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Title:
APPLICATOR FOR APPLYING A COSMETIC PRODUCT TO EYELASHES AND/OR EYEBROWS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/127741
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Applicator for applying a cosmetic product to eyelashes and/or eyebrows Applicator (2) for applying a cosmetic product (F) to the eyelashes and/or eyebrows, comprising a monoblock application member (8), the application member (8) comprising: a core (10) that extends along a longitudinal axis (X), - a plurality of application elements (18) extending from the core (10), the application elements (18) forming a plurality of cavities (26) with quasi-closed contour.

Inventors:
SCHREIBER CAMILLE (FR)
THENIN AUDREY (FR)
OUNACEUR AMINE (FR)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2019/086319
Publication Date:
June 25, 2020
Filing Date:
December 19, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
OREAL (FR)
International Classes:
A45D40/26; A46B9/02; A46D1/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017115022A12017-07-06
WO2005023048A12005-03-17
WO2017098134A12017-06-15
WO2015106816A12015-07-23
WO2014126830A22014-08-21
WO2014126837A22014-08-21
Foreign References:
US4561456A1985-12-31
DE202010017159U12012-04-03
DE202011050794U12011-09-30
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TANTY, François (FR)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Applicator (2) for applying a cosmetic product (F) to the eyelashes and/or eyebrows, comprising a monoblock application member (8), the application member (8) comprising:

a core (10) that extends along a longitudinal axis (X),

- a plurality of application elements (18) extending from the core (10), the application elements (18) forming a plurality of cavities (26) with quasi-closed contour.

2. Applicator according to Claim 1, wherein the contour of the cavity with quasi-closed contour (26) has an opening (29) towards the outside of width (e) less than or equal to 0.3 mm, preferably 0.2 mm, more preferably 0.1 mm.

3. Applicator according to one of Claims 1 or 2, wherein the cavity with quasi- closed contour (26) extends at a distance D from the core (10) which is less than or equal to 10% of the height (L) of the application element(s) (18; 18a; 18b) forming it, preferably at zero distance from the core (10).

4. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the opening of the contour (29) of the cavity (26) is in the proximal part of the contour of the cavity (26), in particular at the or one of the proximal ends (30) of the contour of the cavity.

5. Applicator according to any of one Claims 1 to 3, wherein the opening (29) of the contour of the cavity is at a distance D not equal to zero from the core (10), in particular in the distal half of the contour of the cavity (26).

6. Applicator according to any one of the preceding Claims 1 to 5, wherein the cavity (26) with quasi-closed contour is delimited by one or more branches (20; 20a; 20b; 401b; 501a; 602a; 602b) of one or more application elements (18; 18a; 18b) having a variable cross-section along the contour of the cavity (26) with quasi-closed contour.

7. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cavity (26) with quasi-closed contour is delimited by one or more branches (20; 20a; 20b; 401b; 501a; 602a; 602b) of one or more application elements ( 18; 18a; 18b) having a distal portion (202b; 203b) which is non-rectilinear, in particular curved.

8. Applicator according to the preceding claim, wherein the distal portion (202b; 203b) of the cavity with quasi-closed contour has a constant curvature, in particular a radius of curvature (r; ra; rt>) between 5% and 40% of the height (L; La; Lb) of the corresponding branch (18).

9. Applicator according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the cavity (26) with quasi-closed contour is formed by a single application element (18).

10. Applicator according to Claim 9, wherein the cavity (26) with quasi-closed contour is formed between two branches (20a; 20b) of an application element (18), the free ends (202b; 203b) of which are spaced apart by a distance ( e ) not equal to zero.

11. Applicator according to Claim 9, wherein the cavity (26) with quasi-closed contour is formed between a single branch (20) of an application element (18) and the core (10), the free end (21b) of the branch being spaced from the core by a distance (e) not equal to zero.

12. Applicator according to any one of the preceding Claims 9 to 11, wherein the application element (18) forming the cavity (26) with quasi-closed contour comprises surface reliefs (24; 24a-f) extending over at least part of an outer and/or inner surface, preferably outer surface, of the application element.

13. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein all application elements (18; 18a; 18b) of the application member (8) each at least partly form a cavity, preferably a cavity (26) with quasi-closed contour.

14. Applicator according to any of Claims 1 to 8, wherein the cavity (26) with quasi-closed contour is formed between two branches (20a; 20b; 401a; 501a; 602a; 602b) of two adjacent application elements (18a; 18b), the free ends (402b; 502a) of which are spaced apart by a distance (e) not equal to zero.

15. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the core (10) comprises at least one helical groove (16; 17) turning around the longitudinal axis (X) of the core (10), preferably at least two opposite helical grooves (16; 17) of the same pitch turning around the longitudinal axis (X) of the core (10).

16. Applicator according to the preceding claim, wherein the application elements (18) are distributed over the core (10) in at least one row, preferably at least two rows, wherein the row or rows of application elements preferably extend helically around the longitudinal axis (X), in particular following a helix (13; 15) with the same pitch as the helical groove or grooves (16; 17).

17. Device for packaging and applying a product to the eyelashes and/or eyebrows, comprising an applicator (2) according to any one of the preceding claims and a container (3) containing the product (F).

18. Method for producing an applicator according to any one of Claims 1 to 16, wherein a blank of the application member (8) or the application member (8) itself is produced in successive layers from a digital model of the applicator or application member.

Description:
Description

Title: Applicator for applying a cosmetic product to eyelashes and/or eyebrows

The present invention relates to an applicator for applying a cosmetic product to the eyelashes and/or eyebrows, notably a makeup or care product, for example mascara, and to corresponding packaging and application devices. The invention also relates to a method of production of such an applicator and to the associated makeup method.

Technical field

It is known from applications W02005023048 and DE20201105079 to use a cosmetic product applicator comprising application elements in the form of loops.

International application WO2017/098134 describes a method of production of a cosmetic product applicator for the eyelashes and/or eyebrows by an additive manufacturing method, and the corresponding applicator. The applicator comprises an application member comprising a core and teeth extending from the core. Some of the teeth take the form of loops and extend in a transverse plane to the longitudinal axis of the core.

There is a need to further improve applicators for applying a cosmetic product, notably mascara, to the eyelashes and/or eyebrows, in order to improve the performance thereof, and, if need be, allow particular makeup effects to be obtained.

Summary of the invention

The invention aims to meet this objective, and its object according to one of its aspects is an applicator for applying a cosmetic product to the eyelashes and/or eyebrows, comprising a monoblock application member, the application member having:

- a core that extends along a longitudinal axis,

- a plurality of application elements extending from the core, the application elements forming a plurality of cavities with quasi-closed contour.

The expression“application element” denotes individualizable projecting elements intended to come into engagement with the eyelashes and/or eyebrows.

The application elements may be separated from each other.

The expression "cavities with quasi-closed contour" means that there is no continuous path of material, in the contour of each of these cavities, which passes fully around the periphery of said cavity. Any path passing around the periphery of these cavities must pass through an opening in the contour of said cavity, forming a zone without material. The“longitudinal axis of the core” denotes the line connecting all of the centres of mass of the cross-sections of the core. The longitudinal axis may be a central axis, or even an axis of symmetry for the core, notably when the core has a circular cross-section or a cross-section in the overall shape of a regular polygon.

The term "monoblock" means that the application member is made of a single piece. The application member may be made of a single material. As a variant, the application member may comprise several materials, in particular parts of different materials fused together at their junction during production so as to form a single part. For example, the core comprises a centre of a flexible material covered with a casing of a more rigid material, the two materials being fused together at their junctions.

The cavity makes it possible to collect product by surface tension and thus to increase the autonomy of the applicator and/or to increase the loading capacity of the applicator, without otherwise losing any capacity for separating and combing the eyelashes.

Such a cavity may also give the application element a degree of flexibility if so desired, in particular to pass through the wiping member fitted to the container where the composition is extracted.

