Grace Choi is a Harvard graduate who lately came up on an idea that may disrupt the entire fashion industry related to cosmetics. She is releasing a home 3D printer that will allow users to print makeup by using a wide range of colors digitally.
She came upon the idea by researching the standards in the cosmetic industry and realizing that a lot of marketing hype goes into the way cosmetics are branded and sold at huge profits. The printer will allow users to mix their colors from any in the world and without having to deal with third parties in the fashion industry.
Users can do it through a website, Pinterest board, or by taking photos with their mobile devices and comparing them to color palettes digitally. Then with a press of a button they can print blush, eye shadow, lip gloss or a wide range of makeup tools. It will specialize in lipsticks and eye shadows, at least initially.
"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," Choi said. "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 3D cosmetics printer is called Mink and was revealed Monday at TechCrunch Disrupt by Choi. Its actual launch date for consumers is still a bit of a mystery, but we should expect it later this year. Let's hope the printer will catch on among both consumers and those in the fashion industry to cut back some of those markup prices that are prevalent in the industry.
She demonstrated how it works at the event and answered questions. The final product that gets printed, as she demonstrated with eye shadow, comes in a Mink container that looks like something one will buy from the store.
The printer costs less than $200 to manufacture, although the final price is expected to be $300 for consumers. Choi's company plans on marketing it to girls within a 13-21 year-old demographic initially.