As Hollywood’s A-listers gear up for another award season, including the Emmys tonight, it’s no secret that it takes a village—a.k.a the ultimate glam team—to get that luminous, Hollywood glow. And thanks to Shani Darden, facialist to the stars like Jessica Alba, Kim Kardashian, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, she knows just the trick. Whether you’re preparing for the red carpet or a big night out, Darden makes the case that when it comes to achieving a glowing complexion, time and effort is most of the battle. From timely facials to skin-plumping serums and a balanced diet, here Darden reveals that maintaining healthy, radiant skin is something we can all achieve.
What are the biggest skin issues you deal with before a red carpet? How do you resolve them?
The biggest issue I deal with before a red carpet event is dull skin. I use a light chemical exfoliant to remove dead cells from the skin’s surface to give clients an amazing glow.
What treatments do you recommend to clients a week before a big event?
I typically recommend a facial two weeks before a red carpet event. Clients come in the week of an event for a light chemical peel or sometimes day of, depending on their skin type. I always avoid extractions immediately before an event so as not to irritate the skin.
How do you prep the skin the day of a red carpet event for luminous, healthy skin?
The day of an event, I recommend using products packed with hyaluronic acid to help plump the skin and give skin an amazing glow. I use various ultrasound devices in facials to massage the skin.
Is it possible to over prep skin?
I recommend avoiding extractions leading up to a red carpet event. Don’t overuse products with active ingredients—stick to your routine.
What are your go-to products? Do you use any facial tools?
I love products packed with hyaluronic acid for the day of an event. iS Clinical Hydra-Cool ($90, shanidarden.com) helps plump the skin, while Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Eye Masks ($49, shanidarden.com) are a must to get rid of any fine lines or under-eye bags before the red carpet. I use quite a few facial tools depending on what my client’s skin needs that day.
Your favorite sunscreen that works best under makeup?
I love Control Corrective Oil-Free SPF ($33, controlcorrective.com). It feels almost like a moisturizer and goes great under makeup.
How do you layer retinol into your skincare routine?
It’s important to gradually build up when you begin using retinol. Start with one night a week and add a night each week as your skin can tolerate. It’s important to not overdo it. I would apply retinol onto clean, dry skin after I’m home for the evening and follow with a moisturizer.
Which food and drinks should we incorporate into our diet for healthy skin?
Water! It’s amazing for digestion and helps flush toxins from the body—it’s the easiest health tip I can give my clients. I always stock up on Fiji Water at home and for my clients at my studio. I even keep a bottle of Fiji with me all day and I encourage my clients to do the same. Avoid alcohol and salty foods that can cause bloating.
See the 2017 Emmys nominees: