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Title:
ARTIFICIAL LASH EXTENSIONS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/022914
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Clusters of artificial lashes are initially formed using, for example, a hot melt method in which artificial hairs secured to one another following exposure to a heat source. Multiple clusters can then be connected to one another to form a lash fusion. For example, a lash fusion could include three clusters that are connected together in a straight line. Multiple lash fusions can be arranged proximate to one another to form a set. In some embodiments, the multiple lash fusions are positioned such that the form of the set matches the curvature of the tightline of an eyelid. An adhesive can then be applied to the top of each lash fusion in the set, which enables an individual to easily apply the set directly to the underside of the individual's natural eyelashes (i.e., near the underside of the eyelid beneath the lash line).

Inventors:
LOTTI, Sahara (1893 Sunset Plaza Dr, Los Angeles, California, 90069, US)
AFSHAR, Marina G. (1893 Sunset Plaza Dr, Los Angeles, California, 90069, US)
Application Number:
US2017/044217
Publication Date:
February 01, 2018
Filing Date:
July 27, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LASHIFY, INC. (1893 Sunset Plaza Dr, Los Angeles, California, 90069, US)
International Classes:
A41G5/02; A41G5/00; A45D2/48
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETTIT, Andrew T. et al. (Perkins Coie LLP, P.O. Box 1247Seattle, Washington, 98111-1247, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A lash fusion comprising:

multiple clusters of artificial eyelashes that are connected to one another,

wherein each cluster of artificial eyelashes includes at least ten hairs and no more than twenty hairs.

2. The lash fusion of claim 1, further comprising:

an adhesive layer at a top side of at least some of the multiple clusters of artificial eyelashes,

wherein the adhesive layer allows the lash fusion to be applied to an underside of an individual's natural eyelashes.

3. The lash fusion of claim 1, wherein the multiple clusters of artificial eyelashes collectively include at least twenty hairs and no more than ninety hairs.

4. The lash fusion of claim 1, wherein the multiple clusters of artificial eyelashes are fused together at one end during a heat seal process to form a straight line of artificial eyelashes.

5. The lash fusion of claim 4, wherein each cluster of the multiple clusters of artificial eyelashes are connected to an adjacent cluster by crisscrossing artificial eyelashes that are fused together at least 1.5 mm and no more than 2.5 mm from a base end that is to be applied to an underside of an individual's natural eyelashes.

6. The lash fusion of claim 1, wherein the artificial lashes are comprised of a synthetic material.

7. The lash fusion of claim 6, wherein the synthetic material is acrylic resin,

polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), or polyester.

8. The lash fusion of claim 1, wherein the artificial lashes are comprised of a natural material.

9. The lash fusion of claim 8, wherein the natural material is silk or mink hair.

10. A method of manufacturing the lash fusion of claim 1, the method comprising:

forming multiple clusters of artificial lashes;

connecting the multiple clusters to one another to form a lash fusion; and

applying a first adhesive to a top side of the lash fusion that allows the lash fusion to be applied to an underside of an individual's natural eyelashes. 11. The method of claim 10, wherein each cluster of the multiple clusters of the artificial lashes is formed by:

fusing multiple artificial lashes to one another along an end by exposing the end of each artificial lash to a first heat source. 12. The method of claim 11, wherein connecting the multiple clusters to one another to form the lash fusion comprises:

overlapping each cluster with an adjacent cluster; and

exposing crisscrossing artificial lashes to a second heat source such that the

crisscrossing artificial lashes are fused together at least 1.5 mm and no more than 2.5 mm from a base end that is to be applied to the underside of the individual's natural eyelashes.

13. The method of claim 10, wherein the artificial lashes are comprised of a natural material.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein said connecting includes gluing the multiple clusters to one another using a second adhesive.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising:

exposing the lash fusion to a curing assembly adapted to cure the second adhesive.

16. The method of claim 10, wherein the artificial lashes are comprised of a synthetic material.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein said connecting includes heating the multiple clusters to a temperature sufficient to cause partial melting of at least some artificial lashes in each cluster. 18. The method of claim 10, wherein the lash fusion includes at least three clusters and no more than ten clusters.

