Mink: The Personal 3D Makeup Printer

 

Michelle Phan "Robot Chic" YouTube Billboard, NYC

Michelle Phan “Robot Chic” YouTube Billboard, NYC

 

If you’ve been around New York City recently, watched networks like ABC Family, or opened a copy of Allure, you may have noticed the YouTube campaign featuring the biggest beauty gurus. It’s no wonder we continue to witness the rise of beauty bloggers and vloggers; The Internet is a huge force in revolutionizing the concept of beauty and how we consume beauty products.

We buy and sell cosmetics online, review beauty products online, and watch countless makeup tutorials online. Wouldn’t it make sense to eventually create our own makeup at home with the help of the Internet and 3D printing technology? Yes!

All you fellow tech geeks out there might be familiar with TechCrunch Disrupt and some of the hype surrounding 3D printing. But what does that have to do with the beauty industry? Imagine taking the color from any image on your phone or computer and printing custom makeup at home–essentially creating your own personal Sephora (okay, maybe that’s just me being really hopeful).

I was so excited to see this article and demo spotlighting Mink, a mini 3D makeup printer created by Grace Choi, a Harvard Business School grad.

Grace Choi, Mink

Grace Choi, Mink at TechCrunch Disrupt

Mink, The Makeup Printer

Mink, The Makeup Printer

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You basically use any image software to identify a specific color, copy and paste the Hex Code and send the color to print. Choi’s prototype currently produces a powder eyeshadow pigment, but she explains the printer would also be able to create lipsticks, foundations and creams.

The evaluated price point is $300.00 for the printer (no set price yet for the ink/substrates). If you’re intrigued, you can request an invite to receive further updates regarding Mink.

I wonder about the quality of the “ink” and pigment ingredients. Even though Choi mentions the ink is FDA-compliant, I would like to know the composition in comparison to other trusted brands. Also, what else could the software and printer produce?

Will this technology really drive down the cost of cosmetics and help consumers save money in the long run? I hope so!

Regardless, the emerging 3D printing technology is pretty exciting and I like to think that an at-home makeup factory could be on the horizon!

Take a moment to watch this demo and let know what you think. What type of beauty product or invention would you create?

 

 

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Call Your Mom Cup

Happy Mother’s Day to all the fabulous moms out there 🙂

Only a parent can truly understand the sacrifice and support that goes into loving someone unconditionally, and a mother has the special power to show you how to be beautiful inside and out.

I make it a point to thank my mom for being amazing and to let her know that her strength and passion has paved the foundation for me and my sister to grow into confident, independent women with big dreams and ambitions. I know I should show her my appreciation more often and I hope she knows that all my hopes and accomplishments are because she first believed in me.

If you are fortunate to have your mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, or daughter please take a moment to connect and share your love with them. Celebrate them. Cherish them 

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My Funny Valentine…

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Ah, St. Valentine’s Day…one of my favorite holidays since childhood. All the reds and pinks and candy. Memories of making valentines for everyone in the class and exchanging candy grams with my friends.

This year I wanted to bring Valentine’s Day back to basics and make my own simple V-Day cards. In case you forgot, Valentine’s Day is this Friday, so you still have time to make your own sweet treats.

For some seriously adorable handmade holiday cards, check out Cherry Blossom Tree Designs!

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Inspired by these handmade beauties, I will show you how you can personalize your valentines this year:

Card #1 Heart of Gold 

Card #2 S.W.A.K.

Heart of Gold

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Valentines don’t have to be romantic or for your significant other. They can be given to friends and family as a token of how much you love and appreciate them. This ‘Heart of Gold’ card is for my parents, since their unconditional love comes from their hearts, which are made of gold.

What you need:

  • Card stock (plain or with preferred design)
  • Mod Podge (I used a glossy finish since I already had it. You can also try Mod Podge in a matte finish for paper products)
  • Foam brush or regular brush
  • Stiff paper to cut out heart stencil (any heart-shaped stencil you might already have)
  • Scissors
  • Gold glitter
  • Gold paint pen

First, select the size of card stock to be used and decide if you are making a horizontal or vertical design.

Take a sheet of thick or stiff paper (I used resume paper) and cut out a heart shape that will fit comfortably on the face of the card. This will create a disposable stencil. You can try the grade school method I show below or use something like a heart shape cookie cutter to trace the stencil.

You can use the cut out heart for another card idea or other craft projects.

