Meet The Woman Who’s Inventing The First-Ever Makeup Printer
Ever wish you could find the perfect shade of coral lipstick or plum eyeshadow, but after endless hours scouring Sephora’s supply, you’re convinced it doesn’t exist? Soon this won’t be a problem, thanks to a woman named Grace Choi.
Grace is a Brooklyn-born, Harvard-educated entrepreneur who is about to change the cosmetics industry in a BIG way. Grace has pieced together the initial idea for her Mink makeup printer, an invention that allows you to customize and print your own cosmetics.
The process began by studying everyday printers and realizing that a few modifications can transform the device into a makeup creator. If you swap out plain printer ink for an FDA-approved version of edible ink and use colorless cosmetics instead of paper, the printer it’s on its way to being able to dye eyeshadows and lipsticks, for example. This would also allow the user to match colors to photo editing software.
“You look at ideas and you pick them because you like them, not because someone else tells you that this is desirable, or this is what beautiful is,” she says of the beauty norms projected from traditional makeup brands. “It’s just giving women more control over the conversation around beauty.”
One thing that Grace hopes to change with her invention of Mink is to squash the idea that certain colors and looks aren’t “okay” to wear. Because mass-produced cosmetic companies make better profits when they produce fewer SKUs, meaning they’re better off selling 6 shades of lipstick instead of 10, and those will likely be the more “traditional” colors, people might assume that the colors they want are weird. “I could try to save us,” Grace jokes, “but the reality is we’re already sort of tainted.”
One cool feature of the Mink is that it’s going to allow users to choose the consistency of some of their products, like lipsticks. So whether you like matte or glossy, the printer will be capable of creating both. Grace has already finished formulas for powders and lipsticks, and is hoping to tackle nail varnishes next. She hopes to have the Mink makeup printer in production next year.
I think it’s definitely to move our society forward, and in ways that are very consumer level. It’s not just, like, data or cloud services. It’s some really cool stuff. It’s taking things out of the internet and bringing them into real life.”
To read more about Grace and the Mink makeup printer, check out Lucky magazine’s tribute to her as a Breakout Star of 2014 here.