Memo Exclusive: An Interview with President of Temptu Michael Benjamin
President and CEO of Temptu, Michael Benjamin
President and CEO of Temptu, Michael Benjamin has been at Temptu airbrush makeup for over 25 years and became the CEO in 2005. “When I took control, I wanted to really streamline the company’s brand assets and divisions,” Benjamin says. MODERN SALON asked Benjamin to share more about a company that is exploring and optimizing the application possibilities of airbrush including a recent introduction into hair color.
MS: Tell us a bit about the brand history of Temptu.
MB: Temptu began as a small, family-owned professional makeup house that first gained attention in the 1981’s cult classic film “Tattoo,” in which we introduced our original Temptu paint formula and tattoo ink transfer. It became a huge hit among Hollywood makeup professionals and soon our body paints and cosmetics were in high demand. In 1996, we really stirred up the pro cosmetics industry with the introduction of our airbrush foundation and launched Temptu Pro at the first International Make-up Artist Trade Show (IMATS) in 1997. Since then, we’re constantly growing, innovating and expanding our market to professionals and consumers, alike.
MS: Who is the Temptu user?
MB: Historically, we are a pro company. We have over 50,000 artists using Temptu on a professional level. Recently, we’ve also been working on evolving the company to deliver solutions that are easier and more accessible for the everyday woman. We also see a trend that we call ‘Prosumer’ which is a cross between a pro makeup artist and a makeup junkie. More and more beauty consumers will start to move in that direction as they seek more options, more professional solutions and gain more expertise.
We are already moving beyond airbrush makeup into the world of airbrush beauty with the introduction of our new 24-Hour Airbrush Root Touch-Up and Hair Color. With it we will be able to connect with hair professionals in a completely new way. It is a liquid, non-powder based formula that leaves hair shiny and touchable. Our patented technology applies it in a buildable, controlled manner. It is long-wear, water-resistant and transfer-resistant and works beautifully for roots, brows and even beards.
MS: How has Temptu used social media to reach its audience?
MB: We have an incredibly engaged social fan base and I think what sets us apart is that our users are addicted to our products; they rarely go back to any other form of makeup after airbrush. That kind of loyalty really starts a conversation on social media and they turn to us for all things airbrush makeup, from the latest news and product innovations to inspiration and artist creations. We love seeing people talk about us and the conversations that get sparked about our products. We love to regram and repost work from our customers and really share within our community. We also recognize the power of social to help educate; we have new pros and new consumers discovering airbrush makeup every day and our social media is a powerful way to develop their skills and elevate their artistry.
MS: How are you distributed?
MB: We have an extremely strong business with our website, temptu.com and temptu.com/pro. We also sell through retailers like Bloomingdales, Cosbar and Nordstrom, in select doors and online, as well as strictly online retailers like Net-A-Porter. Internationally, we have partners distributing to pros all over the world, our main international retailers are Space NK in the UK and Net-A-Porter.
MS: Tell us about Temptu Air?
MB: With six patents granted, the Temptu Air and Airpods are the first cordless, handheld airbrush makeup system. It uses interchangeable airpod makeup cartridges to deliver the best makeup finish, truly flawless and totally skin-like. It can cover a small freckle to an entire face with less make up and better coverage. It’s a game changer with its ease of use and the quality of its application. This is just the beginning, though!