put here to do. Also, I just want to be like Oprah.

I’ve done the best job I can do helping people with their skin, if I can be a good mom to my two young girls if I can be a supportive friend, if I can share good content with my audience, and have dinner with my husband, it’s been a great, productive day. I’m a businesswoman and a mom, so if I can squeeze in 20 minutes in my Dessee mask and manage to watch some Housewives after my girls go to bed…I’m feeling like I’m winning at life!


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