Cosmetic products applicator
Kind Code:

The applicator for cosmetic products, or lipstick, is a double ply card with an embossed pattern in the top ply that retains a sample of cosmetic, primarily lipstick. The pattern includes projections from a top ply and a planar bottom ply opposite the top ply. The sample can be deposited onto the top ply similar to printing. This applicator also has the cosmetic sample retained within projections upon the top ply that separates from the bottom ply affixed to a card or magazine page. In use a machine lifts the bottom ply from the release liner and places the bottom ply upon a mailer and then a consumer removes the top ply from the bottom ply for testing the sample as desired.

Dobler, Sven (Huntington, NY, US)
Beal, Dale (Farmingdale, NY, US)
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul M. Denk (St. Louis, MO, US)
We claim:

1. A cosmetic applicator suitable for affixing a sample of cosmetic to a carrier, including a card, magazine, and mail piece, for application of the cosmetic by a consumer upon receipt of the carrier, said applicator comprising: a top ply having a plurality of integral projections, said projections retaining said sample therebetween and avoiding notice by the consumer, said projections being mutually spaced apart and separate; a planar bottom ply locating beneath said top ply; a release liner locating beneath said bottom ply, said bottom ply adhering to said release liner using a pressure sensitive adhesive, and said bottom ply affixing said applicator to said carrier upon removal from said release liner.

2. The applicator of claim 1 further comprising: said top ply having a top surface and an opposite bottom surface, said top surface being visible; and, said projections extending generally perpendicular to said bottom surface and through said sample.

3. The applicator of claim 2 further comprising: said bottom ply having a top surface and an opposite bottom surface, said top surface generally receiving said projections from said top ply, and being visible when said top ply is removed therefrom; and, said bottom surface adhering to said release liner.

4. The applicator of claim 1 wherein said projections are formed by mechanical embossing or printing.

5. The applicator of claim 4 wherein printing includes silkscreen, offset, rotogravure, flexography, or deposition.

6. The applicator of claim 5 wherein flexography includes conventional inks, offset inks, flexographic inks, ultraviolet cured inks, or thermographic heat set inks.

7. The applicator of claim 5 wherein deposition includes thermoforming, vacuum forming, casting, heat treatment, electrostatic treatment, spraying, extruding, adhesives, or cohesives.

8. The applicator of claim 3 further comprising: said top ply being heat sealed to said bottom ply.

9. The applicator of claim 8 further comprising: said top ply and said bottom ply having a similar planar shape and being heat sealed upon their mutual perimeter.

10. The applicator of claim 2 further comprising: said projections being generally round bosses, said bosses retaining said sample between any two of said bosses, and having a height below said top surface avoiding notice by the consumer.

11. The applicator of claim 10 wherein said sample is no more than 3 mils in thickness.

12. The applicator of claim 10 wherein said bosses are no more than 5 mils in height.

13. The applicator of claim 2 further comprising: a plurality of indicia upon said top surface of said top ply.

14. The applicator of claim 3 further comprising: a plurality of indicia upon said top surface of said bottom ply.

15. The applicator of claim 1 wherein said projections occupy less than 50% of the surface area of said top ply.



This non provisional patent application claims priority to the non provisional patent application Ser. No. ______ entitled Applicator for Cosmetic Products, which was filed on Sep. 6, 2007, which claims priority to the non provisional patent application Ser. No. 11/190,752, which was filed on Jul. 27, 2005, which claims priority to the provisional patent application having Ser. No. 60/598,013, which was filed on Aug. 2, 2004. The aforementioned applications are commonly owned by the same assignee.


This applicator for cosmetic products relates to sampling devices and more specifically to a two ply label, or card, for mailing cosmetic samples in separate mailers or within a printed publication. A unique aspect of the present applicator is an embossed field upon the top ply that collects a sample of a cosmetic and that is then heat sealed to a bottom ply upon a releasable liner.

