3D printing is often associated with prototypes, auto parts, and various other machines. But the mink makeup printer uses 3D printing technology in a much more glitzy way.
The device is a printer that turns images into instant, customizable makeup. While most 3D printers use a material like plastic in a process called additive manufacturing – where material is added layer by layer to create a finished product – the Mink makeup printer works a little differently. “Essentially, it’s similar to an inkjet printer where it takes a substrate, which is coated with a powder, and it picks up the ink and deposits it on the powder,” said Grace Choi, inventor of the Mink makeup printer. “Powder absorbs ink, and now this ink and powder mix is instantly wearable.”
From the image of a flower to powder pink makeup.
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The Mink makeup printer creates cosmetics only in powder form, so while beauty enthusiasts would be limited to medium, they are not limited in application. Choi says the imprinted powders are most often used as eyeshadows, but can also be used as blushers, face powders, and eyebrow powders depending on the color ink the user chooses to deposit. Mink makeup powders and sheets are also fully recyclable, so anything left unused after printing should cause minimal waste.
To actually create makeup using the printer, you need to upload an image – any image, whether it’s a photo of your favorite celebrity or a photo of a palette of makeup you’ve been dying to get your hands on – in the Mink app. In the app, you then crop and center the image as desired, keeping in mind that whatever is included in the photo will become pigmented makeup powder. From there, the app will send the information to the printer, which will display an exact replica of your image as a makeup.
Although the printer greatly expands what is possible in the beauty arena, it is not yet available to the average consumer. Choi hopes to see the printer integrate with beauty retailers, where consumers can come and use the Mink to try out makeup art forms at little out-of-pocket expense. She also sees it as a useful tool for creating long-lasting makeup for makeup artists, who often need tons of single-use shades in their practice.
We here at beauty, hacked couldn’t wait for the Mink to hit the market, so of course we got our hands on it a bit early. Tune in to this episode to see Choi demonstrate the Mink in action with host Jennimai Nguyen as they shoot footage from their personal camera rolls, the Barbie movie set, and the Euphoria cast in instant makeup.