Step aside Sephora. You’re old news now.
Harvard Business School graduate Grace Choi popped the proverbial top off the cosmetics industry by inventing Mink, the world’s first 3D makeup printer. According to Choi, Mink has the capability to turn the entire Internet, and the infinite range of colors it offers, into your personal palette. Find any color that strikes your fancy on the Internet- anywhere – and Mink will print that shade as makeup. Choi demonstrated her original invention in May at the TechCrunch conference and showed the world how color-matching will soon be as easy as the click of a button.
So here’s the big question: will Mink bring down the over 35 billion dollar a year beauty industry? While some people can’t wait to get their hands on their very own Mink, which will retail reasonably for $300, some beauty insiders are advising people to hold their horses. While Mink might be able to create any color makeup you want using its FDA-approved ink, a lot of variables remain. What will the consistency, texture, and actual pigment be like? Will it be paraben-free and safe for the skin? How accurate and true to the original color will the printed ink be in its application? And will issues of copyright come into play if you can snap a picture of, say, Mac’s Shy Girl lipstick, which is a proprietary blend, and print it out, bypassing the corporate beauty giant altogether?
When the time comes, the proof will be in the pout.
It’s true you’ll no longer be a slave to this season’s color trends when you can just create your own, but how many colors and shades of makeup do we really need? Please, don’t take away my woman card.
Think about it. I don’t know about you, but it takes me forever to go through a single pan of eyeshadow. I can see it now: If I start printing eyeshadow and lipstick to match my outfits daily, I will have makeup I use once or twice before I move on to the next color that captures my attention ad infinitum, until my trashcan ends up looking like something out of a leprechaun’s wet dream.
This world of 3D printers and the trend that’s developing in their use and application is weird and confusing, but still, I’d much rather my printer be capable of printing a shade of gunmetal-grey eyeshadow than a gun. We’ll see how Mink sells once it hits markets, and maybe then we’ll be able to better predict the trajectories of our beauty-buying futures. When the time comes, the proof will be in the pout.