On the Road with Austin and Santino

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
On the Road with Austin and Santino TV Poster Image
Designers dress positive role models for special occasions.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show focuses on making a woman feel special for a one-time occasion (like a graduation party) instead of telling her that she needs a complete makeover to be "prettier" in everyday life. The makeover subjects' natural beauty is enhanced with simple styling.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most of the makeover subjects are excellent role models -- strong, independent women who have atypical and inspiring careers. One is a champion trick horse rider, another is an Army captain, etc.


Characters might exclaim "oh my God."


Makeover subjects are presented with L'Oreal hair and make-up products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some refreshingly positive messages are built into this character-driven makeover series that helps deserving women feel good about themselves for a special event. Instead of cutting and dyeing a woman's hair, overhauling her make-up, and buying her a completely new wardrobe, designers work around her natural beauty and enhance her look with simple styling and a custom outfit. Since the show partners with L'Oreal to provide beauty products for each makeover subject, there's a little bit of consumerism, but it isn't out of control.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14-year-old Written bylolastes October 13, 2010

delightful !!

delightful !!!!!!!!
Parent of a 4-year-old Written bycinderellaqueen August 6, 2010

perfect for all ages

inspired my little girl to take up sewing with me. Her favorite movie is Cinderella, and I think she sees Austin as a real life fairy godmother! lol
Kid, 11 years old August 15, 2010

perfectly perfect for anyone

this show ia good and is absouloutely fine for anybody. i think is is a great message cuz t is 2 wonderful nice guys who do a lot just to make a dress for a you... Continue reading

What's the story?

In ON THE ROAD WITH AUSTIN AND SANTINO, Project Runway alumni Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice are on a cross-country mission to design special-occasion outfits for deserving women -- from a champion trick horse rider to a captain in the U.S. Army. Using local stores and resources in the woman's hometown, the designers collaborate on a look they both like -- but it's more important to them that the woman loves it.

Is it any good?

On the Road won't change the world. But it's still nice to see a makeover series that doesn't feed into a woman's insecurities by making her feel like she needs to overhaul everything -- hair, make-up, and wardrobe -- to look presentable. These women are fine the way they are; they'd just like to feel special on a special night.

It's also a solid pick for Runway fans who miss seeing Austin and Santino in action. They're arguably two of the series' most charismatic personalities, and they live up to those reputations here. But since their egos always come second to their subject's experience, they also reveal themselves to be relatable ... and refreshingly human.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about makeover shows' emphasis on outward appearances, focusing on whether they're helpful or hurtful. Can a woman look great in a simple outfit -- like a T-shirt and jeans -- without makeup and overdone hair?

  • How does this series compare to other makeover shows on TV? What does it do differently -- and does it work?

  • How do Austin and Santino deal with conflict when they don't agree on a design? Do you think they'd behave differently if they were competing against each another on a different kind of show?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality TV

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate