How To Hack Your Home Printer So It Will 3D Print Any Lipstick, Nail Polish, Eye Shadow Or Other Makeup You Want

Mink 3D print makeup Grace Choi founderMink/VimeoMink founder Grace Choi applying eye shadow she 3D printed on an HP paper printer.

Grace Choi is the founder of Mink, a 3D makeup printing company that wants to teach the world how to stop buying cosmetics and start printing their own in any colour.

Choi created a how-to video and provided Business Insider with step-by-step instructions on how to 3D print lipsticks, eye shadows and nail polishes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Grace Choi, 30, is a Harvard graduate who figured out how to turn any home printer into a 3D makeup printer.

While Choi says most home printers can be hacked to 3D print makeup, she recommends an HP 6100 which costs about $US70.

You also will need ink that meets your government's regulations, since you're printing things that will go on your skin, around your eyes and mouth.

Vegetable ink is a pretty good bet, Choi says.

Now that you have your printer, here's what to do. It's just like any other paper printer, but you can hack it to print makeup.

Step 1: Reduce the paper feed tray to the narrowest width and stick in a piece of paper that matches the size. This will give you the most surface area on top, which you'll need to perform the next step. Paper is necessary to trigger (start) the printer.

Step 2: Open the front panel and rip out the foam on the print bed with pliers.

Tada! Your foam bed has been removed, and your printer should look like this.

Fill up a refillable ink cartridge with your FDA-approved ink, like vegetable or edible ink that's the right colour to match the cartridge that was already in your printer.

Take out the colour ink cartridges your printer comes with and replace them one by one with your new ink formula

Like so.

Now you can start printing makeup! Let's start with eyeshadow.

First you need white shadows to print on top of. Choi's printer hack will print a layer of the colour makeup you want on top of the base, like a sample size of the colour. The ink doesn't seep through, so you can scrape off the printed colour once you're done with it to reveal the white base underneath, and print again.

Choi recommends a white eyeshadow base like Jordana, White Lace Baked Eye Shadow; NYX, Whipped Cream Hot Singles Eye Shadow; Make Up Forever, No. 0 (Choi's note: 'Eyeshadow is tricky! Not all white eye shadows work, lots of trial and error.')

Using a toothpick, scrape out the eyeshadow from the pan, then dice it up until it's a non-clumpy powder.

Scrape the fine powder into a new eyeshadow pan (make sure dimensions fit into the print bed wells of your foamless, HP printer)

Using your fingers or a flat surface, press the powder into the pan. (For a professional finish, Choi recommends using a screen printing screen)

Voila! It looks just like eye shadow again.

Stick your blank eyeshadow pan into the HP printer well, to the left of the ink cartridges.

Go online and find a picture with the colour eyeshadow you want to print.

Use a browser plugin to help you select the proper colour, or select the colour using a tool like Photoshop once the photo has been pulled onto your computer's desktop.

Create a new document in Photoshop or a similar tool and paste the colour so that it takes up the entire document.

Then print the document, which should now be the same colour as the image you pulled from online.

Take out the eyeshadow pan once the printing is complete.

It looks pretty close to the original colour!

Here's Choi applying the blue eye shadow she just printed.

Alright, now how about lipstick or lip gloss? Again, start with white lipstick, white lipmix, clear lipgloss, or lip balm. Choi recommends EOS lip balm; MAC lipglass, clear; MAC lipmix, white; NYX macaron lippie, coconut

Cut the lipstick or squeeze the lip gloss so that it fills the printer-well-size tin.

Put the tin into the printing well.

Choose the colour you want to print from the Internet. Drop the colour into Photoshop and print like before.

This time, you'll want to mix the printed gloss thoroughly, either with a brush...

...or a flame. For a professional finish, Choi recommends heating the bottom of tin with a lighter so the lipstick melts to a flat surface.


Store and save your sample sizes for later use.

Nail polish can be printed from home too, but it requires a few more hacks and tools. And you're going to need a drill. Choi is teaching people how to do this at hackathons across the country, but we'll attempt to walk you through it too right now. Products Choi recommends: Essie nail polish, blanc; Bic Wite Out; Band-Aid friction block stick; Pentel white instant dry marker; Sally Hansen, Big Shiny Top Coat; Sally Hansen, Ultimate Shield Base & Top Coat; Tape; Chapstick

First, crack open the printer. (Choi says, 'I like to go right to left, start with popping open the tabs underneath on the right.')

Keep cracking in....

Drill holes into plastic bed space (Choi's note: 'Make sure it's not where the paper feed mechanism is, generally the leftmost 3-4 wells are pretty safe.')

Now prep your hands to be printed on. Tape around the nails to prevent staining on skin.

Lining your nails with Chapstick works too.

You can either print directly on your nails using a clear base coat...

Or you can brush the nails with white nail polish/Wite Out/white base colour for a more vibrant finish.

Stick your paws where the paper goes so your nails are under the drilled print bed and print the desired colour using Photoshop.

Remove hands and finish with a clear polish to secure the printing in place.

Now watch the whole video to see Choi hack together the 3D makeup printer and print makeup.

(video provider='vimeo' id='105411537' size='xlarge' align='center')

Hack Your Own Mink - Happy Minking! ;) from Minnie Mink on Vimeo.

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