Title:
COSMETIC APPLICATOR
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a cosmetic applicator comprising at least two molded applicator parts that define a portion of an applicator head. The at least two molded applicator parts have a respective first molded surface and a second molded surface defined thereon which meet at an interface defined on an outer surface of the applicator head and at least one projection is formed at the interface. The at least one projection comprises a projection from the first molded surface and a projection from the adjacent second molded surface. The cosmetic applicator of the present invention may be used for cosmetic and care applications such as on skin or on keratinous fibers in the area of mascara application, lash care, nail care, mascara removal, lip application, hair coloring and hair repair etc.


Inventors:
Pires, Leo Clifford (Basking Ridge, NJ, US)
Hwang, Roger (Maple, CA)
Bose, Rahul (New Delhi, IN)
Kohli, Manisha (New Delhi, IN)
Application Number:
14/245735
Publication Date:
08/07/2014
Filing Date:
04/04/2014
Assignee:
Zen Design Solutions Limited (Tsim Sha Tsui, HK)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D40/26
View Patent Images:
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Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cosmetic applicator comprising: a molded first applicator part having a first molded surface defined thereon; a molded second applicator part coupled to the molded first applicator part to define at least a portion of an applicator head, the molded second applicator part having a second molded surface defined thereon, the first molded surface and the second molded surface meeting at an interface defined on an outer surface of the applicator head; and the first molded surface and the second molded surface are aligned such that the outer surface formed by the first molded surface and the second molded surface is smooth and contiguous across the interface; at least one projection at the interface of the first molded surface and the second molded surface; wherein the at least one projection at the interface comprises a first portion and a second portion; wherein the first portion is a projection from the first molded surface; wherein the second portion is a projection from the second molded surface; wherein the projection from the first molded surface is integrally molded with the first molded surface and the projection from the second molded surface is integrally molded with the second molded surface; wherein the first molded surface is made of a first material and the second molded surface is made of a second material; and wherein the first material is different from the second material.

2. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 1, wherein the first material is different from the second material in at least one physical property selected from hardness, color and texture.

3. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 1, wherein the first material is different from the second material in at least one chemical property.

4. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 1, wherein the cosmetic applicator further includes at least one row of projections on the outer surface of at least one of the first molded surface and the second molded surface, and wherein the at least one row of projections is integrally molded with the respective first molded surface or the second molded surface.

5. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 4, wherein the projections of the at least one row of projections on the outer surface of at least one of the first molded surface and the second molded surface, and the at least one projection at the interface of the first molded surface and the second molded surface, differ in length.

6. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 1, wherein the first portion and the second portion of the at least one projection at the interface of the first molded surface and the second molded surface differ from each other in at least one of length or width.

7. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 1, wherein the first portion molded out from the first molded surface makes up 1-99% and second portion makes up for rest 99-1% of the at least one projection at the interface of the first molded surface and the second molded surface.

8. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 1, wherein the first molded surface of the molded first applicator part and the second molded surface of the molded second applicator part are linked at a zero angle with respect to a center line of the cosmetic applicator.

9. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 1, wherein the first molded surface of the molded first applicator part and the second molded surface of the molded second applicator part are linked at a non-zero angle with respect to a center line of the cosmetic applicator.

10. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 1, wherein the interface have an orientation rotated about a center line extending axially through the applicator head.

11. A cosmetic applicator comprising: a molded first applicator part having a first molded surface defined thereon; a molded second applicator part coupled to the molded first applicator part to define at least a portion of an applicator head, the molded second applicator part having a second molded surface defined thereon, the first molded surface and the second molded surface meeting at an interface defined on an outer surface of the applicator head; and the first molded surface and the second molded surface are aligned such that the outer surface formed by the first molded surface and the second molded surface is smooth and contiguous across the interface; a plurality of projections extending outwardly from the first molded surface and the second molded surface; wherein the projections from the first molded surface are integrally molded with the first molded surface and the projections from the second molded surface are integrally molded with the second molded surface; at least one projection at the interface of the first molded surface and the second molded surface; wherein the at least one projection comprises a first portion and a second portion; wherein the first portion is a projection from the first molded surface; wherein the second portion is a projection from the second molded surface; wherein the first molded surface is made of a first material and the second molded surface is made of a second material; and wherein the first material is different from the second material.

12. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 11, wherein the first material is different from the second material in at least one physical property selected from hardness, color and texture.

13. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 11, wherein the projections extend outward in a direction perpendicular or non-perpendicular to the outer surface of the applicator head.

14. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 11, wherein the cosmetic applicator is formed from the first material and the second material using double-injection molding.

15. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 14, wherein the cosmetic applicator is formed by first making the second molded applicator part by integrally injection-molding the second molded surface and the projections on the second molded surface, and then making the first molded applicator part having the first molded surface and the projections on the first molded surface by double injection-molding process such that a part of the molded first applicator part is embedded in the molded second applicator part.

16. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 11, wherein the projection from the first molded surface forming the first portion of the at least one projection at the interface of the first molded surface and the second molded surface is either longer or shorter in length than other projections from the first molded surface.

17. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 11, wherein the projection from the second molded surface forming the second portion of the at least one projection at the interface of the first molded surface and the second molded surface is either longer or shorter in length than other projections from the second molded surface.

18. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 11, wherein the molded first applicator part further comprises a base body having a hollow cavity and at least one elongated window that exposes the hollow cavity through the first molded surface.

19. The cosmetic applicator according to claim 18, wherein the molded second applicator part further comprises a base body disposed in the hollow cavity and having the second molded surface defined thereon, the second molded surface of the base body of the molded second applicator part extending through the window of the molded first applicator part such that the first and second molded surfaces align to form the interface.

