It’s a question that has baffled journalists for years: What is the cause of Donald Trump’s unnatural orange glow?
The president recently blamed “energy-saving” light bulbs for his otherworldly pallor—a claim that has been debunked by anyone who’s ever used an energy-saving bulb. Last year The New York Times decided to get to the bottom of the matter and launched an investigation. But after interviewing many senior White House staffers, the paper was left with an unsatisfying explanation: Trump just has “good genes.” Forbes picked up the baton with an in-depth analysis of human melanin, a deep dive into the evolution of skin tone, with sources including a biological anthropologist at Penn State. The conclusion: His complexion is not natural.
But it now appears America might finally have an answer to the burning question as to why our president looks like an overgrown Oompa Loompa. The answer: makeup. Specifically, it’s an orange-hued foundation from Swiss brand Bronx Colors. The revelation came when The Washington Post interviewed dozens of undocumented immigrants who worked for Trump at 11 of his properties, before and during his presidential campaign. The housekeepers claimed they had to keep exactly 2.5 containers of the cosmetic in his bedroom at all times and frequently had to bring Trump new golf shirts from the resort’s pro shop because his maquillage routinely left a rust-colored ring around his collar. Pressed to reveal the exact shade the president favors, one housekeeper replied, “una naranja espantosa,” which roughly translates to “a frightening orange.”
Isabelle von Känel, COO of Bronx Colors, says Bronx Boosting Hydrating Concealer in orange is the only product that matches that description. It is available only in Europe; a brief excursion into the American market flopped badly. Von Kanel says she’s unsure if her products really ended up on Trump’s face, but she offered some advice: “OK, Mr. President, I think you are using it a little bit wrong.”
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