CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/541,250, filed Feb. 4, 2004.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to cosmetics in general, and more particularly, to an applicator for false eyelashes.
2. Description of the Related Art
Having the right cosmetic tool is essential for applying makeup correctly and accurately. Today there are a number of cosmetic tools in the market each with its own specific purpose. In some cases people have utilized one cosmetic tool to do more than one job. For example, individuals who apply and/or wear false eyelashes may have used narrow-tipped tweezers to help in the application of the false eyelash. These narrow-tipped tweezers are generally designed to remove fine hairs, not to hold lashes. The narrow-tipped tweezers, if used to hold false eyelashes, will only hold just a few lashes, and will not provide much control over the false eyelash during application. A number of cosmetic tools have been developed to help apply false eyelashes, while other tools having different intended purposes have been substituted to assist in the process of putting on eyelashes. However, a false eyelash applicator that is simple, easy to use and specifically designed for grasping the lashes of the false eyelashes is desired.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,478,754, issued to Martin, Jr. on Nov. 18, 1969, describes a clamp-like applicator for false eyelashes. The applicator has handles for manipulating the eyelash. The handles either move by a sliding action or by pivoting about each other. U.S. Pat. No. 3,561,454, issued to O'Connell, on Feb. 9, 1971, describes an implement for applying false eyelashes to an eyelid. The device comprises a pair of shanks with associated angled tips that are designed to hold a false eyelash. The shanks are slidably arranged to engage the eyelash.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,094,409, issued to Phillips, Sr. on Sep. 28, 1937, describes an applicator for artificial eyelashes. The applicator comprises clamp members that are relatively flat and broad at one end and having an arcuate eyelid conforming edge. The clamp members are hinged together by a spring wrapped around a hinge. U.S. Pat. No. 3,511,248, issued to Panda on May 12, 1970, describes an eyelash applicator. The applicator has a contoured surface that conforms to the shape of an eye and a lever to hold an eyelash to the surface of the applicator. The applicator both holds and applies the eyelashes to the eyelid. A spring-like tool having ends that configure to the curvature of the eyelash is used to place the false eyelash on the applicator.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,268,082, issued to Phillips, Sr. on Dec. 30, 1941, describes an applicator for artificial eyelashes. The applicator comprises a clamp this is pivotally connected at a center region, which has a handle end and a concave eyelid conforming end. In a normal position, the eyelid conforming end is clamped together to form an eyelash-gripping end. U.S. Pat. No. 3,670,742, issued to Weaner on Jun. 20, 1972, describes an eyelash applicator. The applicator has a T-shaped base that is pivotally attached to a T-shaped clamp lever by a spring means. The functional end of the clamp is crescent-shaped and designed to engage the arcuate shaped eyelash.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,722,519, issued to Epstein on Mar. 27, 1973, describes a false eyelash applicator. The applicator is a handheld device having a blunt end to hold down an eyelid and a pair of finger-operated grippers that are pushed forward so that the false eyelash meets the eyelid. U.S. Pat. No. 3,461,886, issued to Bau on Aug. 19, 1969, describes a tool for handling false eyelashes. The tool has a rod-like handle having a number of blades disposed on the functional end of the rod. The blades provide a combing action as it passes between the strands of the false eyelash.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,625,229, issued to Silson on Dec. 7, 1971, describes tongs for handling false eyelashes. The tongs, made of polypropylene, have an integrally molded hinge to keep the legs of the tongs together. The unhinged ends of the tongs are U-shaped to grip the false eyelash along substantially the whole length of the eyelash spine. The unhinged U-shaped ends have differing radii so that the ends can nest within the other. The hinge of the tongs is formed of narrow webbing that should provide sufficient spring for the legs of the tong.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,196,235, issued to Tuttle et al. on Apr. 9, 1940, describes an eyelash cosmetic applicator. The applicator comprises arms that are disposed on a threaded stud and encased within a rectangular holder. The arms are pushed out of the holder by rotating an operating knob until the arms are rotated up the threaded stud. U.S. Pat. No. 1,666,116, issued to Bunnell on Apr. 17, 1928, describes an eyelash applicator for use in applying coloring material. The applicator may be a pair of tweezers that is contained in an enclosed body or carrier. The ends of the tweezers can have notches so that the tweezers can retain a ribbon, a crayon or a brush.
Devices for curling or crimping eyelashes are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,392,694, issued to Rector on Jan. 8, 1946 (an eye lash crimper) and U.S. Pat. No. 3,016,059, issued to Hutton on Jan. 9, 1962 (device to curl and treat eyelashes).
A number of tweezers have been disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 1,286,673, issued to Linke on Dec. 3, 1918 (tweezers having a relatively sharp point taking the shape of a pair of legs wearing shoes); U.S. Pat. No. 3,306,139, issued to Brackett on Feb. 28, 1967 (describes the construction of tweezers where the tweezers are shaped like legs); U.S. Pat. No. 783,924, issued to Boehm on Feb. 28, 1905 (combined tweezers and blackhead extractor); U.S. Pat. No. 2,082,062, issued to Johnson on Jun. 1, 1937 (tweezers having members to assist in aligning the tweezer prongs) and U.S. Patent Application No. 2001/0026074, published on Oct. 4, 2001 (a process for making precision tweezers).
Various forms of tweezers are shown in U.S. Design Pat. No. 214,225, issued to Grande on May 20, 1969; U.S. Design Pat. No. 89,315, issued to Segal on Feb. 21, 1933; U.S. Des. Pat. No. 327,751, issued to Colani on Jul. 7, 1992; and U.S. Design Pat. No. 386,808, issued to Litton on Nov. 25, 1997; and W.I.P.O Patent No. 88/00014, published on Jan. 14, 1988 (a tweezers having an attached battery powered light source).
Still a number of tweezers specifically designed for use in non-cosmetic applications have been disclosed in U.S. Patent Application No. 2002/0127514, published on Sep. 12, 2002 (tweezers for clamping strip-shaped or thread-shaped material, which have particular use in the dental field); Japanese Patent Number 2-277,252, published on Nov. 13, 1990 (tweezers for gripping a wafer using small force); German Patent Number 4,011,721, published on Oct. 17, 1991 (U-shaped hand tool for handling light bulbs) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,487,578, issued to Williams on Jan. 30, 1996 (tweezers for use in making stuffed animals).
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus, a false eyelash applicator solving the aforementioned problems is desired.
The false eyelash applicator is a generally U-shaped hand tool having two arms joined together by a middle portion. The arms are mirror images of each other and lie parallel to the other. Each arm has an end, a neck section, and a handle section. The middle portion is flanked on each side by the handle sections of each arm. The ends have a width and a slightly concave edge that serves to hold the false eyelash. The width of the applicator's ends permits the applicator to grasp as much as three-fourths of the false eyelash and not just a few lashes at one time for more accuracy. The applicator is constructed of resilient material to permit the applicator to be folded into its generally U-shaped configuration and to be manipulated.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon consideration of the following specification and drawings.
FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a false eyelash applicator according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is plan view of a false eyelash applicator according to the present invention in a fully extended condition.
FIG. 3 is a side view of a false eyelash applicator according to the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a false eyelash applicator according to the present invention.
FIG. 5 is an environmental, perspective view of a false eyelash applicator in use.
FIGS. 6A through 6E show how to use the false eyelash applicator and the steps of how to apply a false eyelash using the false eyelash applicator, as follows.
FIG. 6A is a plan view of a false eyelash applicator according to the present invention holding a false eyelash.
FIG. 6B is a plan view of a false eyelash applicator according to the present invention holding a false eyelash, with arrows indicating where to apply adhesive on the false eyelash.
FIG. 6C is a block diagram showing how long to hold the eyelash to the eyelid using the false eyelash applicator.
FIG. 6D is a perspective view showing the false eyelash applicator applying the eyelash to a user's eyelid.
FIG. 6E shows the false eyelash attached to the user's eyelid, with tweezers being shown to complete application of the false eyelash.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.
The present invention is a false eyelash applicator, designated as 10 in the drawings. As shown in FIG. 1, the applicator 10 is a device held between a thumb T and fingers IF, MF, RF of a hand. The applicator 10 is used to hold a false eyelash F and apply the false eyelash F on the user's eyelid E. The applicator 10 is constructed from a single piece of resilient material that is folded into a generally U-shaped configuration. Alternatively, the applicator may be made from two relatively rigid arms 20 and 40 joined by a more flexible, resilient middle portion 30.
