Grace Choi, a recent Harvard Garduate, took to the stage at TechCrunch to reveal her new innovation – a printer that prints make-up. We’ve heard of 3D printers printing shoes and printers printing smells and perfume but there is something about the Mink Printer that is really getting the industry talking.
The Mink Printer has only been seen in prototype, but when it is released it will be the size of a Mac Mini and initially cost $300. To print eye-shadow, blush, lipstick, and more you place a pod into the printer to be dyed with printer dye, that is cosmetic grade and FDA approved. What makes the printer likely to be adopted by consumers is the ideal teaming with the target market of 13-21 girls. Girls aged between 13-21 are already known to be experimenting with their own look while being very conscious of upcoming trends, which are they are very likely to try. And the biggest thing they experiment with for their make-up is colour. Choi is adamant that colour is the defining difference for make-up products even though such a wide range is sold at such a high cost.
Choi already speaks like the youth of her market. She said at TechCrunch “the make-up industry makes a whole lot of money on a whole lot of bull-sh*t”. Her solution wipes out the huge mark-up beauty products have in-store and packaged.
What is nice about this new product is that it is taking note of personal differences within a mass market approach. In an interview at TechnoCrunch, Choi recalls how she found it hard to find her first foundation due to her skin tone. Mink Printer has been created for women to find confidence in their looks as it takes away the normalizing tendencies a shop can easily have. A Choi explained, when she was younger she wanted to wear green lipstick but no one was selling it – did this mean she was weird wanting green lipstick? Why didn’t she want to look like everyone else? Should she look like everyone else? The Mink Printer hopes to waive young women’s image concerns by letting them play with colour their own way.