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Mitt Romney's "Brownface" Mystery Solved: Bad MAC Foundation

Despite speculation that Mitt Romney got a bad spray tan or even purposely tried to make his skin darker during a recent Univision forum held at the University of Miami, the truth appears to be a bit less devious. According to ABC News/Univision, the makeup artist on hand that night just went a little too heavy on a darker shade of MAC foundation.

Someone wearing bad, heavy makeup in Miami? Sounds about right.


Because of studio lighting, just about everyone who appears on television is caked in a greasy layer of makeup before they go on air.

Makeup artist Lazz Rodriguez, a 25-year veteran, was on hand that night and says he wasn't quite prepared for Romney's natural tan.

"When he walked in, I remember thinking, Wow, this is tanner than I thought he was, but I think he's just been outside a lot lately for his campaign," Rodriguez told ABC. "It was definitely a real tan."

Rodriguez says he used concealer and MAC NW30, a powder foundation. This photo from a makeup blog compares the color to other MAC shades:

Mitt Romney's "Brownface" Mystery Solved: Bad MAC Foundation

But Rodriguez told ABC News that "even when we caked the stuff on, NW30 wasn't notably dark on a range of skin tones under harsh lights."

The makeup artist, however, has been pretty disheartened by the whole thing.

"I also don't want this to jeopardize a career I've worked so hard to build in this field," he said.

Mitt Romney's "Brownface" Mystery Solved: Bad MAC Foundation

You'd kind of figure that presidential campaigns by now would have regular makeup artists on staff by now to avoid these kind of gaffes. Candidates appear on television all the time, and they're almost always wearing makeup. This isn't even the most famous makeup related gaffe in presidential history. Richard Nixon refused to wear makeup in his television debate against John F. Kennedy which resulted in him looking less than pristine next to a youthful JFK. The incident was famously spoofed on an Esquire cover during his next election bid. 

Can we just move on from this whole thing? A candidate should be judged by the content of his character, not by the color of his MAC makeup.

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