The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of Into The Gloss’ lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Submit your own on Instagram—post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for a chance to be featured on ITG.
“Hi, my name is Sharlena Hassani (@sharlenahassani). I was born in Norway, grew up in Brazil, and moved to Calabasas when I was 16. I was struggling so terribly with my skin, and being the new girl in a new town at a new school made me feel like I was under a magnifying glass. It really deepened my insecurity—I was so desperate to have a glass-like complexion that I was willing to buy literally anything that said it would help me. My family moved back to Norway two years later, but I stayed to finish my senior year and start college. I was living with my godparents, and my godmother Gilena took me for my first facial with her aesthetician, Rachel.
Rachel’s valley studio ended up becoming my home for the next five years. I started to take skincare seriously, enrolled in aesthetician school, and began working under her. I learned so much: discipline, technique, how to create a treatment that balances in-office and at-home skincare, and not to be afraid of acids. Seeing her passion for becoming her best self while running her own business was a big inspiration—now, I am the owner of Artisan of Skin Medical Spa in Beverly Hills. As I grow more and more into womanhood, I’m learning that investing in my mental health and natural beauty are what make me feel my best. I went through a period where I didn’t want to leave my house because I didn’t want anyone to see my skin, so I understand the way clear skin can seriously change your life. There is nothing more rewarding than helping others achieve that, too.
I like to call myself a skin personal trainer. Skin cells have memory similar to muscle memory, and my goal is to train them to function properly, turn over at a healthy rate, and maintain clarity. At Artisan of Skin, we deal with deep cystic acne, pigmentation, scarring… You name it, we’ve seen and treated it. During a client’s first treatment, I go over a whole slew of questions: what their main concerns are, what skincare they’re currently using, what they would most love to change in their skin, and more. Based on that info, I’ll create a treatment plan! I send clients home with samples of a skincare regimen to be used morning and night, until they run out. And then I plan to see them again in two to three weeks, with a goal of completing six appointments together. The most important thing, especially in the beginning, is consistency! And throughout that process, I’m always checking in, making sure clients are acclimating well to the new products, and helping with both advice and samples. Once we reach clarity, we shift from correction to premature age prevention. At that point, it’s great when clients can come in once a month or once every two months for maintenance.
I take my time doing my skincare routine, and usually have a Kroma matcha and my cat Penelope by my side. I start with my favorite face wash, the Jan Marini Bioglycolic Cleanser. Its active ingredient is glycolic acid, which gently gets rid of all the dead skin, dirt, and debris on my face and helps my leave-on products penetrate deeper. It’s different from most cleansers in that you apply it to dry skin, and let it sit for about five minutes like a mask before rinsing it off. After cleansing, I’ll use a vitamin C serum—in my opinion, this is where to splurge in your routine. A lot of people have sensitivity to vitamin C serums, and the one I feel good about recommending to everyone is the Jan Marini C-esta. Jan Marini was actually the first medical-grade product line to be sold exclusively in dermatologists’ and doctors’ offices. I started using it during my first job as an apprentice, and it was the first skincare line that actually worked. Next I’ll use a 20-percent glycolic cream that I get from the compound pharmacy we work with, and follow that with the Jan Marini Benzoyl Peroxide Lotion. The benzoyl peroxide in this is micronized, meaning it’s a super small molecule able to penetrate very deep within the skin. It kills any acne causing bacteria from festering.
My staple moisturizer is the Jan Marini Transformation Face Cream. And of course, no skincare routine is complete without sunscreen. I use my own, the Artisan of Skin UV Daily Tinted SPF 40, which I think is absolutely next level. Most people who don’t use sunscreen skip it because ones they’ve tried in the past broke them out. Acneic clients were so important to me in creating this. It has a mousse-like consistency, spreads like a primer (and sometimes I do use it under my nighttime makeup), and the sheer tint gives skin a little life. It’s also matte. But my favorite thing about it is that the antioxidants and ceramides in the formula aid in repairing existing damage.
I will never forget the first time I got my makeup done: I liked the way I looked so much that I tried to make it last by sleeping perfectly still on my back. After that, I learned how to do my makeup through YouTube videos and practice—it’s actually not as hard as you might think! I got to a point where I felt like I mastered makeup, and loved how beautiful it made me feel. In hindsight, I also think makeup was a big factor that contributed to my skin issues. Now, I’m always trying to help people get out of the cycle of using makeup to cover their insecurities, and instead learn to highlight their own beauty. That started with myself. I still love makeup! But I save my extra looks for when I have an event, and I don’t wear much on the day to day. It doesn’t make sense when I’m wearing a mask in the treatment room anyway!
Glo Beauty Luminous Liquid Foundation in Cafe and Oxygenetix Acne Control Foundation in Honey are both non-comedogenic, so they’re amazing for everyday wear. The difference is that Glo Beauty’s is a bit more sheer, and the Oxygenetix also has salicylic acid in it to help when my skin is more oily. When I want to get dressed up, I use Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk in shade 6. Then I’ll go in with the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Medium and set it all with Laura Mercier translucent powder. My favorite blush is from Nars, Dolce Vita. And right now I’m using the Beam Effect highlighter from my friend’s company, Freck. I was blown away by how silky they are. On my eyes, I always use a lighter shadow on the lid and a darker shade in the crease, but beyond that I’ll use whatever palette that matches my outfit. And I always finish with my tried and true Covergirl Lash Blast Waterproof in Black. God bless $7 mascara.
I just moved to West Hollywood a few months ago. Friday is my day off, and I love to hit my favorite neighborhood spots. I get my nails done once every two weeks at Butter Nail Salon—I wish I could go longer in between appointments, but because of my work, I need fresh manicures regularly. I go to an amazing pilates class called Forma Pilates that my friend and client Liana Levi created. It is the hardest class I’ve ever taken but it is so rewarding and the trainers are incredible. Then I’ll grab an Iced Vanilla Oat Milk Latte at Alfred and head home to relax. If I really want to relax, I’ll put on a feel-good playlist (Renee by SALES and Wellenlänge by Rezident definitely included), run a bath, pop a bath bomb and some vitamin E oil into the water, light a Voluspa candle, and smoke my Sherbinskis CBD pen. I’ll also put on our AOS Triple C Mask, which is my favorite for maintenance. It’s hydrating and cooling, with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. Once I get out I’ll sit under my Lightstim Pro Panels for up to a half hour, while listening to an audiobook or podcast. And when I can use my eyes again, I’ll watch an episode of Mad Men. So amazing.”
—as told to ITG
Photos via the author