20. The applicator of claim 11, wherein a plurality of interfaces are defined between a plurality of applicator parts defining the applicator head, the plurality of applicator parts including at least the first and second applicator parts.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This patent application is a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/975,135, filed Aug. 23, 2013, which in turn claims the benefit of priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/152,919, filed Jun. 3, 2011, now U.S. Pat. No. 8,539,963, which in turn claims the benefit of priority to U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/351,503, filed Jun. 4, 2010. The disclosure of each of the aforementioned patent applications is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety for any purpose whatsoever.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to a cosmetic applicator and in particular, relate to a cosmetic applicator comprising of at least two molded applicator parts that are interlinked such that a zero or a non-zero angle is formed at an interface of the two molded applicator parts with respect to a centerline of the cosmetic applicator. The cosmetic applicator of the present invention may be used for cosmetic and care applications such as on skin or on keratinous fibers in the area of mascara application, lash care, nail care, mascara removal, lip application, hair coloring and hair repair etc.

2. Description of the Related Art

Conventionally, applicators include a stem, at one end of which is connected an applicator head and at the other end is provided a handle for gripping. Cosmetic applicator such as a mascara applicator deposits and distributes the cosmetic composition i.e. mascara all over the lashes. As mascara, inherently, is a cosmetic composition that is difficult to apply because of the sensitive target area of application, it is desirable that no clumping of the cosmetic composition occurs and the lashes are separated and combed evenly. However, all the desired effects are not possible with a single mascara applicator. This is because the eyelashes are soft, flexible, delicate and in close proximity to very sensitive eye tissue. Continuous innovations in this area are being made to provide the user with an applicator that gives him/her a better application and makes the whole application effortless to the consumer. Numerous cosmetic applicators are known that are made by molding a thermoplastic material. Many such cosmetic applicators are made with tines that are identical.

There have also been innovations in the area of mascara applicators wherein the applicator is made in two parts having two different kinds of tines. U.S. Pat. No. 7,231,926 to RND Group LLC discloses a mascara brush, wherein a single brush rod of the mascara brush is formed with both an application brush part with an application portion for applying a mascara liquid to the eyelashes and an arrangement brush part with a comb for arranging the eyelashes in order to simultaneously perform the application of the mascara liquid and arrangement of the eyelashes.

United States Patent Application No. 20090193602 to Dumler, Nobert, discloses a cosmetic brush that has a multiplicity of tines that project out from a main body. A portion of the tines forms first tines that are integrally connected to the main body, wherein the first tines consist of the same first plastic material as the main body. Another portion of the tines forms second tines that are connected to the main body differently than the first tines. The main body has a main body wall provided with through holes, and the second tines are integrally connected to each other by means of a connecting member disposed on the side of the main body wall facing away from the second tines, and extend through the through holes, wherein the main body and the connecting member are immediately adjacent to each other and adhesively connected to each other. The main body is designed in the form of a hollow cylinder and integrally connected to a handle extension piece. The second tines are softer than the first tines.

United States Patent Application No. 20100083979 to RND group discloses a mascara brush that includes a bristle part for applying mascara to eyelashes, and a comb part for tidying the eyelashes. The bristle part and the comb part are integrally formed with a brush body through an injection molding process, such that the tines of the bristle part are thin and the comb teeth of the comb part are relatively thick.

Publication DE 101 02 219 A1 discloses an applicator comprising a support portion made out of a first material, and a sheath carrying tines and surrounding the support portion. The sheath and the tines are molded out of a second material that is different from the first, being more flexible.

EP1161896 A1 also describes using two materials of different stiffnesses for making an applicator member.

WO 01/05 274 A1 discloses a comb made of two portions that are interconnected via a film hinge, the portions possibly being made out of different materials. The tines carried by each of the portions are not molded in their final configuration within the applicator member, it being necessary to move one portion relative to the other in order to assemble them, either while they are being extracted from the mold or once they have been extracted from the mold.

Application DE 199 11 763 discloses a mascara applicator including rows of transverse tines made out of different plastics materials.

Application EP 1 602 300 discloses a mascara applicator comprising a comb having a single row and a core made out of a first material, on which core a brush made out of a second more-flexible material is over-injected or bonded.

If the cosmetic composition is applied using the aforementioned applicators then during application on the lashes the application brush would be followed subsequently by the comb part or vice versa and the user is expected to gradually blend the application with multiple such strokes, however, this creates a stark application.

It is found by the inventors of the present invention that if the applicator is containing two different kinds of tines or application surfaces, then the application becomes much more easier and relieves the user of using two different applicator one after the other to get a desired application. Further, it is desirable that the applicator has tines which are made up of at least two materials having different physical and/or chemical properties.

SUMMARY

The present invention generally relates to a cosmetic applicator. More particularly, the invention relates to a cosmetic applicator comprising of at least two molded applicator parts that are interlinked such that a zero or a non-zero angle is formed at an interface of the two molded applicator parts with respect to a centerline of the applicator wherein the at least two molded applicator parts comprise a base body.

According to one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a cosmetic applicator comprising of at least two molded applicator parts. Each of the at least two molded applicator parts comprises at least one row of projections. The at least two molded applicator parts are interlinked such that a row of projections is formed at an interface of the at least two molded applicator parts.

According to yet another embodiment of the invention the cosmetic applicator may imitate the twirl of the wrist during application and thereby provides an expert like application even by a novice at make-up skills.

According to another embodiment of the invention, there is provided a cosmetic applicator comprising of at least two molded applicator parts, wherein the at least two molded applicator parts are made up of at least two materials wherein the at least two materials differ in physical and/or chemical properties. The at least two molded applicator parts comprise of a molded first applicator part and a molded second applicator part. The molded first applicator part is molded out of a first material and the molded second applicator part is molded out of a second material, wherein the first material and the second material differ in at least one physical and/or chemical property. The first material may be softer than the second material or vice versa. The first material and the second material may have different chemical nature or they may have same chemical nature but have different color and/or texture and/or hardness.

