Harvard Business School graduate Grace Choi might have invented the device that will kill the makeup industry, a 3D printer that makes lipstick and eye-shadow in every possible shade out there.
At the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference that took place in NY a few days ago, Choi expressed her outrage regarding the steep prices of cosmetics, in general. According to her, the prices asked by the giants of the makeup industry are unjustified, to say the least “They do this by charging on the one thing that is available for free, color.” The best thing about Mink, in this context, is that it enables you to pick any colour you like from the Web (think Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc) and have an eye-shadow/powder/lipstick printed right away with that exact shade.
In other words, Mink makeup 3D printer turns the Web and any laptop, camera or phone into a beauty aisle without an end. The main target audience is represented by girls aged 13 to 21 who haven’t formed a habit yet from using makeup. Choi mentioned that all the materials used by the 3D printer are FDA approved and come from the same sources as the incredibly expensive cosmetics found at Sephora, so there shouldn’t be any safety issues there.
As Choi stated at the TechCrunch Conference, “The inkjet handles the pigment, and the same raw material substrates can create any type of makeup, from powders to cream to lipstick. Implementing this ability on the Mink is not hard to do, it’s actually more of a business decision. What we’re doing is taking out the bull shit. 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.”
The creator of this 3D printer for cosmetics is thinking about offering it for $300, along with decently priced substrates and ink. Assuming that the consumables are really cheap, Mink might actually be able to destabilize the makeup industry. The price of the printer itself might go down a bit if Choi manages to negotiate with the major printer companies of the world. There are still a lot of factors that could influence Mink’s destiny, color replication and product life being only two of them.