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

*  They can and they do. We aren’t talking only about guys who work in front of the camera… actors, broadcasters, sports commentators. We know that these guys must have men’s grooming makeup to look polished for the camera.  A modest amount of concealer, powder, and bronzer in addition to just canceling out the shine is a must. Some carry their own men’s makeup products so they can be ready to go on at a moment’s notice.

Then why can’t regular guys use a little extra help like we ladies do?  More regular guys wear men’s makeup than most would want to admit, but we have come a long way, baby. It’s really ok.

Guys are realizing the dramatic difference it makes when they can blend out sunspots on their face that otherwise make them look older.  They love discovering that they can conceal (undetected) under eye bags that help take away that tired, draggy look.

When and Where…

We girls love it when our skin is luminous and our eyes look bright and alive. I think guys want to look good too. What about men who are going through the job interview process? They want the edge up and don’t want to get passed over for a younger guy just because he has a youthful appearance.  Here in Santa Clarita, CA, I’ve been asked to use my grooming skills on local men going in for big job interviews or important photo shoots. Many attorneys, CEO’s and Real Estate males have benefitted from camera grooming.  I was brought in to prep a “macho” type guy when he was filming a local commercial for his real estate business. He knew how important it was for him to come across vital and healthy. His co-host was a young, gorgeous, on camera professional. He was the image of the company. The viewer’s eyes needed to go to him, not the beautiful girl. This is where skilled men’s grooming comes in handy. He was the star because he was professionally groomed.

One of our local community leaders joked that “I have a face for radio” and realized that he must transform his look when his popular show went to video. All we did was make him look like he had some sleep and spent some time in the sun. We weren’t trying to make him look like Brad Pitt, just a better looking version of himself. We did that.

A favorite gig I get to do (I love my job!) is to prepare CEO’s when they are about to go on stage to address an audience of thousands. This five-minute process gives that business leader an edge of confidence, knowing that his face is projected on huge screens that are magnifying every feature, however, he has no worries… he is looking healthy, fit and rested.

OK guys, now you know their secrets. This is a very visual time in our lives. The next time that you have a big event: wedding, speaking gig or interview,  you know you are not alone… be ready for your close-up.

Sally Van Swearingen  –  Sally Van Swearingen Cosmetics

The image above is an example of great photography, makeup, and lighting. This should be all you need. This blog has been brewing in my head for far too long. Photoshop is killing our Beauty Power. Let me explain…

Don’t get me wrong…Photoshop has its advantages. Like when we shot my book cover. Our chosen shot had my arm at an unflattering angle.  I had been working out and my arms were looking good, but not in this one picture. A little slimming effect and we were ready to rock and roll. Other than that, I was proud to say that we used great lighting, flattering angles, and talented makeup artists. I think that when we allow our REAL images to be cleaned up to the max, to the point that we are unrecognizable and we look like plastic supermodels, that’s just not good.

I was sent three versions of the back cover of my book. One was the natural me, standing proudly, smiling and putting out the “this is me” vibe. The second one was a slightly taller version with a modestly whittled down waist and thighs. The third was definitely Wonder Woman with blonde hair. I stared at this image for quite a while..thinking Wow! This is what I would look like if I was 6 foot tall and never knew what a cookie was. It’s very seductive, this Photoshop thing. It shows us in our fantasy self. But honestly, how can this be good for us, and what does it show to the next generation? When I see images of my beautiful entrepreneurial friends totally computer generated, I feel cheated. ” That is a beautiful woman. Why did they do that to her?”

Can someone explain to me how these fixed images help us with our ‘Beauty Power?’ A photographer friend told me once that a woman he photoshopped after a session was so amazed at how he made he look that she went out and got cosmetic surgery and joined a gym, transforming herself into the image she saw in the picture.  That’s great, but I would highly doubt that this is the norm.  I feel that overly adjusting our real images makes us feel extremely flawed and invisible. I tell my clients that what I’m putting out, the Beauty Power message, isn’t a cure for cancer but it’s an absolute need for us ladies.

How can you help? The next time you have pictures taken, show a few of those beautiful lines around the eyes that you have earned in your full life. Allow a little extra curve in your body. Do you really look like that? Let’s go in a new direction, ladies. Can we be real? Aging is inevitable. Be happy and proud that we got this far, so far. It’s Not Over Yet!

Sally Van Swearingen

(Photo by Tara Rochelle)

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,