19. A method of applying a set of lash extensions to a subject, the method comprising: obtaining a set of lash extensions that includes multiple lash fusions, each lash fusion including multiple clusters of artificial eyelashes;

grasping each lash fusion of the multiple lash fusions in the set of lash extensions using an applicator;

applying an adhesive to a top side of each lash fusion of the multiple lash fusions; arranging the set of lash extensions proximate to a tightline of the eyelid of the

subject; and

affixing the set of lash extensions to an underside of the natural eyelashes of the

subject.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein each cluster of artificial eyelashes includes at least 10 hairs and no more than 20 hairs.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein each lash fusion of the multiple lash fusions includes at least 30 hairs and no more than 90 hairs. 22. The method of claim 21, wherein the set of lash extensions includes at least

150 hairs and no more than 360 hairs.

23. The method of claim 19, wherein artificial eyelashes are distributed along a length of the set of lash extensions at a substantially constant density.

24. The method of claim 19, wherein the adhesive comprises cyanoacrylate.

Description:
ARTIFICIAL LASH EXTENSIONS

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] Various embodiments concern artificial eyelashes and, more specifically, clusters of artificial eyelash extensions that can be applied to the underside of an individual's natural eyelashes.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Eyelash extensions have conventionally been used to enhance the length, thickness, and fullness of natural eyelashes. Eyelash extensions, however, must be applied to an individual's natural eyelashes one by one to avoid having the eyelash extensions stick together. Consequently, lash extension services can cost hundreds of dollars depending on the type and number of lashes used, the skill of the cosmetician, and the venue where the eyelash extensions are applied. It usually takes an experienced cosmetician one to two hours to attach a full set of eyelash extensions.

[0003] Clusters of artificial lashes have conventionally been used to enhance the length, thickness, and fullness of an individual's natural eyelashes. However, each cluster must be applied to the individual's eyelashes individually in order to avoid having the clusters of artificial lashes stick together and to ensure multiple clusters are evenly distributed across the width of the individual's lash line.

[0004] Alternatively, false eyelashes may be applied directly to an individual's eyelid. False eyelashes come in strips (and thus may also be referred to as "strip lashes") that can be trimmed to fit the width of the individual's eyelid. While a strip of false eyelashes can be applied in a single motion, false eyelashes are easily distinguishable from the individual's natural eyelashes and may be uncomfortable when worn for extended periods of time. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] Various embodiments are illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the accompanying drawings, in which like references indicate similar elements. Various objects, features, and characteristics of the present invention will become more apparent to those skilled in the art from a study of the Detailed Description in conjunction with the

accompanying drawings.

[0006] FIG. 1 depicts the upper tightline, upper lash line, and upper waterline of an eyelid.

[0007] FIG. 2 depicts clusters of artificial lashes that can be used by professional lash technicians and cosmeticians.

[0008] FIG. 3A depicts how multiple clusters of artificial lashes can be connected to form a bundle (also referred to as a "lash fusion").

[0009] FIG. 3B is a side view of two different styles of lash fusion.

[0010] FIG. 3C illustrates how a set of multiple lash fusions can be secured to an individual's lashline in a single motion.

[0011] FIG. 4 illustrates how multiple lash fusions within a set can be positioned in a specified arrangement.

[0012] FIG. 5 depicts how the arrangement of the set of lash extensions enables all of the lash fusions to be simultaneously grasped by an applicator. [0013] FIG. 6 depicts how the set of lash fusions can be placed underneath an individual's natural lashes, where the plastic represents the individual's eyelid.

[0014] FIG. 7 depicts how an adhesive can be applied to the top of an entire set of lash extensions or to the lash fusions that make up the set.

[0015] FIG. 8 depicts a flow diagram of a process for manufacturing a lash fusion including multiple clusters of artificial lashes.

[0016] FIG. 9 depicts a flow diagram of a process for applying a set of lash extensions to an individual's natural eyelashes. [0017] The figures depict various embodiments for the purpose of illustration only.

