Mascara, Formula & Application System Trends


In this week’s round up of the personal care and cosmetics packaging industry, we reviewed the innovation history of mascara and discussed trends for formula and application systems.

Formula: From Messy Cake Texture to Waterproof Lotion-based Cream

Modern mascara was introduced to America and Europe at the same time by New York chemist T.L. Williams and French perfumer Eugene Rimmel in 1913. Both of their formulations consisted of petroleum jelly and coal in a set ratio, which made it undeniably messy. The formulation was later improved. It was a cake texture containing soap and black dye in equal proportions.

Packaging: From Individual Brush to Different Brush Shapes

In 1939, Polish cosmetics industrialist Helena Rubinstein created the first waterproof mascara to increase mascara wearing time. The formula incorporated polymers with standard mascara ingredients to make products water resistant. For 20 years, no significant improvement took place–most mascaras consisted of a cake formulation and a wet brush–until 1958, when Max Factor cosmetics introduced the modern tube and wand applicator. The formula evolved from a hard cake into a lotion-based cream.

 In 1958, Helena Rubinstein first packaged a mascara in a tube and created the first automatic mascara. Users squeezed the cream onto the brush and applied the mascara to their lashes. Before that, users needed a dampened brush to rub against the cake mascara. Later, a grooved rod was patented, and those mascara wands are still used today.

In 2005, Procter and Gamble took mascara wand technology to the next level by launching the Moldtrusion brush, a mascara wand that is engineered with deformable bristles made of thermoplastic instead of nylon.

Today, cosmetics manufacturers rely on design innovations for brush shapes to create better lash performance. Take HCP Packaging’s products for example, straight cut brushes help to resist clumps; triangular double taper brushes help in curling; and football brushes help in increasing volume.

Combining different functions in a brush is another way to innovate. The Revlon Double Twist, produced by HCP Packaging, has mixed bristles and combs on a wand, giving a thickening and separating lash performance. Albéa Group has developed a double wiper system that features two caps on a wand– the lower cap corresponding to the brush with a loose wiper and the upper cap corresponding to a tight wiper. This new system is used on Bourjois Volumizer Mascara and Oriflame 2FX Mascara.

Compiled by Sandra Huang

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