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The present description is in the field of mascara applicators.
Aspects will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the accompanying drawings in which like references may indicate similar elements:
FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of a handle of a refillable mascara applicator and a top and bottom of the handle;
FIG. 2 depicts an inside of a handle of a refillable mascara applicator and a mascara refill cartridge; and
FIG. 3 depicts several brushes that can be attached to a handle of a refillable mascara applicator;
FIG. 4 depicts a valve in an open position;
FIG. 5 depicts a valve in a closed position; and
FIG. 6 depicts a side view of a valve in the closed position.
The following is a detailed description of embodiments. The embodiments are in such detail as to clearly communicate the invention. However, the amount of detail offered is not intended to limit the anticipated variations of embodiments; but, on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the scope of the appended claims. The detailed descriptions below are designed to make such embodiments obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art.
One embodiment is a refillable mascara applicator that comprises a handle with an opening at a first end and a cavity to receive a mascara refill cartridge that carries mascara. The cartridge has a small opening at one end. The small opening is capable of being communicatively coupled to a valve at a second end of the handle. At the second end of the handle, a rotating part rotates to open and close the valve so that when the valve is open, mascara is to flow through the small opening, and through the open valve. The open valve is coupled to an interior of a threaded part of the rotating part to provide mascara to a hollow brush with small holes to release the mascara to bristles of the hollow brush. The hollow brush is threaded interior to the hollow brush so that the hollow brush may be removably threaded onto the threaded part of the rotating part.
Another embodiment is a method of refilling a mascara applicator with mascara. The method comprises receiving a first replaceable cartridge having a first color of mascara into a hollow handle with a valve near an end. The method further includes moving a controlling part to cause transport of mascara from the first replaceable cartridge through the valve to a brush.
Another embodiment is a refillable mascara applicator. The refillable mascara applicator includes a handle to receive a mascara cartridge having mascara. A valve can be closed or opened in the handle to allow mascara to be selectively transported through the valve when the valve is opened. The refillable mascara applicator also includes a hollow brush to receive the mascara transported through the valve and to release the mascara to bristles of the brush through a plurality of holes in the brush.
FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of a handle 1 of a refillable mascara applicator and a bottom part 2 and a top part 4 of the handle 1. The handle 1 may be made of plastic or metal or other suitable material. In one embodiment, the top part 4 and the bottom part 2 have threads that match threads of the handle 1, so that the top part 4 and the bottom part 2 may be screwed on or off. In one embodiment, the top part 4 is removably attachable to the handle 1, and the bottom part 2 may also be removably attachable. In one embodiment, when the top part is inserted or screwed into the handle, it forces the opposite end of the cartridge against a valve 5. FIG. 1 also shows that the bottom part 2 has a threaded part 3 for receiving a threaded brush.
FIG. 2 depicts an inside of a handle 1 of a refillable mascara applicator and a mascara refill cartridge. In particular, the handle 1 has a mount with the valve 5 against which the bottom part 2 may be seated. FIG. 2 also shows a mascara refill cartridge 6 which may be inserted into the handle 1 at the top end.
In one embodiment, the valve 5 has an opening that can be aligned with an opening of the bottom part 2 to enable mascara to flow through the valve 5. In a particular embodiment, the opening of the valve 5 is semi-circular. An opening of the bottom part 2 may also be semi-circular so that when the bottom part is rotated, the opening of the valve 5 may be aligned with the opening of the bottom part 2.
FIG. 3 depicts several brushes 7 that can be attached to a handle of a refillable mascara applicator. In FIG. 3, the bristles of the mascara brushes are not shown for clarity. By rotation, a brush can be screwed onto the threaded part 3. Also, FIG. 3 shows that the brushes 7 have openings in the body that allow the release of mascara onto the bristles of the mascara brush.
The refillable mascara applicator operates as follows. The user opens the top 4 of the handle 1. A refill cartridge 6, with a small opening 8 on one end is inserted into the handle with the opening 8 toward the bottom part 2 of the handle 1. The top 4 is replaced onto the handle 1. The bottom part 2 may be spring loaded and free to turn a portion of 360 degrees or greater. In a particular embodiment, when the bottom part 2 is turned one way, the valve 5 of the handle 1 is opened and mascara flows out of the opening 8 through the valve 5. When the bottom part 2 is turned the opposite way, the valve 5 is closed. In another embodiment, the bottom part 2 is a rotating part that rotates a first amount in a first direction to open the valve 5, and rotates a second amount in the first direction to close the valve 5. In another embodiment, the rotating part is rotated a first amount to open and then close the valve to provide a dose of mascara to the bristles of the hollow brush. Then the bristles of the brush may be applied to the eyelashes or eyebrows.
Therefore, one embodiment is a method of refilling a mascara applicator with mascara. The method comprises receiving a first replaceable cartridge having a first color of mascara into a hollow handle with a valve near an end. The method also comprises moving a controlling part to cause transport of mascara from the first replaceable cartridge through the valve to a brush. In one embodiment, moving the controlling part comprises moving the controlling part through a cycle that releases a controlled dose of mascara to the brush. In a particular embodiment, the first replaceable cartridge is replaced by a second replaceable cartridge, which may carry mascara of the same or a different color than the first replaceable cartridge.
Another embodiment is a mascara kit that includes a handle, at least one brush, and at least two refill cartridges. Another embodiment is a mascara kit that includes a plurality of brushes. Therefore, the handle that receives a refill cartridge may be packaged with refill cartridges and brushes. Also, refill cartridges and/or brushes may be packaged separately.
FIG. 4 shows a valve in an open position and FIG. 5 shows the valve in the closed position. When in an open position, the valve wings 40 and 42 do not obstruct the openings 44. When in a closed position, the valve wings 40 and 42 obstruct openings 46. FIG. 6 shows a side view of the valve with wings 40 and 42 in a closed position.
The present embodiments and some of their advantages have been described in detail. It should be understood that various changes, substitutions and alterations can be made herein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. An embodiment of the invention may achieve multiple objectives, but not every embodiment falling within the scope of the attached claims will achieve every objective. Moreover, the scope of the present application is not intended to be limited to the particular embodiments of the process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, means, methods and steps described in the specification. One of ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate from the disclosure of the present invention that processes, machines, manufacture, compositions of matter, means, methods, or steps, presently existing or later to be developed are equivalent to, and fall within the scope of, what is claimed. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to include within their scope such processes, machines, manufacture, compositions of matter, means, methods, or steps.