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Mink 3D printer for makeup?

I saw this article about a person who developed a 3D printer that can print any color of makeup (currently in eyeshadow or lipstick form) using normal printer ink, which they say is FDA-approved, but it doesn't go into more detail than that. I'm skeptical, so I wonder if you could tell me...

1: Is it true that normal printer ink is safe for cosmetic use? This seems too simple to be true.

2: I thought that even among approved cosmetic pigments, some are only approved for non-lip or non-eye application. If printer ink pigment IS safe for cosmetic use, would it still be safe for all applications?

3: What are the other potential limitations of desktop cosmetic production?


  • We plan on discussing this in a podcast that we'll be recording shortly, so stay tuned. The quick answer regrind the colors is that she HAS to be using approved colorants or else these would be illegal cosmetics. Perhaps she has a special printer ink made using approved materials? Not sure. 
  • I found this very interesting.  There is a video at:

    Although I haven't gotten any details and based on assumptions I am guessing that this only creates color so there would have to be bases to mix these in (eg foundations, lipsticks, etc)  That could turn into a big market.  But I see a problem in that a base's ingredients could alter a pigments color (eg making it appear darker).  This would then have to be adjusted within the software.  Also I don't know if ALL printer ink can be used.  Some inks contain pigments and dyes.  I don't know how dyes would play out.  But, it does sound like fun in making your own lipsticks, foundations, blushes, etc.

    It would also eliminate the comment "I loved this color, but they discontinued it!" 
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