Friday, May 9, 2014

The future is closer than you think: Print makeup and smell perfume...from your phone

When it comes to the world of beauty, technology has given us innovations that previous generations could have never imagined. I'm not tech-savvy by any means, so I still think it's cool that I can "try on" hairstyles and nail colors on my phone before committing to the real thing. But if innovations like that seem old and boring to you, there are some technologies on the horizon that may pique your interest. I have my own opinions about these new technologies, but I'm much more interested in hearing YOURS. After you watch these videos, please leave a comment below and let's get this conversation started!

First up:

Would you like to be able to send text scent messages from your iPhone? Yeah, it's a thing and it's coming. But if you don't have an iPhone or don't want to upgrade your iPhone for "scent-messaging", this could be on the way too:


Next up: 

Would you like to be able to print (yes, print) eyeshadow, lipstick, foundation, etc. from the comfort of your own home (and phone)?  It may be closer than you think:


Again, I have strong opinions about these new technologies, but I'd much rather hear YOUR opinions. After you watch these videos, please comment below and let us know what you think!

PS: Shout-out to my former boss (he was my boss at a company that had absolutely nothing to do with beauty) for sending me this link about the Mink Printer yesterday. Thanks so much, Mr. S!
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30 comments

  1. I am a big fan of your blog! :) The Mink printer lady has got the whole 'what women look for when shopping for makeup' thing all wrong! I pay higher prices at Sephora for the lasting power, ingredients and texture (also pretty packaging) not just color and I know thats true for a lot of other women :)

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    1. Thank you! :)

      And yes, that's one thing that rubbed me the wrong way too. I felt like the formula was sort of secondary to her, and it's SO important to so many of us. Yes, color is a driving force for many beauty purchases, but formula is just as important to many of us (perhaps even more important that color when it comes to things like powder and foundation, where pigmentation and performance are everything).

      I have so many questions about this. Like, how does it account for finishes? Would all of the colors be printed as flat, matte shades? Is there a hex code for a "blue shimmer with a green flash"? lol. So will there be an extra component required to add shimmer, sparkle, glitter, etc? Or will everything just be a flat matte?

      And how does the ink jet actually blend the color into the "base"? Does the inkjet just do an overspray onto the base shadow that's in the pan? I mean, what's going on in that little box? Is there a mechanism that dumps the base into the pan, mixes it with the pigment and then presses it into an eyeshadow all within a matter of seconds? And what about lipstick? How would it be able to mix the base and pigment properly, pour it into a mold and spit it out of that little box in a minute or two?

      I could go on and on, but I think I'd just have to see it actually work in person to be able to fully wrap my mind around it...

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    2. I picture the machine at home depot that mixes pigment into the base for your paint. In that case, you can select finishes I guess (satin, gloss, matte, etc) so maybe it would be something like that?

      I am only 2 minutes into the video, though, and I REALLY don't like her presentation. I am not a dainty little lady, don't get me wrong, I curse like a sailor... but if you're giving a professional presentation, it should be professional. I don't want to hear "bullshit" and "your own freakin' house" from a businessperson. And I'd say the same thing if she were a man.

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    3. Yeah, my boyfriend was really put off by her saying "we need to train our girls" which I totally missed the first time. I think "train" was a poor choice of words....maybe "present girls with other possibilities" would have been better. :/

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    4. I was also very put off by her tone. And her spelling!

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    5. I was also appalled by her presentation and apparent cluelessness about her target audience. If this product is going to make it anywhere, she has a lot of work to do...

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  2. My opinion? I was *this close* to checking the calender to see if it was April 1st

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  3. I think the Mink idea is really cool but I agree with everything you said in your above comment G. ALSO, I don't think makeup companies are going to take too kindly to being able to rip off their (possibly) exclusive color in a matter of seconds, I feel like their lawyers will be all over minks ass haha

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  4. I saw the video for Mink a few days ago and was largely unimpressed. My concerns were mostly for the homogeneity of the color throughout the base, the quality of the "raw materials" that she provides, the portability and convenience of the lip products, how hypoallergenic or comedogenic these bases will be, if more than a matte finish would be possible, the hygiene of using bases that might be sitting inside of the printer for months or even years; on and on and on. I'd be better off using a Barbie lipgloss mixing kit. By volume, printer ink is more expensive than human blood, and the price of $300 plus ink plus colorless base materials plus packaging, it's not worth it at all—who knows if you;d break even at all. I'd rather give my money to indie brands that provide a unique, quality product that can't be found elsewhere.

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  5. idea is cool but the product and presentation definitely needs a lot of work. as many have pointed out, formulation of base is key. prettiest colors in the world are not going to do us any good if it doesn't stick or causes reaction. also, that pink is nowhere near the color she clicked on! i'm not sure how that color coding software works, maybe it picked up one pixel instead of an area of pixels? theoretically, i think the idea is kind of cool. it might be nice to have around to create trend colors that we may want to wear occasionally and don't want to spend a lot of money on or use the color wheel to adjust a color we like so it's more suitable for our skin tone.