People have adorned themselves with perfumes, colognes, powders, mascaras, and other cosmetics for centuries. Samples of a cosmetic encourage more sales to demanding customers. The counter, where the customer may purchase, remains the most effective place to promote cosmetics. Often, retailers and suppliers of cosmetics provide free samples to entice women. However, women approach some cosmetic products skeptically, like lipstick. Women only buy lipstick after sampling it to judge its desirability. Women also know of the health risks in sampling a lipstick from a common sampler. Multiple uses of a cosmetic sampler invite customer complaints. Sampling a lipstick from a common tube by more than one person has become socially and medically discouraged. Many women insist upon sampling from an unopened tube of lipstick or sample on their hand to avoid medical problems.

To overcome the health risks in cosmetic sampling, the cosmetic industry has made miniature versions of tubes and other cosmetic dispensers. The miniature versions remain subject to contamination at the retail counter or in malls. Further, cosmetic suppliers still incur the cost of producing and distributing the miniature samples for each of the color or product line variations. In addition, cosmetic suppliers and retailers have tried cotton swabs that dab from a common cosmetic source, sample sticks, and test strips. These alternatives when used commercially caused messes, inconvenienced customers, and proved ineffective.

Beyond test strips, tubes, and pencils, the cosmetic industry seeks an inexpensive applicator for applying a cosmetic sample to skin in a single stroke. Presently, cosmetics such as lipstick have individual applicators that indirectly place lipstick upon the lips of a woman. When applied, the lipstick sample should have the same texture, feel, and characteristics regardless of the applicator. Because of the goal for similarity between a sample and the lipstick for sale, applicators usually are miniature tubes or brushes despite other possibilities.

Besides lipsticks, traditional fragrance samplers were dry pre-scented blotter cards that had to be individually wrapped to contain the fragrance for direct mail or magazine advertising. Beginning in the late 1970's, the micro-encapsulated Scentstrip® style magazine and direct mail insert was introduced. The Scentstrip insert is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,093,182 to Ross. This product was produced on wide web offset printing equipment and therefore offered significant cost efficiencies for mass marketing. However, this was still a dry sample since the moisture in the deposited fragrance slurry would quickly wick into the paper substrate and leave the product sample dry. In fact, the entire technology depended on this moisture wicking since the wet microcapsules would not bond to the paper and would not break upon opening of the sampler. The microcapsules only break and release the fragrance oil when they are dry and are bonded to the paper. The drawback of this product was poorly replicating the actual wet perfume. To sample the fragrances in wet form, the moisture wicking of the wet fragrance slurry deposited in the wide web offset printing process required prevention. Preventing moisture wicking occurred most easily by using existing narrow web flexographic label printing technology to create a pressure sensitive product that incorporated a wet fragrance or cosmetic sample material between impervious barrier materials such as plastic films and foil structures.

Three main fragrance sampler patents guide wet fragrance or cosmetic sampling in magazines and direct mail. One is U.S. Pat. No. 5,391,420 to Bootman, which describes a pressure sensitive label comprising two plies of a film or plastic material: one bottom pressure sensitive ply, a deposit of fragrance material and an overlay of a second ply which traps said fragrance deposit. The sealing is by heat seal. The drawback of this product is that the fragrance material is often forced through the seal areas under pressure from the stacking of many magazines or inserts in distribution where the weight of the magazines creates compressive stacking forces upon lower magazines and their contents within a stack.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,161,688 to Muchin introduces a center ply material which has a die-cut window. This window ply is introduced onto the bottom pressure sensitive ply and thus creates a well for the fragrance material. The top, third ply is then added and the result is that stacking forces are distributed on to the window ply and the fragrance material is exposed to less forces that may lead to seal failures and leakage.