The fact that the cavity has a quasi-closed contour may allow at least one eyelash or eyebrow to pass into the cavity, and/or to supply the surface of the application element in contact with the eyelashes and/or eyebrows with the cosmetic product contained in the cavity. This also gives the application element a degree of flexibility, which facilitates extraction of the application element from the container, allows better loading of product onto the eyelashes and/or eyebrows, and/or greater ease of use of the application member. In fact, when the applicator comes into contact with the skin, the opening may become at least partly closed, rendering contact of the applicator on the skin more comfortable.

The applicator may have a stem to which the application member is fixed, notably having a housing in which an end piece of the application member is held. Preferably, the end piece extends along the longitudinal axis of the core, which may be rectilinear or curved.

The application element may be symmetrical with respect to its longitudinal axis.

The applicator may not have a plane of symmetry.

The application member is preferably obtained by an additive manufacturing method. The fact that the applicator is obtained by an additive manufacturing means that it is obtained in a single step, wherein the various elements constituting the applicator are made from the same material as each other without the need to use a mould.

The application element may be obtained from a pre-established digital model by solidification of a raw material section by section, from a second longitudinal end of the application member towards the first longitudinal end of the application member.

Preferably, the application member is made of a material selected from semi-crystalline thermoplastic materials, in particular a polyamide such as Nylon 12. These materials give parts of good mechanical and thermal strength.

As a variant, the application member is made of a material selected from materials which can be polymerized by irradiation with light, in particular photo-crosslinkable materials, materials which can be polymerized by catalysis, or materials which can be polymerized by application of heat, in particular thermo-crosslinkable materials. This allows production by an additive manufacturing method in which the material is solidified by irradiation with light, in particular using a laser, by localized catalysis or by localized application of heat.

As a variant, the application member is made of a material selected from ceramics or metals. The application member may have a envelop esurface of cross-section that varies along all or part of the length of the application member. The cross-section of the envelope surface may diminish on approach to at least one of the proximal and distal ends of the application member, preferably on approach to the distal ends of the application member. This in particular facilitates application of the cosmetic product to the eyelashes at the corner of the eye.

Preferably, the envelope surface is defined by the distal ends of at least some of the application elements, in particular those with a cavity.

The longitudinal axis of the core may be rectilinear or it may have one or more curves between its distal and proximal ends. Preferably, the longitudinal axis of the core is rectilinear and congruent with the longitudinal axis of the stem supporting the application member.

The core may have a cross-section of circular or polygonal form, such as square, rectangular or triangular. The term "cross-section" means any section produced in a plane orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the core. The core may have a constant cross-section from its proximal end to its distal end. As a variant, the core has a cross-section of variable shape and/or dimension along its longitudinal axis. For example, the cross-section may reduce on approach to a distal and/or proximal end. Preferably, the section reduces on approach to the distal end of the application member.

The core may be solid or hollow.

The core may comprise longitudinal openings. The latter allow product accumulation. Thus the autonomy of the applicator and its loading capacity for cosmetic product are increased. The openings may also allow a degree of flexibility of the core.

The core may comprise at least one helical groove turning around the longitudinal axis of the core, preferably at least two opposite helical grooves of the same pitch turning around the longitudinal axis of the core. Such grooves allow the formation of reserves of cosmetic product on the core.

Preferably, the helical groove or grooves extend around the longitudinal axis over at least one turn, preferably a plurality of turns, in particular between 2 and 60 turns, preferably between 3 and 40 turns over the entire length of the application member.

As a variant, the core is cylindrical.

Advantageously, the cosmetic composition intended to be applied to the eyelashes and/or eyebrows is a mascara composition. A mascara composition conventionally has a viscosity greater than 5 Pa s, notably comprised between 5 Pa s and 50 Pa s, at 25°C, in particular measured with the aid of a Rheomat RM100® machine.