As used herein, the term ‘same chemical nature’ means that the at least two materials may belong to a same family of polymer, for example an elastomer or a thermoplastic elastomer. Within a family they may correspond to polymers obtained from the same monomer or type of monomer, or the same monomers or same type of monomers, being in this case copolymers. The copolymers of the same chemical nature may differ by the special distribution of the monomers, being alternating or statistical copolymers, and/or by the proportions of the monomers in the copolymers. Within a family, the at least two materials may correspond to polymers having a same backbone with different and/or identical lateral chains and/or substituents. Within a family they may correspond to different grades, for example to different degree of cross linking and/or a different degree of polymerization. The at least two materials may differ by their additive(s) and/or plasticizer(s), and/or may comprise a same additive and/or plasticizer in different quantity.

The at least two materials may each comprise the two same polymers, but in different proportions, having different hardnesses. The two materials may be e.g. two polyester, having different hardnesses, for example Hytrel™ 40 Shore A and Hytrel™ 70 Shore A, for example two polyether block amide such as two different grades of PEBAX™, or two different polyolefins, for example with the same number of carbons, or two different polyamides, for example two grades of Nylon™. The use of at least two materials of the same chemical nature may facilitate the molding of the cosmetic applicator, the compatibility between the at least two materials being greater due to their same chemical nature.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the at least two materials may have properties that are attractive and non-attractive to mascara, have different stiffness, have different tactile feel, have different color, have different chemical nature, have different magnetic property, have different temperature property and/or other property.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the molded first applicator part comprises a hard comb part and the molded second applicator part comprises a soft bristle part. Each of the hard comb part and the soft bristle part comprises at least one row of projections. The hard comb part comprises projections made up of hard material and the soft bristle part comprises projections made up of soft material.

According to an embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of manufacturing the cosmetic applicator comprising of at least two molded applicator parts. The base body of one of the at least two molded applicator parts has a cavity into which is interlocked a complementary profiled base body of the other molded applicator part. The cavity is such that a central longitudinal axis of the cavity lies away at a non-zero angle from the central longitudinal axis of the base body. There is formed a non-zero angle between the central longitudinal axis of the cavity of the at least one of the two molded applicator parts and the central longitudinal axis of the base body of the other molded applicator part interlocked into said cavity. Therefore, the at least two molded applicator parts are linked at a non-zero angle.

According to an alternate embodiment of the invention the base body of one of the at least two molded applicator parts has a cavity into which is interlocked a complementary profiled base body of the other molded applicator part. A zero angle is formed between the central longitudinal axis of the cavity of the at least one of the two molded applicator parts and the central longitudinal axis of the base body of the other molded applicator part interlocked into said cavity. Therefore, the at least two molded applicator parts are linked at a zero angle.

According to yet another embodiment of the invention the at least two molded applicator parts comprise an outer applicator part and an inner applicator part. A base body of the outer applicator part of a mascara applicator has a hollow cavity with the tines/projections arranged on its circumference. Further, the inner applicator part has a base body wherein the tines/projections are arranged around the circumference of the base body and wherein the structure of the base body of the inner applicator part is complimentary to the hollow cavity of the outer applicator part so that the inner applicator part fills the cavity of the outer applicator part thereby making a full applicator. The two molded applicator parts linked at either a zero or a non-zero angle.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention there is provided a cosmetic applicator comprising of a molded first applicator part having a first molded surface and a molded second applicator part having a second molded surface defined thereon. The molded second applicator part is coupled to the molded first applicator part to define at least a portion of an applicator head. The first molded surface is made of a first material and the second molded surface is made of a second material wherein the first material and the second material differ in physical and/or chemical properties. Both the first molded surface and the second molded surface have at least one row of projections, wherein the projections are integrally molded with the respective first molded surface and the second molded surface. The material of the at least one row of projections from the respective molded surface is either similar or different from the material of the respective molded surface. The first molded surface of the molded first applicator part and the second molded surface of the molded second applicator part are formed adjacent to each other and meet at an interface defined on an outer surface of the applicator head such that the two molded applicator parts are linked at a zero or a non-zero angle with respect to a center line of the cosmetic applicator. The interface having an orientation parallel to the center line extending axially through the applicator head. Alternatively, the interface may have an orientation rotated about a center line extending axially through the applicator head so that the cosmetic applicator imitates the twirl of the wrist during application and thereby provides an expert like application even by a novice at make-up skills.

According to yet another embodiment of the invention, a row of projections is formed at the interface of the molded first applicator part and the molded second applicator part. At least one projection in the row of projections formed at the interface comprises of at least two portions wherein the at least two portions comprise of a projection from the first molded surface and a projection from the adjacent second molded surface. In other words, the at least one projection formed at the interface is partially made from the projection from the first molded surface and partially from the projection from the adjacent second molded surface.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the at least two portions of the at least one projection formed at the interface, comprise of a first portion and a second portion. The first portion comprises a projection from the first molded surface and the second portion comprises a projection from the second molded surface. Thus, the at least one projection formed at the interface comprises of a combination of properties of the material of the projection from the first molded surface and the material of the projection from the second molded surface. Thus, the at least two portions of the at least one projection formed at the interface provide non-identical cosmetic applications.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the first portion molded out from the first molded surface makes up 1-99% and the second portion molded out from the second molded surface makes up for rest 99-1% of the at least one projection at the interface of the first molded surface and the second molded surface.

According to an alternate embodiment of the invention, the at least one projection formed at the interface of the molded first applicator part and the molded second applicator part comprises of a combination of the hard and the soft material which further ensures superior lengthening, curling and separation. The soft surface of the at least one projection grabs and pulls the eyelashes making them longer and curled. The hard surface of the projection helps in combing and separation of the eyelashes.

According to another alternate embodiment of the invention, the at least one projection formed at the interface of the molded first applicator part and the molded second applicator part comprises of at least two portions, wherein the at least two portions differ only visually in color and or texture.

