Beauty

Sofía Vergara Graces the Cowl of PEOPLE’s Stunning Subject, Shares Ideas on Courting, Growing older


“Amore! Amore!” Sofia Vergara’s unmistakable voice resonates through the retro suite at the Santa Monica Proper hotel.

A teeny 4-month-old Chihuahua wearing an even tinier diamond necklace looks up from the warm lap of one of the actress’s entourage. “Where is my love?” The puppy is quickly brought to Vergara, and the two immediately begin nuzzling before the next round of photos for this year’s cover shoot. “Look, she’s posing!” someone exclaims of the dog over audible “awws” in the room. “Just like her mama.”

Vergara has all the love she needs these days. After winning over hearts for nearly 11 years in Gloria Delgado-Pritchett’s stiletto heels on Modern Family and serving as a judge on America’s Got Talent since 2020, the actress, 51, has found a new cadence to life.

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Single after her seven-year marriage to actor Joe Manganiello ended last July, she plays it coy when asked if she’s dating anyone. “Maybe,” she says with a sly smile (though she has posted about rumored beau Justin Saliman). But what really excites her is the thought of her son Manolo, 32, whom she shares with her high school sweetheart ex-husband, making her “Abuela” someday: “I think I’ll be a fun grandmother.”

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She’s also ready to take more risks professionally, having just portrayed a Miami drug lord in the Netflix drama series Griselda, which she executive-produced. Vergara was almost unrecognizable underneath wigs, a prosthetic nose and false teeth that were bucked and yellowed, but the transformation was pivotal to her amazing performance—even if it was a bit outside her physical comfort zone. “I did Griselda for six months. It was a horrific [look],” she says, laughing. “It was torture.”

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Sofia Vergara for the Beautiful Issue.

Sami Drasin


Vergara teasingly blames her upbringing in Colombia for her keen aesthetics when it comes to her appearance. “I mean, even now in Latin America, girls, they want to be voluptuous,” she says. Raised by her housewife mom and businessman father, Vergara graduated from high school and attended dental school for two years before dropping out to pursue jobs in modeling and television. She cohosted a Spanish travel series and relocated to L.A., where she won smaller parts in TV and films before her breakthrough role on Modern Family in 2009. “It was great to move to L.A. at thirtysomething and start a new career,” she says. “I never thought that I could be doing any acting, so that was a surprise.” 

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In the years since, Vergara has starred in films such as 2015’s Hot Pursuit and become quite the entrepreneur, launching her own lines of jewelry, furniture, clothing and lingerie and her beauty brand Toty as well. And she’s the first in line to test out any new product. The quick-witted actress has no qualms sharing how she really feels about getting older: “I’m going to fight it every step of the way!” As for gratitude? That encompasses “my son, my family, my career, my friends,” Vergara says. “Life has not always been easy . . . but I’ve never felt stronger.”

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How do you define beauty? 
For me, beauty has always been very important. I think because I’m Latin, we always grow up thinking about looking good, doing your hair, your makeup. It’s something that makes you feel good. I love beauty products. I love makeup, I love clothes. And I think now that I’m older, it’s great, because you know exactly what you like, what looks good on you, what doesn’t look good on you. I don’t do what is in fashion. I just do what feels good, makes me feel confident and beautiful. 

What quality in women do you find most attractive? 
I think it’s confidence. You need to be confident because I feel like many times you’re imagining things that are not happening or that it’s not the reality. So once you find that in you, when you mature, it’s liberating. 

Sami Drasin


When you think back to your childhood, how would you describe yourself as a kid? 
I was very nerdy. I liked school. I had to study a lot. I wasn’t one of those kids that had to just go to class. No, I had to put in the time and the work. I had a big Latin family, of course—I mean, it’s gigantic—and I was always with them. I was always around kids and girls my age and my friends. It was great. 

What were you like as a teenager? 
I was never happy with the way I looked when I was young because I was very skinny and not very voluptuous at that time. So it took me some years to fill in, and then I started feeling confident. But at the beginning I was like, “Oh, I don’t have anything.” And then God punished me. [Laughs

For more from People’s Beautiful Issue, check out our digital issue or pick up a copy on newsstands Friday.