A modification of this second patent concept is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,622,263 to Greenland. Greenland uses a liquid polyethylene or other hot liquid plastic material that creates the above-mentioned well and also assists in the heat sealing process. The Greenland concept also adds additional material cost and slows the process as the liquid plastic material needs to be deposited and bonded to the top and bottom ply. Further, the hot liquid plastic material introduces foreign odor and can contaminate the cosmetic or fragrance sampling material.

There are various other patents that deal with cosmetic sampling. Gunderman (U.S. Pat. No. 5,690,130) discloses a sampling device with a unit dose of cosmetic that is screen printed onto a base paper with a perimeter adhesive and clear film overlay. Here, a well area is embossed and receives an integral applicator. The well is not designed as a receptor for the cosmetic product nor is the embossing incorporated into the seal so as to afford better strength and resistance to pressure. Also, this sampler uses screen printing and is not capable of delivering a wet liquid dose of cosmetic material. Lastly, a pressure sensitive base material is not disclosed which would allow automatic affixing as a label onto magazine or direct mail materials.

Gunderman (U.S. Pat. No. 5,566,693) describes a screen printed sampler that delivers a cosmetic dose under a clear film overlay with pressure sensitive base material for use as a label. Again, this sampler is not designed to deliver a wet fragrance. The formulation requires fragrance to be mixed in a powder for screen printing. Further no embossing is envisioned to hold a cosmetic dose or to create seal wall integrity.

Gunderman (U.S. Pat. No. 5,562,112) envisions a lipstick sampler, again with neither a well or an embossed seal wall.

Ashcraft (U.S. Pat. No. 5,249,676) describes a multi-layer film with a flavor carrier layer between barrier layers. This does not create a wet fragrance sampler and no seals by embossing that will contain a wet cosmetic sample.

Moir (U.S. Pat. No. 5,192,386) describes a screen printed, two-ply sampler with perimeter adhesive and clear film overlay. The cosmetic is a cosmetic powder, a heated oily, non-liquid waxy material, or a fragrance in a dry powder formulation. The product is not wet and there are no heat sealed, embossed or interlocking walls to define a well and create internal seal strength sufficient to withstand stacking forces.

Szycher et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 4,880,690) shows a perfume patch.

Moir (U.S. Pat. No. 4,848,378) discloses a cosmetic screen printed, two-ply sampler that allows a pattern deposit of the cosmetic ingredient in the form of a non-smeary powder. This product is not pressure sensitive, lacks embossed wells or seal walls, and does not deliver a wet sample.

Dreger (U.S. Pat. No. 4,769,264) discloses a label product comprising at least two sheets, bonded by adhesive, with microencapsulated fragrance. The liquid fragrance inside the microspheres is so small that it does not create a wet rendering of the product and is dry to the touch as in existing dry “scentstrips”. There is no mention of any embossing to create an improved seal and resist stacking pressure.

Moir (U.S. Pat. No. 4,751,934) discloses another version of a screen printed cosmetic powder formulation that may include fragrance in a two-ply pressure sensitive label construction. The seals of the two ply layers are by adhesives and the product rendering is dry or waxy, as in the lipstick version, but not wet as contemplated in the current invention. No embossing or debossing creates well areas or builds wall seals.

Fraser (U.S. Pat. No. 4,720,423) describes using in a multi-layer strip having an adhesive with frangible microcapsules as a package overwrap. This product does not render a wet sample nor create wells or seal walls.

Charbonneau (U.S. Pat. No. 4,606,956) discloses a pressure sensitive two ply label construction with conventional microencapsulated slurry applied wet and then allowed to dry. The product sample is rendered in a dry state and no wells or embossed walls are used to create an impervious seal that resists stacking forces.

Several other patents disclose fragrance samplers: Charbonneau (U.S. Pat. No. 4,661,388) shows a pad fragrance sampling device. Sweeny (U.S. Pat. No. 4,493,869) discloses fragrance microcapsules clear substrate. Turnbull (U.S. Pat. No. 4,487,801) discloses a fragrance releasing pull-apart sheet.