Those skilled in the art will readily recognize that alternative embodiments may be employed without departing from the principles of the present invention. The claimed subject matter is intended to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0018] Conventional eyelash extensions (or simply "lash extensions") are individually adhered to an individual' s eyelashes one-by-one in order to prevent the eyelash extensions from sticking together. However, because the average individual might have anywhere from thirty to eighty lashes per eye, the application process can take several hours to attach a full set of eyelash extensions.

[0019] Introduced here, therefore, are techniques for creating clusters of artificial lash extensions that can be applied to an individual's natural eyelashes. Clusters of artificial lashes include multiple artificial hairs made of natural materials (e.g., silk or authentic mink hair) or synthetic materials (e.g., acrylic resin, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), or synthetic mink hair made of polyester). A cluster of artificial lashes generally includes approximately 10 to 30 artificial hairs (and preferably 10 to 20 artificial hairs). Clusters of artificial lashes are initially formed using, for example, a hot melt method in which artificial lashes are heated. For example, in some embodiments linear artificial lashes are heated at one end such that they begin to fuse to one another at that end, while in other embodiments linear artificial lashes are heated near a central point and folded underneath one another. Clusters of artificial lashes have conventionally been made available only to professional lash technicians and cosmeticians.

[0020] Multiple clusters can then be fused together to form a bundle (also referred to as a "lash fusion") that can be applied along the upper tightline in a single motion. As shown in FIG. 1, the upper tightline is interposed between the upper lash line and the upper waterline. While certain embodiments have been described in the context of lash fusions that include multiple clusters, those skilled in the art will recognize that a lash fusion could also include a series of individual artificial hairs that are connected to one another. [0021] More specifically, a lash fusion can include multiple clusters that are fused together near the inner ends of the artificial lashes (also referred to as the "base" of the lash fusion) to form a straight line of artificial hairs that can be placed underneath an individual's natural lashes. For example, the multiple clusters can be fused together (e.g., via a heat seal process) approximately 1-5 millimeters (mm) above the base via crisscrossing artificial hairs. In some embodiments, the multiple clusters are fused together approximately 1.5-2.5 mm above the base. The distance from the base at which fusing occurs may depend on the desired fan-out of the artificial lashes (e.g., shorter distances may cause a larger fan-out). Adjacent clusters can be secured to one another when the intersecting portions of the crisscrossing artificial hairs are fused together. Such a technique allows a set of multiple lash fusions to appear seamless and blend in with an individual's natural lashes. [0022] The base of the lash fusion (i.e., where the multiple clusters are fused together) is intended to be affixed to an individual's natural lashes. The lash fusion may be

approximately 4-8 mm wide. A lash fusion could include 3-10, 3-7, 5-10, 5-7, or 4-6 clusters. Accordingly, a lash fusion could include 30-150, 30-120, or 30-90 individual artificial hairs. [0023] A set of multiple lash fusions can then be formed by arranging the multiple lash fusions next to one another in a form that matches the curvature of the upper tightline along the base of an eyelid. While the multiple lash fusions are typically not connected to one another (e.g., are not fused together using heat, an adhesive, etc.), the entire set can be applied to the underside of the individual's natural lashes in a single motion. A set could include 3-8, 3-5, 5-8, or 4-6 lash fusions. Accordingly, a set could include 150-360 individual artificial hairs.

[0024] The number of lash fusions in a set may vary. In fact, because the multiple lash fusions are typically not secured to one another, an individual could decide to apply part of a set (e.g., five lash fusions rather than six lash fusions) based on the desired density. [0025] Density of the artificial hairs may vary across the width of the eyelid. In some embodiments the artificial hairs are distributed evenly across the entire tightline (i.e., each cluster/lash fusion can include a substantially similar number of artificial lashes), while in other embodiments the artificial hairs are more densely populated in certain area(s) of the tightline (i.e., some clusters/lash fusions may include fewer artificial lashes than others). For example, density may be lower along the outer edge opposite the tear duct. [0026] An adhesive may be applied to the top of each lash fusion within a set during the manufacturing process, which enables an individual to easily apply the set of lash fusions directly to the underside of the individual's eyelashes rather than to the individual's eyelid. Additionally or alternatively, the individual could apply an adhesive before applying the set of lash fusions to the individual' s natural eyelashes. For example, the individual may apply an adhesive to the set of lash fusions before applying the set of lash fusions to the natural eyelashes. As another example, the individual could apply an adhesive directly to the natural eyelashes. The adhesive could be a waterproof glue or mascara.