According to yet another embodiment of the invention there is provided an alternate method of manufacturing a cosmetic applicator for keratinous fibers in particular the eyelashes and/or the eyebrows, the cosmetic applicator comprising of at least two molded applicator parts. The method comprises injecting a first material for molding a molded first applicator part including projections; and injecting a second material for molding a molded second applicator part including projections by double injection molding.

In other alternate embodiments of the invention, the molded first applicator part and the molded second applicator part may be prepared as separate parts by injection molding and then the molded first applicator part may be connected to the molded second applicator part utilizing adhesives or other suitable fastening/coupling technique known in the art.

According to yet another embodiment of the invention there is provided a cosmetic applicator assembly comprising of a gripping member, a stem and a cosmetic applicator as described above. The stem has a proximal end and a distal end. The proximal end of the stem is connected to the gripping member while the applicator is connected to the distal end of the stem.

According to yet another embodiment of the invention, there is provided a cosmetic device for applying a composition to eyelashes, the device comprising a cosmetic applicator assembly as defined above, and a receptacle containing the composition. The receptacle comprises a threaded neck, and the cosmetic applicator assembly comprising the gripping member is arranged to be fastened on the neck so as to close the receptacle in leak tight manner when not in use, the gripping member thus constituting a cap for the receptacle. The composition may be water-resistant mascara.

In accordance with yet another embodiment of the invention the base body of each molded applicator part of a cosmetic applicator may have a plurality of tines/projections extending from its circumference. According to an exemplary embodiment of the invention the tines/projections on the base body of each molded applicator part may extend out in parallel longitudinal rows. Alternatively the tines/projections may extend radially parallel or in any other suitable arrangement. The at least two molded applicator parts comprise an outer applicator part and an inner applicator part. According to an embodiment of the invention the tines/projections on the base body of the at least two molded applicator parts may be arranged in any suitable manner. Further, the tines/projections may have any suitable length, width and density.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention, during usage of the applicator due to the at least two molded applicator parts being interlinked at a non-zero angle, the set of tines from the two molded applicator parts do not necessarily follow one behind the other on all the lashes at one go and the follow through is interspersed due to the twist, thus causing blending of the application by the two parts in the single stroke.

According to yet another embodiment of the invention the base body of said at least two molded applicator parts of the applicator is a doe foot. Cosmetic applicator of the present invention may be used for cosmetic and care applications on skin or on keratinous fibers such as for mascara application, hair coloring, lip application etc.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention, a cosmetic applicator for applying cosmetic composition is provided that includes a molded first applicator part having a first molded surface and a molded second applicator part having a second molded surface defined thereon. The molded second applicator part is coupled to the molded first applicator part to define at least a portion of an applicator head. The coupling between the molded first and second applicator parts is such that a product delivery passageway is defined between said molded applicator parts via which the cosmetic composition can pass through. Further in the embodiment under consideration, the first molded surface and the second molded surface of the molded first and second applicator parts respectively meets at an interface defined on an outer surface of the applicator head, wherein the interface has an orientation rotated about a center line extending axially through the applicator head.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention, a cosmetic applicator for applying a cosmetic composition is provided that includes a molded first applicator part having a first molded surface and a molded second applicator part having a second molded surface defined thereon. The molded second applicator part is coupled to the molded first applicator part to define at least a portion of an applicator head. The first molded surface and the second molded surface of the molded first and the second applicator parts respectively meets at an interface defined on an outer surface of the applicator head. Further in the embodiment under consideration, an aperture is formed through at the interface to define a product delivery passageway via which the cosmetic composition can pass through the applicator. The interface has as an orientation rotated about a center line extending axially through the applicator head.

These and further aspects which will be apparent to the expert of the art are attained by a cosmetic applicator in accordance with the main claim.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present invention can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to embodiments, some of which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

FIG. 1 illustrates an isometric view of a cosmetic applicator according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a front view of the cosmetic applicator of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 illustrates a sectional view of the cosmetic applicator of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 illustrates a sectional view of the cosmetic applicator taken along section line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 illustrates the outer applicator part of the cosmetic applicator of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 illustrates the inner applicator part of the cosmetic applicator of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 illustrates the isometric view of a cosmetic applicator assembly comprising the cosmetic applicator according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 illustrates a sectional view of a cosmetic applicator according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 illustrates a sectional view of a cosmetic applicator according to yet another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 illustrates a sectional view of an applicator according to yet another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 illustrates a perspective view of a cosmetic applicator according to yet another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 12 illustrates a front view of the cosmetic applicator of FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 illustrates an enlarged view of a portion of an applicator head of the cosmetic applicator of FIG. 11.

FIG. 14 illustrates an enlarged cross-sectional view along axis A-A of the cosmetic applicator of FIG. 12.

To facilitate understanding, identical reference numerals have been used, where possible, to designate identical elements that are common to the Figures. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The applicator according to one embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1 to 6.

FIG. 1 is one embodiment of the present invention showing an isometric view of a molded cosmetic applicator 100. The cosmetic applicator 100 is elongated along a center line 102 (e.g., the centre longitudinal axis), extending from proximate end 104 to a distal end 106. The applicator 100 includes an applicator head 108 separated by a base 110 from a mounting portion 112. A portion of the center line 102 extending through the base 110 and mounting portion 112 may be linear, while a portion of the center line 102 extending through the applicator head 108 may be linear, curved or have another geometry. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, the center line 102 passes linearly through the base 110, applicator head 108 and mounting portion 112.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the cosmetic applicator 100 illustrating the applicator head 108 in greater detail. The applicator head 108 is elongated (in the y-direction) and extends from the base 110 to the distal end 106 of the applicator 100. The shape of the elongated applicator head 108 may be substantially cylindrical in form, but may optionally have a sectional profile (in the z/x plane) which is other than circular, for example, oval or polygonal, among other shapes. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, the elongated applicator head 108 has a cylindrical form.

