Friday, July 6, 2018

How to fix, unclog, and maintain Temptu Airpod and Airpod Pro: airbrush makeup troubleshooting

Airpod Trouble shooting

In 2015 Temptu changed the airbrushing game forever by introducing the portable, all in one Temptu Air system: an ultra quiet, compact, cable free and USB charged device that can be used anywhere with three selectable pressure settings. The system uses Temtpu's patented Airpods, pre filled color cartridges that dispense product through a self contained airbrush mechanism, with a needle being operated by a piston that clicks onto the main body of the device. Of course the use of the pre filled Airpods is limited to whatever color they contain, so in order to allow for more flexibility, shortly after the Air launch Temptu came up with the Airpod Pro, and open reservoir Airpod that can be filled with any other airbrush product, thus allowing shade mixing and creative freedom. 

The main advantage of the Airpod and Airpod Pro system is their practicality: while not exactly ecological, these devices can simply be popped in and out of the applicator and do not require any further maintaining or cleaning. Or do they?

The fact is, any kind of airbrush device, from the simplest and cheapest down to the most sophisticated and expensive, is going to run into some sort of maintenance issue eventually. So yes, the Airpods can get clogged, or rather more frequently have output issues that cause the makeup to come out in an irregular, spotty pattern, especially when you don't use them every day, and if you don't take proper care of them. The good news is, with a tiny bit of maintenance and care you can get them to work again beautifully, and performing this maintenance is easy and fast, definitely quicker than servicing a traditional airbrush. This video shows exactly the step by step process of using an Airpod and Airpod Pro for the first time, and of restoring them to full functionality. Have a look, then keep reading for a few extra pro tips.

Alcohol versus Temptu S/B Cleaner
I like to use alcohol for cleaning the Airpod tip because it's quicker to melt the hardened makeup. I don't mind a drop or two also working down the needle tip if I am about to discharge it right away, because it won't really reach the rest of the makeup inside the pod. Not much would happen if it did, but I would rather keep the formula as pristine as possible. When dealing with a hard clog, especially on highlighter pods which contain shimmer particles and tend to get blocked more easily, the easiest way to solve the problem is to pour some S/B cleaner on the needle tip and let it sink deep into the mechanism for a few minutes or even hours. This will loosen the hardened residue and it will restore the needle functionality for a perfect output. I prefer S/B cleaner in this case because it is nothing but pure silicone, so even if it seeps in the color reservoir it will not impact the silicone based formula.

An Airpod Pro for each type of makeup
While I prefer a traditional airbrush to apply water based formulas from other brands, there are occasions when for practicality I might still want to or have to rely on my Airpod Pro. In this case it's always better to have a specific Airpod dedicated solely to each type of makeup. Most of the cloggin issues in airbrushing, regardless of the type of airbrush, are due to the residue that forms when different formulas mix in the smallest recesses of the airbrush. By using only one type of base in each airpod this risk is avoided altogether and you can expect fewer issues with the flow.

Storing the Airpods
The Airpods' shape is sleek, futuristic and elegant, but it also makes them among the most confusing items to store.  I don't like to just squash them all together in a bag because while their plastic shells are very tough, cracks on the inside parts are still possible and lead to nasty leaks. In addition the needle tips are protected by the shell but still exposed, and I don't want to risk bending them. Finally, what would be the point of using such a good looking item if it came out of a messy old bag?
This is why I came up with the storage system shown on the video. I was inspired by an Instagram post from Temptu's own CEO, who took a photo of SymiCat's amazingly organized Beauty Box-type kit a fashion show. I topped her own OCD by adding some easy to make individual inserts that protect the Airpods from banging against each other. I also added labels on top of the chrome caps for two reasons: first, the caps often fit the pod they came with but slack on different pods; second, there is little that I loathe more than endlessly pulling off caps to see what color the pods are when I am working. It annoys me and bores the client. So I can only hope Temptu takes me up on the suggestion, and comes up with an official Temptu Airpod Kit Case. Do you think they would send me one after this?

Temptu Airpod Storage Suggestion