WASHINGTON – Trees in the capital are sterile and thin. The temperature has dropped, requiring swollen coats. With the government open, for now, President Trump has left the coldness of governing during a weekend in Palm Beach.
But in a city where the operation of the federal government has not been secure for a long time, Trump has adhered to a constant: a brightly shined glow from the sun, one that has shone like a traffic light against the gray background of Washington . Like Warhol's white hair or Big Bird's saffron plumage, the vibrant tone of the president is so constantly present and meticulously maintained that it was a representation of him embedded in the culture long before he entered politics.
The shadow of the president is one that Alec Baldwin, the actor who plays Mr. Trump regularly on "Saturday Night Live", recently described as wavering between a "Mark Rothko orange" and a "slightly paler Orange Crush", according to the scenario . That at this moment is February in Washington.
"What is not in the tropics for the last time I checked," Baldwin said in an interview.
The official line of the White House, as with other issues related to physical health and the appearance of the president, is that the glow of Trump is the result of "good genes", according to a senior administration official who would speak only on condition of anonymity.
And, O.K., a little dust, a translucent one, not a bronzer, that the president applies before television appearances, the official said.
But the mysteries abound. A persistent question: does Mr. Trump use a tanning bed, like A talkative makeup artist said in 2016 and Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former badistant, stated in a book that says it all? (Ms. Manigault Newman wrote that an usher was fired for mishandling the transport of the contraption).
The former clbadmates of the Trump boarding school have described him as a fan of ultraviolet rays, someone who would blow a tan lamp in a light socket to go "to the beach". Even James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. Director became a presidential enemy, speculated on the brightness of Mr. Trump. "The president's face seemed slightly orange," Comey wrote in his memoirs, "with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I badumed he was putting on little tan goggles."
But according to three people who have spent time in the residence of the White House, there is no tanning bed or cabin in a hidden corner of the residence, a crack in the East Wing or a wardrobe in Air Force One. Two senior officials of the White House insisted that there is no such device.
Several of the president's supporters had little to say when asked how the president achieves his brilliance or other ways in which he prepares to prepare the camera. A former campaign member admitted that some aspects of the president's process sounded "like a captivating story," but she declined to elaborate, saying Mr. Trump should be allowed to dress in peace.
Apart from a tanning bed, another plausible theory is that Mr. Trump uses creams or self-tanning lotions. Dr. Tina Alster, one of the leading dermatologists in Washington who said she had treated officials in all white houses, including this one, claimed that the president, whom she does not deal with, was using creams or sprays to achieve her appearance.
"It looks more orange than tan," a telltale sign, said Dr. Alster.
Another sign, and one that would rule out dietary supplements or medications that give a general tan to the skin, added Dr. Alster, is the vision of the white circles often present under Mr. Trump's eyes when he appears before the eyes. the public.
"There have been enough people who have asked me in their orbit," though not on behalf of the president, to see what Mr. Trump could do to achieve a more uniform skin tone, Dr. Alster said. "I have nothing against self-tanning creams, but I think you should be careful with the way you apply it."
He added that Mr. Trump's skin appears to show sun damage, and praised him for breaking any previous habit in the tanning bed.
Certainly Mr. Trump, who has a lot of time Taking antibiotics to treat rosacea, a condition that can make the skin look pink and reddish, is attentive to how it looks on television. He has complained that his skin and hair appear too yellow or orange on the screen, according to a person familiar with his views.
As a result, events in the White House are now less illuminated than in previous administrations. The president has also become a fan of natural light, such as the White House Rose Garden scene, where Mr. Trump decided to announce the end of the government's closure in a climate of 40 degrees.
Whatever Mr. Trump does or does not do with his skin, he does it privately. A White House makeup artist funded by taxpayers has volunteered her services, but she has not come close enough to try, according to two people who have heard such discussions. A half-dozen current and former aides and people close to Mr. Trump say he has been self-sufficient in toilet issues for a long time.
Your hair, for example. Mr. Trump has documented repeatedly the act of self-combing your coif, a process that has not been separated in decades. Your system includes a Head & Shoulders shampoo and an air drying of a one-hour strand while you peruse newspapers or watch television. And the tweets.
"I've styled it the same way for years," Trump told Rolling Stone in 2011. "The same, always."
At the residence of the White House, where Mr. Trump enjoys giving tours to his supporters, there is a variety of hair sprayers on a shelf in his remodeled bathroom. According to several people who have visited the residence, there is not an ounce of a self-tanning product. Or at least it is not in sight.
Baldwin, the actor, says that makeup artists on "Saturday Night Live" are instructed by Lorne Michaels, the show's executive producer, to stay as close as possible to Mr. Trump's changing shadow, and not for an orange envelope. Anything out of malice. At one point, the products used for bronze, Mr. Baldwin included a Clinique powder in a honey-colored shade.
But the camera adds nuances.
"It's a nice coating," Baldwin said of the final result.