A Printer for…Lipstick?

Remember when I said the print industry is everywhere?



Lindsey Naples


Before the holidays, I had written this short blog about how I felt like I couldn’t escape the print industry—not only because of my job, but in my personal life, as well. The wrapping paper, the customized gifts, the clothing with print on it, the boxes…it was everywhere. Regardless of the everyday items like paper products, signage, and boxes that we encounter, print has now crept into an even more niche (or would it be broad?) market: the makeup industry.


Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), a subsidiary of the L’Oréal Cosmetics group, has recently created a lipstick printer called the Rouge Sur Mesure. It includes the handheld device itself, cartridges of lipstick colors that get inserted into the device, an app that allows you to select the color you’d like from a color wheel—you also can take a photo in the app of an object and the device will match the color to the best of its ability—and the result is the device pushing out the correct amount of each cartridge to achieve the desired color.


The YSL Rouge Sur Mesure and Cartridge System
Source: L’Oréal


In an interview with Guive Balooch, Global Vice President of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, the idea behind the device was increased personalization for customers. Considering how customization has taken over everything from cars, computers, and even coffee art, it’s no wonder that we are starting to see this in cosmetics. Personalization is a great marketing tool as it helps to make the purchase feel more unique to the consumer, giving them a little more incentive to choose the YSL device over a single tube of lipstick. Not only can you have what you want, you can have some say in what it looks and feels like.


The device currently retails for $477.00 USD, coming with the aforementioned cartridges (three shades of orange and three shades of pink) and the printing device, which has a removable head to take the printed color with you on the go. While that price tag could be a bit hefty, I’m not sure I (or many others, to be honest) could truly put a price on being able to recreate that one shade from last year that I can never quite seem to match. And as someone with very fair, pink-toned skin (who used to be petrified of what pink-hued lipsticks made me look like) this device would make finding a color that doesn’t wash me out far easier than buying out the store for shades I end up hating or have no use for.


So, while print was always in the beauty industry (be it labeling/packaging, signage, or graphics), it has now become something far more unique. Users can print their own cosmetics, right at their vanity—in their pajamas, if they so choose!


Print is here, everyone…but sometimes it has nothing to do with paper.