We’ve heard of printers that can print clothes, furniture, even food but it’s the latest invention that has us sitting up and paying attention.
On Monday, Harvard business School graduate and self-confessed serial inventor Grace Choi unveiled Mink – a 3D make-up printer.
Still in it’s infancy, the printer works like an inkjet printer and according to Choi, “turns any phone, laptop or camera into an endless beauty aisle”.
And beauty titans like Rimmel, Revlon and Maybelline better watch out – Grace and Mink are coming for you.
“The make-up industry makes a whole lotta money on a whole lotta bullshit,” claimed Choi.
“They do this by charging a premium on one thing that technology provides for free. And that one thing is colour.”
For those of us who can’t quite wrap our heads around the concept of 3-D printing, Choi kindly provided a demonstration of Mink at the TechCrunch Disrup conference in New York.
The printer, which Choi claims will retail for $300 (around £175), allows make-up users to spot a colour they like online or in a photograph, select the specific shade and simply print out the item.
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So, if you spot a shade of eyeshadow on Cara Delevingne you love or a lipstick on Jennifer Lawrence you simply have to have you can copy the hex code of the colour and print out your own one in seconds and for a fraction of the price of the high-end brands.
Choi demonstrated with an eyeshadow, which she chose from a YouTube make up tutorial, printed it out in moments and used it on the back of her hand.
The initial prototype is configured to create powder-based products like eyeshadows and pressed powders, but Choi seemed keen to incorporate cream products like lipstick.
In the US, the make-up industry is worth $55 billion and Choi is coming for the big brands who she claims are charging over the odds for your favourite lipstick or concealer.
With a target demographic of girls aged 13-21, Mink will be targeting make-up users who haven’t developed habits yet and Choi claims it will “change how the world buys make up”.
“This is going to finally train our girls to understand the definition of beauty is something they should be able to control, not our corporations,” claimed Grace. “To me, that’s the most important thing.”
No word yet on when Mink will hit the shelves but the prospect of printing out your own make up is enough to get us excited.
Would you ditch your favourite lippy and use a 3D printer to create your own make-up? Let us know on Twitter.