CES 2021

The worst gadget at CES is YSL's tiny lipstick printer

There is no high tech replacement for a tube of lipstick. Yet.

The lipstick printer in three orientations.

The Yves Saint Laurent Beauté Rouge Sur Mesure Powered by Perso (phew, we're off to a terrible start with that name) is a tiny personal lipstick printer that just made its (digital) debut at CES 2021. Thanks, I hate it.

Technically we saw this gadget in another iteration last year and it seems nobody behind the product has had any new ideas. To create whatever shade the user selects on an accompanying iOS or Android app, the tiny gadget squirts three colors of lipstick onto a small pan. When combined, the three shades create the desired effect and can be applied using the compact mirror built into the case.

That looks inappropriate.L'Oréal

Each of these three shades comes in replaceable pods and can be swapped for one of four options: red, nude, orange, or fuchsia depending on what the user needs that day. To find the right shade for you, the app provides various options and functions, including one that will analyze a photo of your outfit to determine the "correct" color match. Parent company L'Oréal says it's also working on skincare and foundation pods. The device lasts about one week on each charge via USB-C and comes in at $299. Each additional set of pods will run you $100. The new line will be available in September.

Now that I've completed the info dump, here are various things I hate about this product in no particular order:

  • It's ugly. Let's just start there.
  • Isn't the point of personal style to make unconventional, bold, personal, and unique choices? Taking the average colors in my outfit and spitting out a beige looking pink to match it seems like the antithesis of fashion.
  • The skincare and foundation pods are useless. Firstly: If you find a skincare routine that works for you, you absolutely will stick to it, making the customization beside the point. Secondly: Who is changing their foundation color this often? Are you a chameleon? Most people have one shade for winter and one shade for summer and, in the age of bronzer, even that is pushing it.
  • If it uses pods, this is not in any way better for the environment than traditional lipstick bullets. Actually, since it's got all these fancy gadget accoutrements, it uses rare earth metals — making it a lot more wasteful.
  • Most people use various lipstick formulas for different situations. For example, some are waterproof, some are long-lasting, some look fantastic but make a big mess, some are great for clubbing or performing on stage. This product has only one formula so, for a $299 entry price, you better really, really like it. If someone recommends a product to you, it cannot make it. It can only make YSL lipsticks — and not even most of those!
  • The consistency of said formula is liquid and requires mixing with... your finger? Seems like a big mess.
  • The four pod shades can combine to make a variety of colors, all of which are shockingly boring. Shades of red and beige? Most people watch beauty YouTubers. You'll have to do better than that.
  • It's bulky. I don't know how big your handbag is but most people will not be willing to take this huge vibrator looking machine out with them day-to-day. So how do you do touch-ups?
  • If you do take it out with you and, god forbid, you lose it... you're out $299.

This is a terrible idea that will only nab the wallets of a handful of early adopters who get caught up in the hype when NikkieTutorials or Tati Westbrook test it out on YouTube and make it look like a fun project. It will disappoint those people and eventually live under their sinks, only to be thrown out when they move. This idea is terrible.