The applicator 10 is preferably manufactured by stamping out the shape of the applicator 10 from stainless steel using techniques well known in the art. Ideally the stainless steel used will have a gauge size of twenty. It is feasible, however, to make the applicator 10 from other resilient material, as well as other gauges of steel. The benefits of using stainless steel to construct the applicator 10 are that the applicator 10 will be lightweight, sturdy and resilient.
Referring now to FIG. 2, the applicator 10 is shown in a pre-bent, straight configuration. The applicator 10 has a first arm 20, a middle portion 30 and a second arm 40. The first arm 20 and the second arm 40 are mirror images of the other. The first arm 20 comprises an end 22, a neck section 24, and a handle section 26. Likewise, the second arm 40 comprises an end 42, a neck section 44 and a handle section 46. The middle portion 30 is disposed in the center of the applicator 10, flanked on each side by the handle section 26 of the first arm 20 and the handle section 46 of the second arm 40.
The ends 22, 42 are the operative portions of the applicator 10. The ends 22, 42 are generally T-shaped having a width of about ¾″ at their widest part. The width and the shape of the ends 22, 42 permit the user to grasp several lashes of the false eyelash F at one time and thereby have better control over the false eyelash F than with narrow-tipped tweezers. The ends 22, 42 each have a slightly concave edge 23, 43, respectively. Edges 23, 43 are designed to correspond to a natural curve of both the false eyelash F and the user's eyelid E.
Neck sections 24, 44 are disposed between the ends 22, 42 and the handle sections 26, 46. The neck sections 24, 44 have a width of about ¼″, while the handle sections 26, 46 have a width of about ½″. The width of the handle sections 26, 46 provide space for the user to manipulate the applicator 10 with her fingers IF, MF, RF and thumb T.
The width of the neck sections 24, 44, is narrower than the width of the ends 22, 42 and the width of the handle sections 26, 46. The narrow width of the neck sections 24, 44 provides the user with a better view of the false eyelash F and also permits the user to see more of the false eyelash F as it is held between ends 22, 42. It is helpful to see as much of the eyelash F between ends 22, 42 as possible in order to properly place the false eyelash F on the eyelid E.
The middle portion 30 of the applicator 10 has a width of about 5/16″. The middle portion 30 is, therefore, narrower than the ends 22, 42, and the handle sections 26, 46, but wider than the neck sections 24, 44. The difference in widths between the middle portion 30 and the handle sections 26, 46 distinctly defines the middle portion 30 as a separate region from the handle sections 26, 46. The width of the middle portion 30 also provides some degree of resilience to the applicator 10 as it is being manipulated to hold and release the false eyelash F. Furthermore, the width of the middle portion 30 permits the applicator 10 to be bent into the generally U-shaped configuration without making the applicator 10 susceptible to being broken.
Viewing FIG. 3 in conjunction with FIG. 4, the applicator 10 is shown in the U-shaped configuration. End 22, neck 24 and handle section 26 of arm 20 all lie in a plane above and generally parallel to end 42, neck 44 and handle section 46 of arm 40, respectively. The arms 20, 40 are bent toward each other using a suitable amount of pressure to form the generally U-shaped configuration. Because of the resiliency of the material used to make the applicator 10, pressure applied by one's hand is sufficient to bend the arms 20, 40 together.
Referring to FIG. 4, in the U-shaped configuration, end 22 has an outer corner 21 formed by the junction of the outer surface (or upper surface in the orientation shown in FIG. 4) of the arm 20 with the face of edge 23, and an inner corner 25 formed by the junction of the inner surface (or lower surface) of arm 20 and the face of edge 23; similarly, end 42 has an outer corner 41 formed by the junction of the outer surface (or lower surface in the orientation of FIG. 4) of arm 40 and the face of edge 43, and an inner corner 45 formed at the junction of the inner surface (or upper surface) of arm 40 and the face of edge 43. When the applicator 10 is being used in the generally U-shaped configuration, it is the inner corners 25, 45 of the applicator 10 that actually abut and hold the false eyelashes F. Therefore, although ends 22, 44 are the operative portions of the applicator 10, it is the inner corners 25, 45 that actually grip false eyelash F. In order to ensure that only the inner corners 25 and 45 grip the eyelash F, the ends 22 and 44 may be slightly bent towards each other, or at least one of the ends may be slightly bent toward the other end. This prevents mashing or flattening the eyelash F.
