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 The present invention relates to a brush for applying cosmetic products, in particular, mascara, to eyelashes.
 Twisted wire brushes for application of liquid-type cosmetics, such as for application of mascara to the eyelashes, are well known in the art. The brushes are designed to pick up and hold a supply of mascara from the cosmetic container, and then deliver the mascara to the eyelashes as the brush is combed through the lashes by the user.
 Twisted wire brushes conventionally are manufactured by disposing a plurality of individual lengths of bristles transverse to and between substantially parallel, slightly spaced-apart thin metal wire lengths, such that the wire lengths generally bisect the filament lengths at their midpoints. Most typically, the parallel wire lengths comprise the two substantially equal leg lengths formed from bending a single length of wire into a U-shaped configuration. The wire lengths are then twisted together to form a helical core, causing the bristles disposed between the wires to be clamped therebetween at about their midpoints. In the twisting and clamping, the segments of the bristles on either side of the clamped midpoint are caused to flare radially outward from the core and so form an elongate bristle brush portion of generally circular cross-section. The brush is generally provided with a handle which can comprise, or be affixed to, a cap or other closure for the cosmetic container.
 The bristles are usually comprised of nylon or polyester filaments. The bristles serve the function of collecting mascara from a reservoir and holding the mascara until it is applied to the user's eyelashes. Mascara, as a product applied near the eyes, should not be susceptible of harboring bacteria, to reduce the risk of infection.
 It is possible for organic matter, for example from the skin or eyelashes, to be coated on the bristles of the mascara brush, and possibly serve as a substrate to harbor the bacteria. Although consumers are instructed to dispose of old mascara products after a certain period of use, this may not occur if the product is used infrequently. The problem of bacterial growth can be exacerbated depending on the mascara formulation, as some formulations can include ingredients that can be attractive to certain bacteria. Mascara compositions can be formulated with an antibacterial ingredient to prevent unintended infection, however, such antibacterial ingredients may alter the appearance or feel of the mascara product.
 It would be desirable for a mascara brush to be resistant to bacteria to minimize chances of inadvertent infection of the user of the mascara product.
 An improved mascara brush has a typical twisted wire core containing bristles having an antibacterial agent. The antibacterial agent will preferably be silver in any of numerous possible forms, but most preferably elemental or ionic silver; an alternative is to use a chemical antibacterial agent such as triclosan. The mascara brush may be fabricated with all or only a portion of its bristles being of antibacterial character.
 Referring now to
 The brush
 Preferably the antibacterial agent
 The antibacterial silver agent may also be a silver compound, however, this is likely to be less preferable. As used herein, a “silver compound” refers to silver proteins, and to silver salts such as AgCl, AgNO
 Alternatively, the antibacterial agent
 The antibacterial agent
 Alternatively, the antibacterial agent
 In addition, the bristle ends may be processed in a variety of ways. The bristle ends can be treated by grinding. In a preferred embodiment, the bristle ends are treated by slitting with sharp metal knife blades mounted on a rotating spindle. The flagged ends of the bristles, as shown in
 The present invention provides an effective method of minimizing possibility of bacterial infection from a mascara product by providing a brush with a continuous antibacterial activity.
 While the invention has been described and illustrated as embodied in preferred forms of construction, it will be understood that various modifications may be made in the structure and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention recited in the following claims.