Salon: (661) 260-1136 | Direct (818) 974-3990 | Salon: 24868 Apple Street, #203B Newhall, CA 91321-5037

Totally check out my love-to-cook-sister’s new entertaining on a budget blog:

Host Without the Most- Dinner Parties. Hint: I’m the one that brought the taquitos….bad Sally.

Elsie Rocks It – Beauty Power!

Beauty Power at 50 and Beyond. Let me be clear. I’m not talking about a woman trying to push the envelope past what is appropriate at her age. I’m not talking about being a “Daisy Dukes and Ugg Boots” lady (see my book, It’s Not Over Yet! Reclaiming your REAL Beauty Power in your 40s, 50s, and Beyond”). I’m talking about owning the fact that we are still beautiful at a certain age. Rocking it in a new and fresh way, at this point, our second half of life.

Take my client Elsie for instance. This woman is the busiest person on the planet, in a high level medical career. Like many of us, she is a mom of young adults, with long work days.  It could be easier for her to be “Baseball Cap and Sweatpants Lady”,  just throw in the towel on her Beauty Power. However, last night Elsie was on the tennis court while I was out having cocktails and dinner with a friend. Tonight she was in my salon as I added lighter blonde highlights to the deep golden blonde hair that we have established as her new base color. Her teenage daughter was having a facial. (Mom and daughter time!) Elsie is setting the bar up while staying appropriate as a woman of  the BA  (bad ass) 50’s, mentioned in my previous blog. Her blue, charcoal rimmed eyes sparkled when she saw her fresh look. I can bet Elsie will pay it forward and inspire another lady to rock it too.

Thank you Elsie for being an example for the Beauty Power movement.

Do you know a woman post 40 that is a great example of Beauty Power? If so, please drop me a note…..

Viola Davis at The Golden Globes

I just discovered a new term to describe post 50 ladies looking ‘real in their skin’, authentic and fabulous… ‘BA50s’.

Cute. I like it. This year’s fashion at The Golden Globes did not disappoint and I’m more than thrilled that so many actresses ‘of a certain age’ were featured prominently and often. Cameras zoomed in on them several times for several seconds. I really think we are getting somewhere! Not the usual one second pan to Annette Benning , then quickly on to Jennifer Lawrence for three times the air time. I love the ‘Bad Ass 50s!’ (and Jennifer Lawrence; she’s cool!)

Hollywood and the media; I’m so proud of you!

Could it be because “The most celebrated actress of our time” Meryl Streep was being honored? I don’t care why.

I’m just happy. Viola Davis. Julia Louis Dreyfus. Goldie Hawn. Angela Bassett. Felicity Huffman. Sarah Jessica Parker. And the list goes on. We are good here. I knew our time would come.

It’s Not Over Yet!

Sally Van Swearingen



I am absolutely proud of our newest stylist Brianna Nicole Reade’s feedback on her life in the beauty industry so far. (See it on Facebook)
So much of these experiences she touched on have been shared by us all. I want to talk right now about the misuse of Yelp and social media and how a few misguided women( usually first time clients) have gotten business owners and creative people like us running scared, because their blonde wasn’t quite blonde enough in the first visit (even though their natural color is black that was dyed red) or the newly trained salon assistant got them a little wet when trying so hard to be completely thorough in removing their hair color in the shampoo process. Come on ladies, do you really need to announce this to the world? Are you aware that your comments affect our ability to make a living? How about just COMMUNICATING to us that you were not 100 percent satisfied. A simple email, text or phone call gives us the opportunity to give you the results you were looking for. We are in the service business. We got in this business because we truly have passion for helping women look and feel more beautiful. We are trained professionals with experience and talent. We all just need to learn to talk to each other. I’m listening…

Watching cosmetics being set up and photographed is like watching paint dry. There was the moment that I had to abandon my own cosmetics photo shoot for a Starbucks break, and I don’t even do Starbucks! It was an excuse to run far far away, and fast, from the creative genius of the two photographers as they discussed lighting, angles, proportion, glare, composition, F-stops?… you get it.

