A Day in the Life: Celeb Aesthetician Shani Darden’s MET Gala Prep

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A Day in the Life: Celeb Aesthetician Shani Darden’s MET Gala Prep featured image
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It’s MET Gala Monday in New York and no one is busier than celebrity glam squads. In town from Los Angeles for the week, celeb aesthetician Shani Darden is ready for game time—one glowing complexion (and slice of pizza) at a time.

6 AM: I’m an early riser and I always wake up and go through my DMs and order a decaf almond milk latte. I can only have one coffee a day, so I drink mint tea or lemon water the rest of the day. 

7 AM: I take a quick shower in the morning and get ready for the day.

7:15 AM: I start my skin-care routine, I cleanse with my Cleansing Serum ($38) and then depuff and sculpt with my Facial Sculpting Wand ($399). It emits sound waves that penetrate deep below the surface of the skin to firm and sculpt. I follow with a vitamin C serum and a tinted SPF, mascara, and lip gloss. I really don’t like wearing makeup unless I’m on-camera or have an event to go to. Typically, I throw together an outfit at the last minute, but luckily, I worked with my amazing stylist Monica Rose prepping for this NY trip. She puts together all my outfits for each day of our trip, so I don’t have to waste time putting together an outfit. 

Shani Darden met gala prep 2
Courtesy of Shani Darden

8 AM: I FaceTimed my girls at home to say “hi” and give a quick kiss before I get going for the day. I’m only gone for a week this trip, but it doesn’t make it any easier being away from them! 

9:15 AM: My facials begin around 9 a.m. and last until about 5 p.m. This morning, I started with an appointment for Lea Michele. Each facial is about an hour and fifteen minutes, but it can vary based on the client’s needs. All of my clients get my Signature Facial, which is custom tailored to what each client’s skin needs to ensure clear skin, that is tight and sculpted and of course an immediate glow. My facials incorporate vibration therapy, a light chemical peel, oxygen therapy, microcurrent, extractions if needed, LED light therapy, as well as a few other things. Before an event, I love to give my clients a lactic acid peel, because it’s great for all skin types and not overly harsh. It doesn’t cause any dryness. You just literally walk out glowing. It’s the best. It’s so effective I was inspired to make an at home version during the pandemic, my Triple Acid Signature Peel ($125). It’s a great skin resurfacer to keep skin glowing and pores clear in between appointments. I also do a lot to tone and sculpt the skin before a big event like the MET Gala so everyone looks naturally contoured.  

12 PM: I typically will stop to eat lunch mid-day. I’ve been on a big soup kick and will have that or a salad. I’m staying at the Greenwich Hotel and they have the best food. 

5 PM: I wrapped up for the day, I’ve been doing about six facials a day prepping my clients for the MET so I’m quite tired at this point. It’s time for a glass of rosé and to figure out what pizza I’m going to try! 

7 PM: I love a great pizza and what better place to order than in New York. I’m quite simple when it comes to food. Nothing makes me happier than ordering to my room and laying in bed watching reality TV. I’m obsessed with all the Real Housewives.

8 PM: I wash my makeup off with my Cleansing Serum and apply my Retinol Reform ($89). I seriously bathe in retinol. My Retinol Reform was my first and still is my favorite product from my line. After Retinol Reform, I seal it all in with my Moisture Boost Plumping Serum ($78) then Hydration Peptide Cream ($60) and Intensive Eye Renewal Cream ($69). Traveling can take such a toll on your skin, and I really feel like I need that extra hydration. 

9 PM: I head to bed for the night, I love getting a full night’s rest. I’m always asleep by 8:30/9PM when I can’t hold my eyes open any longer.  

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