Sami Drasin


How were your first years in Hollywood? 
I was older, so I wasn’t a kid, [and] I had already come from being famous in the Latin world. I don’t think that it changed the way I was or anything, but it was fun. It was great to move to L.A. and start a new career because I was a TV host. 

Do you think you were ever underestimated because of your appearance? 
You know what, I always tried not to think about that. I think once you put that in your head, then that’s all you see. That’s all you feel. I always knew how I looked, and I was always very thankful, because at the end of the day, you have to be. I know it opened many doors for me, so I don’t want to be ungrateful. But also I think if you’re ready to work, do your best. All of those insecurities go away because you know that you can perform, you can do whatever they’re telling you to do. And if I ever got something because I was beautiful, I’m like, thank you.  

How did motherhood change you? 
Well, it happened to me very, very young. I was not even 20 years old, so I don’t even remember that much of my life without being a mother.

Sofia Vergara and her son Manolo.

Kevin Mazur/Getty 


What do you love most about it? 
Everything. It’s an experience that’s unique. It changes you, and it’s very rewarding and gives you a lot of headaches too. 

How would you describe your relationship with your son? 
It is great that I had him young, because now I’m going to be 52, and he’s 32. I wish I was older sometimes, because I would’ve been more mature, more prepared to be a mother, but that was what I got and what happened. So I just kept going and try not to look back at it, because it is what it is. But it is fun because I kind of grew up together with my son. 


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You’ve said you can’t wait to have grandkids. 
Yes! I already kind of like what he does with me. Manolo has a dog, and on the weekends he just drops the dog at my house. And I used to drop him at my mom’s house during the weekend so that I could at least go out every once in a while. 

You were very honest when your marriage to Joe ended that not wanting to have more kids became an issue. That felt empowering and brave to a lot of women. Did you see it that way? Yes. There’s things in life that might sound like good ideas, but they’re not. I was a mother already. I know what it means to be a good mother or to try to be the best mother that you can, and that takes a lot of sacrifices, takes a lot of energy.

Nowadays, thanks to science, women can actually have babies older. Before, nature for some reason tells your body at 50 you are in menopause, it’s time for you to be done with that. There is a reason why nature is doing that.

But that’s for me, and I totally respect where anyone wants to be a mom after 50. I didn’t think because of my career, the way I live my life, the way my marriage was, that it was fair to bring a kid to this world, and I’m not going to be able to give 100 percent. 

Sami Drasin


What’s the most challenging thing about dating in the public eye? 
I mean, everything. Because everything gets so exaggerated. Everything sometimes gets not interpreted the right way. So life is already hard. Having relationships is hard. Problems are hard. And then to see it out there and be completely changed, you want to be like, “What is going on?” But you just get used to it. It comes with being famous, so you can’t complain that much.  

What qualities are you looking for in a relationship? 
Health. Money. Fun. With kids. That’s it. That’s all I want.  

Any deal-breakers?
No more kids. 

Would you date someone in the industry again? 
Yes, of course. I mean, it’s already hard for a fiftysomething-year-old woman to find someone. I’m not going to be now picky about, “Oh, he can only be a doctor. Oh, he can only be an astronaut.” [Laughs] No, I mean, I’m not that picky. 

Sofia Vergara in the Beautiful Issue.

Sami Drasin


When you were younger, what did 52 look like to you? 
I have to be honest with you, I thought it was old, like that’s it. And now I feel great. I know I don’t look the same. But I don’t think I am going to ever be the woman that has the courage to be, like, all-white hair. 

What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve tried for beauty?
I don’t know. I’ve done it all. I mean, you tell me to put cement under your eye, you’re going to look younger, I’ll do it immediately. I do it all. It’s like I put coconut oil on my head. I put it on
my feet. I’ve wrapped myself in plastic with Aquaphor up to the neck. I’ll do it. I don’t care. It’s not stupid.  

You’ve joked you’re almost in menopause. Has that changed your approach to wellness? 
Yes. For example, I take sleeping seriously now. Before, I could survive on six hours, now I know that I don’t look good if I don’t sleep more. If I have a photo shoot, I try to wake up a little bit earlier because you’re puffier, you need some more time. Our job as actors, it’s not like, put your glasses on, and go pick up your kid at school or go and sit in a desk. You have to be camera-ready and do your job. But it takes longer now that I’m older.  

