The actress and fashion blogger considers her on-demand beauty app Uber for makeup, hair and nails

By Kaitlyn Frey
July 17, 2017 02:15 PM
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

You may know Cara Santana as an actress, fashion blogger, and Instagram style-setter — but you may not realize the 31-year-old star is a badass beauty entrepreneur behind-the-scenes.

Santana teamed up with her close friend and celebrity makeup artist Joey Maalouf in 2015 to launch The Glam App, what she describes as the Uber for on-demand hair, makeup and nail services available in 22 cities across the country. But the beauty mogul admits that even though she’s now fully immersed in the beauty world, she isn’t exactly the expert you might expect her to be.

“I know very little about beauty,” Santana told PeopleStyle. “I am always deferring to Joey! We just did this huge collaboration with [Beyoncé‘s makeup artist] Sir John, so I am learning so much.”

With Maalouf manning the beauty side of things, Santana focuses on the business and growing The Glam App into a national success in on-demand beauty. We sat down with the star and talked about her budding business, the brand’s latest partnership with L’Oréal, her upcoming wedding to fiance Jesse Metcalfe and more!

Let’s go back to the beginning. You’re not a makeup artist or hairstylist. What inspired The Glam App?

I didn’t ever decide to make the jump into being an entrepreneur. If I ever really thought about what it would entail, I probably would never have done it! I was working on Salem, a television show for FOX in Louisiana and they needed me to look like a 16th century Native American Indian, but I had long ombré hair, eyelash extensions and nail extensions.

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I didn’t know the area and have access to a car and I thought, ‘I wish there was a way we could bring and utilize independent contractors in the beauty field.’ I wondered if the marketplace model Uber utilized could work, so I called Joey and asked him to come on board.

Courtesy The Glam App

How did you you want to make the app different than other on-demand beauty services? 

Joey and I really wanted to create a platform that serviced not only all levels of clientele, but also all levels of stylists so they can grow their brand. Clients can rebook with the artist of their choice, which you can’t do on any other app. We also started our educational program, The Glam App Academy, which is an exclusive place for our artists to learn from celebrity hair and makeup artists Joey brings in. And we’re 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People are booking appointments at 4am, and others at 10pm!

You partnered with L’Oréal and Sir John to create custom makeup looks for The Glam App. How did this come about?

Sir John and Joey spent countless hours coming up with five looks that we’re launching for a limited time throughout the year on the app. Sir John tends to favor a woman’s natural beauty and not overdo it. I think that was something we wanted to cultivate on the app.

The first look we launched was called Glow — a matte nude smoky eye with a bold boy brow, a glowing cheek and a glossy lip. Now, our next look Monochromatic is available — the rest are a surprise, but we will be rolling out one for fall, holiday and a red carpet-inspired look.

Has The Glam App become popular among brides?

Very. Most people planning a wedding have limited resources, and when you’re calling makeup artists [for an estimate] and it’s $1,500, it’s so expensive. The last thing you should be worrying about when you’re spending so much money on a wedding is hair and makeup.

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With us, you can book with a VIP artist for $100, so you and your bridesmaids can look amazing without breaking the bank. When we do a bride’s appointment, we even give the consultation on us and then have them just pay for their final service!

Speaking of weddings, yours is coming up in September 2018! You’ve been with your fiancé for over a decade. Will there be waterworks?

Probably mostly from Jesse, who will not be believing that he is actually getting married. “How did she wrangle me into this after 11 years?!” [laughs] No, I am kidding. I think what people don’t know about Jesse is he is actually a really soft, sensitive, thoughtful guy.

Have you ever tried The Glam App? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.