Title:
Eyelash curling apparatus and methods of use
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A safe and effective apparatus for simultaneously curling the upper and lower eyelashes is disclosed.



Inventors:
Olsen, Francesca Guerrera (Baco Raton, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/261080
Publication Date:
04/01/2004
Filing Date:
09/30/2002
Assignee:
OLSEN FRANCESCA GUERRERA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D2/48; (IPC1-7): A45D2/48
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COMSTOCK, DAVID C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT DEPARTMENT (Boston, MA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A eyelash curling apparatus comprising: a curling bowl formed from a substantially rigid material; and a handle portion attached to the curling bowl portion, formed from a substantially rigid material;

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the curling bowl portion of the apparatus, when positioned over the eye is dimensionally adapted for cupping the entirety of the visible portion of the user's eye;

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the curling bowl portion of the apparatus is designed such that when positioned over the eye, the apparatus is dimensionally adapted such that the curling bowl's outer edges simultaneously contact the portion of the user's upper and lower eyelashes where they attach to the eyelid of the eye;

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the handle portion of the apparatus has a laterally extending groove on the underside of the handle at the juncture of the handle portion of the device and the curling bowl portion of the device;

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said apparatus comprises a concave side, a convex side, a proximal end and a distal end, said proximal end being graspable by the hand of the user and said distal end bearing a curling bowl with a concave side and a convex side;

6. A method for simultaneously curling the upper and lower eyelashes of a subject, comprising: providing an apparatus for curling the eyelashes comprising an apparatus with a non-fenestrated curling bowl dimensionally adapted such that the curling bowl's outer edges simultaneously contact the portion of the user's upper and lower eyelashes where they attach to the eyelid of the eye, and a handle portion dimensionally adapted to be grasped by the user; position the eyelash curling apparatus parallel to the eye of the user, such that the concave portion of the curling bowl is parallel to the facial plane of the user and the handle portion of the apparatus is horizontal to the facial plane of the user; transverse the apparatus until it is gently cupping the orbit of the eye and such that the curling bowl portion of the apparatus simultaneously contacts the portion of the user's upper and lower eyelashes where they attach to the eyelid of the eye; compress the apparatus on to the open eye such that the curling bowl portion compresses the upper and lower eyelashes of the eye; and hold the apparatus on the eye until the desired level of eyelash curl is obtained.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present application relates to an apparatus for curling eyelashes and methods for the use of said apparatus.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Eyelash curlers are well known in the cosmetics field. They are used to curl or bend the lashes of the eye away from the pupil to make the eyelashes appear longer and thicker thereby accentuating the adjacent eye.

[0005] Conventional eyelash curling apparatuses, for example, those disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,230,715, 5,704,377, 5,598,858 and design patent D328,504 curl the eyelashes of the upper lid of the eye using a tweezer- or scissor-like device. One end of these curling devices is compressed using two fingers and the other end, which consists of an upper and lower pad contoured to the shape of the eyelid, compresses the lash at the location where the eyelid and the eyelashes connect.

[0006] The method of curling the eyelashes using a conventional eye curler consists of initially positioning the eyelashes between the contoured pads; applying pressure to the scissors- or tweezer-like device thereby crimping the eyelashes between the contoured pads and subsequently achieving the desired look. In addition the user may apply a cosmetic liquid, either an eyelash gel or a conventional mascara, to the eyelashes either prior to the curling of the eyelashes or after the curling of the eyelashes to preserve the curl.

[0007] There are certain shortcomings with the above-described conventional eyelash curler. For example the eyelash curlers can give a squared crimp to the eyelash thereby giving an artificial appearance. In addition, the curler must be held in a stationary position in order to apply consistent and uniform pressure. Given the design of the conventional eyelash curler, positioning the curler can be awkward to the user and can lead to accidental pinching of the eyelid. In addition too much pressure can be applied to the pads resulting in dislodging the eyelashes from the eyelid.

[0008] In an attempt to rectify the above-mentioned shortcomings, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,230,715, 6,220,252, and 6,009,884 all incorporate a heating element. The incorporation of the heating device is designed to eliminate the need for excessive pressure from the curling apparatus by curling the eyelash through the application of heat. However, these devices can be ungainly to manipulate given the extra length of the apparatus due to the power source. In addition, improper usage can lead to the burning of the eyelid or the singeing of individual lashes. Furthermore, none of the above-mentioned devices can provide for curling of the lashes of the lower eyelid without excessive manipulation of the curling apparatus.

[0009] Accordingly, there is a need for an eyelash curler which facilitates safe and effective curling of the lashes on both the upper and lower eyelids without risk of injury to the lashes or lids.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] It is an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for the curling of the lashes of the upper and lower eyelid easily and naturally, with little risk of injury to the eyelid or eyelashes.

