The cosmetic industry is ridiculous, according to Grace Choi a Harvard Business grad who told Business Insider, “The makeup industry makes a whole lot of money on a whole lot of bullshit. They charge a huge premium on something that tech provides for free. That one thing is color.”
The same ink used in a desktop printer can be used to print eyeshadow. Choi said the makeup industry uses the same ink and it’s all FDA approved. Her business model includes selling the printer she calls Mink, along with the raw materials to print eyeshadow, blush and eventually she hopes to add lipstick and foundation makeup.
Choi said you can buy cheap makeup at Walmart type stores because they purchase in mass. However your color selection is limited. If you want a specific type of color, say a rare pink, you’ll have to pay premium prices at retailers like Sephora. Who likes paying $25 for a tube of lipstick that you may not even like once you take it home? And how many of us actually go through the entire tube of lipstick? I usually end up throwing it away because it’s gone bad, which is wasteful.
Choi plans to sell the printer for $300. Steep price, you say? I can drop that easily at Sephora, and I practically have in my past life when I had a disposable income. She also plans on marketing toward younger girls and women as they are in the discovery stage of makeup. “We will grow up with them,” Choi said as they work to refine the printer once consumers start using it and working out the kinks.
I say more power to Choi! Smart girls are doing it for themselves. The makeup industry is ridiculous. Of course there is a lot to work out with this process. Not every face has the same skin type, so the raw materials used to create foundations for example will have to vary. I wouldn’t mind playing with different materials to come up with my own makeup. And besides, it would be nice to put those old printer cartridges to good use! The desktop printer is a dying technology, and Choi just may have discovered a way to revive it.
Ultimately, she’s putting the power in the hands of the consumer.
Watch Choi demo the printer. It’s pretty damn cool: Print Your Own Makeup With Mink