In the straight configuration, the applicator 10 is preferably about seven inches long from one end 22 to the opposite end 42. When the applicator 10 is bent into the generally U-shaped configuration, each arm 20, 40 is about three and three-eights of inches to three and one-half inches long, which, consequentially is the same dimension for the applicator 10 in it's U-shaped configuration. The length of the U-shaped applicator 10 is important because the applicator 10 must be long enough so that the fingers IF, MF, RF and the thumb T can manipulate the applicator 10 without obstructing the user's view. With a clear view, the user can see where to place the false eyelash F on the eyelid E.
Referring now to FIG. 5, in order to use the applicator 10, the fingers IF, MF, RF of the hand are placed on the topmost arm of the applicator 10 and the thumb T is placed on the bottommost arm. The user holds the applicator 10 by placing the thumb T on the handle region 46 of arm 40, or the bottommost arm, and fingers IF, MF, RF on the handle region 26 of arm 20, or the topmost arm. The number of fingers the user may place on the topmost arm can be one, two or three fingers, depending on the user's expertise in applying the false eyelash F on the eyelid E. For example, someone who is inexperienced in applying false eyelashes F may use the index finger IF, the middle finger MF and/or the ring finger RF on the arm 20 to apply the eyelash F. On the other hand, an experienced user may only use one finger, such as the index finger IF, to apply the eyelash F.
The fingers and thumb are positioned on the applicator 10 to apply pressure on the arms 20, 40 and hold the false eyelash F between ends 22, 42, specifically between inner corners 25, 45. Only enough pressure is applied to the applicator 10 so that the inner corners 25, 45 grip the false eyelash F. If too much pressure is applied to the applicator 10, then the ends 22, 42 lie flat against each other with the false eyelash F therebetween, crushing and distorting the curved shape of the false eyelash F. The eyelash F is correctly placed on the eyelid E when the natural curve of the false eyelash F is maintained. Without the curve of the false eyelash F, it becomes difficult for the user to judge where to place the false eyelash F on the eyelid E.
As shown in FIGS. 6A through 6E, the user may use the following steps to apply the false eyelash F to the eyelid E. Grasp the false eyelash F by the lashes L at a center region J leaving ends I, K of the false eyelash F extending beyond the ends 22, 42 of the applicator 10. The applicator 10 should preferably hold the lashes L about 1 to 2 centimeters from the base B of the eyelash F, see FIG. 6A. While holding the eyelash F with the applicator 10, apply a hairline strip of adhesive G to the base B of the eyelash F, as shown in FIG. 6B. Then, hold the eyelash F for a couple of seconds, preferably 30 seconds, until the adhesive G becomes tacky, as indicated in FIG. 6C.
Once the adhesive G is tacky, the base B of the eyelashes F should be directed toward the eyelid E, at an angle, and placed as close to roots R as possible, as indicated in FIG. 6D. The applicator 10 must be positioned so that the middle portion 30 points up and away from the user's eyelid E in order to place the false eyelash F in the proper position on the eyelid. By holding the applicator 10 in this manner, the user's view is unobstructed and the ends 22, 42 of the applicator 10 are automatically pointed down to the roots R of the eyelid E.
The correct way to place the false eyelash F on the eyelid E is by first identifying and affixing the center three-fourths J of the false eyelash F, to the eyelid E with ends 22, 42. The slightly concave edges 23, 43 of ends 22, 42 help in the application of the false eyelash F because it matches the curve of the eyelid E. Once the center J of the false eyelash F is placed in the center of the eyelid E, nearest the roots R, the applicator 10 is removed and the ends I, K of the false eyelash F are pressed down to meet the ends of the root R using tweezers 50, as indicated in FIG. 6E. The tweezers 50, unlike applicator 10, have a narrower functional tip that helps the user to precisely match ends I, K to the roots R of the eyelid E.
It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.