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Long before President Trump decried investigations of his office over Twitter, a gentler query dogged the celebrity businessman: how does he maintain his infamous orange hue, even while residing in wintry D.C.? It’s a question that persists into the third year of Trump’s tenure in the White House, and investigations of the matter have yielded surprising insight into the Commander-in-Chief’s styling habits.
The New York Times pursued the idea as a matter of Trump’s health, though a senior administration official only offered that Trump’s notable tan—in February, no less—was the result of “good genes.” Further investigation revealed that neither tanning beds nor spray-tan booths exist within the White House or Air Force One, at least according to senior officials. Former aide Omarosa Manigualt Newman wrote in a tell-all book that Trump travels with a tanning bed, while lighter-hued circles around the president’s eyes have fueled speculation he utilizes goggles to protect from their ultraviolet rays.
Furthermore, neither bronzer nor tanning cream have been observed among Trump’s bathroom grooming products, at least when the president offers a tour of the facilities to supporters. Trump, who suffers from rosacea, is reported to apply his own translucent make-up powder before television appearances, and has even adjusted the lighting at White House events to avoid appearing too orange onscreen. When possible, he prefers the natural light of the White House Rose Garden.
Trump’s orange hue has also proven a frequent source of media ridicule, even as Saturday Night Live star Alec Baldwin suggests makeup artists deliberately avoid exaggerating the shade—at Lorne Michaels’s behest—so as “not to over-orange anything out of malice.” Baldwin otherwise describes Trump’s look as somewhere between “Mark Rothko orange” and a “slightly paler Orange Crush.”
The president is famously self-sufficient when it comes to appearance, even detailing the elaborate process behind his signature swooping blonde hair. And while an unnamed former campaign hand admitted Trump’s orange glow was “a captivating story,” they insisted Trump’s grooming habits are his own secret to keep.