French president Emmanuel Macron spent €26,000 (£24,000) on makeup during his first three months as president of France, it has emerged.
In potentially damaging news for the 39-year old centrist leader, whose popularity is waning, Le Point reported that his personal makeup artist – referred to only as Natacha M – put in two bills, one for €10,000 and another for €16,000.
The Elysee Palace defended the high fee saying: “We called in a contractor as a matter of urgency”. The same makeup artist also applied foundation to Mr. Macron during his presidential campaign. Aides said that spending on makeup would be “significantly reduced”.
It may seem like a stratospheric sum for a president who has described his style as “Jupiterian” – lofty in the spirit of the God of Roman gods.
The gross figure is higher than the €6,000 euro salary Mr. Hollande paid his staff makeup artist, but it is less when social charges are added. Le Point put the overall figure for Mr. Hollande’s makeup at €30,000 per quarter.
Nicolas Sarkozy, meanwhile, paid a whopping €8,000 per month for his, according to Vanity Fair.
The disclosure caused particular shock because Mr. Hollande came to power on a Left-wing platform, promising to be a “normal president” who would mark a break with the “extravagance” of his conservative predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his model wife, Carla Bruni.
The hairdresser, Olivier Benhamou, was hired to work at the Elysée Palace in 2012 for the duration of Mr. Hollande’s five-year term. Mr. Benhamou also reportedly enjoyed a housing allowance and family benefits.
Le Point made no mention of Mr. Macron’s spending on his hair.