Terminology [0027] Brief definitions of terms, abbreviations, and phrases used throughout this application are given below.

[0028] Reference to "one embodiment" or "an embodiment" means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the disclosure. The appearances of the phrase "in some embodiments" are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment, nor are they necessarily referring to separate or alternative embodiments that are mutually exclusive of one another.

[0029] The terms "connected," "coupled," or any variant thereof includes any connection or coupling between two or more elements, either direct or indirect. The coupling or connection between the elements can be physical, logical, or a combination thereof. For example, two components may be coupled directly to one another or via one or more intermediary channel s/components. The words "associate with," meanwhile, mean connecting or relating objects, items, etc.

System Topology Overview

[0030] FIG. 2 depicts clusters of artificial lashes that can be used by professional lash technicians and cosmeticians. Each cluster of artificial lashes includes multiple artificial hairs that consist of natural materials (e.g., silk or authentic mink hair) or synthetic materials (e.g., acrylic resin, PBT, or synthetic mink hair made of polyester).

[0031] Clusters of artificial hairs typically include 10 to 30 hairs that are heated (e.g., as part of a hot melt process) and then secured to one another. For example, in some embodiments linear artificial lashes are heated at one end such that they begin to fuse to one another at that end, while in other embodiments linear artificial hairs are heated near a central point and folded underneath one another.

[0032] In some embodiments, some or all of the artificial hairs within a cluster may be tied to a support thread (i.e., knotted). The artificial hairs may be tied by any such means, such as a slip knot that prevents horizontal spreading of the cluster.

[0033] FIG. 3A depicts how multiple clusters of artificial lashes can be connected to form a bundle (also referred to as a "lash fusion"). More specifically, the lash fusion can include multiple clusters that are fused together near the base to form a straight line of artificial hairs that can be applied along the upper tightline.

[0034] For example, the multiple clusters can be fused together (e.g., via a heat seal process) approximately 1-5 mm above the base via crisscrossing artificial hairs. In some embodiments, the multiple clusters are fused together approximately 1.5-2.5 mm above the base. Adjacent clusters can be secured to one another when the intersecting portions of the crisscrossing artificial hairs are fused together. Such a technique allows a set of multiple lash fusions to appear seamless and blend in with an individual's natural lashes.

[0035] The intersecting portions of the crisscrossing artificial hairs could also be connected using an adhesive (i.e., rather than being fused together via a hot melt process). In such embodiments, the multiple clusters may be exposed to a curing assembly (e.g., a heater, dryer, or light source) that causes the adhesive to solidify. Artificial lashes made of natural materials (e.g., human or authentic mink hair) are typically connected using a glue or other adhesive rather than through the hot melt process.

[0036] A lash fusion could include 3-10, 3-7, 5-10, 5-7, or 4-6 clusters. Accordingly, a lash fusion could include 30-90 individual artificial hairs. Here, for example, a first style of lash fusion includes nine clusters, while a second style of lash fusion includes five clusters.

[0037] Note, however, that both styles could include the same number of artificial lashes. For example, the first style of lash fusion may include nine clusters of five artificial lashes each, while the second style of lash fusion may include five clusters of nine artificial lashes each. Both styles could also include different numbers of artificial lashes (e.g., the first style may include a higher density of artificial lashes, and thus be more appropriate for placement near the tear duct).

[0038] Lash fusions may be 4-8 mm wide, though embodiments are often 5-6 mm wide. This is much wider than conventional clusters (which are 1.5-2 mm wide), and thus provide greater coverage along the eyelid.

