WASHINGTON – Looking pretty is costing John Edwards' presidential campaign a lot of pennies. The Democrat's campaign committee picked up the tab for two haircuts at $400 each by celebrity stylist Joseph Torrenueva of Beverly Hills, Calif., according to a financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
FEC records show Edwards also availed himself of $250 in services from a trendy salon and spa in Dubuque, Iowa, and $225 in services from the Pink Sapphire in Manchester, N.H., which is described on its Web site as "a unique boutique for the mind, body and face" that caters mostly to women.
A spokeswoman for Edwards' campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
Torrenueva — who specializes in men's haircuts — confirmed in an interview with The Associated Press that Edwards is a longtime client and friend.
"I do cut his hair and I have cut it for quite a while," Torrenueva said. "We've been friends a long time."
Referring to a picture of Edwards published Tuesday in The Los Angeles Times, Torrenueva said: "That's my cut." The stylist said he couldn't vouch for the source of Edwards' haircuts in other photos.
One reason the cost of the cut was so steep even by Beverly Hills standards is that Torrenueva went to Edwards rather than the candidate coming into the stylist's salon a block off Rodeo Drive.
"I go to him wherever convenient," Torrenueva said. He declined to identify where the cuts paid for by the campaign took place.
Campaign records also show the former North Carolina senator's campaign paid $248 on March 1 to the Designworks Salon in Dubuque.
According to Designworks' Web site, the salon and spa features a wide variety of beauty and health services, including massages, facials, body polishes, self tanners, and rosemary mint and Caribbean therapy body wraps.
The salon's owners did not return a call.
Pink Sapphire co-owner Ariana Franggos said the two payments last month_ $150 on March 7 and $75 on March 20 — were for doing Edwards' makeup for television appearances. She handles makeup for local television personalities and was referred to Edwards through that connection.
"This poor guy. I'm telling you, I promise he's not in here getting facials and cucumber peels on his eyes or anything," she said.
Edwards, 53, who has made alleviating poverty the central theme of candidacy, has been criticized for building a 28,000-square-foot house for $5.3 million near Chapel Hill, N.C. The complex of several buildings on 102 acres includes an indoor basketball court, an indoor pool and a handball court.
Edwards, who was John Kerry's vice presidential runningmate in 2004, is also the subject of a YouTube spoof poking fun at his youthful good looks. The video shows the candidate combing his tresses to the dubbed-in tune of "I Feel Pretty."
In 1993, Cristophe gave former President Clinton a $200 haircut aboard Air Force One as it sat on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport. Late-night comedians and columnists poked fun at the president for the expensive cut.