Finding the exact shade of lipstick or eye shadow you have in mind can be tough, which is why Grace Choi, a Harvard Business School alumni, came up with the Mink – a 3D printer that lets you print out makeup in any color you fancy. Whether it's the color of a fruit, your friend's purse or a sunset, transforming that color into any kind of makeup is simply a matter of choosing it and hitting print.
The Mink 3D printer uses the same FDA-approved substrates and ingredients used by popular makeup brands. To print color-specific makeup, a user just needs to pick a color, be it from an image found online, a photo they've clicked, or a color they've selected in image editing software like Paint or Photoshop. All the software needs is the hex code of the chosen color (easily obtained with a color picker) and Mink is ready to print.
Instead of being restricted to a limited color palette, users will be able to print (and wear) makeup in any color in the world, from the comfort of their own homes, according to Choi. "It can take any image and instantly transform it into a wearable color cosmetic, turning any phone, laptop or camera into an endless beauty aisle," she says. "You can take a picture of your friend's lipstick and just print it out."
Choi 3D printed a light pink eye shadow when she presented Mink at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2014 conference in New York. While Mink can currently print powder-based makeups, Choi plans to expand its capabilities to print things like lip gloss and cream.
The 3D makeup printer is targeted at users in the 13-21 age group and will retail for less than US$200 when it's launched later this year.
Check out the video of her presentation below.