Title:
Dual hemisphere cosmetic brush
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A brush for applying mascara or the like, having at least two separate bristle arrays, each bristle array forming a distinct portion of the resulting brush and/or providing for a different function, such as mascara application or combing.



Inventors:
Schrepf, Volker (East Islip, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/006595
Publication Date:
07/10/2008
Filing Date:
01/03/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/159.1, 15/207.2, 300/21
International Classes:
A45D40/26; A46B5/00; A46D1/00; A46D3/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KALACH, BRIANNE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COOPER & DUNHAM LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cosmetic applicator brush including: (a) an elongated core having a first end and second end; (b) a first array of bristles attached to a first portion of the elongated core, the bristles having free tips defining a first notional envelope; (c) a second array of bristles attached to a second portion of the elongated core, the bristles having free tips defining a second notional envelope; and (d) a connection section along a third portion of the elongated core between the first array and the second array.

2. The cosmetic applicator brush of claim 1, wherein each of the first notional envelope and the second notional envelope have a respective flat side.

3. The cosmetic applicator brush of claim 2, wherein the connection section further comprises a bend such that the flat side of the first notional envelope cooperates with the flat side of the second notional envelope.

4. The cosmetic applicator brush of claim 1, wherein the bristles of the first array differ from the bristles of the second array with respect to one or more physical properties affecting the application of a cosmetic material.

5. The cosmetic applicator brush of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the first notional envelope and at least a portion of the second notional envelope each taper toward the connection section.

6. The cosmetic applicator brush of claim 1, wherein the first end and the second end are secured together.

7. The cosmetic applicator brush of claim 1, wherein the first notional envelope differs from of the second notional envelope.

8. The cosmetic applicator brush of claim 1, wherein the first notional envelope is flipped with respect to the second notional envelope.

9. The cosmetic applicator brush of claim 1, wherein at least one of the notional envelopes is adapted for combing eyelashes.

10. A method of making a cosmetic applicator brush, comprising: (a) attaching a first array of bristles to an elongated core between a first end of the elongated core and a connection section of the elongated core; (b) attaching a second array of bristles to the elongated core between a second end of the elongated core and the connecting section of the elongated core; (c) trimming the bristles of first array such that the free tips of the bristles of the first array define a first notional envelope; and (d) trimming the bristles of the second array such that the free tips of the second array define a second notional envelope

11. The method of claim 10 further comprising the step of: forming a bend in the connection section such that the first array and the second array cooperate to form the cosmetic applicator brush.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein at least one of the first trimming step and the second trimming step further comprise the step of: forming a generally flat side proximate the elongated core.

13. The method of claim 10 further comprising the step of: securing the first end and the second end.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/878,912 filed Jan. 5, 2007, hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to brushes for applying mascara.

One type of brush with which the invention is specifically concerned is a mascara brush having an axially elongated twisted wire core with a multiplicity of fibers such as bristles clamped at their midpoints in the core and extending radially outwardly therefrom to form a brush bristle array surrounding the core over a substantial portion of the length of the core, typically to the outer (distal) end of the core. The core is constituted of two runs of wire, which may be initially separate, twisted together into an axially rectilinear helix to hold the bristles between them. This combination of a twisted wire core and a radiating array of bristles clamped in the core provides a simple, low-cost and effective brush structure for application of mascara.

Such mascara brushes are well known and widely used in the cosmetics industry. Commonly, the proximal end of the brush is mounted within the threaded cap of a mascara container, so that the brush projects into the container when the cap is in container-closing position. Upon removal of the cap, the brush carries a quantity of mascara out of the container, and is manipulated to deliver and apply the mascara to the user's eyelashes, the cap serving as a handle for the brush.

In many conventional mascara brushes, the overall profile of the brush bristle array (such profile being the notional envelope defined by the bristle extremities) is cylindrical and/or smoothly tapering, with progressively shorter bristles, toward the distal end of the brush, although other bristle array profiles have been proposed, for example in U.S. Pat. No. 5,357,987, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by this reference. The bristles within the profile may be arranged in discrete though closely spaced helical rows corresponding to the helical turns of the wire core, or may be distributed substantially uniformly.