The U.S. patent to Wallschlaeger, No. 5,396,913, describes a lipstick applicator of a base support, that does not absorb dry solids and liquids, and a coating of lipstick of 5 mils or less. The base support is not a tube or brush, as is commonly associated with lipstick but rather a planar sheet. The lipstick coating is applied to the base support using screen printing. The base support may have a cover thereupon to protect the coating from handling.

The U.S. patent to Wallschlaeger, No. 4,995,408, then describes a two ply cosmetic sampler. Wallschlaeger's sampler has projections extending upwardly from the base ply where gravity and friction retain the cosmetic within the projections and upon the base ply. Wallschlaeger presents the sampler as a separate stand alone device loaded with a cosmetic beneath a cover upon the projections of the bottom ply. In use, Wallschlaeger's sampler has the top ply detach, similar to a cover, and separate from the bottom ply so the consumer uses the top ply as an applicator of cosmetic retained in the bottom ply and when finished, the top ply is disposed. In contrast, the present invention has projections upon the top ply and retains the sample within the top ply, often against gravity. Additionally, the present invention is designed for application as a label onto a card or page of printed material. The base ply remains upon the carrier while the top ply, including the sample, is removed for usage by the consumer.

Wallschlaeger places a series of projections 3 almost entirely through the surface of the card 15, and then the cosmetic layer of lipstick is deposited thereupon, in the shape of the lips as shown at 19 and 20 on a field of projections. The lips shape indicates that when the lipstick cosmetic sample is applied, it is applied in the shape of lips to the shown card 15, even though the series of projections 3 extend throughout the entire surface of the card. Wallschlaeger arranges the projections in a pattern of repeating diagonal line across the fold line, nearly across the width of the base support. When Wallschlaeger folds the base support, the lines of projections intersect, spacing apart the halves of the cosmetic sample.

The difficulty in providing a removable sampler is shown by the operation of a typical product sample at a cosmetics counter. The prior art communicates the shade and texture of a particular lipstick. However, most cosmetic suppliers produce about 150 shades of lipstick, making individual counter display and sampling impractical and expensive. Cosmetic suppliers have invested heavily in sampling lipstick tubes and two-ply applicators in use at counters around the world. In addition, lipsticks have a variety of formulae differing in shelf life and compatibility. Lipstick formulae require testing for sample stability during shipping and handling in a retail store. During testing, some samples may render a formula incompatible and deter marketing of a formula. The logistics and expense of testing pose obstacles to cosmetic vendors, raising the cost and time involved in a sampling program. The two ply construction of the prior art, -base and cover-, the compatibility and stability testing, shelf space requirements, and packaging make existing applicators more expensive to use in a sampling program.

Embossing in prior art patents, serving as stilting, protects a cosmetic material, or lipstick, between the base ply and the top cover ply. The stilting spaces apart the plies. The present invention though serves in the capacity of a label to deliver samples of cosmetic, within the top ply only, as placed within a mailer, magazine, card, flyer, and the like. As the woman samples the lipstick immediately after applying it to the present invention, stability and compatibility concerns of the lipstick do not arise. The two ply embodiment of the present invention has a cosmetic sample deposited within the embossing of the top ply

The present art overcomes the limitations of the prior art. That is, in the art of the present invention, the two ply embodiment of the invention retains cosmetic samples within embossing, or projections, upon the top ply that is then heat sealed to a base ply attached to a release liner. The applicator is then placed upon a carrier, such as a mail piece or magazine. With the carrier in hand, the consumer removes the top ply from the applicator and then can immediately apply the cosmetic sample as desired.


