Title:
Mascara tube
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for dispensing and applying mascara. The device comprises an elongated cylindrical main body having an interior mascara container portion characterized by an axially displaceable reservoir. An applicator attached to an elongated rod can-be used to apply the mascara to eyelashes. In accordance with a key aspect of the invention, the length of the elongated rod is chosen so that the applicator can reach the bottom and lower interior surfaces of the reservoir when the reservoir has reached the limit of its axial travel within the container. Excess mascara is scraped from both ends of the product container by scraper elements depending from both the elongated rod and the reservoir.



Inventors:
Marshall, Vickie C. (Fort Atkinson, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/094521
Publication Date:
05/03/2007
Filing Date:
03/31/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
401/126
International Classes:
A46B11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LE, HUYEN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alfred F. Hoyte, Esq. (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A mascara container and applicator device comprising: a main body, said main body having an elongated container with an open end and-a closed end, a reservoir contained within said container, said reservoir having an open end coinciding with said open end of the container, and a closed end; a base connected in journaled relationship about the closed end of said elongated container, said base including means for selectively axially advancing and retracting said reservoir relative to said container; an applicator assembly including a cap dimensioned for frictional fit about the open end of the container, an elongated rod extending from said cap into said reservoir, said rod terminating at an applicator element adapted for applying mascara, said rod having a disc shaped scraper element extending radially therefrom, said scraper element sized for sealing engagement with interior walls of the reservoir.

2. The container of claim 1 wherein said closed end of said reservoir includes an interior end surface and an exterior end portion, said exterior end portion including a threaded bore.

3. The container of claim 2 wherein said means for selectively axially advancing and retracting said reservoir includes a feed screw extending from an interior end surface of said base, said feed screw threadedly engaged within said threaded bore.

4. A mascara container and applicator device comprising: a main body, said main body including a container with an open end and a closed end, a reservoir contained within said container, said reservoir having an open end coinciding with said open end of the container and a closed end; an applicator assembly including a cap dimensioned for frictional fit about the open end of the container, an elongated rod extending from said cap into said reservoir, said rod terminating at an applicator element adapted for applying mascara, said rod having a disc shaped scraper element extending radially therefrom, said scraper element sized for sliding and sealing engagement with interior walls of the reservoir.

5. A mascara container and applicator device comprising: a main body, said main body having an elongated container with an open end and a closed end, a reservoir contained within said container, said reservoir having an open end coinciding with said open end of the container, and a closed end; means for selectively axially advancing and retracting said reservoir relative to said container; and an applicator assembly removably attached to said container, said applicator assembly including an applicator adapted for applying mascara.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention disclosure relates to cosmetic application devices. More particularly, the invention disclosure concerns an improved mascara applicator and tube designed to make efficient use of the mascara contained within the tube.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

Containers for cosmetics and associated applicators are provided in a variety of shapes and sizes. Moreover, specific types of cosmetics are provided in characteristic containers and have characteristic applicators, the shapes of which are dictated both by the product to be dispensed and the area of the body to which the product is applied. Mascara is typically contained in a tubular container and has a brush attached to an elongated rod, the brush and rod designed for axial insertion and retrieval within the container, the brush designed to both pick up mascara and apply it evenly to the eyelashes. A problem with standard mascara tubes is that product is typically left at the bottom of the tube, inaccessible to the brush. Another problem with mascara tubes is that much product is left on the interior surfaces of the tube.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,722,436 issued to Vandromme, et al. discloses an applicator assembly which can be used to apply mascara. The reservoir includes an apparatus designed to reduce axial spacing between adjacent interior surfaces in order to cause more even application of the product to the applicator. The present invention, by contrast, eliminates waste of the product by providing a twist up mechanism for twisting up product at the bottom of the reservoir. The brush is attached to an elongated rod which is relatively short allowing for the reduction of the interior length of the reservoir.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,636,931 issued to Gueret discloses an applicator device for applying cosmetics having a spring loaded piston element for pushing product through a narrow opening and onto an applicator element. The present invention concerns a mascara tube having a reservoir which is axially promoted by a screw operated piston. The reservoir has a frusto-conical scraping element designed to scrape product from the interior surfaces of the reservoir.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention disclosure concerns an apparatus for dispensing and applying mascara. The device comprises an elongated cylindrical main body having an interior mascara container portion characterized by an axially displaceable reservoir. An applicator attached to an elongated rod can be used to apply the mascara to eyelashes. In accordance with a key aspect of the invention, the length of the elongated rod is chosen so that the applicator tip touches the bottom surface of the reservoir when the reservoir has reached the limit of its axial travel within the container. Excess mascara is scraped from both ends of the product container by scraper elements depending from both the elongated rod and the reservoir.

Accordingly, it is a major object of the invention to provide an apparatus for dispensing mascara having means for substantially eliminating product waste.

It is another object of the invention to provide a mascara dispenser and applicator which cooperate to allow for highly efficient use of the mascara product contained within the dispenser.

It is another object of the invention to provide a mascara dispenser and applicator having an axially displaceable reservoir for urging mascara product toward the open end of the container.