While conventional brushes can be used to apply mascara, it can be difficult to achieve a satisfactory comb-through, which separates the lashes, without using a separate implement such as a small plastic comb. Some mascara brushes, such as the one described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,861,179, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by this reference, solve this problem by combining soft bristles, for applying mascara, and stiff bristles, for combing the applied mascara, in a single spiral mascara brush. Hollow bristles such as the ones described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,733,425, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by this reference could also be used. The mix of soft and stiff bristles can be either homogeneous throughout the length of the brush or formed by placing different fibers into zones along the length of the brush. However, if the different types of bristles are blended homogeneously, it may be difficult to achieve the optimal separation of the lashes and if the bristles are arranged into zones along the length of the brush, it might not be readily apparent where the different zones are, thereby causing the consumer to use the brush in an unintended, less efficient manner. Since ease of use is a primary goal, the mascara brush must both provide an optimal amount of separation and clearly delineate which portions of the mascara brush are for applying mascara and which portions are for combing of the lashes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a bristle brush, for applying cosmetic material such as mascara or the like, combining within a single structure diverse applicator characteristics respectively suited to the performance of specifically different functions in the application of the cosmetic material, and capable of being enclosed within a container of the material when not in use.

Another, more specific object is to provide such a brush having portions respectively adapted for delivering mascara to a user's lashes and combing delivered mascara through the lashes.

A further object is to provide such a brush enabling the user to determine selectively the amount of mascara applied by manipulation at the point of application, and then to comb the mascara through the lashes.

To these and other ends, the invention broadly contemplates the provision of a mascara brush having at least two arrays of bristles, which may be respectively constituted of different types of fibers (one harder, one softer, for example), disposed in tandem along the same core with a short extent of bare core therebetween. Each array of bristles project outwardly around the core and include a plurality of bristles having free tips extending radially therefrom. The core can be bent 180° between the two arrays such that the tips of the bristles of the two arrays together define a notional envelope constituted of a first portion extending along the core axis and an opposed portion also extending along the core axis. The bristles of the opposed portion project radially from the core in directions opposed to the bristles of the first portion and each portion can perform different mascara-applying functions. Typically, the proximal end of the core, that is, the end furthest from the 180° bend in the core, engages an end of a stem having an opposite end secured within a mascara container cap.

The invention may be embodied in a brush in which a soft bristled portion may be used for delivering mascara from a container to a user's lashes and a stiff bristled portion may be used for combing delivered mascara through the lashes. Alternatively, the stiff bristled portion may be used to deliver a very light application of mascara resulting in a thickened, separated-look for the lashes, as opposed to the thickened, voluminous-look provided by the soft-bristled portion.

This unusual arrangement of bristles of the brush offers the consumer the quick and easy application that the user demands, yet no special skill or newly-learned technique is involved in using this brush. The mascara product builds up on the soft-bristled portion and, to a far lesser extent, on the stiff-bristled portion, which gives clearly recognizable heavily loaded and lightly loaded application zones.

Additionally, the stiff-bristled portion, which is clearly identifiable as such, allows the user to comb through the lashes to separate them without needing to carry a separate combing device. Furthermore, because the stiff-bristled portion, which can be used as a comb, is stored within the mascara container, there is no risk of damage to the combing portion or of contamination of other objects with mascara. Additionally, the combing portion itself will not be contaminated with foreign objects that could cause an eye infection.

Further, the transverse cross-section of the envelope can be substantially uniform in dimensions along at least a major portion of the envelope. Also, the envelope can taper toward the distal end of the array; and the aforesaid major portion of the envelope advantageously has extended longitudinal edges parallel to the rectilinear axis of the core.

The invention also can be embodied in a brush in which each portion of the brush may have a different geometry or shape even if the fibers used for each portion are the same type. For example, one portion may be used for delivering mascara from a container to a user's lashes and another portion may be used for combing delivered mascara through the lashes; or one portion may be used for applying mascara to the lower lashes and the other portion may be used for applying mascara to the upper lashes; or one portion may be used to achieve a particular effect such as curling and the other portion may be used for a different effect such as straightening. The possible shapes for each portion according to the invention are almost unlimited and may be described by one or more cross-section profiles along the rectilinear axis and one or more profiles perpendicular to the rectilinear axis. Thus, for example, the perpendicular (transverse) profile need not be only tapering, but can have many forms, such as curvilinear, arrow-shaped, etcetera. Furthermore, the different shapes clearly indicate to the user the different portions which allow the user to identify the portion to use for a particular purpose.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a side view of a wire core with two bristle arrays that can be shaped into a mascara brush embodying the present invention in a particular form;

FIG. 1B is a cross-sectional view of a wire core with two bristle arrays that can be shaped into a mascara brush embodying the present invention in a particular form;

FIG. 2A is a side view of a wire core with two bristle arrays that have been shaved on one side as a preliminary step in forming a mascara brush embodying the present invention in a particular form;

FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional view of a wire core with two bristle arrays that have been shaved on one side as a preliminary step in forming a mascara brush embodying the present invention in a particular form;

FIG. 3A is a side view of a mascara brush embodying the present invention in a particular form;

FIG. 3B is a cross-sectional view of a mascara brush embodying the present invention in a particular form;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are tables referencing the letter-identified dimensions in FIGS. 1A and 1B to describe various arrangements of bristle types and dimensions for a mascara brush embodying the present invention in particular forms;

FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C, and 5D are cross-sectional views along the rectilinear axis of mascara brushes in which each of the two bristle array profiles is different, that is respectively, a semi-circular profile with a rectangular profile, a semi-circular profile with a smaller diameter semi-circular profile, a semi-circular profile with a smaller diameter offset semi-circular profile, and a semi-circular profile with a triangular profile;

FIGS. 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D, 6E, and 6F are side views of mascara brushes in which each of the two bristle array profiles is different, that is respectively, a distal taper profile with a distal and proximal taper profile, a distal taper profile with a curvilinear profile, a distal taper profile with a rectangular profile, a distal and proximal taper profile with a curvilinear profile, a rectangular profile with a distal and proximal taper profile, and a distal taper profile with a half arrow-shaped profile;

FIGS. 7A, 7B and 7C are side views of a mascara brush in which each of the two bristle array are adapted for applying mascara to either the right or left eyelash of the user, that is respectively, a distally widening profile with a distally narrowing profile, a proximal taper profile with distal taper profile, and a half arrow-shaped profile pointing distally with a half arrow-shaped profile pointing proximally; and

FIG. 8 is a side view of a mascara brush in which one bristle array has a distal taper profile, and the other bristle array has a crenellated profile.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings, the embodiment of the invention there shown is a brush 10 having an elongated, axially rectilinear core 14 constituted of two helically twisted-together runs of metal wire, and two multiplicities of fibers or bristles 18, 19, for example nylon fibers. Each multiplicity constitutes a different type of fiber such that some fibers or bristles are adapted to applying mascara and other fiber or bristles are adapted to comb applied mascara through a user's eyelashes. Each of the fibers or bristles 18, 19 are clamped between the two runs of wire and the different types of fibers or bristles are spaced apart from the other by a short extent of bare wire core 16 to form two brush bristle arrays 11, 12. The opposed free tips of the fibers or bristles of each array 11, 12 extend radially outwardly from the core 14 and the arrays extend along a substantial portion of the length of the core. The manufacture and arrangement of such structures are well known in the art, and accordingly need not be further described. It will be understood that the two wire runs may be separate lengths of wire, or opposed legs of a single initially U-shaped wire.

As thus far described, the brush array 10 differs from conventional brushes because it is formed of two separate brush fiber arrays 11 and 12. A conventional brush would typically have a single bristle array. It will be understood that when the bristles are initially mounted in the twisted wire core, their free ends project for somewhat randomly unequal distances therefrom, and accordingly the brush is subjected to a trimming step. To produce brushes of a conventional round (cylindrical and/or tapering conical) profile, brushes are typically rotated through trimmer heads.

In accordance with the present invention, unlike conventional brushes, two arrays 11 and 12 of bristles are first trimmed after initial assembly with the wire core 14. The cut free ends of the trimmed arrays 11 and 12 define a notional envelope which can be generally cylindrical and/or tapering, that is at least partially conical. FIG. 1A shows a side view of the trimmed brush 10, and FIG. 1B shows a cross-sectional view of this profile, that is, in the plane perpendicular to the rectilinear axis of the wire core 14.

FIGS. 2A and 2B show the brush 10 after another step in the manufacture, that is, after the lower halves 11a, 12a of each array are trimmed or shaved close to the core 14 along the entire length of each array 11, 12. This second trimming or shaving converts the envelope or profile of each array into a semi-cylindrical shape 110, 112 which extends along the core 14. Each profile 110, 112 has a respective flat side 110a, 112a offset from the diameter of the respective trimmed arrays 11 and 12.

FIGS. 3A and 3B show the brush 10 after another step in the manufacture, that is, after the bare portion 16 of wire core 14 between arrays 110 and 112 is doubled over, or bent, usually 180°, to bring flat sides 110a and 112a of the two arrays together. The two arrays 110 and 112 now together define one complete envelope or profile 118, of which each array 110 and 112 constitutes approximately one longitudinal half.

