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3D printing your own cosmetics with Mink

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3D printing your own cosmetics with Mink
4.5 (90%) 4 votes

If you’ve never wore makeup or do not know how much it costs a quality makeup, let me explain you guys more about this art:

Makeup is an ancient practice which has been around for thousands of years. We originally used it to protect ourselves from elements like wind and sun — Queen Cleopatra wore eyeliner not only for aesthetic purposes but to protect herself from eye infections.— Nowadays we do not only relate this with beauty habits, for many of us, it’s a professional and social norm. As Olga Khazan affirms  in The Atlantic:

“It works by enhancing facial contrast […] the color difference between your lips and nose, for example. Facial contrast is closely associated with femininity, and femininity with female beauty, in Western cultures”

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton adjusts her make-up before speaking at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, July 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton adjusts her make-up before speaking at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, July 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

It might sound too superficial, but truth is that another study found participants were more likely to award “prestigious jobs” to women who were made up than to the same women when their faces were unadorned.

Today, American women spend around $60 billion a year on cosmetics and beauty products, which means the average woman will spend $15,000 USD on makeup in her lifetime. So to be totally realistic here, at one point those beauty products are going to expire (6 months after being opened to be clear, and probably  you never used them again since then), but anyways the moment you need it again, you’d have to throw away the remaining product –which for me often is almost 85% of the container– and empty your wallet at Sephora’s one more time, it is the never ending story in an industry that only sells in massive, but hopefully not forever: Grace Choi is a pioneer in digital cosmetics fabrication who has created Mink, a 3D printer that can print makeup and instantly transform any image into a wearable color cosmetic.

Mink Prototype, It hooks up to a computer, just like a normal printer.
Mink Prototype, It hooks up to a computer, just like a normal printer.

It all started when Choi wondered if there was a way to use the four computer printer colors (Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow) to allow anyone mix their own makeup colors cheaply from home; It took Choi one month to figured out how to turn an HP home printer into a 3D makeup printer, then, with Choi as the sole founder and employee, the modified printer was successfully presented at The Disrupt NY 2014 Startup Battlefield competition.

I know it is not the type of 3D printer you guys are used to, but it takes the basic concept of 3D printing and judging by all the comments around the net, it looks like a great potential project. Moreover, there’s no need of special filaments or a specific slicing software to work with Mink.
Choi’s solution prints just a top layer of FDA-approved both edible and vegetable-based ink or raw pigments and dyes onto a blank (white) shadow, cream or moisturizer. The ink doesn’t seep through, so you can scrape off the printed color once you’re done with it to reveal the white base underneath, and print again. In other words, Mink prints sample sizes, rather than making consumers commit to entire products like all beauty corporations do, resulting Mink a revolutionary idea that saves consumer’s money.
Since launching in 2014, Choi has open-sourced the blueprints of the original Mink Printer via select educational and media outlets; released the Mink Pen, a digital custom color tool for industry professionals; and will debut her retail consumer line next winter. Despite of the fact that Grace Choi shared The step-by-step instructions on how to 3D print lipsticks, eye shadows and nail polish only using tools like Photoshop and Hp 6100, people keep expecting for Mink’s prototype.

As a girl who usually do makeup, I’ve had trouble finding beauty products suited for my skin because no one could match in terms of colour and coverage. Similarly, Grace Choi had struggled to find skin care products that catered to her Asian skin tone, which is another of the issues her invention solves efficiently because now we have complete freedom over the colors that we choose and ingredients that fit us better.

I’m often interested in this kind of girly projects, so rate my post if you liked to read more of this around…


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5 thoughts on “3D printing your own cosmetics with Mink

  1. This is one of the coolest inventions I’ve seen in awhile. I can’t believe it took Choi only a month to figure it out!! Now that is something to be proud of!

    1. absolutely agree 🙂 that was really fast, seems like Choi is an experimented inventor then she knew how to organize the whole idea to create sush as revolutionary prototype

  2. This is the most interesting and coolest invention , love it.

  3. Good article, minus one thing… The corrupt politician at the very top… Yuck!

  4. tpoage@mindspring.com

    This is really something. Just think of all the money women could save.

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