MODA 3D printer promises to apply your makeup in 30 seconds

01 April 15MODA 3D printer promises to apply your makeup in 30 seconds

MODA 3D printer promises to apply your makeup in 30 seconds

According to a recent UK study, the average woman spends roughly one year and three months of her life applying makeup—that translates to over three hours every single week, or 28 minutes a day—never mind the amount of time we spend touching it up over the course of the day and then taking it all off at night. While that number seems extreme, I have to admit that I’m probably one of those women. Ever since high school, I’ve experimented with using makeup to cover blemishes and puffy eyes, or glam me up for a big night out. But while it can be a fun and transformative ritual, what if that one-year-and-three-months could be spent more productively? What if we could just hand over the reigns and let 3D printing take care of our beauty woes?

Surprise, surprise, that day may already have come. Foreo, the Swedish lifestyle company that brought us the LUNA skin exfoliator and ISSA electronic toothbrush, is once again trying its hand at combining the worlds of beauty and technology with MODA, the world’s first digital makeup artist.


Using 3D scanning, 3D printing, and a smartphone app, the MODA promises to personalize the hottest makeup trends for your face and apply them in 30 seconds flat.

You begin by choosing the kind of look you’re going for. Want to re-create Mila Kunis’ smokey eyes, or Angelina Jolie’s shiny red pout? Simply upload a photo of their red carpet looks to the MODA app. Alternatively, you can choose from millions of looks on Instagram and other social networks, or select a makeup style from the existing MODA suite, which provides a “recommendation of looks based on your individual features”. The MODA app then uses Bluetooth to transmit your chosen look directly to the system.

Next comes the fun part. The actual MODA machine is a large, round box, similar to what you’ve seen at the optometrist’s office. You place your face against the forehead and chin rests and wait while the 3D facial scanning system creates a composition of your facial geometry in real-time at 90 frames per second, mapping and tracing each nook, cranny, blemish and imperfection—just like your mother does, only without all the judgment.

Once your face has been registered, the MODA directly applies your chosen look using more than 2,000 superfine nozzles that “simultaneously adjust within 40 microns of their determined alignments.” The makeup is applied in three layers: primer, foundation, and high-impact colour for eyes, cheeks and lips. According to the company, the ‘ink’ used is long-lasting, hypoallergenic and FDA-approved, so even sensitive-skin types can benefit.

Then, voila! With smokey eyes intact, cheeks radiating a healthy bronze glow, and lips pouted to perfection, you’re ready to upload a selfie to the MODA app and head out for a night on the town—or so the company’s promotional video would have you believe.

As much as I would love to say goodbye to clumpy mascara and uneven foundation for good, it might be too early to tell if the MODA really is the timesaving, beauty-enhancing breakthrough we have been waiting for. Currently, the Foreo MODA is available by invite only, and there is no mention of cost on their website. Best-case scenario: we’re 30 seconds away from looking like Scarlett Johansson. Worst-case? Homer Simpson’s Makeup Gun comes to mind.

Either way, no woman—or man—should feel the need to rely on makeup to conform to arbitrary beauty ideals. As well all know it’s what on the inside that counts. Instead of building up the MODA as the answer to our (perceived) imperfections, maybe we should just look at it as a fun way to play with our looks, experiment with different scanning methods and skin-safe materials, and yet another breakthrough in the ever-evolving world of 3D printing technology.



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