[0039] FIG. 3B is a side view of two different styles of lash fusion. The multiple clusters of each lash fusion can be fused to one another (e.g., during a hot melt process). Such a design provides several advantages over conventional clusters of lash extensions.

[0040] For example, because the multiple clusters can be heat sealed to one another, the total height at the base of the lash fusion is only 0.05-0.15 mm. Conventional clusters, meanwhile, use a string at the base to connect the artificial hairs to one another. But the presence of the string causes the total height at the base of the cluster to exceed 0.3 mm (e.g., typically 0.3-0.7 mm).

[0041] Moreover, the lash fusions described here have no quantifiable weight.

Therefore, the lash fusions can more easily adhere to an individual's natural lashes and remain secured for longer periods of time. Again, the presence of the string causes conventional clusters to have a quantifiable weight that affects how they must be adhered to the individual's natural lashes.

[0042] FIG. 3C illustrates how a set of multiple lash fusions can be secured to an individual's lashline in a single motion. A set can include multiple lash fusions that are arranged to match the curvature of the upper tightline of an eyelid. For example, multiple lash fusions may be arranged such that the inner ends (i.e., the bases) form a concave shape that substantially complements the universal tightline of nearly any human eye. In some embodiments, sets preferably include five to seven distinct clusters of artificial lashes. The number of lash fusions within each set (as well as the number of clusters within each lash fusion) may be based on the thickness of the artificial hair used, the desired style of the eyelid on which the set is intended to be affixed, the desired lash density (also referred to as "fullness" of the individual's lashes), etc. As shown in FIG. 3C, the set of lash fusions is aligned with the tightline rather than the lash line, and then affixed to the underside of the individual's natural lashes. Said another way, the set of lash fusions is applied directly to the underside of the natural lashes rather than to the eyelid. [0043] An adhesive can be applied to the top of each lash fusion in the set, which enables an individual to easily apply the set directly to the natural lashes. The individual responsible for applying the set of lash fusions could be a person who affixes the lash fusions to herself or some other person (e.g., a professional lash technician or a cosmetician). In some

embodiments, the adhesive is applied when the lash fusions and/or the set are initially manufactured. Additionally or alternatively, the individual could apply an adhesive before attaching the set of lash fusions to the individual's natural lashes.

[0044] The adhesive could be a waterproof (semi-permanent) glue, mascara, or some other co-polymer solution having an adhesive quality. Although latex-based adhesives are generally avoided to avoid irritation of the individual's eyelid (e.g., due to an allergic reaction), adhesives can include various other natural and/or chemical ingredients. Examples of possible adhesives include:

• Arcrylates/ethylhexyl acrylate copolymer, aqua, propylene glycol, ceteareth- 25, hydrogenated castor oil, glycerin, phenoxyethanol, 2-bromo-2- nitropropane-1, 3-diol, methylcholoroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, methylparaben, and optionally a color agent (e.g., black 2 (CI 77266));

• Polyterpene, styrene/isoprene copolymer, petrolatum, polyisobutene,

microcrystalline wax ( cera microcristalina, cire microcrystalline),

hydrogenated styrene/methyl styrene/indene copolymer, styrene/VA copolymer, and optionally an antioxidant (e.g., butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT));

• Chlorine dioxide, p-anisic acid, biotin, lavandula angustifolio oil, propylene glycol, water, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, and optionally a preservative (e.g., benzalkonium chloride); and

• Acrylate copolymer and water.

[0045] Those skilled in the art will recognize that many other adhesive compositions are possible and, in fact, may be desirable for individuals having certain allergies, desiring certain fixation duration (also referred to as "permanency" of the lash extensions), etc. [0046] Semi-permanent clusters of lash extensions may be applied with a Federal Drug Administration-approved (FDA-approved) adhesive that achieves a strong bond. Such adhesives generally include cyanoacrylate. Different types of cyanoacrylates (e.g., ethyl, methyl, propyl, butyl, and octyl) have been designed for bonding to different surfaces. For example, adhesives made from methyl-2-cyanoacrylateare are designed to bond a smooth surface (e.g., the lash extension) to a porous surface (e.g., the natural eyelash), but not on the skin as it may cause irritation.

