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The Conversation

The Beauty Haul Diaries: Shani Darden

With a roster of A-list clients – including Jessica Alba and January Jones, to name but a few – Shani Darden is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after aestheticians.

Shani became versed in the wonders of skincare at a young age, having struggled with acne in her teenage years. Working for a leading dermatologist, she soon realised her true calling was to help others with their own skin concerns. This led to Shani launching her first product, Retinol Reform, in 2013, before introducing a line of products under the brand, Shani Darden Skin Care in 2018. The following year, she opened her flagship studio in Beverly Hills – a spot known for turning out the glowiest complexions in Hollywood.

Regularly dispensing pearls of skincare wisdom to her Instagram following, Shani is vocal in spreading the secret to A-list worthy skin. “The most important thing is using the right products for your skin type. What works for someone else may not work for you, so taking the time to figure out the right products for your skin type is always worth it”, Shani adds.

Religiously applying sunscreen from the minute she steps foot on the plane, this is how Shani Darden does beauty in transit.

What are your must-do beauty rituals/treatments before you travel?

I don’t really have any rituals I follow before I travel. It’s mostly just making sure I’m well stocked up on sunscreen so that I never run out.

How do you adapt your beauty regime when you travel?

I try to pare back my routine and stick to the basics when I’m travelling. If I’m going to Mexico or Hawaii, I know that I’m going to be outside a lot, so the focus is mainly on sunscreen and daytime products. I don’t really use treatment products such as retinol when I’m spending a week in the sun: I save those for when I’m back home.


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A post shared by Shani Darden (@shanidarden)

What is the best way to downsize your beauty kit when you travel?

I think you have to be honest with yourself about what you’re actually going to use.

Do you prefer to pack travel minis or full-size beauty staples? And why?

It truly just depends. I always check my luggage, so bringing full-size products usually isn’t too much of an issue. I typically bring a travel-sized cleanser, toner, and moisturiser, and stick to full-size serums or haircare products. I also recently launched my Discovery Set, which has travel minis of all of my products.


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A post shared by Shani Darden (@shanidarden)

Do you have a regular plane beauty routine?

I always make sure to wear sunscreen when I’m on the plane: the UV rays are that much more intense being up above the clouds, so keeping yourself protected is absolutely essential. I love the Supergoop Play Everyday Sunscreen. It has an SPF of 50 to protect skin and it’s also super hydrating, which helps offset the dry air in the cabin. If you’re on a flight longer than two hours during the day, make sure to reapply as well.

How do you unwind when travelling?

A little Pinot Grigio or a margarita never hurt.

How do you overcome jet-lagged skin/eyes when you land?

It’s a combination of a couple things. I can’t ever live without my Intensive Eye Renewal Cream to deeply hydrate and brighten the under-eyes –  which is especially important when I’m traveling. I also love to keep my eye masks in the fridge until I’m ready to use them to help to de-puff.


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A post shared by Shani Darden (@shanidarden)

What are your top beauty tips when travelling?

I’m prone to melasma, so making sure my face is shaded from the sun is really important. I always wear at least an SPF of 50 or higher, a wide brim hat, and huge sunglasses when I’m outside. I don’t really wear a lot of make-up – whether traveling or not –but Supergoop has a great CC cream that I wear when I need extra coverage. When it comes to my hair, I always bring my Dyson Airwrap with me on trips now. It’s such a lifesaver for fast, effortless curls.

What is top of your beauty wish list right now?

I’m always looking for tinted moisturisers with SPF to help conceal and prevent my melasma.


Travel light or over-packer?


Spa facial or massage?


Vacation air-dry or blow-dry?


Desert island beauty product?


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