Will a 3D Printer be the Sephora of Tomorrow?

We’ve all heard about the many cool things that you can create with 3D printers now, so what could possibly be the next cool thing?  It turns out it’s makeup.  It seems almost unimaginable but someone has come up with a 3D printer that uses ink pigments and substrates ranging from powders and creams to lipstick to create cosmetics right in your own home.  You will be able to create custom colours for all of your makeup by using the HEX code (a six character alpha-numeric code that websites use for colours) or colour selector tool in something like Photoshop to create a colour block that will then be used to direct your nifty Mink 3D printer to create your personalised eye shadow, blush, or lipstick.  How cool does that sound?

The Mink printer will initially sell for around $200 – 300.00, and of course, you’ll have to pay extra for the substrates and inks to actually do the printing (no word on pricing for those though).  The Mink printer is still in the development stages and will need to pass through FDA approval before it can come to the market though, so it could be a bit of a wait until you are making your own cosmetics at home.

However, just knowing that someone is working on something like this is pretty great.  Think about how you might never have to run out of your favourite, but discontinued, eye shadow or blush anymore.  I read so much about people hoarding favourite cosmetics because the colour is no longer made, but something like this would mean that you could enjoy your cosmetics freely without the worry of running out of it.  Or, you could just come up with the perfect colour for yourself in those cases where you would have previous had to blend of two shades that aren’t quite right.  Of course, whatever the substrates are will have to take into account how the different formulas of eye shadow, for instance, vary so much in the feel and staying power.  It will certainly be interesting to see how this idea progresses.

For more on the Mink printer, check out the TechCrunch presentation by founder Grace Choi:

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