It definitely takes a village. I’ve always loved that statement but this particular day I really understood what that meant.

Just give me a face! One that I can sculpt, cover, smooth, paint, adjust, highlight, contour, arch, darken, lighten, bronze, shimmer, powder, etc. You get it. Give me a face and I’m happy. I’m in my zone. Don’t ask me to breathe normally at a product photo shoot. What I thought would be a simple two hour project, became a six hour redesign of the Stealth Bomber! Don’t get me wrong. These people made me and my makeup line even more bitchen. I will forever be grateful, but please don’t make me do that again.

IMG_2618Excerpt from “It’s Not Over Yet, Reclaiming your REAL BEAUTY POWER in your 40s, 50s and Beyond” written by Sally Van Swearingen

Huge lashes are gorgeous, we all can agree on that.
Although pricey, lash extensions done at a salon can be very beautiful and so flattering to the eye. These are individual lashes, longer than your natural lash that are carefully applied to your own lash with permanent glue. The process can be tedious for the Esthetician and time consuming for you, but in most cases the results are worth the effort. You can sleep, shower, and live life in these lashes, but they still do require some maintenance. As your own lashes come out, so will these extensions, and they will require replacing as they do. They typically last a couple of months, but everyone’s lifestyle and personal care make the difference.
The initial investment can be around $300, so get testimonials and referrals from happy clients before you proceed.
I have asked several ladies what their experience has been. Most LOVE the look, but not the care, maintenance and cost. Some feel relying on lash extensions as a permanent beauty staple can wreak havoc on their natural lashes. This is where “everything in moderation” is key. Lash extensions are a luxury treat, not a permanent solution.

Beauty Power Tip: Ask your salon if they do “weekend lashes”. At my salon, The A LIST, along with offering permanent lash extensions, we create for clients a temporary set of lashes, that are applied in clusters with a stronger than one use glue but not as permanent as the lash extensions. These can last up to 3 days with careful care, and don’t damage your real lashes. A great way to test out the feel of lashes with an investment of about $50-$70. Weekend lashes are the preferred lashes for our brides.

Your face is the only one you have. Do you know what you are putting on it? Check your labels. Make sure your cosmetic products are paraben free and American made. We might complain about all the rules and regulations that we have to follow in this country, but our FDA is here to make sure YOUR face doesn’t get irreparably damaged by cheaply made products produced in China, for example.

Make sure you work with a REAL make-up artist to choose the correct products for your face, not just a salesperson selling this month’s “push product” of the month. This is a serious business.
Do I sound a little PO’d? Yes I am. My life’s work has been about working with all skin types, age ranges, ethnicities. I have worked with thousands of faces. I trained alongside a board certified Dermatologist for years and have seen what inferior cosmetics can do to the skin. Often the damage done is irreversable.

Know the background of the person selling you the pretty colors. Do THEY know what is IN the product they are pushing you to buy? Just ASK: “What is your background? Are you licensed? What kind of training have you had and in what area? Have these products been tested? Are these made in the US?”
It’s your face. It’s the only one you have.

When grooming sports guys for their on camera broadcasts, the first thing I often notice is that they have healthy skin. This means they take care of themselves with good diet, or they are one of those lucky few that just have good genes! To further enhance the healthy look, I use a minimal amount of concealer, anti-shine to reduce the glare, and a bit of bronzer to warm the skin on camera. Other subtle tricks that only an experienced camera make-up artist has in their mini arsenal are used to further flatter the face. When I was starting out in this business I took a class on men’s grooming. I was told “the second the viewer can detect make-up on a man, you have failed, and he has been overdone”. Got that., Sally Van Swearingen, www.sallyvanswearingen, Sally Van Swearingen,

Chuck Berry performing in South America

Chuck Berry performing in South America Photo courtesy of Chuck

Legendary guitarist Chuck Berry is still rocking and rolling at 87!  He performs every Wednesday at Blueberry Hill  in St. Louis, and will continue to rock until that time comes. If Mr. Berry can keep kicking it, so can we! What does Chuck Berry have to do with BEAUTY POWER?