The preferred embodiment of the cosmetic products applicator is a dual ply applicator upon a release liner that affixes the applicator to a card, a magazine, a mail piece, or other means of conveyance. The applicator has a top ply, a base ply, and a release liner, each with its own function. The top ply has a pattern embossed downwardly so that the bosses, or projections, abut the base ply located below the top ply. The top ply is heat sealed upon the perimeter of the base ply as both the top ply and the base play have the same shape. The base ply then has an adhesive layer opposite the top ply for placing the applicator upon the release liner. Then in an alternate embodiment, the applicator is a single ply card with an embossed pattern that retains a sample of lipstick. The pattern forms a friction, or raised, field that shears lipstick when applied directly from a tube onto the applicator. Also, the pattern assists in visually targeting the deposit of a cosmetic upon the applicator.

At a counter, a woman surveys the samples of lipsticks and selects a few of her choosing. The woman takes the present invention with the raised field down, and moves the applicator across the lipstick source. The raised field contacts the lipstick and lipstick collects between the embossing of the raised field. After selecting a sample, a woman folds the applicator away from her, moves the applicator to her mouth, and transfers the sample of lipstick to her lips. Following use, a woman folds the applicator towards her and encloses the raised field.

Numerous objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description of the presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative, embodiment of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Before explaining the current embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

Therefore the object of the present invention is to provide a two ply label where the cosmetic sample, primarily lipstick, is located within the top ply.

Another object of the invention is to provide such a two ply label that is readily affixed to a mailer by automated packaging equipment.

Another object of the invention is to provide such a two ply label that has a minimum of stability and compatibility concerns with a variety of cosmetics placed upon the top ply.

Another object of the present invention is to provide such a two ply label that may be easily and efficiently manufactured and marketed at less cost than existing samplers.

These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty that characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated a preferred embodiment of the invention.


In referring to the drawings,

FIG. 1 shows a plan view of an alternate embodiment of the cosmetic products applicator;

FIG. 2 shows an isometric view of the partially folded applicator of the alternate embodiment;

FIG. 3 describes a sectional end view of the alternate embodiment;

FIG. 4 shows an exploded view of the dual plies of the present invention;

FIG. 5 shows a top view of the present invention with the projections extending into the plane of the view;

FIG. 6 illustrates a sectional view of the applicator ready for mailing;

FIG. 7 describes an enlarged sectional view of the top ply including the placement of a cosmetic sample within the bosses; and,

FIG. 8 portrays an alternate embodiment having visible printing or advertisements upon the plies.

The same reference numerals refer to the same parts throughout the various figures.


The present art overcomes the prior art limitations by providing an applicator that allows multiple consecutive samples to be placed upon a single applicator. Turning to FIG. 1, the applicator 1 appears as a card of a single ply 2 of material generally rectangular in shape. The ply 2 has scoring with a center fold line 4 and a mechanically embossed lip contour pattern 3. Upon the longitudinal axis, the applicator 1 has a centered fold 4 that generally divides the present invention into halves. As a means to secure the applicator 1 when closed, the card 2 has one or more notches 6 upon one or more edges. A die cuts the notches 6 to interlock when one half folds upon the other. Generally centered, an embossed pattern 3 rises from the ply 2. The pattern 3 has the appearance of a pair of lips in a smooth field. In the preferred embodiment, the pattern 3 has a plurality of raised bosses in a grid shaped to mimic lips. The bosses are separated and mutually spaced apart so that cosmetic sample can be collected when the applicator is dragged in either direction upon a cosmetic source. The bosses occupy approximately 25% of the surface area of the ply 2 and have a planar border 7 without bosses surrounding the lip pattern. The pattern 3 rises from the ply 2 somewhat less than three thicknesses of the ply 2, approximately 3 mils in height.

