Mink 3D printer for makeup ..why it may not work in its current form

Hey everyone!

So I am sure at least some of you read about/saw the presentation by Grace Choi at Tech Crunch Disrupt. In case you haven’t heard of whats been pretty much the latest buzz on social media take a look at  her presentation below:

(Source: TechCrunch)

If you’ve watched this video I am sure your head is buzzing with questions 🙂 When I saw this presentation I was put off by so many things that I just had to express myself somewhere! 😀

First off I don’t understand why this has garnered so much of press (I am assuming its the Harvard Business School tag)….She admits during the Q and A that its not a working proto type and she ‘hacked’ it up. Initially I thought the eyeshadow she showed up was something she created beforehand using her printer but a lot of people have pointed out that the eyeshadow is in fact a bare minerals eyeshadow! (the color is not the one she picked on screen either)

Secondly, her entire premise for the invention (women buy high end makeup for color options) is totally wrong as any cosmetics consumer can point out. I am sure a lot of you will agree that if its just color we are after we can buy those huge coastal scents eyeshadow palettes and be happy for the rest of our lives!

Third point: This is not 3D printing. I feel she is just using the term because it is the latest buzz word in the tech industry. From whatever she has revealed or should I say hypothesized about her invention, we can say its just spraying color onto a base (very much like how we print something on paper at home). An actual 3D printer should be able to ‘print’ the whole eyeshadow from scratch (base and all).

Fourth point: It irritates me that she doesn’t talk about quality at all. We women are not dumb to go give our money to high end brands if they sell us chalky poor quality makeup. A women most likely buys high end make up for the packaging, texture, staying power and ingredients. When its just the color I am after, I am sure 98% of the time the drug store can provide a more affordable alternative and I don’t need a 300$ printer. The colors which are hard to find drugstore dupes for, are those which have textural aspects to the color like a pearlescent finish for example, which this printer does not address, so this doesn’t solve any problems in my opinion.

Fifth point: She couldn’t answer any of the questions from the panel. I really wished there was a woman up there on that panel who would have asked all the right questions or even a guy who has a deeper understanding of the cosmetic industry. The panel did ask her relevant questions like how to make lipstick etc  but did not really push for a better explanation from her.

Sixth point: Her attitude really put me off..sorry! Maybe she was nervous and I know, having done so many times myself, how nerve wracking it can be when presenting to a huge audience. But there is a fine line between getting defensive about your work and coming off as an arrogant know all above all personality. Investors like to work with people who don’t just have smart ideas but with whom they can establish long term working relationships with, so it pays to project the positive aspects of your personality.

Lastly, shopping for make up is a social and sensory  experience for a lot of people. I am sure 13 to 21 year olds love to check out makeup with their friends and moms. I did..with my mom as a teenager and it was always a fun and pleasurable experience. The whole convenience thing (which she did not spell correctly;  not to nitpick but come on, check your spellings woman before you make an important presentation) is not really a selling point. Sure, 13 year olds can have fun with this during a sleepover but when they hang out with their friends they will still go to a Sephora to try things out and buy them too. So this invention is not going to disrupt the cosmetics industry in anyway. Beyond being a ‘toy’ I don’t see it doing much.

To wrap up, I’ll say that the idea is really cool but I need to see a real working prototype to believe that its actually possible. Once that is established I want to see how the machine can deliver in terms of product texture and quality 🙂

Until next time ciao!!




2 thoughts on “Mink 3D printer for makeup ..why it may not work in its current form

  1. You crack me up. I have pretty much the same concerns. Yes, I would love to be able to find the perfect color right off the computer screen, but honestly I too wonder about the quality of ink injected base. I love my YSL, but because of the quality, not because the color is hard to match. If it’s low quality, how many eyeshadows would I have to make to justify the cost of the printer + ink? With brands like elf, I can get hundreds of colors for like 20 bucks.

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