[0047] FIG. 4 illustrates how multiple lash fusions within a set can be positioned in a specified arrangement. While the multiple lash fusions within the set will typically not be connected to one another, the multiple lash fusions can be arranged such that the set substantially complements the shape of an eyelid. More specifically, the curvature of the multiple lash fusions may substantially match the tightline curvature of an average person. Thus, an entire set of lash fusions may become substantially flush with the lash line when the set is arranged proximate to the tightline. Together, the multiple lash fusions form a set of lash extensions that can be collectively applied in a single motion.

[0048] FIG. 5 depicts how the arrangement of the set of lash extensions enables all of the lash fusions to be simultaneously grasped by an applicator. More specifically, an individual or a healthcare professional, such as a lash technician or cosmetician, can grasp an entire set of lash extensions using the applicator and simultaneously apply the entire set of lash extensions to the individual's natural eyelashes in a single motion.

[0049] FIG. 6 depicts how the set of lash fusions can be placed underneath an

individual's natural lashes, where the plastic represents the individual's eyelid. As further described below, an adhesive is applied to the top of each lash fusion in the set of lash extensions. Consequently, the set of lash extensions can be applied directly to the underside of the individual's natural lashes proximate to the tightline, rather than to the eyelid above the lash line.

[0050] FIG. 7 depicts how an adhesive can be applied to the top of an entire set of lash extensions or to the lash fusions that make up the set. Additionally or alternatively, an adhesive could be applied to the individual's natural lashes. The adhesive applied to the artificial lash extensions may the same adhesive applied to the individual's natural lashes or a different adhesive. [0051] Such a technique enables the individual to easily apply the set of lash extensions directly to the underside of the individual' s natural lashes proximate to the tightline, rather than to the individual' s eyelid adjacent to the lash line. While multiple lash fusions are typically arranged with the intention that they be simultaneously grasped and applied to the individual' s natural lashes, the individual could also individually apply the lash fusions.

[0052] The adhesive could be a semi-permanent glue or mascara. In some embodiments, the adhesive includes an oil-soluble polymer or a water-soluble polymer that helps to enhance adhesion and substantivity of the artificial lash extensions to the individual' s natural eyelashes. The adhesive may be a waterproof formulation that allows the set of lash extensions to remain affixed to the individual' s natural lashes for longer periods of time (e.g., days, weeks, or months).

[0053] Although latex -based adhesives are generally avoided to avoid irritation of the individual' s eyelid (e.g., due to an allergic reaction), adhesives can include various other natural ingredients (e.g., sugar or honey) and/or chemical ingredients. For example, copolymer is often a main ingredient in many adhesive formulations. The adhesive could be a commercially-available adhesive for conventional lash extensions or a specialized

composition for use with the set of lash extensions described herein. The adhesive could be clear or colored (e.g., milky white or black to emulate mascara).

[0054] FIG. 8 depicts a flow diagram of a process 800 for manufacturing a lash fusion including multiple clusters of artificial lashes. Clusters of artificial lashes are initially formed using, for example, a hot melt method in which artificial hairs are heated and connected to one another (step 801). In some embodiments, linear artificial hairs are heated at one end such that they begin to fuse to one another at that end, while in other. In other embodiments, linear artificial hairs are heated near a central point and folded proximate to the central point (i.e., so that a single artificial hair appears as two artificial lashes). Artificial hairs can then be overlapped (e.g., near the fused end or central fold) to form a cluster.

[0055] The hot melt method requires that the multiple artificial hairs be heated to a temperature that is sufficient to cause the individual lashes to begin to melt. For example, artificial hairs made of PBT could be heated to approximately 55-1 10°C at one end during a heat seal process (during which the heated ends begin to fuse to one another). Note, however, that clusters could include artificial hairs that consist of natural materials (e.g., silk or authentic mink hair) or synthetic materials (e.g., acrylic resin, PBT, or synthetic mink hair made of polyester). While clusters may include 10 to 90 artificial hairs, most clusters include 10 to 30 artificial hairs.