The resulting twisted-in-wire mascara brush has one longitudinal half 110 constituted of one kind of fiber 18 and the other longitudinal half 112 constituted of a different fiber 19. The exposed proximal free ends 20, 22 of the doubled-over wire core 14 can then be mounted together in a sleeve or stem of a handle or cap, thereby securing the two halves 110, 112 of the brush fiber arrays fixedly together.

FIGS. 4A and 4B show a table illustrating fifteen (15) examples of the present invention in which different fibers, such as hollow, solid, high stiff (HS), polybutylene terephthalate polyester (PBT), heavy amplitude (HA), and trilocular (Tri-Loc) are employed. A heavy amplitude fiber is a solid fiber which has been crimpled longitudinally to carry more mascara and for improved lash comb-through. A trilocular fiber has a triangular cross section with three internal voids running longitudinally. Also, the dimensions of the fibers, wires, and arrays can vary and can also be different for each array 11, 12, 110, and 112. The letter dimensions set forth in FIGS. 4A and 4B, that is, A, A′, B, B′, C, C′, D, D′, E, F, G, and G′ are shown in FIGS. 1A and 2A.

A particular advantage of the brush of the present invention is ease of control over the amount of mascara applied to the lashes. When the brush has been withdrawn from the container for transport of mascara to a user's lashes, the soft-bristled portion 110 bears a heavy load of mascara whereas the stiff-bristled portion 112 bears a comparatively smaller load of mascara because of the type of fiber that is used to form the bristles. Thus the user can selectively apply a minimum or maximum loading of mascara to the user's lashes by using respectively either stiff-bristled portion 112 or soft-bristled portion 110 to apply mascara to the lashes.

When delivery/application of the mascara to the lashes is complete, the user can employ the stiff-bristled portion 112 of the brush to comb the delivered mascara through the lashes. The stiff bristles of the combing portion 112 provide effective combing action and, because this portion does not carry a large amount of mascara, the combing operation does not overload the lashes with mascara.

While the brushes resulting from the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1A-3B have a conventional generally cylindrical or distally tapered cylindrical shape, this invention also provides for different shapes for each of the bristle arrays. Such an ability is particularly useful since conventional brush trimming equipment only provides for a bristle array to have circular cross-sectional profiles along the rectilinear axis of the mascara brush. Because each of the bristle arrays are separate during the trimming step, each of the bristle arrays can be trimmed with a different geometry allowing for unique and distinct profiles both in cross-section along the rectilinear axis and perpendicular to the rectilinear axis, that is, from the side of the mascara brush. Further, each array can have bristles that are made of the same or different fibers than the other array.

FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C, and 5D illustrate embodiments having different cross-sections along the rectilinear axis for each bristle array. Each of the bristle arrays in such a mascara brush can be selected as particularly effective for specific function, for example, one array can be suitable for applying mascara to one section of the eye, such as the lower lashes, while the other array can be suitable for applying mascara to another section of the eye, such as the upper lashes.

FIGS. 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D, 6E, and 6F illustrate embodiments having different profiles perpendicular to the rectilinear axis of the mascara brush. Again, each of the bristle arrays can be selected as particularly effective for a specific function.

In addition, a mascara brush can combine a cross-sectional profile along the rectilinear axis with a profile perpendicular to the rectilinear axis. Thus, for example, the triangular-shaped profile 120 of the bristle array shown in FIG. 5D can also have the half-arrow shaped profile 122 of FIG. 6F perpendicular to its rectilinear axis. Indeed, any of the cross-sectional profiles along the rectilinear axis of FIGS. 5A-5D can be combined with any of the profiles perpendicular to the rectilinear axis of FIGS. 6A-6F. Furthermore, while FIGS. 5A-5D and 6A-6F only show particular examples of possible profiles, other profiles and combinations of profiles are possible and are within the scope of the invention.

FIGS. 7A, 7B, and 7C illustrate mascara brushes of the invention in which the respective profile of each array is particularly adapted for use with the right eye lash or the left eye lash. In FIGS. 7A-7C the profile perpendicular to the rectilinear axis for one brush array 124 is flipped with respect to the other brush array 126. Such differentiation also allows for a more ergonomic brush. For example, a left-handed user can use one side of the brush while the right-handed user would use the other side.

FIG. 8 illustrates a mascara brush of the invention in which one array has a profile perpendicular to the rectilinear has crenellations 130. In this embodiment, the fibers in the narrower sections 132 of the profile are different from the fibers in the wider sections 134 of the profile.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the features and embodiments hereinabove specifically set forth, but may be carried out in other ways without departure from its spirit. In particular, different or additional manufacturing steps can be employed and, as discussed above, the shapes of the notional envelopes need not be cylindrical.