Career Code: How Shani Darden Became Hollywood's Most Trusted Esthetician

In honor of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s upcoming book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($13), we’re kicking off an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honor of the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the beauty industry.

Ever admired Jessica Alba’s flawless skin or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s glow? Good genes help, but the real secret to the perfect complexions you see around Hollywood is Shani Darden. You can’t open a magazine or click on story without seeing one of her gorgeous clients extolling the virtues of Darden’s practice and her miracle-working Retinol Reform. Case in point: Lea Michelle and Phoebe Tonkin singing the praises of Darden’s regimen on Byrdie.

She’s known for results-driven approach to skincare, incorporating active ingredients and the most up-to-date technology. Peep her Instagram, and you’ll see many a LED-light mask selfie. After working under prominent Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Erma Benitez and working in some of the top spas in Los Angeles, Darden set out and opened her own practice. Estheticians are a dime a dozen in Hollywood, so how did one woman find herself tending to the skin care needs of virtually every It girl? Scroll through to find out.