Well… at 19 I met Chuck Berry.

Excerpt from “It’s Not Over Yet”…

I’m 19 and at the Denny’s Coffee Shop on Century Blvd near LAX Airport. Sitting in the coffee shop, a few booths away from ours is Singer/songwriter/musician/icon, Chuck Berry! He is smoking a cigarette and drinking black coffee. His recent resurgence in the media through B roll concert footage included in American Graffiti and other musicals, made him easy for this blues lover to spot.

I had much more “Chutzpah” in those days that is for sure. With zero hesitation, I approach him  immediately. “Uh, hi…excuse me, are you Chuck Berry?” The relaxed, slightly distracted grin told me that he was pleased to be recognized. “Yeah, it’s me darlin’….

His greyish/black skin was deeply lined, telling a story of intense traveling, late nights and hard partying. How I would have loved to be invited to sit and just listen. I was thinking of “Back in the USA”, “Maybelline”, and the many stories to be told around it. But with all the fame, this man sat there totally Zen, taking a breather from it all. Many people passed, very few noticed him!

My moment with Chuck Berry told me of a man who appreciated his fame and the money that enabled him to play music, but at the end of the day, with all of his infamy, here was a man, enjoying another day of life, relaxing with a cigarette and cup of joe. Damn, that was a special moment.


For more celebrity interactions and “What the Stars taught me”, get a copy my book

” IT’S NOT OVER YET, Reclaiming your REAL BEAUTY POWER in your 40’s, 50’s and Beyond”



  I’m not one of those women who buy into the whole being skinny thing.

I realize that I am in the minority here.

As a make-up artist and hair stylist in the Entertainment industry, I have worked close hand with actresses who have starved themselves to thinness, then have to go out and get breast implants because they lost all of theirs through intense dieting. That is just wrong!

In my hair and make-up salon, The A LIST, I am forced to listen to some ladies with nice figures describe themselves as fat.

I look at these women and girls, most ranging from about a size 6-10. OMG. It’s hard for me to listen to it without screaming!

I have always been a healthy, thicker chick, ranging from a 10 to a 12.  Dancing and working out had previously kept me looking good, but after the birth of my daughter things moved around and my middle section grew. I went from being” voluptuous” to a sausage shape..frustrating. The things I had done in the past just didn’t work anymore…

Now past 50,  I can’t rely on just exercise anymore to fix the issue. I really have had to force myself to change my eating habits to lose the middle. Now that I have slimmed down ,moving toward my former self,  I feel great, and my Dr. is happy too.

Find out what is a healthy weight for you. Work to get there, but don’t kill yourself to get to an impossible standard. Enjoy your favorite food in moderation, exercise and walk MORE. Do you love to shop? Do it. I  LOVE to de-stress by spending the day walking around the mall, even if I don’t buy much. What about time with your honey?  Sex burns calories! Even housekeeping can trim some fat..move it, move it.

When ladies start putting themselves down for not being rail thin,   I ask them if they have any problem getting attention from men. Usually they say “Hmm….actually, no”, and it makes them think. There are a LOT of men out there that don’t care if you are skinny, but do like a woman in proportion.

I want to be the change women see in this area..I’m not thin. I will never be, but I am healthy and getting fitter every week, instead of going in the other direction. I take a pop locking dance class every Monday. I just show up and do it.

 And to my beautiful,  lean TOO are total hotties. Whether you are naturally built that way or work hard at it, you are gorgeous, and I love you. 

My point is………..: discover what the comfort level for YOU is.   You may need to lose some extra unhealthy fat, but please don’t diet your curvalicious  away.