Last month, we had the pleasure of meeting Christine from Temptalia at an industry event in San Francisco. Tall and gorgeous, this law student by day, makeup fanatic by night seems to have it all. We asked her a few questions to find out what’s happening next with Temptalia, her highly successful MAC-focused website, and here’s what she had to say:
Makeup Bag: Temptalia has been live since October 2006—how long were you blogging under Jezebella before that?
Temptalia: Jezebella was actually not a blog; it was more or less just a regular website with my collection of photos and an archive of past looks. It was really only a way to store my past looks and make them accessible by others, but it was simplistic and compared to Temptalia, worthless when it came to finding things! I really knew nothing about blogging at the time (January 2005), but I knew how to code and run a website, so that’s what I did.
Makeup Bag: What inspired you to name your site Temptalia and what exactly does it mean?
Temptalia: I have gone by the alias “Temptalia” since I was about 14 or 15 — about 7 years now, and it felt fitting to make something that was so personal (real artwork, my face, my eyes) that name. “Temptalia” really embodies the woman I always want/wanted to be — confident, poised, put-together, and sexy as hell. It was a woman who could turn heads with a click of her heel, and one that would have your tongue tied in a duel of words. Tempting, elusive; just like an ideal should always be, so we never lose sight of why we keep trying to attain it.
Makeup Bag: You’re currently a law student and received two bachelors degrees this year. Obviously you are a busy girl—how much time do you devote to Temptalia and how do you manage it all?
Temptalia: Oh, my goodness, I can’t tell you how much more time I spend on Temptalia these days than I used to. I used to have a ridiculous amount of free time during college, but I don’t think I put it to that much good use when it came to the blog. Of course, I used to do a full face of makeup nearly every day, so at least I built up the look section back then! I suspect I spend a minimum of an hour on the blog per day, but generally more; it ranges based on what’s going on in beauty–lots of MAC collections out? You can expect to find me snapping product photos, rushing to the mall for swatches, and hurriedly getting it all up on Temptalia as soon as I’m able. I’m not a procrastinator; I can have my lazy moments, but I really love being productive. Temptalia is still my hobby and outlet during free time, so it doesn’t quite feel like work, which means I can do it during downtime, when I’m exhausted from case reading!
Makeup Bag: Now that Temptalia has gained momentum and sees 60,000 visitors per month do you have plans to monetize with advertisers other than Google?
Temptalia: I’m definitely exploring some other avenues for revenue growth, but right now, the advertisers we have are working well.
Makeup Bag: You’re just a baby [she just turned 21 last week] and such a little entrepreneur. What do you aspire to be when you grow up?
Temptalia: I want to be a corporate strategist. I want to have my own consulting firm where I go over a company’s business plan or their existing plan and figure out how to make it better, more profitable, and more efficient. I love looking at spreadsheets full of numbers that tie into finance and profits–it’s not unusual to love money, but I love money even when it’s not my own. All the computations and averages and statistics are fun for me.
Makeup Bag: Thank goodness they’re fun for somebody! When did you fall in love with makeup?
Temptalia: I was a very late bloomer, actually. It wasn’t until I was newly 18 that I really got into it, but I fell head long and it’s been a love affair ever since. I remember I got some pigment samples off of eBay, and it was all over from there. I was nuts about them, and I found makeup incredibly fun as a creative outlet.
Makeup Bag: Have you received training as a makeup artist, or are you self-taught?
Temptalia: I’m completely self-taught. For some reason, I’ve always been more of a doer than anything, so even when I was starting out, I learned by constant practice in the form of daily application. I never bothered to look at other people’s tutorials; I just went and tried things, did things. I kind of cringe at my first few looks, but we all have to start somewhere.
Makeup Bag: Clearly MAC is your brand of choice—are there other makeup brands that you’re drawn to?
Temptalia: Chanel excites me, because it’s such a classy brand. It’s hard to say anything bad about Chanel, other than my poor wallet shrivels up and dies just thinking about making a purchase. I also like any brand that shows me inventive packaging; give me cute or sexy, but I love how diverse products can be in this aspect. NARS makes some excellent powder products, and I’ve always wanted to try out Make Up Forever shadows.
Makeup Bag: You have gorgeous skin, of course being 21 has something to do with it, but how do you care for your skin daily?
Temptalia: My skin routine is not quite as robust as I want it, but I’m learning. I use Cetaphil cleanser twice daily (morning and night), and I make sure to thoroughly take off all of my makeup with whatever makeup remover I have around, liquid or wipe. I’ll usually take a makeup removing cloth when I have heavier makeup. I do my best to remember sunscreen everyday (the moisturizer I use has SPF15, so I’m at least minimally covered). I try to drink plenty of water, but I’m not so good at that.
Makeup Bag: From one makeup junkie to another—how do you store your products/organize your makeup?
Temptalia: I used to have a really awesome storage system, because I had a huge vanity area in my old apartment. Unfortunately, in my current apartment, bathroom space is limited, so I have some of it in pink square containers (lipsticks, lipglosses) and metal square containers (liners, brushes) on the counter top, along with my MAC palettes. I keep pigments in a silverware drawer inside a drawer. For all miscellaneous makeup, I have several three-drawer plastic storage boxes that I keep in the hall closet. Not a very effective or ideal system at the moment!
Makeup Bag: What’s next for Temptalia?
Temptalia: Everything! There are so many things cooking up behind the scenes, and we’re always trying and testing out new ideas on the blog. You never know what’s in store!
Makeup Bag: Thank you, Christine. Can’t wait to hang out with you again soon!
*Photo of Erika and Christine courtesy of makeupandbeautyblog.com.
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