Line the heart stencil on the face of the card and make sure it is centered. Since I folded the paper to cut my heart stencil, I used the center fold as my guide.

You can tape the stencil paper onto your table or place weighted items on the corners to help keep paper in place.

Grab a generous amount of Mod Podge on your brush and apply an even layer of glue over the heart stencil. Try to keep the application even on the edges of the heart, otherwise the glue can bleed under the stencil and warp the shape.

Let the glue dry for about 20 seconds so it becomes tacky. Then apply your glitter over the glue. Try to apply the glitter evenly.

Let the glitter sit on the glue for another 20-30 seconds, then use your clean finger to gently press the glitter onto the glue.

Allow the glitter to adhere to the glue for 15-20 minutes (follow drying instruction listed on the bottle).

Once the glitter has rested for the necessary time, you can carefully shake off excess glitter and clean the edges with your clean finger, tissue or clean brush.

Then, realign the stencil over the heart. Try to be as exact as you can so the edges match up.

Dip your used brush into the Mod Podge and gently apply another even layer of glue over the glitter. This layer will seal the glitter and avoid fall out.

Allow the top layer of glue to dry for 15-20 minutes.

Once the top coat is dry, brush off remaining loose glitter and proceed in using the gold paint pen or marker to write the text.

*You don’t have use the same text or glitter color. Go ahead and use whatever colors and text you want!

S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss)

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The ‘S.W.A.K.’ card was inspired by one of my favorite stationary and sticker sets from Lisa Frank (remember her?).

This card can be as cheeky, sexy or sentimental as you want. For my version, I will include a personal message listing a few ways kissing a certain someone is my favorite thing to do!

What you will need:

  • Card stock (plain color may allow the lipstick to pop more)
  • Your favorite lipsticks
  • Pen or marker of your choice
  • Hairspray (optional)

This card is so simple, yet so cute. The idea is to have your own kisses fill the card like love confetti. You can do a random pattern like I did, or if you have more space on your card you could do one kiss per reason/written line.

To begin, I went ahead and used a gold paint pen to write the main text (you can leave space on the inside to write a personal note).

Once the ink is dry, get to smooching!

I chose a mix of pink and red lip colors that were vibrant and matte (Sonia Kashuk & Maybelline are awesome). I wouldn’t suggest using a moisturizing lipstick or lipgloss, as the color can transfer and smudge very easily.

Apply a thick layer of lipstick to your lips, adding extra pigment to the center.

Pucker your sexy pout and plant that sucker straight onto the card. Hold and press your lips then gently rock the card side to side to capture your entire lip.

Write your message and remember to seal the envelope (and your special someone) with a kiss!

Optional: To help seal the lipstick, I applied a light mist of Moroccanoil hairspray. The hairspray acts as sealant that dries instantly. Please DO NOT use a heavy spray or gel hairspray. Only use a hairspray that has a fine fist and low alcohol content. And of course, do not allow this card or hairspray to come into contact with heat or flames!

*You do not have to use pink or red lipstick. If you have a signature color that will drive your special someone wild–use it!

*Before you KISS, click here: Try a homemade lip scrub to make sure your lips are smooth and hydrated!

The most important thing to do for Valentine’s Day is have fun and celebrate L.O.V.E!

XOXO Liz

DIY: Alice’s Tea Cup Candles

Alice's Tea Cup Candles

Alice’s Tea Cup Candles

It’s February and I am on a crafting kick, fueled by inspiration from a few special occasions coming up this month.

My recent project is transforming vintage inspired tea cups into candles. The tea cup is the ultimate dainty, feminine and whimsical accessory. Whether you choose to use it for tea time or as a decoration, who doesn’t love a cute cup and candle?

My sister gave me my first miniature Barbie tea set when I was really young, and I was stoked. The little set was legit and made me feel like such a lady. And then my fascination with tea time was born!

Below is the most similar image I could find that resembles my first tea set:

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 1.32.29 PM{Photo Courtesy of The Find}

What’s great about this DIY idea is that while the candle burns, it actually looks like a cup of tea and once the candle is done, you can clean out the soy wax and re-use the cup for real tea (or to hold jewelry, candies, flowers)! It’s also a fairly easy process and can be inexpensive if you shop around for the materials and are clever with items you already own.

The cute factor is sky-high and they make sweet, thoughtful gifts for a housewarming, birthday, party favors and even Valentine’s Day.

Bright Idea: As a gift, I would pair the tea cup candle with a tin of tea or tea cakes and macarons.

