Sandoval Knows It All: Why Tom Sandoval Could Be a Beauty Editor
Sometimes, a show comes along and surprises you. Perhaps it tugs at your heartstrings. Maybe it makes you laugh out loud. Maybe there's a character that you feel on a deep, cellular level. In my case, this show is Vanderpump Rules, and the "character," if you will, is Tom Sandoval.
Anyone whose a fan of the reality show can say, without pause, which cast member takes the longest to get ready — although Sandoval denies this allegation. (More on that later.) The 35-year-old co-owner of TomTom Bar in West Hollywood, CA, is known for his intensity in his work, his relationships, and his beauty regimen. Nary a fan can forget when Sandoval dressed up like Sia at Tom Schwartz's bachelor party in New Orleans, putting to shame the other men and, frankly, most of the women on the trip. Or the time he was so overcome with emotion at Schwartz's wedding to Katie Maloney that he wiped his tears on the couple's dog, Butter, who he was holding during the vows. Or his endless dedication to his aesthetic: from spray tanning and hair extensions to shaving his forehead and getting a tattoo lasered off his derrière, Sandoval has put himself through the gauntlet when it comes to beauty, which leads me to believe would actually make the perfect beauty editor.
Willingness to try new products and treatments? Check. Overall comprehension of how products work? Check. I do have to mention one strike against him: Sandoval utilized tanning beds longer than most would find socially acceptable — hello, premature aging and skin cancer! — but it seems he's crossed over into strictly spray tan territory, thankfully.
As someone rewatching the series from the beginning, this combination of passion, vulnerability, and earnestness makes for the perfect cast member to watch: he keeps himself at arm's-length when it comes to drama — although I'm not sure if his support of James Kennedy is a producer's directive to keep drama alive or he truly sympathizes with him — but provides enough entertainment to keep him a core member of the show. ("Puke and rally. Puke, puke, and rally.") His appreciation for beauty is as apparent as a scarlet A; in every episode, there's a little something to remind us who the No. 1 guy on the show really is.
We spoke with Sandoval about everything — Botox, self-tanning, manicuring your nether regions. His zeal for educating me about products was so pure, it warmed my heart. Keep reading to learn more about budding beauty editor Tom Sandoval.
POPSUGAR: On the "Pumped Up" version of Vanderpump Rules, the producers say that you typically take the longest to get ready out of the entire cast. Talk us through your routine and what steps go into it.
Tom Sandoval: Well, it's funny you say that because I actually really don't take that long to get ready! I typically get ready pretty fast. I know it's a big misconception, but yeah, I really don't take that long to get ready.
PS: Why do you think the producers said that?
TS: Let's say that we're going to have a day at the beach or something like that. I'll put on a sunless tan or whatever the night before. I use Loving Tan. They have a two-hour express. Then I blow dry my hair, so it starts to dry (the tan). I wear something that's lightweight with sleeves, that way I can go to bed, and it sits on me for the whole night. I'll get ready the night before, and then that way getting ready doesn't take that long. I try to visualize my outfit, match things up in my mind before I start getting ready, and that way it makes it much faster. I can typically be ready in like 15 minutes or less.
PS: So really you spend a lot of time preparing. Do you remember a specific product you were obsessed with growing up that you had to use in your hair or on your face?
TS: I went through phases. I remember when I got my first haircut that I really thought was cool. I had a spike when I was in first grade and second grade and I used to put gel on my hair. Actually, I wanted to learn how to do it myself, so I would have my hair wet, I'd put gel in my hair, then I'd use Vavoom hairspray, and freeze it in there. Then I went to the side spike, where you have to incorporate the blow dryer to kind of blow the spikes up. I always recommend getting a really good blow dryer. Stay away from the cord-keeper ones because they just take so much longer and you might as well just splurge a little bit get yourself a good blow dryer that's ceramic, maybe infrared or whatever. It'll blow dry your hair way faster.
PS: Do you have a favorite hair dryer that you like to use?
"I can deal with a bad haircut. But if somebody overdid my eyebrows, I couldn't forgive him."
