This Is How Much Male Politicians Actually Spend On Hair & Makeup (Hint: It's A Lot)

For female politicians, investing in your appearance is a double-edged sword. On one hand, studies have shown that women who wear visible makeup are perceived to be more competent than those who go bare-faced; on the other, it also puts them at the mercy of critics who see a female leader’s hypothetical facelift or “thick makeup” as fair game for scrutiny.

Nobody ever asks a man in power how he stays “looking so fresh” on public radio — but if they did, perhaps they’d uncover the truth of the matter, which is that male politicians and their cohorts also spend considerable time and money on putting their best faces forward.

The very particular Sean Spicer applies his own foundation (or did, before his tenure as communications director was ended). Paul Ryan reportedly likes to have the tops of his ears powdered to hide redness before taking the stage. John F. Kennedy’s polished, made-up appearance in the first televised presidential debate was said to have helped secure his win over Republican candidate Richard Nixon and his “hastily added pancake makeup” — and just last week, French President Emmanuel Macron was roasted by the media for his hair and makeup expenses in his first three months in office.

So what does it really take for a public servant to look his best for the public? A lot, apparently. Ahead, a rundown of the worst-kept beauty secrets of male politicians, and exactly how much it costs to maintain them. And while we're on the subject, remember that Vladimir Putin does not wear makeup, alright?

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images.
Le Point magazine reported last week that French President Emmanuel Macron had spent €26,000 (roughly $30.9 thousand USD) on makeup since assuming office in May. The Elysée Palace issued a response to the claims, telling the press, “We called in a contractor as a matter of emergency,” while aides said that the steep price of keeping the country’s leader well-groomed would be “significantly reduced” going forward.

Still, Macron has nothing on his predecessor, François Hollande, who reportedly spent €30,000 per quarter on makeup, in addition to paying his hairdresser a salary of €9,895 a month.
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Almost a quarter century before some emails threatened to put a pox on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, then-President Bill Clinton weathered his own infamous scandal: Hairgate. (Was there something else you were thinking of?) In May of 1993, Clinton was widely reported to have put incoming flights to LAX on hold for hours just so that Beverly Hills hairstylist Cristophe could tend to his tresses on Air Force One.

The story has since been debunked many times over, and while Clinton did get a trim while idling on a runway, official FAA records (obtained through the Freedom of Information Act) showed that there were no significant flight delays on the day of the cut. Rumors that the haircut cost $200 were also likely exaggerated, but certainly did wonders for raising the celebrity stylist’s public profile.
Photo: Ronny Hartmann/Photothek/Getty Images.
Notoriously extravagant Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a five-day trip to the United Nations Headquarters in New York that ended up costing his country’s taxpayers more than half a million dollars in expenses, including hair and makeup. (Not to mention a mysterious $6,900 “special cleaning” fee from the hotel where Netanyahu stayed with his wife.)

According to a report in The Guardian, the official summary published by the Israeli foreign ministry, the Israeli consulate in New York, and the Israeli mission to the U.N. showed that Israel paid over $3,000 for Bibi’s grooming during the short visit. Just think of all the ice cream he could have bought with that money.
Photo: Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic.
During Senator John McCain’s failed bid for president in 2008, a financial report from the Federal Election Committee showed that American Idol makeup artist Tifanie White was paid $5,583.43 and $8,672.55 respectively for her work with the politician in August and September of that year. The Washington Post asked campaign spokesman Brian Rogers at the time if McCain was pleased with his new look, to which Rogers replied, “No comment.”
Photo: Halil Sagirkaya/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
“Hair has not played such a big part in a political contest as far back as I can remember,” Vanessa Friedman wrote in a New York Times article published in the days after Justin Trudeau won the election to become Canada’s Prime Minister.

Trudeau may have one of the most well-coiffed leaders in international politics, but his approach to grooming is refreshingly cost-effective: Like his predecessor Stephen Harper and several other Canadian politicians, the PM reportedly gets his trims from Ottawa-based stylist Stefania Capovilla for just $40 CAD (around $32 USD).
Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images.
In 2014, the Daily Mail reported that Britain’s then-Prime Minister David Cameron had been known to spend £90 (around $115 USD) for a single haircut from celebrity stylist Lino Carbosiero, who was awarded an MBE for his “services to hairdressing.” Critics speculated at the time that Carbosiero's receipt of the prestigious honor may have had something to do with his excellence in his very important role as the sole person responsible for concealing the Prime Minister’s rumored bald spot.
Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images.
While there are few details regarding the exact products and techniques (and prices) that go into making Donald Trump look like Donald Trump, Jason Kelly, the official makeup artist for last year’s Republican National Convention, gave Harper’s Bazaar the lowdown on how he thinks the now-President gets his signature orange glow… and what he could do to fix it.

“I know exactly what he does to himself — the tanning bed, the spray tan, he wears the goggles and you can see the hyper-pigmentation around his eyes,” Kelly said. “What I'll do is use a slightly deeper color and blend it into his tan so there's not an abrupt contrast. I'm ready for it.”
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