It is another object of the invention to provide a mascara dispenser and applicator where the length of travel of the reservoir element is a function of the length of the applicator element.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an exploded perspective view of the mascara tube of the invention with cap and applicator removed.

FIG. 2 shows a plan view of the mascara tube of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows an exploded plan view of the mascara tube with cap and applicator removed.

FIG. 4 shows a cross-sectional view of the mascara tube of the invention.

FIG. 5 shows a cross section of the mascara tube illustrating the spatial relation of the various functional elements in the tube as mascara is consumed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1-5, an apparatus for dispensing and applying mascara is shown. The apparatus, generally indicated by the numeral 10, has a generally cylindrical main body portion 12, an applicator element 14, having a cap 16 at one end and an applicator 18 at the other end. A mascara container 20 is positioned within the main body 12 in coaxial relation thereto, the container 20 having an open end and a closed end, the closed end including means for displacing a movable reservoir 22 as will be explained in more detail later.

The cap 16 is designed for snap fit or frictional fit onto the open end 24 of the main body portion 12 and has an elongated rod 26 centrally attached to and extending from inside surface 28. The elongated rod 26 includes a substantially disc shaped scraper element 29 extending radially and perpendicularly therefrom and axially centered thereon, the scraper element 29 sized for slidable sealing engagement within the interior sidewalls 42 of the reservoir 22. Applicator 18 may be formed of a curved end portion of elongated rod 26, and includes a plurality of spaced groups of bristles 30. Applicator 18 may optionally be straight with bristles 30 extending therefrom in a desired pattern in accordance with a predetermined use as shown. The length of elongated rod 26 is chosen so that at least the tip 32 of applicator 18 is flush against the bottom surface 34 of reservoir 22 when reservoir 22 reaches the limit of its upward travel. All components of the apparatus, with the exception of the bristles which must be pliable, may be made from rigid materials such as hard plastic or metal.

Reservoir 22 has an open end 36 allowing for insertion of the applicator 18 thereinto. The interior sidewalls 42 of the reservoir 22 extend between the open end 36 and the bottom surface 34 of the reservoir 22. A feed screw 48 extending from and rigidly attached to the bottom interior surface 28 is threadedly engaged within threaded bore 50 formed in the underside of reservoir 22 and extending downwardly therefrom. The base 56 is attached to main body 12 in a journaled but axially stationary relationship by way of cooperation between annular ridge 60 of main body 12 and annular recess 62 formed in base 56. It can be readily appreciated that ridge 60 and recess 62 work in combination to prevent relative axial movement of base 56 and main body 12. As mascara 44 is consumed, reservoir 22 is advanced toward the open end 24 by manual rotation of the base 56, which drives feed screw 48 causing axial progression of reservoir 22 as a result of interaction between screw 48 and threaded bore 50. Advancement of the reservoir 22 facilitates access to all of the mascara 44 contained within container 20, the length of rod 26 selected so that at the end of upward travel of reservoir 22 the applicator 18 is able to access product on the interior bottom surface 34 of the reservoir 22 as has been previously noted. When the cap 16 is coaxial with the reservoir 22, i.e., aligned for insertion of the applicator 18 into container 20, the scraper 29 serves to collect and urge mascara 44 towards the bottom 34 of the reservoir 22 to prevent mascara 44 from collecting and hardening on the interior wall of the reservoir 22.

In use, the cap 16 and applicator 18 may be removed from the open end 24 of the container 22, whereupon the user may visually inspect the applicator 18 to verify that a desired amount of mascara 44 is on the applicator 18. Reinsertion of the applicator 18 into the container to reduce or increase the amount of mascara 44 on the applicator 18 may be required to reach a desired amount. This may require that the applicator 18 be brushed against the sidewalls 42, leaving mascara 44 thereon. Also, as mascara 44 is consumed, some will remain upon the sidewalls 42, eventually drying and becoming unusable. After applying the mascara 44, the user may then reinsert the applicator 18 into the open end 24 of the container 22 axially aligning the cap with the container 22. Complete insertion of the applicator 18 is effected by pushing cap 16 onto the container end 24. As the cap 16 and applicator 18 are advanced during each insertion, scraper 29 impinges upon the sidewalls 42 collecting and advancing any mascara 44 remaining on the sidewalls 42 towards the remaining mascara 44 in the reservoir 22. As this collected mascara will remain on the top of the accumulation of mascara 44, it will be consumed before any drying occurs thus allowing the user to consume all of the product. Additionally, the edge of the open end 36 of the reservoir may be beveled to collect any mascara 44 accumulated on interior surfaces of the container 20. When the applicator 18 can no longer reach the mascara 44 remaining in the reservoir 22, the base 56 may be twisted until the applicator 18 can access sufficient mascara 44 for even distribution onto bristles 30. Preferably, the length of feed screw 48 allows the reservoir 22 to be advanced sufficiently to allow for all of the remaining mascara 44 to be consumed.

It is to be understood that the provided illustrative examples are by no means exhaustive of the many possible uses for my invention.

From the foregoing description, one skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of this invention and, without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, can make various changes and modifications of the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions.





 
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