When it comes to the face, a lot of people think I get my eyebrows waxed, and I definitely don't. I think one of the worst things with guys is having overly manicured eyebrows. I can deal with a bad haircut. But if somebody overdid my eyebrows, I couldn't forgive him. I would be so mad. I do that myself. I just trim a little bit. I kind of push them upward, just trim any ones that are really long. Then I pluck just a little bit in the middle, in between, just maintain a little bit. I use an electric razor, and then I have a Gillette Fusion, the one that vibrates. I don't even have to use shaving cream.
PS: Do you have a skincare regimen you follow in the morning or at night?
TS: I use charcoal wipes. They detoxify, especially if it's been a night of drinking. (Editor's note: we don't recommend using wipes as your sole method of facial cleansing.) Every once in a while, I'll shave my whole face just because it will get rid of dead skin cells, exfoliate, and promote new skin cell growth.
Sometimes, I'll use a tanner, the men's Clinique. It's a nonstreak liquid bronzer. It's frickin' awesome. Works on any skin tone, because it goes on super dark. And I mean, people might give me sh*t, but every person on camera that you see in Hollywood, every person that you see at award ceremonies, every guy, they're all wearing some sort of little powder, a little concealer. It's funny because these are all things that Schwartz and Jax and a lot of my guy friends, they all do. I guess I'm the only one that kind of owns up to it!
"It's funny because these are all things that Schwartz and Jax and a lot of my guy friends, they all do. I guess I'm the only one that kind of owns up to it!"
PS: Is there anything that you struggled with when you started becoming more of a mainstream personality? And how did you get through those types of things?
TS: I think the biggest struggle that guys have to deal with, that maybe girls don't in a sense, is that you've got to take care of yourself but you can't look like you do, in a way. Does that make sense? For instance, every once in a while, I'll trim up my leg hair or whatever. But it's hard because you can't overdo it. Otherwise, it looks really bad [laughter]. In my opinion. It's like, you got to look like you didn't try too hard, so it's this weird fine line that takes some time to sort of master.
Oh! Also, when it comes to grooming the nether regions, I've found a company called Manscaped. I just started using it recently and I find that it works pretty good.
PS: What is it? Is it an at-home trimming situation?
TS: It's an electric razor, but the skin down there is pretty soft and susceptible to nicks and whatnot. The razor's a plastic-metal-type mix and it has guards on it as well and it works pretty damn good. It also doesn't make it look too . . . you can go as clean-looking as you want, which is nice. You're going to look shaved without getting rid of everything!
PS: Have you tried any crazy skincare or beauty treatments that you were like, "Wow, I can't believe I actually did this?"
TS: I've done this thing where you take — is it ultrasound? — on your face and it rejuvenates. I think it's called Exilis. (Editor's note: Exilis is a skin-tightening and fat reduction procedure that is noninvasive that utilizes radio frequency.) I think it's a thing that a lot of celebrities use that really keeps them looking youthful. And it's not that expensive and you're not injecting. You're using light and radio waves. It's cool.
PS: Is there a product that you've incorporated into your routine since you've started Vanderpump that you realized that you needed after the first couple of episodes?
TS: Yes. A translucent, just very lightweight powder, like HD powder, just to keep you from looking shiny or sweaty, especially when you're behind the bar. I just throw a little bit of that on. It doesn't come off on anything, like you could hug somebody with a white shirt. It's not going to come off. It's literally just a powder that helps keep you from looking so greasy and shiny. And that definitely made a huge difference.
If we're going to be out in the sun, sunscreen can really be greasy on the face, especially if you're hot at all. I've found that they make this sunscreen powder, so it kind of does both those things.
"I personally just like the movement in my forehead. My eyebrows are a very expressive part of my look and my personality, so (Botox) is just not something I really do."
PS: What are your thoughts on Botox?
TS: I know it's preventative. I personally just like the movement in my forehead. My eyebrows are a very expressive part of my look and my personality, so it's just not something I really do. You know what, though, I have done it! Just above my ears, I've done Botox. When I smile, my ears move up a lot and it keeps my hair from going over my ears. I've done it twice and it lasts for a long time.