On the Road with Austin and Santino
By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Designers dress positive role models for special occasions.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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
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."
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Products & Purchases
Makeover subjects are presented with L'Oreal hair and make-up products.
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.
Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
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perfect for all ages
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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?
- Premiere date: July 29, 2010
- Cast: Austin Scarlett, Santino Rice
- Network: Lifetime Television
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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