[0056] Multiple clusters can then be connected together to form a lash fusion (step 802). More specifically, the lash fusion can include multiple clusters that are fused together near one end (i.e., the base) to form a straight line of artificial hairs that can be placed underneath an individual's natural lashes.

[0057] For example, the multiple clusters could be connected together using a hot melt method substantially similar to the hot melt method used to form the individual clusters. As noted above, the hot melt method requires that the multiple clusters be heated to a temperature that is sufficient to cause the individual lashes to begin to melt. Thus, clusters made of PBT could be heated to approximately 55-110°C (e.g., 65°C) near one end. For example, the clusters could be heated approximately 1.5-2.5 mm above the base. As the individual artificial hairs begin to melt, the multiple clusters will connect to one another near the base to form a straight line of artificial hairs, thereby forming a lash fusion.

[0058] As another example, the multiple clusters could be connected together using a glue or some other adhesive composed of various substances. In such embodiments, the clusters may be exposed to a curing assembly (e.g., a heater, dryer, or light source) that causes the adhesive to solidify. Thus, after multiple clusters have been formed (e.g., via a hot melt process), the multiple clusters may be glued to one another to form a lash fusion. Artificial lashes made of natural materials (e.g., human or authentic mink hair) are typically connected using a glue or other adhesive rather than through the hot melt process.

[0059] An adhesive (e.g., a pressure-sensitive adhesive) can then be applied to the top of the lash fusion (step 803). The adhesive may enable an individual to subsequently apply the lash fusion directly to the underside of the individual's natural lashes. Additionally or alternatively, the individual could apply an adhesive before applying the lash fusion to the natural lashes.

[0060] In some embodiments, multiple lash fusion are positioned in a specified arrangement to form a set of lash extensions (step 804). For example, 4-6 lash fusions could be arranged such that the inner ends (i.e., the bases) of the lash fusions form a concave shape that substantially complements the tightline of an eyelid. While the lash fusions are typically not connected to one another (e.g., are not fused together using heat, an adhesive, etc.), the entire set could be applied to the underside of the individual' s natural lashes in a single motion.

[0061] FIG. 9 depicts a flow diagram of a process 900 for applying a set of artificial lash extensions to an individual' s natural lashes. The set of lash extensions is initially acquired by the individual or a healthcare professional, such as a lash technician or cosmetician (step 901). The set of artificial lash extensions can include multiple lash fusions, each of which is comprised of multiple clusters of artificial lashes. The set of artificial lash extensions can then be grasped using an applicator (step 902). The applicator may be designed so that the entire set of artificial lash extensions (i.e., all of the lash fusions) can be seized and removed (e.g., from a surface to which the set of artificial lash extensions are attached) in a single motion.

[0062] In some embodiments an adhesive is applied to the top of each lash fusion in the set of artificial lash extensions (step 903), while in other embodiments an adhesive is applied to the top of each lash fusion in the set of artificial lash extensions during the manufacturing process. The adhesive could be, for example, a waterproof glue or mascara. The set of artificial lash extensions can then be arranged proximate to the tightline beneath the individual' s natural lashes (step 904) and affixed to the underside of the individual' s natural lashes (step 905), rather than to the individual' s eyelid above the lash line.

[0063] Unless contrary to physical possibility, it is envisioned that the steps described above may be performed in various sequences and combinations. For instance, an adhesive could be applied to the individual clusters before or after the clusters are formed into lash fusions. Other steps could also be included in some embodiments.

Remarks

[0064] The foregoing description of various embodiments of the claimed subject matter has been provided for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the claimed subject matter to the precise forms disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to one skilled in the art. Embodiments were chosen and described in order to best describe the principles of the invention and its practical applications, thereby enabling those skilled in the relevant art to understand the claimed subject matter, the various embodiments, and the various modifications that are suited to the particular uses contemplated.