Sakuru - Future thoughts on cosmetics

Sākuru is a near term concept for a premium, personalised, home cosmetics experience with zero packaging waste.

DCA created Sākuru as a hypothesis for the near-term future of cosmetics. It envisions a likely world where digital technology and social media drive cosmetics to be more agile, creative and personal than ever before, but where single-use plastics are a thing of the past. Sākuru allows users to print personalised make-up palettes in their own homes from reusable cartridges. It is a smart system that learns the user’s unique daily regime while also enabling instant, bespoke palettes downloaded direct from influencers.

We studied make-up users and found a surprising conflict. On the one hand, users wanted to be more creative than ever before, inspired by social media to try new looks and craft their own unique styles. On the other hand, they hated the amount of packaging and product they built up, most of which was barely used. The guilt about their environmental impact and the clutter and mess that excess products created brought unnecessary stress to beauty routines otherwise meant to be a pleasurable ritual.

DCA created Sākuru (meaning ‘circle’ in Japanese) to explore a future where the cosmetics industry can bring its users the joy of make-up without waste. The concept uses circular economy principles to completely rethink the way make-up is made and used.

80% of make-up is never used.

How does it work?

Sākuru is a desktop device which uses existing dispensing and curing technologies to build up layers of liquid and powder make-up onto a reusable palette. One print contains exactly the amount of make-up – from foundation to eyeshadow – needed for a single application.

Users can design a bespoke palette which prints automatically for them each day, with a detachable mini-palette they can carry with them for touch-ups. AI analyses usage patterns so that the more it is used, the smarter it becomes at predicting the user’s exact needs.

If they want to experiment, they can tweak their look through the Sākuru app or search networks of make-up designers and influencers to download pre-made looks.

Sākuru uses a reusable cartridge containing bases, pigments and additives which combine to create a huge range of colours and functions. When Sākuru detects the cartridge is nearly empty, its smart subscription service delivers a replacement straight to the user’s door. The old cartridge is returned, cleaned and refilled creating as little waste as possible. In order to be a truly sustainable system, Sākuru is designed for longevity, being upgradable to last many years. The hardware unit has been designed to have a permanence with durable materials and modular internal components which can be repaired and upgraded as technology advances. It has no fixed digital interface, allowing the user to use any smart device and to benefit from ever-advancing smartphone technologies.

What’s the benefit?

Shifting to this way of making cosmetics could save the 120bn units of make-up packaging currently created each year, as much as 80% of which are never regularly used. Mixing make-up directly before application means many of the preservatives, fixatives and other chemicals currently used to keep it stable and fresh may no longer be needed. Users get make-up personalised to their exact look & skin tone, the ability to immediately try new looks, and a luxurious experience focused on the joy of designing and applying cosmetics.

120bn units of make-up packaging currently created each year.