The applicator head 108 has an outer surface 202 that is formed from at least two surfaces formed from molded materials, shown in FIG. 2 as a first molded surface 206 and a second molded surface 208. The first and second molded surfaces 206, 208 may be aligned such that the outer surface 202 is substantially smooth and contiguous across an interface 204 of the surfaces 206, 208. The interface 204 of the surfaces 206, 208 is elongated (in the y-direction) and is rotated about the center line 102 of the applicator head 108. The rotated interface 204 of the surfaces 206, 208 may define a twist, helix or other non-linear form. For example, at least one of the first and second molded surfaces 206, 208 rotate in the z/x plane as the surfaces 206, 208 extend from the base 110 toward the distal end 106. In this manner, at least one of the first and second molded surfaces 206, 208 has a helical form about the center line 102. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, both surfaces 206, 208 have a congruent helical form about the center line 102 such that the interface 204 of the surfaces 206, 208 form a non-zero angle (shown by reference numeral 214) relative to the center line 102. In one embodiment, the non-zero angle 214 is about 55 to about 65 degrees, such as about 60 degrees. In other embodiments, the non-zero angle 214 may be greater than or less than 60 degrees. Alternatively, the molded surfaces 206, 208 may be elongated polygons such that the interface 204, although linear, still rotates about the centerline 102.

The first and second molded surfaces 206, 208 may also be fabricated from materials having different properties. The first molded surface 206 is fabricated from a material which is softer than a material from which the second molded surface 208 is fabricated. In one embodiment, the first molded surface 206 is fabricated from a material having a hardness of less than about 80 Shore D scale (ShD). In another embodiment, the second molded surface 208 is fabricated from a material having a hardness of greater than about 20 Shore D scale (ShD). It is also contemplated that the material of the first molded surface 206 may be harder than the material of the second molded surface 208. The different materials of the first and second molded surfaces 206, 208 may have properties that are attractive and non-attractive to mascara, have different stiffness, have different tactile feel, have different color, have different chemical nature, have different magnetic property, have different temperature property and/or other property. The combination of the different materials utilized for the first and second molded surfaces 206, 208, along with the rotational or twisting orientation of the surfaces 206, 208, allow the cosmetic applicator 100 to mimic the twirl of the wrist during mascara application and thereby provides an expert like application even by a novice at make-up skills. Moreover, the hard material has been found to provide separation of the lashes during the application of mascara, while the softer material provides lift and volume. Thus, the unique twist of the hard and soft surfaces allows the softer surface to be followed by the harder surface so that mascara is applied to the lash in a manner that separates lifts and volumizes without expert manipulation of the applicator 100.

The first and second molded surfaces 206, 208 may also include a plurality of projections 216. The projections 216 may be attractive projections, and non-attractive projections, discs, and brush tines, among other properties and geometries. The projections 216, when present, may extend radially outward from the outer surface 202. In one embodiment, the projections 216 extend radially outward in a direction perpendicular to the outer surface 202.

In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, projections 216 from the first molded surface 206 form at least one longitudinal (i.e., substantially aligned with the center line 102) row of first brushes 210 while projections 216 from the second molded surface 208 form at least one longitudinal row of second brushes 212. The projections 216 forming the row of first brushes 210 may be integrally molded with the first molded surface 206, such that the rows of first brushes 210 have the same material property as the first molded surface 206. Likewise, the projections 216 forming the row of second brushes 212 may be integrally molded with the second molded surface 208, such that the rows of second brushes 212 have the same material property as the second molded surface 208. In this configuration, a substantially linear movement of the applicator 100 even without substantial rotation will engage the lash with rows of brushes 210, 212 having alternating physical properties, thereby enhancing the mimic of the twirl of the wrist during application. It is also contemplated that the material of the projections 216 may be different between rows, different within a row, and/or different than the material of the surface 206, 208 from which the projections 216 extend.

In one embodiment, the projections 216 forming each row of brushes 210, 212 are aligned and extend substantially perpendicular to the outer surface 202. The projections 216 forming the first row of brushes 210 may be congruent to the projections 216 forming the second row of brushes 212. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, the first molded surface 206 includes projections 216 forming the two congruent helical rows defining two first rows of brushes 210, while the second molded surface 208 includes projections 216 forming the two congruent helical rows defining two second rows of brushes 212, wherein the rows of brushes extending from the first molded surface 206 are congruent with the rows of brushes extending from the second molded surface 208. Thus, the rows of brushes 210, 212 may define congruent rows oriented at a non-zero angle relative to the center line 102 of the applicator 100, for example as illustrated by the angle 214 shown in FIG. 2.

FIGS. 3-4 are sectional views of the cosmetic applicator 100. The cosmetic applicator 100 includes an outer applicator part 302 and an inner applicator part 304. The applicator parts 302, 304 are molded from different polymers or two polymers having different physical properties. The materials suitable for forming the applicator parts 302, 304 (i.e., and consequently the surfaces 206, 208) include porous rubber, non-porous rubber, fabric mesh, felt material, foamed polymers, sponge material, thermoplastic, thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), metal and its composites, ceramic, nylon, or any other suitable material.

The outer applicator part 302 comprises of a base body 306 that has a hollow cavity 308, and on the outer circumference of the base body 306 is defined by the first molded surface 206, which in one embodiment, include projections 216 arranged as a plurality of tines 310 extending out from said base body 306. The base body 306 includes at least one elongated window 316 that exposes the hollow cavity 308 through the first molded surface 206.

The inner applicator part 304 has a base body 312 which is complimentary and snug fits within the hollow cavity 308 of the outer applicator part 302. The base body 312 of the inner applicator part 304 has an outer circumference defined by the second molded surface 208, which in one embodiment include projections 216 arranged as a plurality of tines 314 extending out from said base body 312. The second molded surface 208 of the base body 312 extends through the window 316 of the base body 306 such that the first molded surface 206 and second molded surface 208 align to define the outer surface 202 of the cosmetic applicator 100.

