3D Printing Gets Colorful with Custom Makeup


3D printers have been used to create customized clothing, sneakers, and even prosthetics, but the latest innovation can be applied right to your face.

Harvard Business School graduate Grace Choi is seeking to change the way the world buys makeup via her 3D printer, Mink, which allows users to create and print any color and type of makeup using FDA-approved ink. “The inkjet handles the pigment, and the same raw material substrates can create any type of makeup, from powders to cream to lipstick,” Choi told TIME.

Mink allows users to go head to head with the $55 billion makeup industry by having the power to harness an unlimited color palette right in their own home. Choi found that 70 percent of makeup is purchased in outlets like Walmart where mass-volume drives price but also limits color selection. For more unique colors, customers have to pay premium prices at prestige makeup stores like Sephora and MAC.

Colors can be pulled from virtually anywhere on the internet or from real life—Pinterest, YouTube videos, photos and more—via a color picker that obtains the hex code. The printer works in tandem with basic image-editing software offering users a mix of DIY and convenience.

Choi, who debuted the printer at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York, is planning on targeting young women ages 13 to 21 with the printer, which is expected to retail for less than $200. Find out more in the video below, and let us know what you think of the potential for Mink to disrupt the beauty industry—and your beauty routine.

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