If you can’t find the perfect makeup shade then create it instantly with Mink. Expected to be ready by next summer, Mink uses 3D printing technology to print eye shadow, eyeliner, lipstick, lip gloss, blush and nail polish- with foundation and face powder in the works.
As inventor Grace Choi explains, Mink turns any “phone, camera or laptop into an endless beauty aisle.” Once the color is visible on the computer screen, a “color picker” tool selects the colored pixels and sends the pixel code to Mink. Within a few seconds, the desired color will be ready to wear. Choi presented her invention to TechCrunch Disrupt NYC, offering details and showcasing a demo.
Choi hopes that Mink will give women creative freedom and withhold some of the cosmetic industry’s influence. Choi states, “It’s finally training our girls to understand that the definition of beautiful should be in their control, and not corporations’.” Targeting 13-21 year old females, Choi hopes that Mink will combat this societal issue and even empower women to use Mink to start their own businesses.
In an interview with CNN Money, Choi reflects on the limited ethnic representation in the industry. Current CoverGirl models are Caucasian, African American and Latina- representing the three largest markets but not all women, like Asians, Indians and mixed races. By giving the consumers power to design their own products, they can feel comfortable and confident. However, Choi is not opposed to collaborating with existing makeup companies.
With Mink, users can copy makeup shades found on a celebrity’s Instagram. By uploading digital pictures, users can create products that match wedding color schemes or resemble colors found in nature. Mink may also offer cartridges to print organic substrates (although it may not print as vibrant colors) or ones with shimmer.
The Mink printer requires no additional software and will likely cost around $300. Choi states that Mink uses the same substrates as leading brands and the Mink ink is compliant to FDA regulation. The cost of printing makeup products will resemble brands available at drugstores, like Maybelline, rather than those at Sephora. This will help women access a range of makeup colors without markup.
What makeup product and shade would you create with Mink first? Do you think Mink will successfully change the makeup industry as we know it? Would you invest in the printer for the convenience and flexibility Mink offers?