Another inspiration comes from my birthday a few years back, when I planned a grown-up Alice in Wonderland theme (including libations served in tea cups). I would have loved to have made tea cup candles for all my guests!

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Tick Tock, Tick Tock…It’s Tea Party Time!

I purchased the main materials (soy wax, wicks and fragrance) from Michaels (approximately $15.00). I picked up a few tea cups from HomeGoods (average price $8.00 per cup and saucer) and I also recommend checking out your local thrift store or ask friends and family members if they have any tea cups they can part with to help lower cost.

I prefer soy wax as it tends to burn cleaner and longer than regular wax. I suppose you could try to repurpose chunks of left over wax or melts, but I would suggest that you stick to one fragrance or make sure the fragrances you combine will complement one another and that the colors will not clash.

Since this was my first attempt, I decided to go ahead and buy wax at the store with a 40% off one item coupon instead of ordering online. Going forward, I recommend checking online to buy these items in bulk and for a better deal. Trust me, one pound of soy wax was just enough to fill three tea cups. If you decide to do try this project with young ones, please make sure to monitor them and the stove!

What you will need:

  • Tea cups of all variety (the more the merrier and a tea party you will certainly have!) *Make sure the cup can withstand a heat range of 120° to 160°.
  • At least one pound of Soy candle wax (or any type of wax you prefer) *You will need to use more wax than you think.
  • Waxed wicks *Make sure to measure the depth of your cups, bowls or containers and use a wick at least one inch taller.
  • Fragrance/Scent (optional)
  • Wax Dye (optional)

To Melt the Wax:

  • Double boiler (optional) *I will show you how I used a tin can and metal milk frothing jug.
  • Old saucepan with spout (optional) * If you choose to use an old pan, make sure you are okay with dedicating this for candle making only as wax can damage the sauce pan. You can probably purchase an old one at a thrift store for minimal cost.
  • Candy thermometer (optional)
  • Pair of tongs with rubber/silicon grip
  • Heat resistant glove
  • Hot glue gun and glue stick to adhere wick to bottom of cup

What I had at home instead of a double boiler or a pan I could “damage”:

How to make a Tea Cup Candle:

First, you will need to clean and dry the cup.

Use the hot glue or a temporary adhesive to allow the tab of the wick to stay in place.

Fill the saucepan about half way with water and begin to boil. Once you achieve a strong boil, you are ready.

I had to experiment with the amount of wax to place into the tin can. I learned quickly that you will need to double, if not triple the volume of wax as it will melt to about 2/3 the original volume.

I did not have a candy thermometer handy, so I used my best judgment on the status of melted wax. If you do have a candy thermometer, pay attention to the heating instructions on the soy wax. Soy wax tends to be softer so the melting point could range from 122° to 160°. The wax I purchased was microwavable, but I chose to use my stove top.

I used a saucepan and 14.5 oz clean green bean tin can to create a double boiler effect. The double boiler essentially uses the heat from the boiling water to heat the wax in a separate container (not all waxes can or should be melted in a microwave), and this is the quickest way to melt the wax.

Once the wax begins to melt, use a disposable chopstick to stir the wax. Once the wax is completley melted in the tin can, change the heat setting to low and allow the wax to cool slightly (about 30 seconds). Once the wax has cooled you can add dye or fragrance if desired (read the instructions for each).

I used the chopstick again to mix in the fragrance into the wax. I used my tongs to grab the middle of the tin, squeezed it tight and carefully poured it into the milk frothing jug.

Moving somewhat quickly, I used the milk frothing jug to transfer the wax into the cup. Pour enough so the wax reaches about half an inch from the rim. I placed another chopstick across the cup to prop up the wick to keep it straight.

Allow cups to cool undisturbed for at least 4-6 hours before burning.

Cut the wick to about 1/4 of an inch and enjoy!

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I cannot wait to include one of these beauties as part of a tea party themed bridal shower this weekend! If you are in New York, you might be familiar with the lovely brunch spot, Alice’s Tea Cup (there are a few locations, each one a “chapter”).

This is the perfect venue to indulge in tea time and exchange your personalized tea cup candles!

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{Click on the photos above for the original links}

XOXO Liz

Inspired Post: Sequins & Stripes Blog On What Is Important

{Check out the inspiration for this post: the amazing Sequins & Stripes!}

January 2014 is winding down. We’ve almost made it through, surviving the first real snow storm of the season, and now it’s time to reflect.

