3D Printing Meets Makeup With ‘Mink’

Mink Makeup Printer

Going to the to test makeup is old and busted. 3D printing your makeup is the new hotness.

It can cost a fortune to look good. But it might not, should a brand-new technology from New York-based startup Mink get some traction.

The Mink does for makeup what 3D printing has done for, well, just about everything else. Founder and self-proclaimed “serial inventor” Grace Choi, a Harvard Business School graduate, developed a miniature 3D printer that combines FDA-approved ink with a variety of substrates to “create any type of makeup, from powders to cream to lipstick,” Choi said in an interview with Time.

According to Choi, the printer works in tandem with the conventional image-editing software that’s likely already installed on one’s PC (or easily acquired). That’s how one selects the exact color that the printer then transforms into various makeups: either screenshot and eyedropper it from something you’re looking at on your PC or, if you prefer, type a raw hex code into your editor’s default paint tool. Fill an entire image with that color, print it to the Mink, and out pops your makeup after a few minutes.

We presume there’s a bit more to the setup process than that — how does one select what kind of makeup one wants to produce, for example? Choi didn’t specify in her demo at TechCrunch Disrupt (or at least, we didn’t catch it), but we can only surmise that there’s a toggle on the printer itself that allows you to pick what you’re making.

As for the price of all this printing, the Mink itself should retail for less than $200 — still a bit pricey for its target demographic of 13- to 21-year-old girls, but not all that bad when you consider what it might cost to otherwise outfit a teenager with all the latest colors at Mac or Sephora. It’s unclear what the various pigments and substrates might cost, but Choi comments that they should be relatively inexpensive.

“What we’re doing is taking out the bulls**t. Big makeup companies take the pigment and the substrates and mix them together and then jack the price. We do the same thing and let you get the makeup right in your own house,” said Choi in an interview with TechCruch.

At the very least, that’ll be a boon for those who want to experiment with new colors and styles without having to take out a small mortgage to do so at the local makeup store.


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