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  6. I told my husband I thought it was "bogus" and he was shocked. I explained to him that shopping for makeup is something I LOVE to do, so the idea of having it come out a printer in my own home is..weird. I also told him that for $300 + $100 ink refill I can buy almost all the colors of eyeshadows out there for a less amount, and they'd last me a long time. I don't know who the girl is but she has a really sassy attitude, with the sureness that this will sell.

    Now, if she made a printer that can make my own false eyelashes in so many different styles, I'd get on that quick!!

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  7. I think both of these ideas are awful and won't ever come to full fruition. If that Grace chick had really done her homework and research she would know that the makeup industry is much deeper than just COLOR. There are so many other things out there that we look for, and I have a feeling you are going to be left with a really crappy product that I would honestly be scared to put on my face. Everyone will have the same "unibase" and it would be very difficult (and expensive) to create different types of bases, finishes, etc. I think the concept is interesting, but I think it needs to change a lot.

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  8. Half the fun is shopping anyway.

    Formula IS important, especially for, ahem, more seasoned skin.

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  9. And CONVENIENCE was misspelled in the powerpoint presentation so that alone is a deal breaker for me. LOL just kidding. I'm way past her 13-21 demo anyway.

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    1. Ha! I noticed that typo too and I don't want to be the pot calling the kettle black (I have my fair share of typos here on the blog that I don't always catch, unfortunately) but if I were presenting to prospective investors, etc. I would have quadruple-checked every letter in every slide. Ugh.

      And yeah, I'm waaaay past her target demo too but if this is going to last (if it ever makes it to market) it has to be more than a novelty for that kind of money! :)

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  10. forgot to comment on the scent device. i think that's cool. i think i would enjoy it paired with my clock app so that i can have an energizing scent when my alarm goes off. that might help with the wakeup process.

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  11. I think she has the right idea because hey, who wouldn't love to have a cheap dupe for a gorgeous (highly priced) shadow or lip color? But my main concern was what everyone else seemed to notice too - she didn't mention quality at all, just convenience. I think this is great for people who generally stick to drugstore basics and don't really look into it. However, for the more beautyholics, unless the quality and formula are taken into consideration this seems like a dud. Also, the shadow she printed is nothing like the color she selected (shade-wise and opacity-wise).

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  12. Back again!

    I dunno... this is just too much for me. I'm only 25 and I feel like I'm too old for this. Not EVERYTHING has to be at our fingertips and I feel like the world is just pushing instant gratification on us. I, like many, enjoy shopping! I like the hunt, I like googling swatches to see if a product is what I want, I like finding LE products when they get released - it's all a thrill for me. THAT is what the "bullshit" makeup industry provides me, not just color. And on the subject of color, I LIKE the mass-produced neutrals that cheapo drugstores can give me... I feel like she was kinda dissin' us bargain beauty lovers. I don't need to print my own taupe because I love WNW taupes, maybe if I was more of a crazy color-loving makeup gal I would be more into this, but no. Walgreens and Walmart have all I need.

    The best use I can see for the mink printer is foundation. Like snap a pic of your face and do the little color picker click on a blemish-free spot and voila! perfect custom foundation/concealer color

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  13. Ok. So is this girl for real? I am very confused by this whole video. She went to Harvard Business School? Really? This is the weirdest thing I think I've ever seen. No one says you have to go to Sephora and buy makeup. If you are between the ages of 13-21 then just go to any drugstore and buy a WNW eyeshadow for $1.00 and call it a day. Why in the world would anyone buy a $300 printer and the refills for makeup?!? I guess I really just don't get this. Maybe I'm too old, I don't know. But this whole video made me mad. Plus she had no confidence, she didn't even know what company makes printers and of course the spelling error. Then the third guy says that the teens could custom-make their own shades and sell them to their friends?!? Isn't that what cosmetic companies are doing? So wouldn't you be right back to where you were to begin with?!? Sorry for the long rant...this clearly fired me up. :(

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  14. The Mink video didn't wow me at all. First of all, she was unfortunately not a very good public speaker. If the product were great it wouldn't matter so much, but the product wasn't great. My second concern was the quality and cost of the materials she was using. As other have pointed out, printer ink is expensive, and 3D printer materials even more so. At $300 + materials, there is no savings. And what's in that stuff anyway? Third point is that the color she printed didn't even come close to the color that she as trying to match on the screen. Fourth concern - we don't have to "train our girls" anything.

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  15. Someone on reddit had the right idea for the Mink: Put them in retail stores, not in homes. The upfront cost is high; the inventor is delusional if she thinks teenagers are going to pay hundreds of dollars to print custom makeup. But there are already color-matching services like the Bite Lip Lab, and this could be an interesting addition.