Further, the applicator parts 302, 304 may be suitably connected with each other to expose the rows of projections 216 of each of the applicator parts in a suitable arrangement. As shown, the applicator parts 302, 304 are so arranged to expose the projections 216 of each of the applicator parts 302, 304 in a common x-z plane. Alternatively, adjacent projections 216 in each of the applicator parts 302, 304 may be in different x-z planes.

FIG. 5 is a front view of one embodiment of the outer applicator part 302. In the embodiment of FIG. 5, the outer applicator part 302 includes two elongated windows 316 arranged in a congruent helical orientation about the center line 102. Thus, the two windows 316 may be congruent helixes and be oriented at a non-zero angle relative to the center line 102 of the cosmetic applicator 100, for example as illustrated by the angle 214 shown in FIG. 2.

The outer applicator part 302 also includes one or more engagement features 502, such as a groove or ridge, extending outward from the base body 306 to facilitate coupling the cosmetic applicator 100 to a stem of a cosmetic applicator assembly, as discussed further below.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the inner applicator part 304. In the embodiment of FIG. 6, the base body 312 includes two ridges 602 extending radially from a central rod 604. The two ridges 602 twist about the central rod 604 in a helical orientation that mates with and extends through the helical windows 316 of the outer applicator part 302 as shown in FIG. 4. Thus, the two ridges 602 match the orientation of the windows 316 and are thereby oriented at a non-zero angle relative to the center line 102 of the applicator 100, for example as illustrated by the angle 214 shown in FIG. 2. It is contemplated that the number of windows 316 and mating ridges 602 may vary.

The central rod 604 ends in a barb 606 like feature that is axially spaced from the ridges 602. The barb 606 is orientated to allow the central rod 604 to pass through the hollow cavity 308 and exit the outer applicator part 302 at the proximate end 104 of the cosmetic applicator 100 to lock the inner applicator part 304 within the outer applicator part 302.

Returning to FIG. 2 and as discussed above, the plurality of projections 216 may be made of different materials so as to give multiple effects in a single application of mascara. The projections 216 extending from a respective surface 206, 208 may be made of soft and hard materials or vice versa. Further, the projections 216 may be arranged on the surfaces 206, 208 and inner applicator part 304 respectively in any suitable manner. Further, the projections 216 may have any suitable length, width/thickness and density.

FIG. 7 illustrates another embodiment of the present invention. As shown in the FIG. 7, a cosmetic applicator assembly 700 includes a—cosmetic applicator 100 as described above, a stem 702 and a gripping member 704. The stem 702 has a proximal end 706 and a distal end 708. The proximal end 706 of the stem 702 is connected to the gripping member 704, while the cosmetic applicator 100 is connected to the distal end 708 of the stem 702. Although the cosmetic applicator 100 may be connected to the distal end 708 of the stem 702 in any suitable manner, in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 7 the distal end 708 of the stem 702 includes a hollow bore 710 which receives the mounting portion 112 of the cosmetic applicator 100. The hollow bore 710 includes one or more undercuts or grooves 712 which engage with the engagement features 502 of the outer applicator part 302 to secure the applicator 100 to the stem 702. Alternatively, the applicator 100 may be connected to the distal end 708 utilizing plastic welding techniques, adhesives or other suitable fastening technique.

FIG. 8 illustrates another embodiment of the present invention. The applicator 800 is substantially similar to the applicator 100 described above, except in that a product delivery passage/channel 802 is defined within the inner applicator part 304 of the applicator 800 via which the cosmetic composition can pass through. Alternatively, the channel 802 in the applicator 800 via which the cosmetic composition can pass through may be defined within the outer applicator part 302 of the cosmetic applicator 800.

FIG. 9 illustrates another embodiment of a cosmetic applicator 900. The cosmetic applicator 900 is substantially similar to the cosmetic applicator 100 described above, except in that at least one aperture 902 is formed through the outer surface 202 of the applicator head 108 that is formed from at least two surfaces formed from molded materials, as a first molded surface 206 and a second molded surface 208. The first and second molded surfaces 206, 208 may be aligned such that the outer surface 202 is substantially smooth and contiguous across an interface 204 of the surfaces 206, 208. The aperture 902 formed through at the outer surface 202 allows the cosmetic composition to pass through the applicator 900. It is also contemplated that a hole, a slot, and the like may be formed through at the outer surface 202 of the first and second molded surfaces 206, 208.

FIG. 10 illustrates a sectional view of an applicator 1000 according to yet another embodiment of the present invention. The applicator 1000 is substantially similar to the applicator 100 described above, except that, at least one projection 217 is formed on the interface 204 of the first molded surface 206 and the second molded surface 208. According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a row 222 of projections 217 is formed at the interface 204 of the two molded surfaces 206, 208 such that each projection 217 in the row 222 is a combination of a projection 216a molded out from the first molded surface 206 and a projection 216b molded out from the second molded surface 208. Accordingly, each projection 217 in the row 222 is partially made of the material of the first molded surface 206 of the outer applicator part 302 and partially made of the material of the second molded surface 208 of the inner applicator part 304. The projection 216a molded out from the first molded surface 206 makes up 1-99% of each projection 217 in the row 222 and the projection 216b molded out from the second molded surface 208 makes up the rest 99-1% of each projection 216 in the row 222 or vice versa. Further, all projections 217 in the row 222 are fabricated such that all of the projections 217 have same ratio of material of the first molded surface 206 to material of the second molded surface 208. In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the projections 217 in the row 222 may vary in their ratio of material of the first molded surface 206 to material of the second molded surface 208. The first and second molded surfaces 206, 208 may be fabricated from materials having different properties. In one embodiment, the first molded surface 206 is fabricated from a material which is softer than a material from which the second molded surface 208 is fabricated. In another embodiment, the first molded surface 206 is fabricated from a material which is harder than a material from which the second molded surface 208 is fabricated. The different materials of the first and second molded surfaces 206, 208 may have properties that are attractive and non-attractive to mascara, have different stiffness, have different tactile feel, have different color, have different chemical nature, have different magnetic property, have different temperature property and/or other property. Further, the two applicator parts 302 and 304 are linked at a non-zero angle.

