By Diana Cavagnaro
Mona Van Cleve is an amazing makeup artist who has operated her Solana Beach Salon, Do’s & Lipstick for 25 years with her husband Derek. He styles the hair and she does the makeup and brows.
Van Cleve’s first time using makeup included applying MAX Factor Erase and then applying Vaseline in place of lipstick. She loved makeup and all through school did makeup for all her friends. On Friday nights she would go to her friend’s houses and do their makeup. She also enjoyed applying makeup for special occasions like proms and weddings.
As a teenager, she modeled for Sebastian’s in Canoga Park when they gave classes. This gave her the opportunity to learn as much as possible about makeup. They would let her go into the Research & Development Office (RD) where she learned even more. She spent hours staring at magazines and dissecting all the fashions.
Van Cleve went to college for a short while and decided it was not her thing because she just wanted to do makeup. Her parents were not pleased with this decision because they did not think it was a good career choice. She decided to get her Manicure License in the Valley and began doing manicures. Cassandre 2000 was the place where all the celebrities had their hair cut in the ‘70s. Going there for a haircut, she met Eugenia Weston who was doing brows. Shortly after Weston moved across the street and started her own cosmetic line Senna Cosmetiques. Van Cleve took the opportunity to take lessons from her.
For a short while she lived in Hawaii, then got married and moved to San Diego. She received her Cosmetology License and discovered that she did not like doing hair. Starting a little salon in Cardiff, she began doing brow shaping and brought in the Senna Line. At this time, she was asked by Stu Segall Productions to do some work for Silk Stockings and Renegade. These were TV shows that were filmed here in San Diego. She also began commuting for jobs in LA and worked in videos for Elton John, Christina Aguilera, and Marilyn Manson. Van Cleve also had the opportunity to style brows for notables such as Paris Hilton and Hilary Duff. She also did makeup for Dianne Von Furstenberg at New York Fashion Week. More remarkable times in her career were doing makeup for Carlos Santana and his wife, Petro Zillia, and Lily Pulitzer.
With the crash of 2008, there were less jobs and everyone was on a budget. If you did get a job, they expected you to do hair and makeup both so she stopped going up to LA.
At one time here in San Diego she was Fashion Editor for Want Magazine. It was a small square magazine that you could pop in your purse. She also began doing photography realizing the similarities to makeup such as lights, shadows, and angles.
I asked Van Cleve what direction she will go now. She said that she loves what she does and now has a second generation of customers. During her career she has formed meaningful bonds with people that are priceless. Her goal is to enhance people’s natural beauty and make them look fantastic. She does not pay attention to trends because they might not fit her customers personality. Do’s & Lipstick has been closed twice and shutdown for 5 months due to the Covid 19. Thinking outside of the box, she has done personal shopping, taught makeup, and custom blended makeup for customers. Since everyone is wearing masks now, this is a very important time for eyes and brows. For more information about this talented makeup artist contact www.dosandlipstick.com.
— Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in Alpine, California. Learn more about our Hat Designer, Teacher & Blogger at www.DianaCavagnaro.com
Oct. 17, 2020 – Fashion Week San Diego 2020
Passes on sale for the virtual runway show with nine designers. Purchase your virtual front row pass at www.fashionweekdsd.com.