Thoughts on the 3D makeup printer… and my strong opinions about it.

Guys, I stumbled upon this article at xoVain that is so big I have to re-schedule a post just to talk about it.

A 3D makeup printer is in the works.

As soon as the idea sinked in, my skepticism kicked in too.

I don’t want to be that person who kills an idea right before it even takes off.

But if it’s too good to be true — I can’t help it!

I suggest that you click this first, read the article, and watch the talk/simulation video: TechCrunch – Mink A 3D Printer for Makeup.

If you don’t have time for that. Here’s a summary:

The app and printer set should be able to capture any color you find on the internet or anywhere else, copy it, and be able to make your own makeup based on the color you chose.

I know I’m not the target person for the printer — it’s supposed to be for teens. But I can’t keep myself from imagining that I’m the end-user of this gadget. I have a lot of questions, like:

What’s the preservative system going to be? and the shelf-life? Parabens, no parabens? If the preservative system isn’t going to be reliable, will it be printing only disposable makeup? If that’s the case, then it might be wasteful.

Will it be able to capture the color accurately? In her video, I expected the print out to be a hot pink eyeshadow, because that was what she ‘captured’. Yet, the eyeshadow that came out was a lilac pink. I know it’s just a simulation… but that’s the point, at least make the output true to color.

Will it be able to print out the texture and finish that I want? I like matte opaque lipsticks. It should be able to give me the option to print out the lipstick or eyeshadow to my preferred finish and opacity. It’s not just about the color.

Will this be ‘fair’ to product developers? It would suck if I’m one of the people behind a brand who gave a lot of thought to coming out with that perfect shade of red only for it to be copied and printed.

The price-point, $300 + add-ons for the substrates… and this is to be marketed to 13 to 21 year-old girls? Ok, I’m in my 30’s and ’til today I’m still putting off buying a $200 face brush.

Other thoughts…

Again, I am not just buying color. I am also buying the experience, the feeling of hope and magic, and the story behind a brand. Once in a while, I also appreciate well thought out seasonal collections.

Another thing, just because you see a color look good on someone else, it doesn’t automatically mean it will look good on you. Most of the time, you have to try the color on yourself first to see if it works. Will the raw materials and substrates be cheap enough to allow you to print a spectrum of colors, in trial quantity? There should be sizing options so that it’s eco-friendly.

On the inventor…

I know that she is not presenting to makeup artists and enthusiasts in the video. But I would’ve loved to see passion from her. Most of the really successful makeup brands are founded by people who take makeup pretty darn seriously. In general, the people in makeup universe are passionate people. She seems passionate with her invention, yes, but I don’t feel the passion for makeup.

I also didn’t like how she called the beauty industry: “bullshit”. I am well aware that there’s bullshit going on. But if you want to enter the makeup industry, you don’t start by calling it bullshit coz you’re going to be part of it. Makeup is all about embracing diversity and there will ALWAYS be variety. In makeup, it isn’t only about raw materials. It’s also about art and chemistry. I doubt if this printer can monopolize the whole industry. So, I hope she tries to be nice-sounding.

If she came to a point where she can already take a photo of my chest and accurately print out that same color for a foundation in low-coverage dewy finish, that’s another story.

24 thoughts on “Thoughts on the 3D makeup printer… and my strong opinions about it.

  1. Too good to be true, haha. I’m somebody who likes to test out products first, check out if the colors will suit me or if it will cause allergic reactions. Putting something “foreign/untested” product in my face is unthinkable, hehe.

  2. Pretty good points. I was initially excited about the idea because I love the idea of 3D printers in general, but I wasn’t buying the makeup angle of it.

    1. Maybe this can work for mineral powders? But what happens to the unused “ink”? And can I buy just the “cyan” cartridge? So many questions!

  3. I agree with you on this. I can’t even begin to rant about this as I don’t know where to begin and end. This is so wrong for so many reasons. As for now great invention but not for the function. I firmly believe I’m not going to eat my own words someday.

    Your last paragraph about the foundation is genius.

    1. I would love to be proven wrong someday. Right now, it’s like saying, an airbrush machine can digitally spray on a full face of makeup on my face with no manual intervention — still far-fetched.

  4. I am also in camp skeptic/mildly interested! I think this would actually be great for people who have a hard time finding foundation matches.

  5. I thought it was a terrible idea. You’re right, makeup isn’t just about colour, but texture, finish, scent and a million other things that can’t be replicated. It makes me think that she doesn’t know very much about the makeup industry. Even if she were appealing to beginners in makeup, the health issues are a problem. =/ I mean, drugstore makeup isn’t THAT expensive. Not as expensive as a 3D printer and the ink cartridge refills would be anyway, even if we ignore the health costs.

    1. Oh, yes, scent!

      And you can’t ever replicate the feeling of walking in a store, and physically seeing all the colors and the possibilities. :D

  6. I dont really like the idea of printing my own make-up, to be honest I have no artistic bone in my body and would be hard pressed to design, devise or conceptualize an actual "new" shade of any form. Besides Im set in my ways and like the idea that trailblazers like Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier set up the colors for me, in other words I am lazy and would prefer to walk inside a boutique the Rustan`s Beauty Store in Makati is my favorite and just walk around and not buy anything, am there for the ambiance. lol

  7. Yes, it’s also all about the experience. Part of enjoying makeup is coming to a store and trying out all the products. Sure, some of the finish and colors might not suit you but it’s so much fun. And the thrill of discovering something new is always something to look forward to.

  8. Hahaha. I also didn’t flip my tits over this. They can make it “look” the same (same color, supposedly) but can they make it “feel” the same? As buttery and creamy as good real makeup?

    1. I hope she gets a good team of chemists as consultants. Honestly, I’m really doubtful. I have huge respect for chemists and as the video was playing, I keep thinking to myself, is it really possible to ‘robotize’ a chemist’s job? There’s a lot more to making cosmetics than mixing and shaking raw materials in a printer e.g., temperature setting, etc.

  9. I’ve also read about this, I honestly find it interesting and kind of ingenious! However, I doubt that the product itself will deliver what ladies really want “great quality makeup”. anyway, let’s see if this invention pushes through. ^_^

  10. I found about this on facebook! Grabe, the idea of the printer coming to life was terrifying. The printer does not only potentially have the power to ruin the beauty industry but also the experience that we makeup enthusiasts indulge ourselves in when we discover amazing products! And I have to say, the creator was so btchy on the video where she was introducing her product. UGH! haha

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