Custom-Made Makeup! Mink 3D Printer Revolutionizes Beauty and Business

by Amy Carlberg

Grace Choi wants you to have makeup that grows up with you, that you design and create yourself. It’s like having your own personal M.A.C. boutique right in your bedroom.

In the video of her demo at TechCrunch Disrupt, she’s flippant, wise, savvy, speaking off the cuff–basically, the kind of woman you’d buy makeup from. 

I can imagine myself hobbling away from her makeup counter with an armful of product, but remember this is the 21st century: at the end of this sales pitch, you’ll be walking away with her $300 compact printer. She tells us big makeup companies have been ripping us off by charging us for the colour which technology can now so easily provide.

“I’m just breaking it down for you,” Choi says breezily when interrogated about the nuts and bolts of the device. The software is something girls will already be familiar with: choosing a colour from anywhere on the internet, copying its hex code, and hitting print. In the video she creates a pretty pink shade of eyeshadow, but eventually you’ll be able to print a range of products from lipsticks to creams in any colour. The ink in printers is the same ink that makeup companies use, and FDA approved. DIYers, start getting jazzed! Soon you be wearing your own signature shade! 

Choi is careful not to skirt the core objective of her invention. She speaks vehemently of her potential future customers: “The definition of beauty is something they should be able to control, not our corporations.” Technology is like art, music and science in that it helps us to live our lives outside a monotone, in the colours we see in our heads rather than just the available options. So on top of an inventive mind, killer style, flowing black tresses and a Harvard education, Grace Choi also has some serious values, which makes her a great role model. She brushes off the risk of failure, saying, “You just have to make sure you don’t fail when it counts.” All I can say is wow.

Calling all models! Role models! Fashion models! Business models! Do you know another lady inventor, or what shade you’re gonna print out as soon as you can? Leave a comment below.

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