[0011] It is another object of the present invention to provide a method for curling eyelashes through compressing the eyelash curling apparatus against the orbit of the eye to naturally enhance the curl of the lashes on both the upper and lower eyelids.

[0012] In a preferred embodiment, an eyelash curler is provided which comprises a curling bowl portion made of a substantially rigid material and of a size that permits the curling bowl's outer edges to simultaneously contact the portion of the user's upper and lower lashes where they attach to the eyelid of the eye.

[0013] In a preferred embodiment the bowl portion is connected to a handle portion of the device thereby facilitating the user's ability to manipulate the device to achieve optimal positioning.

[0014] In a preferred embodiment the curling bowl is an elliptically shaped non-fenestrated curling bowl, dimensionally adapted to naturally cup the eye. In a preferred embodiment the elliptically shaped curling bowl has a major axis of 3.5 cm (1.4 in.) and a minor axis of 2.0 cm (0.79 in.).

[0015] One advantage to using the aforementioned embodiment is that each eyelash is curled at a natural angle to the eye as the curling apparatus is dimensionally adapted to the curvature of the eye. In addition, the curling apparatus is placed gently against the eyeball thereby eradicating any damage to the eyelid which can be caused by the more conventional curlers. The absence of the heating device also eliminates any heat-based injuries either to the lid or to the lashes.

[0016] In another preferred embodiment, the handle portion of the eyelash curling apparatus has a laterally extending groove on the underside of the handle. This groove is positioned at the juncture of the handle and the curling cup. The groove is dimensionally adapted to receive the users index finger, such that when the user applies the eyelash curling apparatus to the eye, the user's index finger is vertically positioned in the groove.

[0017] The advantage of the groove is that the user can then deftly manipulate the device to align the eyelash curling apparatus with the contour of the eyelashes of the eye. In addition, the groove allows the user to manipulate the level of pressure applied to the eyelash thereby curling the lashes without pinching the eyelid or any other portion of the eye. In addition, the position of the groove allows the user to rest the eyelash curler along the bone of the eye socket thereby ensuring consistent placement of the eyelash curling apparatus.

[0018] Another aspect of the present invention provides a method for curling eyelashes on the eye of a subject comprising the steps of: (a) applying an appropriately sized eyelash curling apparatus to the subject's eye; (b) holding the eyelash curling apparatus along the contour of the eye for a period of time sufficient to curl the upper and lower lashes. In a preferred embodiment, the period of time necessary for holding the eyelash curling apparatus against the eyelashes is in the range of 1.5 to about 5 seconds. In another preferred embodiment, the method for curling lashes comprises an initial step of applying liquid to the eyelash prior to step (a). In a particularly preferred embodiment, the liquid is a cosmetic eyelash gel or mascara.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:

[0020] FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a preferred embodiment of the eyelash curling apparatus of the present invention;

[0021] FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view as seen from handle device thereof;

[0022] FIG. 3 is a right side elevational view as seen from curling device thereof;

[0023] FIG. 4 is front elevational view as seen from curling device thereof;

[0024] FIG. 5 is a back elevational view thereof;

[0025] FIG. 6 is a perspective view thereof; and

[0026] FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the eyelash curling apparatus in use in accordance with the method of this invention handle port.

[0027] FIG. 8 is an illustrative view of the curling bowl placed in a position adjacent to the eye, with the curling bowl shown in cross-section.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0028] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the present invention is an eyelash curling apparatus that can be safely positioned on the upper and lower lashes of a user's eye to facilitate the curling of the upper and lower lashes. The eyelash curling apparatus includes an elongated member with a proximal and distal end. The proximal end bears an elliptically shaped curling bowl that is made from a substantially rigid material and is conformed to the shape of a subject's eye. The distal end of the apparatus is configured as a handle portion, which can be made from the same or a different material as the material used to make the curling bowl. When positioned correctly on the user's eye, the eyelash curling apparatus applies compressive pressure to the eyelashes where the lashes attach to the eyelid, thereby resulting in a curling back of the upper and lower lashes.

[0029] As used herein, the curling bowl is an elliptically shaped bowl with a concave and convex side made of a substantially rigid material. The bottom side of the handle portion adjacent to the bowl portion includes a substantially valley-shaped recess for receiving a user's index finger. The index-finger recess is approximately 0.25 in (6.4 mm) to 0.38 in (9.5 mm) transverse from the bowl portion of the apparatus and 2.0 in (5.08 cm) transverse from the distal end of the handle portion of the apparatus.

