Today we pile into Miss Jenny’s SUV and drive over to the fancy mall for a demonstration of the AIRbrush Makeup System by Temptu at Sephora. Miss Jenny has been planning the trip for days, making at least nine phone calls to confirm that everything is set. We’ve been told to arrive no later than 4 PM because the Temptu demos finish at 5 — but arrive to a nearly empty store and two brand reps overjoyed to have some prospective customers: Gus, ing knee-high Doc Martens and Sam, who is dressed vaguely like an alien extra from Star Trek.
I had it all tangled up with those mall kiosks that make t-shirts with your name inside a heart or next to a palm tree, but apparently, airbrush makeup has been around since MGM sprayed hundreds of Ben-Hur extras. The new, consumer-friendly version is not cheap ($225 for the machine, plus $30-$55 for the “pods” of highlighter, blush, and foundation), but I guess when you consider all that silicone, silica, iron oxide and water you’re getting (plus the same parabens, thickeners, preservatives, dyes and fragrance that appear in many of your old-school, low-tech cosmetics), it’s a bargain?
I try to calculate how long a single pod of blush ($35) is supposed to last while to my right, Sam tells Meg why Temptu will be so brilliant for her dry skin, and on my left, Gus tells Stephanie why Temptu will be so indispensable for her oily skin.
When it’s my turn, Gus tells me that Temptu is especially well designed to combat redness and breakouts (thanks for noticing) and aims his pod gun at a spot on my chin. “You just have to be patient,” he says. “It takes awhile to cover everything perfectly and you have to practice.”
That’s probably why Temptu holds workshops for professional makeup artists to learn their equipment — all you have to do to attend is buy $150 worth of product, after which, I’d guess I would be a convert, too.
Miss Jenny, who has been humming with excitement about this trip all week, seems disconcerted as we examine the results. “I’m not sure I like wearing this much on my face,” she admits. “We look awfully matte.”
We console ourselves by pocketing as many free lotion samples as we can find, then take our newly poreless faces off to P.F. Chang’s for lettuce wraps before driving home.