What’s one beauty trend you regret trying? 
Bangs. I don’t think bangs look good on me. They don’t look good on anyone. But Heidi Klum. [See the two of them on America’s Got Talent below.]

Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara on America’s Got Talent.

Trae Patton/NBC via Getty


How about your most unusual beauty habit? 
I wash my hair every single day of my life. I mean, unless I’m sick or I have to catch a plane at 3 in the morning, then I don’t have time. But I wash my hair every day. Everybody always told me it’s going to ruin your hair, and it never has. 

What will you always splurge on? 
I would splurge even when I was young on creams that I couldn’t afford to put on my face. I believe in science. 

Are you frugal about anything? 
Nothing. I waste a lot of money. 


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What’s your worst habit? 
No patience. 

Does anything keep you up at night? 
Everything. People dying, family getting sick or aging horribly, world peace. I mean everything— at this age all we do is worry. 

Is there anything about you that would surprise people? 
No. I’m kind of very honest. I mean, I don’t cook. I’m always late. I try to not be late, but something always happens to me.  

Do you ever feel like totally changing up your look? 
I don’t know. I’m always scared. I always say, “Oh, I’m going to cut my hair.” But then I end up not cutting it. In Latin America, I mean they used to tell you that once you hit 40, you’re not supposed to have this crazy long hair. So I’m always thinking like, “Is it time? Is it time to cut it?” I don’t know, I don’t want to feel like old-fashioned [with] short hair. 

What is your diet like? 
Well, I have an addiction to sweets, to sugar. And I have come to terms with it, because I have tried many things, even hypnotism, and it doesn’t work. So I try to keep a balanced diet when I can at home, or I don’t eat hamburger, pizza, fattening things. I try to eat healthy so that I can eat sweets. 

Do you have a go-to? 
Cake. It’s always cake. I mean any kind. But I do like dulce de leche; it’s like a caramel. Usually they don’t do it that great here in L.A. I haven’t found anyone, but when I go to Miami or Latin America, they’re great. 

How about exercise? 
I have bad knees, so I’ve never been really into crazy workouts. I’ve worked out kind of like an older person my whole life. I do little weights like this [she curls her arms up and down], but I am constant. I do it often because I can’t do spinning or any of those sexy exercises now.

Sami Drasin


What do you typically wear around your house? Do you put on makeup? 
Sweatpants and sweatshirt. I do a little bit of makeup, not, like, fake lashes, but I put on a little mascara and some lipstick. I like it. I mean, by the end of the day, every time that I go to my bathroom, I put something on, and then I’m all made up.

When do you feel your best? 
When I have full hair, makeup, an outfit. I don’t understand people who are like, “I feel great when I wake up in the morning.” No. I’m like, put the whole thing on, and then I feel right. 

What do you appreciate about being in your 50s? 
It’s all the knowledge. That’s all. I’ve never really cared that much about what people think. But now I really care less.  

What have you learned about love? 
It’s tricky. You never know what the future is going to bring. You need to always give the best that you can, be the best person to the other person. Be there for them when they need you, when they’re going through the hardest time. Hopefully that will one day come back to you.


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Credits

Photographer Sami Drasin

Cinematographers (Digital) Philips Shum & Jordan McNeile

Cinematographer (Film) Ramón J. Goñi

Hair Kylee Heath/Serge Normant/A-Frame Agency

Makeup Sabrina Bedrani/The Wall Group

Makeup Assistant Sofia Fisher

Stylist Lindsay Flores

Location Santa Monica Proper

Wardrobe 

Black Dress Look Dress: Saint Laurent, Necklace & Earrings: Yvan Tufenkjian, Ring: BVLGARI from Joseph Saidian & Sons

Red Dress Look Dress: Rahul Mishra, Earrings: Joseph Saidian & Sons, Ring: BVLGARI from Joseph Saidian & Sons, Rings: Kallati 

Black/Gold Look Dress: Sergio Hudson, Corset: The Ruby, Earrings: Melinda Maria

Robe Look Bodysuit: Dolce & Gabbana, Earrings: Tabbah from Joseph Saidian & Sons, Ring: BVLGARI from Joseph Saidian & Sons





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