A show of hands: How many of you have made some sort of resolution, goal or plan for the year? Come on, don’t be shy! I commend you for having the courage to review your life and evaluate what could be improved, what changes need to be made (for health, happiness, success) and most of all, what is really important.

I arrived at the end of 2013 with a whole lot of life choices to evaluate; missed opportunities, second guessing my abilities, shortcomings, limitations. I made a promise to myself to recuperate the strength and energy so I could approach the new year very strategically. I realized I have a lot to “work on” (sigh) but I also have the potential and guts to achieve greatness–I can make it happen. Holla!

It’s scary to look into yourself and look at your life for what it really is. Sometimes you need to enlist the help of family and friends to help you put it all into perspective. Once you get past the ugly fears, you will feel lighter, liberated, like the fog is lifting and for the first time in a long while you can see all the colors of your life. Oh, how beautiful this view is!

Now that you can see things more clearly, your vision will become so vivid that you cannot ignore it. Don’t just look behind or ahead. Look all around you. The more you take in, the easier it will be to see the paths laid out before you. The better you can discern all the signs and how they make sense in your journey.

This post from Sequins & Stripes inspired me to really, truly consider what is important to me during this time. Check it out. Think it out. Write down what you didn’t get to achieve last year, why you didn’t follow through and what consequences this caused. Then think about this year and what is important for your life (including what is important to let go). Let that be your priority. Identify, very specifically, what it is you want this year and then focus on each item. What kind of time, money and effort will it take to achieve (i.e. losing weight, buying a house, going back to school and etc.). Not sure where to start? Do the research and seek advice from friends and professionals.

The only way to make progress is to face each goal head on. Make a plan, write down each step and milestone, follow your timeline and budget and ask those you trust to help keep you accountable. For me, I get so excited about the big picture that I can actually overwhelm myself with all the details at once. BITE SIZE. Break it down into parts that make sense to you and tackle it every day. Procrastination can stem from laziness or fear. Laziness or lack of passion and motivation could indicate that this goal is not that important to you (if you really want it, you will not make excuses). Fear or doubt can cloud your vision and make you focus on potential failures instead of success.

Here are some inspirational quotes to give you that kick in the booty. Save them as your phone or computer wallpaper so you are constantly reminded of the great things you will achieve!

XOXO Liz Signature

New Year’s Eve: Champagne, Diamonds & Caviar

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It’s New Year’s Eve, and I am ready to soar into 2014!

There are many #hashtags to celebrate and goals to achieve in the new year so I wanted to share my current inspiration for 2014: Champagne, Diamonds & Caviar.

The color combo of golds, silvers and black is classic, chic  and all over Pinterest (think Great Gatsby meets Audrey Hepburn)! I love how strong, elegant and edgy this ensemble feels and I think it truly embodies how I feel right now.

Since I am awaiting the arrival of my official bar cart, I decided to go ahead and create a mini-tablescape for a New Year’s Eve celebration. All items are from Michaels, Target, T.J. MaxxWorld Market and Marshalls. Like memories and party dresses, some items are new and some are old/re-purposed.

I had a blast putting this quick and versatile arrangement together in 15 minutes or less. Whatever the occasion, make it fun, fabulous and full of surprises.

I hope this puts a smile on your face, like it does mine and that you will also be inspired to kick off 2014 with a bang!

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XOXO Liz Signature

The Art of Being Thankful

Keep Calm & Gobble On Courtesy of Cherry Blossom Tree Designs

Keep Calm & Gobble On
Courtesy of Cherry Blossom Tree Designs

Happy Thanksgiving! What a difference one year makes. This time last year we were dealing with the aftermath of Sandy (thankfully I only lost power, Internet access and some of my sanity, sigh), trying to buy our first Christmas tree (a real one!) for our first apartment (a bigger one!) and just trying to muddle through the rest of the year.

I can say that I have a very long list of things and people I am thankful for and each year just keeps getting better. To you, my friends and family–thank you for making this year pivotal and fulfilling.

We each have our own way of expressing gratitude and humility. I call this the art of being thankful. There is no minimum or limit when it comes to thanking someone. Sometimes it’s just a simple smile and acknowledgement that warms the heart. A hand written card also goes a long way 🙂

Here are a few highlights of my first truly adult Thanksgiving, complete with first time cooking a turkey and things that make this holiday such a joy for me. I will be updating throughout the day and hope you are having a fabulous day giving thanks 

XOXO Liz Signature