[0030] Preferably the eyelash curling apparatus is made from substantially rigid materials. Examples of this material include metal, plastic and moldable polymers. Preferably both the bowl portion and the handle portion of the eyelash curling apparatus are comprised of the same material thereby facilitating inexpensive and efficient manufacturing. However, the bowl portion and the handle portion of the eyelash curling apparatus may be constructed of different substantially rigid material and bonded together by an adhesive between the handle portion and bowl portion of the device.

[0031] As used herein the term curling bowl includes any round or elliptical shaped cup with a concave and convex surface designed to mimic the contours of the eye. The curling bowl may be created of any substantially rigid material, so that upon application of pressure the curling bowl retains its shape. The curling bowl may be attached to a handle to facilitate the positioning of the curling bowl in the optimal position.

[0032] The term handle shall refer to any portion of the apparatus that is structurally adapted to being grasped by the hand. Handles may be round, oval, looped, or any shape that permits grasping. A handle may have a particular surface that allows the grasping to be more secure. A handle may have one or more cutouts or configurational alterations. A handle may have one or more cutouts or conformational alterations that are graspable by the fingers, thumb or interdigital spaces of the user.

[0033] FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of the eyelash curling apparatus according to the present invention. The tool is depicted as an elongate member with a proximal end (curling bowl) and a distal end (the handle). The proximal end bears a curling bowl depicted as an elliptically shaped spoon end. The distal end bears a handle attached to the curling bowl.

[0034] In the depicted embodiment, the eyelash curler can be used like a spoon; wherein the spoon portion cups the eye. It is desirable that the curling bowl and the handle be rigid so that the compressive pressure from the user will not distort the curling bowl or handle. In one embodiment the handle is about 2.0 in (5.08 cm) from the distal end of the apparatus to the juncture with the curling bowl. The curling bowl may be made of metal, plastic, ceramic or a molded polymer. In this embodiment the curling bowl is depicted as an elliptically shaped apparatus with a major axis of 1.5 in (3.81 cm) and a minor axis of 0.75 in (1.9 cm).

[0035] FIG. 3 and FIG. 6 show features of an illustrative eyelash curling apparatus. FIG. 3 provides a side elevational view of the eyelash curling apparatus. In this view the proximal and distal ends of the apparatus are configured parallel to each other through an ‘S’ shaped juncture. This juncture is depicted in the perspective view of FIG. 6. This ‘S’ shaped juncture is designed to house the user's index finger for easy manipulation of the eyelash curler. The juncture may be made of any rigid material able to withstand compressive pressure of the user. In one embodiment the juncture is made from the same material as the handle. In another embodiment the juncture is made from the same material as the curling bowl. While the juncture is shown in these illustrations as flat and even, modifications can be readily envisioned by skilled artisans that may make the juncture more adapted to house the user's index finger. The juncture can be textured or equipped with irregularities intended to provide more grip. In addition the juncture can be wider at the top curvature to allow more manipulation.

[0036] In a preferred embodiment, the juncture is located 2.0 in (5.08 cm) from the distal end of the handle. The juncture is located 0.5 in (1.27 cm) from the proximal end of the radius of the major axis of the elliptically shaped curling bowl. In one embodiment the curling bowl axis is 80° from the handle axis.

[0037] To use the depicted eyelash curling apparatus, the user initially holds the eyelash curling apparatus such that the concave surface of the curling bowl is facing the subject. The eyelash curling apparatus should be held so that the major axis of the curling bowl is parallel to the eye to eye axis of the user as depicted in FIG. 7.

[0038] The user translates the curling bowl toward the eye. The user then gently applies the concave inner surface of the curling bowl in a non-traumatic compressive engagement of the apparatus to the lashes of an open eye such that the edge of the curling bowl applies compressive pressure to the eyelashes of the upper and lower eyelid to elastically configure the eyelashes away from the pupil of the eye as depicted in FIG. 8. The user holds the eyelash curling apparatus in the non-traumatic compressive position for 1.5 seconds to 5 seconds or until the desired curl is achieved. The user may apply a cosmetic eyelash gel or mascara to the eyelashes prior to the application of the eyelash curling device. In this instance the eyelash curling apparatus can be held against the eyelashes until the gel or mascara has dried. In another method, the user can apply the cosmetic gel or mascara to the eyelashes after the eyelash curling apparatus has been applied to and removed from the eyelashes.

[0039] In curling eyelashes, safety is a vital element. Compressive and heated instrumentalities can damage the eye, eyelid and eyelash. Therefore, presenting an eyelash curling apparatus that is safe for the eye, eyelash, and eyelid is paramount, a feature incorporated in the present invention.

[0040] The many features and advantages of the present invention can be appreciated from the foregoing description. Further since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation as described herein. Hence, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to as falling within the scope of the invention.

[0041] Having described the invention in detail and by reference to the drawings, it will be apparent that modification and variations are possible without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.