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Shantini Alleyne Cooper: The Powerhouse Redefining Beauty Standards

Shantini Alleyne Cooper is truly a Renaissance woman when it comes to the business of skincare. The Brooklyn-based beauty magnate is a Swiss army knife of expertise and experience. She seamlessly blends and balances her skills as an acne specialist, licensed aesthetician, certified makeup artist and beauty empowerment coach to offer her clients an experience beyond just applying makeup.

Cooper is skilled and experienced, but its her curiosity, passion for skin science, and limitless perseverance which will lead her towards a new frontier in skincare.

How do you define Beauty?

Unlike conventional standards of beauty that is tied to physical appearance, my concept of beauty is an internal philosophy, a reflection of character and poise. My philosophy uses the word beauty as an acronym that forms the cornerstone of my personal definition. Beauty, to me, embodies being Bold, Empathetic, Authentic, Unique, Tenacious, and Youthful. These qualities are not based on extrinsic factors like my hair being in a particular style, my skin being super flawless, or my waistline being the most snatched. Instead, they embody the very essence of who I am—qualities that resonate from the core of my character, making me authentically and timelessly beautiful.

What are some of the issues you encountered as a makeup artist that motivated you to transition into skincare?

For ten years I served in the beauty industry as a freelance makeup artist. I mastered the art of enhancing women’s beauty by concealing, highlighting, and contouring. In that role I would come face to face with clients’ skin insecurities. I wanted to help transform the very things I would conceal. I knew instantly that skin science would be my next step, so I enrolled in school and pursued my esthetician license.

After a few years of working in a high volume facial bar in NYC, I noticed that many of the women I was serving looked nothing like the makeup clients that initially inspired me to take this path. It became apparent that there was a distinct gap in the beauty industry—multicultural skin colors were underrepresented, and there was a need for a dedicated space where clients could receive personalized attention for their unique skin concerns.

Motivated by this gap, Skin Prerogative was born—a sanctuary where the diverse beauty of skin is celebrated, and individuals can embark on a journey to address theirgoals one treatment at a time. This transition from makeup artistry to skincare was not just a professional evolution; it was commitment to inclusivity, empowerment, and the belief that everyone deserves to revel in the beauty of their skin, irrespective of its color or complexion.

What’s the mission beyond Skin Prerogative?

At the heart of Skin Prerogative is a transformative mission designed to inspire a ripple effect of confidence and self-assurance that resonates in every facet of our clients’ lives.

Our motto, “Put your best face forward,” is at the core of our mission. We understand that your face is the first thing the world sees, and we believe that true beauty comes from within. When you feel confident in your skin, you are not just ready to face the world; you are ignited with the power to conquer your dreams and contribute meaningfully to changing the world around you. Skin Prerogative stands not just as a skincare oasis but as a beacon of empowerment—a place where beauty is not confined to external aesthetics but is a force that propels individuals to be all that they can be.

Embracing our own skin, especially for women of color, has not always been a straightforward journey. How do you actively promote self-love and self-acceptance?

I recognize that the journey of self love and acceptance, particularly for women of color, has been complex and nuanced. In my role, where I regularly engage with individuals navigating their skin insecurities, I am committed to fostering an environment of empowerment and positive transformation.

One principle that I uphold in my treatment room revolves around the language we use to describe our skin. Recognizing the potentially detrimental impact of terms like “bad” skin, I have implemented a rule that discourages clients from labeling their skin in such a manner.

This shift in language and mindset is pivotal in fostering resilience and perseverance throughout their skincare journey. Second, it plays a crucial role in reframing expectations related to achieving their skin goals. By eliminating the notion of “bad” skin, we pave the way for a mindset that acknowledges the uniqueness and inherent beauty of every individual’s skin.

Numerous female entrepreneurs often struggle to maintain a balance between work and self-care. Drawing from your experience, what would you identify as the primary factor leading to skin issues in women?

From my experience in the skincare industry, one of the primary factors leading to skin issues in women, particularly those pursuing entrepreneurship and a busy lifestyle, is the impact of stress. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that, when elevated for long periods of time, can disrupt the balance of oil production, leading to increased acne and inflammation. Cortisol can also break down collagen, accelerating the aging process and contributing to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Stress also impacts lifestyle choices that can significantly affect the skin. High-stress levels can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as poor dietary habits, inadequate sleep, and lack of exercise, all of which can compromise skin health. In addition, stress can result in skipping or neglecting skincare routines, which are crucial for maintaining healthy and vibrant skin.

At Skin Prerogative, we understand the importance of not only providing effective skincare solutions but also empowering women to prioritize self-care. Our treatments are designed to address the impact of stress on the skin, offering tailored solutions for acne, aging, and hyperpigmentation concerns.We advocate for a holistic approach to skincare, emphasizing the interconnectedness of mental well-being, lifestyle choices, and skin health. Our products and treatments are curated to support overall wellness, recognizing that self-care is an integral part of a woman’s success journey.