Many methods can form the raised area 3 such as mechanical embossing or printing. A mechanical embosser uses a roller, or flat tool, with a positive image of the pattern 3. The card 2 passes under a roller, or flat embossing tool, which impresses the pattern 3 upon the material of the card 2. Printing forms a raised area 3 by its own methods, special inks, and deposition. In general, printing places a pattern 3 of greater height than the card 2 upon the surface of the card 2. Printing includes the methods of silkscreen, offset, rotogravure, flexography, and deposition. In particular, flexography uses conventional inks, offset inks, flexo inks, ultraviolet cured inks, and thermographic heat set inks. The inks adhere to the surface of the card 2 and the lipstick collects between portions of the ink. Deposition places material upon the card 2 in a pattern 3. Deposition involves the methods of thermoforming, vacuum forming, casting, heat treatment, electrostatic treatment, spraying, extruding, adhesives, and cohesives.

As shown in FIG. 2, a woman utilizes the applicator 1 to transfer a sample of cosmetics, or lipstick, to her lips for viewing and shopping. A woman folds the ply 2 along the fold line 4 with the halves folding away from the woman. Upon the halves, the embossed pattern 3 is ready to transfer a cosmetic once in contact with lips.

A salesperson places cosmetic, or lipstick, upon the embossed pattern 3 by either dragging the ply 2 across a lipstick tube or tube or dragging the lipstick tub or tube across the ply 2. The raised pattern 3 retains lipstick between the bosses generally at no more depth than the height of a boss, approximately three mils. With the lipstick upon the ply 2, a woman applies the sample to her lips for possible purchase. After use, a woman folds the card 2 toward her which encases the raised area 3, preventing inadvertent staining. The woman then interlocks the notches 6 to secure the applicator 1 in a closed configuration. The applicator 1 can then be carried by the woman with less risk of the sample leaking from the applicator 1.

Turning to FIG. 3, an alternate embodiment of the applicator has two or more sub-plies 5. The first sub-ply 5a forms the base of the applicator 1. The first sub-ply 5a extends for the complete width and length of the card 2. The first sub-ply 5a folds longitudinally along the line 4. Upon both sides of the fold line 4, the applicator 1 has a second sub ply that can be applied singly or in pairs. FIG. 3 shows two sub plies applied above the first sub ply. The second sub-plies 5b have less width than half of the card 2 and less length than the card 2. The second sub-plies 5b provide the raised field 3 as manufactured by the methods previously described in FIG. 1. The second sub-plies 5b are generally spaced apart and symmetrically arranged about the fold line 4. Alternatively, the second sub-plies 5b are upon a separate third sub-ply 5c that itself joins with the first sub-ply.

Another version of this applicator may be made of material that does not feature a raised or embossed area, as previously described, but may be made of material or has a coating on a material that renders the applicator receptive to the cosmetic sample, and at the same time be relatively impervious to the cosmetic sample so that it does not absorb into or through the applicator before usage. The applicator will still fold over on a pre-creased, printed or perforated line, so that it may function as the original applicator as described herein. Another version may include either a raised or embossed area, or a non raised applicator, with an overlay cover material that is removed prior to usage, to maintain a hygienic deposit area for the cosmetic sampler, when applied.

Now, FIG. 4 shows the preferred embodiment of the present invention of the cosmetic products applicator as it is assembled, much like a label placed or affixed upon a mail piece or mailer such as a magazine or card. The applicator 7 has a top ply 8 above a bottom or base ply 9 that affixes to a release liner 10. The top ply is generally planar in extent and has a generally oval shape, a top surface 8a exposed to the user of the applicator and an opposite bottom surface 8b with a pattern of integral bosses, or projections 11. The projections extend away from the top ply and towards the base ply. The projections occupy less is than 50% of the surface area of the bottom surface. The individual projections can have varying patterns and shapes as in known in the art. The projections can be formed by embossing, de-bossing, thermoforming, cohesives, other adhesives, printing, laminated secondary plies, and like methods.