FIG. 11 shows a perspective view and FIG. 12 shows a front view of a cosmetic applicator 1100 according to another embodiment of the invention. The cosmetic applicator 1100 is elongated along a center line 102 (e.g., the centre longitudinal axis), extending from a proximal end 104 to a distal end 106 of the cosmetic applicator 1100. The cosmetic applicator 1100 includes an applicator head 108 separated by a base 110 from a coupling portion 112 through which the cosmetic applicator 1100 is coupled to the stem 702 (shown in FIG. 7). A portion of the center line 102 extending through the base 110 and the coupling portion 112 may be linear, while a portion of the center line 102 extending through the applicator head 108 may be linear, curved or have another geometry. In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12, the center line 102 passes linearly through the base 110, applicator head 108 and coupling portion 112.

The applicator head 108 is elongated along a center line 102 and extends from the base 110 to the distal end 106 of the cosmetic applicator 1100. The shape of the elongated applicator head 108 may be substantially cylindrical in form, but may optionally have a sectional profile which is other than circular, for example, oval or polygonal, among other shapes. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 11, the elongated applicator head 108 has a cylindrical form.

As shown in FIG. 11 and FIG. 12, the applicator head 108 has an outer surface 202 that is formed from at least two surfaces formed from molded materials, shown as a first molded surface 206 and a second molded surface 208. The first molded surface 206 and the second molded surface 208 are adjacent to each other. The first molded surface 206 and the second molded surface 208 may be aligned such that the outer surface 202 is substantially smooth and contiguous across an interface 204 of the molded surfaces 206 and 208. The interface 204 of the first and second molded surfaces 206 and 208 is elongated along the center line 102 of the applicator head 108 such that a zero angle is formed at the interface 204 of the two molded surfaces 206 and 208 with respect to a centerline 102 of the cosmetic applicator 1100. In alternate embodiments of the present invention, the interface 204 may make a non-zero angle relative to the center line 102 of the cosmetic applicator 1100. It would not be beyond the ambit of the present invention, that the interface 204 is rotated about the center line 102 of the cosmetic applicator 1100. The rotated interface 204 of the molded surfaces 206 and 208 may define a twist, helix or other non-linear form. In this manner, at least one of the first and second molded surfaces 206 and 208 has a helical form about the center line 102 such that the interface 204 of the molded surfaces 206 and 208 form a non-zero angle relative to the center line 102. Alternatively, the molded surfaces 206 and 208 may be elongated polygons such that the interface 204, although linear, still rotates about the centerline 102.

The first and second molded surfaces 206 and 208 are fabricated from different materials having different physical and/or chemical properties. According to an embodiment of the invention, the first molded surface 206 is fabricated from a material which is softer than a material from which the second molded surface 208 is fabricated. In one embodiment, the first molded surface 206 is fabricated from a material having a hardness of less than about 80 Shore D scale (ShD). In another embodiment, the second molded surface 208 is fabricated from a material having a hardness of greater than about 20 Shore D scale (ShD). It is also contemplated that the material of the first molded surface 206 may be harder than the material of the second molded surface 208. The materials of the first and second molded surfaces 206 and 208 may have similar chemical properties but differ only visually in color and/or texture. The materials of the first and second molded surfaces 206 and 208 may also have different chemical properties. The materials of the first and second molded surfaces 206 and 208 may have properties that are attractive and non-attractive to mascara, have different stiffness or hardness, have different tactile feel, have different color, have different chemical nature, have different magnetic property, have different temperature property and/or other property.

The first and second molded surfaces 206 and 208 include a plurality of projections 216a and 216b respectively. The projections 216a and 216b may be in form of discs or brush tines or may have any other desired geometry. The projections 216a and 216b, when present, may extend radially outward from the outer surface 202. In one embodiment, the projections 216a and 216b extend radially outward in a direction perpendicular to the outer surface 202.

As shown in FIG. 11, the projections 216a from the first molded surface 206 form at least one longitudinal (i.e., substantially aligned with the center line 102) row 210 while the projections 216b from the second molded surface 208 form at least one longitudinal row 212. The projections 216a forming the row 210 may be integrally molded with the first molded surface 206, such that the projections 216a of the row 210 have the same material property as the first molded surface 206. Likewise, the projections 216b forming the row 212 may be integrally molded with the second molded surface 208, such that the projections 216b of the row 212 have the same material property as the second molded surface 208. In this configuration, a substantially linear movement of the cosmetic applicator 1100 even without substantial rotation will engage the eyelash with projections 216a, 216b of the rows 210, 212 having alternating physical and/or chemical properties. It is also contemplated that the physical and/or chemical properties of the material of the projections 216a and 216b may be different between rows, different within a row, and/or different than the properties of the material of the surface 206, 208 from which the projections 216a and 216b extend.

As shown in FIG. 11 and FIG. 13, the first molded surface 206 and the second molded surface 208 are molded to meet at the interface 204. The interface 204 includes a plurality of projections 217 extending outward in a direction perpendicular to the outer surface 202. It would not be beyond the ambit of the present invention that the projections 217 extend outward in a direction non-perpendicular to the outer surface 202. The projections 217 from the interface 204 form at least one longitudinal (i.e., substantially aligned with the center line 102) row 222. At least one of the projections 217 of the row 222 comprises of a first portion comprising a projection 216a from the first molded surface 206 and a second portion comprising a projection 216b from the second molded surface 208 placed adjacent to the first molded surface 206.