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  16. Saw the makeup printer video the day it first came out and was shocked at how much press she/it had been receiving since then...and none negative...up till now! (That's why I love this blog so much...because we speak the truth!). That "girl", Grace, came off as uneducated, unprofessional and incredibly condescending towards girls and their parents alike. She was clueless about how much work actually goes into developing, creating and testing a makeup product that is not only the right color, but the right texture, quality and safe to use around your eyes! As a mom, I would be more likely to allow my teenager to buy a giant set of colors from Sephora (store brand) for $50 so she can mix and create "new" colors rather than let her invest $300+ on this printer, inks, and bases that is, most likely, unhygienic and possibly unsafe (what chemist or lab would sign off on these Frankenstein'd products?!)

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  17. Please read this: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/makeup-articles/why-3d-makeup-printing-wont-work?src=spr_FBPAGE&spr_id=1447_57582061

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  18. honestly I think this is a great experiment idea for the makeup industry this should be something that you go to like a museum to see lol I couldn't imagine a lot of people buying this I wouldn't.. I totally agree with you that it's not all about color it's about formulation and lasting power eyeshadows need to be pigmented an easy to blend.. also I know some of us are a sucker for cute packaging lol it's kind of the same thing that dupes are about.. you know you might find another product that's cheaper and its the same color but you really can't compare a Mac lip stick to a dollar store 1 there are two totally different feelings even though they might look similar.. That is fascinating though!

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    1. that's a good point about dupes... and I wouldn't pay $300 and up so that I could make my own dupes when I'd probably enjoy having high end stuff more for the price

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  19. Seems like a lot of people dislike this but I see this as an amazing partnership idea between cosmetic companies and Mink. The idea is fabulous. It is not going to give you EVERYTHING that you want and the possibilities will not be endless. Imagine if MAC partners with her for eye shadow. MAC has something like 160 permanent colors and then they have there rotating seasonal colors. Imagine if they had a Mink "collection". Estee Lauder which owns multiple beauty brands (origins, aveda, mac, estee lauder, etc) I'm excited for this. I can't wait for her to have a demo for people to come check out.

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  20. Those are really cool! For scentsa, I can only really see it going into the gaming market, since a scented ringtone, there isn't really a need for it.

    As for Mink, it's a great concept, but her presentation seemed really unprofessional and she looked unprepared. I think that the machine will be really useful for makeup artists who do work on movies and shows, namely special effects and need specific colors. I like going to Sephora and the reason some eyeshadows are really expensive is because of the quality, and people don't mind spending money on their dream color.

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  21. i think the concept of 3d printer is intersting, however i would not invest in this right away. I would like to follow up journal articles in which the mink printer has been tested. Also, my concern is about what types of substrates are being used? what if the consumer is allergic or the substrate gets contaminated and bacterial biofilms grow in the printer? also i am not impressed with her language.

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  22. It is one of those useless things that some will buy just to say they did. They also have one that is already out my sister has that emits a bacon smell. She won it in a contest.
    (bacon alarm: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/wake-smell-bacon-alarm-clock-article-1.1719690)
    I personally would not want scent spray all over my phone face and screen, nor on my hands. I am not sure how you would send a scent message without your friends having the same cartridge not only purchased but also installed. Cant send a vanilla cupcake scent while your friend has their pine tree one in lol. Unless they can come up with a way to house every scent known to man in one cartridge I see this being a fail.

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  23. In regards to the Mink printer ---

    With all due respect, what's "bullshit" is her idea.

    For one, since when does the tech world provide ink (or "color") for free? The ink for my Epson printer is like 80 f'n bucks! If I'm missing out on these free tech Qs, clue a sister in. 😘

    More importantly, she clearly has no background in cosmetics - no knowledge of ingredients, product performance, consumer needs, etc. Cosmetics are not "base + ink".

    I am no head chemist for Procter & Gamble, but I do make cosmetics (nail polish, eye shadow, and mineral foundation, mostly) in a studio at my home, and know quite a bit about the process.

    The "bases" are nuanced blends of ingredients - silicone, titanium dioxide, clays, silk powders, oils, and a million other things - and that's without even getting into color, really.

    These ingredients are what make each product perform differently. It takes a long time to get it right! You have to research other products and formulations, obtain raw ingredients, formulate your own blend, add pigments (more on that in a sec), and test. Test on yourself, your friends, your momma's neighbor, EVERYONE. What's wrong with it? What tweak in the mix will fix that issue? Then you reformulate. And test again. See my point? It's impossible to have a one-size-fits-all base.

    And then there is color: pigments, dyes, micas, glitters, natural glitters, glass fleck, holographic pigments, natural clays and vegetable dyes...and that is just off the top of my head. That pretty sheen in your eyeshadow is from mica, or some kind of interference pigment (example: a hot pink with a blue shift - likely a white looking powder that shines blue I light added to pink pigment/mica). It's not just ink. Now, it of course is possible to put these things into a liquid ink medium. Those items already exist. But, including all of them, for every possible variation, would be impossible.

    Don't even get me started on using an internet photo as the basis for you "dupe", either. We know good and damn well how lighting, cameras, skin tones, etc. can alter/skew a color. There is no way that this printer could account for that, even if it could somehow have all the right ingredients on-board. (Plus, there is glitter, duochrome, multichrome, holo, and so on - and a printer could not interpret that from a 1 dimensional image.)

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