Beneath the top ply, the base ply 9 is generally a planar oval shape similar to that of the top ply. The base ply 9 has a top surface 9a and an opposite bottom surface 9b. The top surface 9a of the base ply receives the projections depending from the top ply. The top ply is joined to the bottom ply upon their mutual perimeter generally by heat sealing and like methods. The bottom surface 9b then has a layer of adhesive 13, as later shown in FIG. 6, preferably pressure sensitive, applied thereon for affixing the assembled plies of the applicator to the release liner 10. Though shown here as rectangular, the release liner can be of any appropriate shape for placing the applicator as a label upon a mail piece, magazine page, or like material. The release liner then permanently adheres to a carrier, card, magazine page, and like material. In use, the top ply 8 is removed from the fixed bottom ply 9 and the top ply carriers the sample of cosmetic for the consumer to use and to apply as desired.

When the top ply 8 is placed upon the bottom ply 9 and both are then affixed to the release liner 10, the applicator 7 appears from the top as shown in FIG. 5. The top ply and the base ply have a similar shape and the negative image of the pattern of projections 11 appears in the top ply. The release liner holds the compact form of the two plies including a cosmetic sample therein.

The assembled applicator then appears in layers as shown in the sectional view of FIG. 6. The top ply 8 has a pattern where the integral projections 11 extend downwardly from the bottom surface 8b. The projections are spaced apart on two axes and retain a sample 12 of cosmetic placed therein. The shaping of individual projections, surface tension of the sample, and static charge retain the sample against gravity and proximate to the bottom surface 8b of the top ply until used. In the preferred embodiment, the projections are bosses, or round knob like hubs. The height of the bosses from the top surface 8a is enough to retain the cosmetic sample between adjacent bosses and shallow enough to avoid perception by a woman during usage. The height of the bosses is preferably 3 mils and generally less than 5 mils. The projections then abut the top surface 9a of the bottom ply 9. The projections generally rest upon the top surface without penetrating or deflecting into it. Upon the bottom surface 9b, a layer of adhesive 11 is applied that affixes the base ply along with the top ply to the release liner.

Looking more closely at the sample 12 within the top ply 8, FIG. 7 shows cosmetic sample 12 retained between adjacent projections 11 here shown as bosses. The sample is retained side to side by adjacent projections and retained upon the top ply against gravity by surface tension and friction with the material of the top ply. The sample of cosmetic is approximately 3 mils in thickness. The bosses each appear as a round swelling, similar to a smooth mound or knob. The bosses contact the skin of a woman on a minimum of surface area thus avoiding an adverse perception of bosses scraping across her skin. The knob, or hub like, shape retains the cosmetic sample during manufacturing and shipping yet readily releases the sample upon the woman's skin when the woman grips the top ply 9 and moves the bottom surface 9b with the bosses upon her skin. The cosmetic sample is generally less than 5 mils thick. The present invention retains the sample in the top ply during packaging and handling of the applicator by printers and eventually by end users.

FIG. 8 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the present invention. The top ply 8 has its top surface 8a with a pattern of projections 11 thereon. The projections extend downwardly as before. The projections leave a limited appearance of a negative image upon the top surface that permits printing 14, advertising, or other indicia to be placed thereupon. The top surface can display a message or printing visible to the user before removing the top ply for application of the cosmetic sample contained therein. With the top ply removed during usage, the top surface 9a of the bottom ply 9 is exposed upon the release liner affixed to a carrier. In this alternate embodiment, the top surface of the bottom ply can be seen by the user and thus printing 14, advertising, or other indicia can be placed there as well for marketing to consumers. This alternate embodiment provides at least two surfaces capable of receiving and then displaying printing for viewing by the end user.

From the aforementioned description, a cosmetic products applicator has been described. The applicator is uniquely capable of providing a sample of cosmetic, such as lipstick, within the top ply between projections as the applicator is placed in a mailer, such as a magazine or card. The projections or bosses of the top ply avoid an adverse perception upon the skin of the woman users. The applicator may be manufactured from many materials, including but not limited to, paper, cellulose, polymers, polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride, nylon, Teslin, Saran, ferrous and non-ferrous metal foils and their alloys, and composites.