Buttigieg’s Stubble and Klobuchar’s Bang-Shake

a closer look and the debate lewks

The over-produced debates on high def TV’s are indelicate when it comes to faces. Onscreen, the candidates resemble a coked-up friend at 2am who is shouting, shimmying, and sweating at you. It’s all so fast and loud— especially at last night’s South Carolina debate, with everyone waving their hands like they’re out raving in 1997. Never in my life have I seen so much face-skin! The exact texture, so visible we can feel it. Every make-up decision is obvious, making every mistake glaring. Not a single eye-brow hair escapes the blinding truth of the cameras.

Do you feel guilty and petty for questioning appearances on TV? Do you yearn to speak to someone about it? It’s ok! The made-up faces of public figures tell us a lot. They’re not a characters on a television show- they’re self-chosen public figures who want to run our country, so everything they do broadcasts ‘This is meeeee!’

First — Televisions.

What television making-monster said “Let’s see every pore and make everyone look like cheap porn-stars with no filter, documentary style.” Also, if your TV isn’t the right kind it will look like you’re watching a home video from 1986. Neat.


Everyone is concerned about his intense 5-o’clock shadow. Why’d this kiddo not shave today? Did he go on a bender and wake up late for the debate? Incorrect. He is simply very hirsute! Some dudes grow facial hair very fast — if he were an actor on set, I’d have to carry around an electric razor to shave him halfway through day. Even freshly shaved, you can easily see his dark hair follicles. Occasionally I see this covered in interviews with a very thick layer of foundation, or color-corrected using a slightly orange shade of concealer before the foundation goes on. I don’t like it. Too much foundation for a young man. Let’s just learn to be ok with being aware of his facial hair.


Amy Klobuchar’s skull vibrates. This is not a slam or even a hair/makeup makeup note — but I have paused and rewound and played slowly on my incredibly bright TV and she is not shaking visibly, or actually moving her head or her skull. It’s involuntary. She has a talented hair stylist who beautifully shellacs her hair into a politician lady-crown but, and still — it vibrates. That little piece in the front just wants to be free, or seen — even as it’s glued in place. Bang will vibrate. Perhaps that front bang yearns to express her pure rage — even when Klobuchar’s face expresses none. It’s a mystery we may never solve. I fantasize her hair is the pure symbolic fury of millions, nay billions of women who’ve been held back by — yes: THE PATRIARCHY!


*I’ll be speaking directly at Joe because he likes to talk directly to us all. Further, I will be speaking as Joe to Joe.



He has the skin of a rich man. Well-hydrated. A bit tan from wherever he was tropical most recently. A chef likely prepares his meals. He does strength training with someone on weekends he tells off-color jokes to. I feel both bored and angry every time he speaks because his assumption that he can buy in is lame and I reject him. When he was mayor of New York he sold the city to the highest bidders and my favorite restaurants had to close for new banks and paper-mache high-rises. His skin is fine. There’s a wellness to wealth. I reject him.

Tom Steyer


I feel zero anxiety about her TV glam routine- she’s pure professor-chic, pulling off a coif and semi-popped collar with panache. Yes, she could go makeup free and she’d still be herself. Elizabeth Warren isn’t a makeup person, and she often isn’t wearing much makeup, which is more than fine. Her cheeks are flushed with both hope and rage. Whoever does Warren’s makeup subtle look does a great job. Part of me wonders if Warren has a little makeup bag she carries with her next to her carrot sticks and walking shoes.

Makeup Artist. Writer. Dip-maker. www.sarahgraalman.com

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