First, and most important: There is no such thing as a butt facial. YOUR BUTT DOES NOT HAVE A FACE. It can be a butt mask, or a bumcial, or an ass extraction, or whatever you want to call it, but IT IS NOT A FACIAL AND IT CANNOT BE A FACIAL.

Ahem. Moving on: Obviously, a lot goes into the choice of a cover model in any given month, and often that will be tied into product placement — usually, pairing an actress with a month in which she has a movie or a TV show coming out. That’s all fine. But Cosmo feels like it’s showing its hand more than usual with this one. Now, I always do bristle a little when movies starring women come out and those women are expected to do the circuit together acting like they are such close friends that they sit on each other all day and talk about their periods while braiding hair. That’s unrealistic and annoying, and in that sense I do admire the women for not, for example, trying to pretend they are involved in each other’s answers to the question, “What is your ideal day with your BFFs?” (Vanessa’s is drinking rose by the pool and dancing, by the way.)

But the other problem is that there is no sense of connective tissue between them. They appear to have been interviewed separately for the cutesy behind-the-scenes bits, though there is footage of them being photographed together; why not get them interacting on camera verbally as well? For this cover not to feel bought and paid for, there does need to be SOME camaraderie and hook beyond, “They’re in a movie together called Dog Days.” Yet the promotional materials seemed unable to find one. For real, the best they could do was: They’re both turning 30, they both go to Coachella a lot, and they both started out young and squeaky clean. They’re not both getting some kind of Fun Fearless award from Cosmo, nor are they part of any themed issue. It’s just odd to have it feel SO transactional.

[Photos: Cosmo]