Second Life Podcast: How Shani Darden Become Hollywood's Favorite Esthetician

Welcome to MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned—we'll be releasing new episodes on Mondays.

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Second Life

Shani Darden is a name that rolls off the tongue of celebrities like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jessica Alba, and Chrissy Teigen when they talk about their skincare. Now an expert esthetician with a client list that reads like a who's who of Hollywood, Darden wasn't always sure of her career path. In fact, she first moved to Los Angeles from her small town with dreams of becoming a model (and she has a Destiny's Child music video credit to prove it). "I just think it was one of those things where it took me so long to realize, like, oh, this is what I'm supposed to do," she tells Hillary Kerr on Episode 24 of Second Life.

When Darden looks back on how she got to where she is now—a successful esthetician with her own line of covetable skincare products to boot—it's clear that this is exactly where she's supposed to be, even though it took her a little bit of time to figure it out. "What people don't realize is we have that gift, and I'm very thankful that I was able to find it," she explains. Darden's gift was always going to be skincare. She even recalls making her mom drive her hours out of town to visit the dermatologist as early as 8 years old. "I love it. It's definitely my calm place," the skincare aficionado says.

Although she admits it's always been a hustle. She spent her early career splitting her time between multiple gigs, gaining experience and making connections before being able to focus her efforts on one job. Even when she found success in her own right, she had her side projects, which included creating her own products. "I just got busier and busier," she shares. And it's clear that Darden's hard work has paid off. "You have to follow your dreams because I don't think that I was ever really happy and comfortable until I started giving facials. … It's what I'm supposed to do and when you find that it just makes life better."

Head to iTunes to subscribe to Second Life and hear the full episode.