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Brief Published: 13 May 2014

DIY Beauty


Increasing awareness of the harsh and chemical ingredients used by the beauty industry has inspired new holistic and tech-fuelled projects to offer cheaper, do-it-yourself, and eco alternatives for the conscious consumer. 

Set up by three Milan-based creatives, Teardrop is an at-home phytocosmetic lab, allowing those wary of unpleasant ingredients in their products to create their own using natural materials and processes. Carolina Becatti, Maddalena Salvetti and Silvia Giustozzi’s kit provides the tools and methods to create phyto (plant-based) cosmetics that are extracted through a steam-based distillation system and are 100% natural. 

Lauren Davies, a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art, created a similar concept in 2013. The Alchemists Dressing Table envisioned consumers producing their own eco-friendly cosmetics, bypassing much of the harsh, processed production methods currently adopted by many established beauty brands. See our coverage of The New Eco Beauty and Eco Lips for More.

Developments in tech are also offering increased methods of customisation in make-up. Mink is a new 3D printer for make-up, which allows wearers to create their own products at home. Designed by Harvard Business School graduate Grace Choi, it works by lifting colour from a digital image – whether a photograph, Pinterest pin or established design software palette – to create a pigment using FDA-approved ink. This ink can then be mixed with raw material substrates to create anything from powders to glosses and lipsticks.

The printer was launched at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in New York earlier this month. “[The makeup industry] charges a huge premium on one thing that technology can provide for free, and that one thing is colour,” said Choi to the crowd. “We’re going to live in a world where you can take a picture of your friend’s lipstick and print it out.” Choi went on to demonstrate how an eyeshadow can be printed in 40 seconds with a colour selected from a YouTube video. 

For more on beauty tech see our Future Beauty Trend Update.