Why This Celebrity Esthetician Starts Her Evening Routine at 4 P.M.

It's no secret that we love a good morning routine. We've come to learn, however, that the rituals we do to wind down before bed are just as important. Whether you take 10 minutes or a few hours, it's precious time that you have set aside at the end of the day to take care of yourself. Our series Weekend Wind-Down highlights the nightly routines of the people we admire.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Shani Darden)

Shani Darden is regarded as one of the top estheticians in the industry, and her roster of celebrity clientele, which includes Shay Mitchell, Jessica Alba, and Kelly Rowland, often call on her to help them get their skin red-carpet-ready. In 2020, Darden launched her eponymous beauty line, Shani Darden Skincare, so that people everywhere can get their hands on her custom-made and effective formulas.

It’s no secret that Darden prioritizes her personal skincare routine — keep scrolling to see her step-by-step evening beauty regimen, along with the rest of her wind-down rituals.

4 P.M.

I'm usually back from work around this time every day, which also happens to be when my kids get home.

Generally, I'll run upstairs right away to get started on my skincare routine. I can’t ever fully relax until I’ve cleansed my face and apply my skincare products. To be fair though, it’s mostly because I’m obsessed with retinol, and want to give it as much time as possible to work its magic!

4:05 P.M.

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I’ll start my routine with Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, especially if I’m wearing eye makeup. I'll typically do a double cleanse, so my next step is to use my Cleansing Serum, which is gentle, yet effective. It’s really thorough, without ever stripping your skin.

Tonight, I’m going to use my Facial Sculpting Wandwhich is a vibration therapy device that is great for sculpting and contouring the face. It provides deep muscle stimulation to target crow’s feet, eyebrow furrows, and nasolabial lines under the surface at the source, rather than on a superficial level, helping to achieve long-term as well as immediate benefits.

I generally use this device at night or honestly, even throughout the day. I’ll start off by applying my Hydra Prep Gel to help the wand glide over the skin. I will do full facial routines with my wand, but my biggest area of concern is my jawline, so I tend to focus on that area the most.

The next step is my favorite. I usually alternate between my Retinol Reform and Lactic Acid Serum, but tonight, I am using retinol and this formula is one my clients swear by. It’s clinically proven to address multiple anti-aging concerns from the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, to uneven texture, dullness, and even loss of firmness. I love to apply my treatment serums with a brush because I feel like I can apply it exactly where I need it without missing a spot!


(Image credit: Courtesy of Shani Darden)

Once my retinol absorbs, I will apply Dr. Nigma’s Serum No 1which is a hyaluronic acid serum that helps to deeply hydrate and plump up the skin. Next, I'll apply my Intensive Eye Renewal Cream, which is my favorite product. It’s a super hydrating formula that is amazing at reducing dark circles. I also formulated it to work on the eyelids as well! 

Last but not least, I'll apply my Weightless Oil Free Moisturizer. For more normal to oily skin like mine, I prefer a lightweight oil-free moisturizer like this one, which is formulated with hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate the skin without causing any congestion. 

My routine changes a bit week to week depending on any new products I’m trying, but this is my go-to nighttime routine to keep you looking young forever!

6:30 P.M.

After I do my skincare routine, I'll check on the animals (two dogs, four turtles, and a chameleon!), and finish up any work, before having dinner with my family. My favorite time is always when I get to catch up with everyone and hear about their day. 

8:30 P.M.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Shani Darden)

Right before bed, I'll make myself a cup of Calm, a magnesium drink that helps me get better sleep. Instead of pajamas, I'll opt for my favorite sweatshirt from The Great and some cozy booties. I just don’t really love pajamas, so this is my go-to! I'll watch a little Housewives while I catch up on DMs from the day.

9 P.M.

I wake up pretty early, so I’m generally asleep by this time. Good night! 

Up next, How This Clean-Bodycare Founder and Mom Winds Down on the Weekends.


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.