FIG. 14 illustrates an enlarged cross-sectional view along axis A--A of the cosmetic applicator 1100. As seen in FIG. 14, length of the projections 217 present at the interface 204 is larger than the length of projections 216a and 216b present on the first molded surface 206 and the second molded surface 208 respectively. The length of the projection 216a forming a first portion of the projection 217 is larger than the length of other projections 216a present on the first molded surface 206 and the length of the projection 216b forming a second portion of the projection 217 is larger than the length of the other projections 216b present on the second molded surface 208. It would not be beyond the ambit of the present invention that the cosmetic applicator 1100 has all the projections of similar length or of different length. In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the length of the projections 216a and 216b forming a first portion and a second portion respectively of the projections 217 may be shorter than the length of rest of the projections 216a and 216b present on the molded surfaces 206 and 208 respectively. In another alternate embodiment of the present invention, the first portion and the second portion of at least one projection 217 at the interface 204 of the first molded surface 206 and the second molded surface 208 differ in their length or width. The material property of the projections 217 comprises of a combination of the property of material used for making projections 216a on the first molded surface 206 and the property of material used for making projections 216b on the second molded surface 208. The projections 217, formed partially from the projections 216a of the first molded surface 206 and partially from the projections 216b of the second molded surface 208 adjacent to the first molded surface 206, therefore comprise of a combination of the property of material of the projections 216a and 216b. According to an embodiment of the invention, the materials of the projections 216a and 216b may have different physical and/or chemical properties. According to an embodiment of the invention, the materials of the projections 216a and 216b may have similar chemical properties but differ only visually in color and/or texture. According to another embodiment of the invention, the materials of the projections 216a and 216b may have different chemical properties. The materials of the projections 216a and 216b may have properties that are attractive and non-attractive to mascara, have different stiffness or hardness, have different tactile feel, have different color, have different chemical nature, have different magnetic property, have different temperature property and/or other property.

The combination of the materials forming the projections 217 of the row 222 helps in improving the application of cosmetic composition. According to an embodiment of the invention, the projections 217 formed at the interface 204 comprise of a combination of the hard and the soft material which further ensures superior lengthening, curling and separation. The soft surface of the projection grabs and pulls the eyelashes making them longer and curled. The hard surface of the projection helps in combing and separation of the eyelashes.

The combination of the materials utilized for the projections 217 of the row 222 may help in improving the aesthetic appearance of the cosmetic applicator 1100. According to an embodiment of the invention, the projections 217 formed at the interface 204 comprise of a combination of material of the projections 216a and 216b wherein the material of the projections 216a and 216b differ only visually in color and/or texture.

Further, the cosmetic applicator 1100 includes a molded first applicator part 302 and a molded second applicator part 304. The molded first applicator part 302 has the first molded surface 206 and the molded second applicator part 304 has the second molded surface 208 defined thereon. The molded second applicator part 304 is coupled to the molded first applicator part 304 to define at least a portion of an applicator head 108. The molded first applicator part 302 and the molded second applicator part 304 are molded from polymers having different physical and/or chemical properties. The materials suitable for forming the molded applicator parts 302, 304 (i.e., and consequently the surfaces 206, 208) include porous rubber, non-porous rubber, fabric mesh, felt material, foamed polymers, sponge material, thermoplastic, thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), metal and its composites, ceramic, nylon, or any other suitable material.

The cosmetic applicator 1100 is formed by first making the inner/second molded applicator part 304 by integrally injection-molding the second molded surface 208 and the projections 216b which are formed around the surface 208, and then making the outer/first molded applicator part 302 including the first molded surface 206 and the projections 216a by double injection-molding process such that a part of the outer molded applicator part 302 is embedded in the inner molded applicator part 304. The projections 216b molded with the second molded surface 208 have same or different material property as the second molded surface 208 and the projections 216a molded with the first molded surface 206 have same or different material property as the first molded surface 206. The first and second molded surfaces 206, 208 may also be fabricated from materials having different physical and/or chemical properties as explained above.

As such, an injection molding method using two kinds of materials is called double-injection molding. In such double-injection molding, using two kinds of resins/polymers or two colors of resins/polymers, and using two injection molding apparatuses and injectors (not shown), which are constructed such that a rotating device is coupled to a driving plate, or cores or slide structures, a first intermediate product is formed using a mold that can be used for double injection molding, and a second polymer is charged into a space defined between the first intermediate product and a second cavity, thus forming a final product.

In such double injection molding, because the first and second cavities are precisely defined, restriction in shape is reduced and various designs are realized, so that it can be applied to various products. Furthermore, the injection molding is conducted through a single process, unlike the typical injection molding process, in which two kinds of intermediate products are formed through two steps and the intermediate products are thereafter produced into a final product by a secondary process, such as welding or coating. Accordingly, there are advantages in that the production cost is reduced, and various kinds of products can be produced.

In other alternate embodiments of the invention, the molded first applicator part 302 and the molded second applicator part 304 may be prepared as separate molded parts and then the molded first applicator part 302 may be connected to the molded second applicator part 304 utilizing adhesives or other suitable fastening/coupling technique known in the art.

According to an alternate embodiment the cosmetic applicator 1100 can be formed in a similar manner as cosmetic applicator 100. The first/outer molded applicator part 302 comprises of a base body that has a hollow cavity. The base body of the first molded applicator part 302 further includes at least one elongated window that exposes the hollow cavity through the first molded surface 206. The second/inner molded applicator part 304 has a base body which is complimentary and snug fits within the hollow cavity of the first/outer applicator part 302. The second molded surface 208 of the molded second applicator part 304 extends through the window of the base body of the molded first applicator part 302 such that the first molded surface 206 and second molded surface 208 align to define the outer surface 202 of the cosmetic applicator 1100.

While the foregoing is directed to embodiments of the present invention, other and further embodiments of the invention may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow. Accordingly, the appended claims should be construed to encompass not only those forms and embodiments of the invention specifically described above, but to such other forms and embodiments as may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from its true spirit and scope.