Such a mascara composition conventionally comprises a solids content, generally in an amount greater than or equal to 35% by weight relative to the total weight of the composition, a powdery colourant, in particular one or more pigments, notably one or more metal oxides, for example one or more iron oxides, and advantageously a film-forming polymer. A mascara composition may also conventionally comprise one or more waxes, in a total amount of in particular between 5 and 40% by weight relative to the total weight of the composition.

In the scope of the present invention, the applicator is particularly suitable for applying a relatively fluid mascara composition. This is because a mascara composition having a relatively low viscosity will be retained particularly well, notably by surface tension, within the cavity with a quasi-closed contour in the application element or between two adj acent application elements, while being able to be easily picked up by contact with an eyelash or eyebrow and to be deposited thereon, wherein this contact causes the surface tension between the mascara composition and the cavity to be broken.

Preferably, the application member comprises between 8 and 200 cavities with quasi-closed contour.

Preferably, all application elements of the application member each form at least partly a cavity with closed or quasi-closed contour, preferably a cavity with quasi-closed contour. As a variant, the application member comprises additional application elements not forming a cavity with quasi-closed contour. The additional application elements may have any form. For example, they have the form of studs or teeth. They may be rectilinear or not, in particular they may comprise a curved end. They may comprise a widened distal portion. Preferably, the application elements forming the cavities with quasi-closed contour are arranged on the core in one or more rows of application elements. The row or rows may be rectilinear, and extend parallel to the longitudinal axis of the core or not, for example extend helically around the core.

Preferably, the row or rows of application elements extend helically around the longitudinal axis of the core, in particular following a helix with the same pitch as the helical groove or grooves, and preferably at the same distance from the two helical grooves when two grooves are present.

The helical row or rows of application elements may extend around the longitudinal axis over at least one turn, preferably a plurality of turns, preferably between 2 and 60 turns, preferably between 3 and 40 turns over the entire length of the application member. Such a number of turns allows the application member to have an aspect furnished with application elements, and gives the impression that the application elements are arranged at random. The application elements may extend in at least two helical rows around the longitudinal axis of the core, in particular in the case where the core comprises at least two grooves, wherein the rows may be parallel to the grooves.

The or each row may comprise a number of application elements between 2 and 500 elements, preferably between 5 and 300.

Preferably, the row or rows of application elements each extend between the turns of the groove or grooves of the core, in particular at an equal distance from the latter.

As a variant, the row or rows of application elements each extend along the groove or grooves of the core. As another variant, at least one row of application elements extends between the turns of the groove or grooves, and at least one row of application elements extends along the groove or one of the grooves.

Preferably, the application elements forming the cavities with quasi -closed contour are distributed in at least two helical rows around the longitudinal axis of the core encased between them.

Preferably, all application elements of the at least one row each at least partly form a cavity, preferably a cavity with quasi-closed contour. Preferably, such a row alternates with rows of additional application elements of the core as described above, in particular in the form of studs. This allows both good separation of the eyelashes and eyebrows, in particular by the additional application elements, and a good loading of cosmetic product onto the eyelashes and eyebrows.

As a variant, some of the application elements of at least one row each at least partly form a cavity, in particular a cavity with quasi-closed contour. For example, the row comprises application elements at least partly forming a cavity with quasi-closed contour alternating with additional application elements, in particular in the form of studs.

Preferably, the consecutive application elements of a row are all spaced apart by a same distance, defined between the axes of extension of two consecutive application elements at their base, of between 0.1 mm and 5 mm, preferably between 0.5 mm and 1 mm.

The application elements may extend along at least two rows parallel to the longitudinal axis of the core, preferably at least four rows, preferably between five and twelve rows, for example nine rows. Each row may comprise a number of application elements between 2 and 20 elements, preferably between 5 and 15, for example around 7.

At least some of the distal ends of the application elements may define an envelope surface of the application member. Preferably, the envelope surface is defined by the distal end of the application elements forming the cavities with quasi-closed contour.

The envelopesurface may have a rectilinear longitudinal axis congruent with the longitudinal axis of the core.

The envelope surface may be symmetrical in revolution about the longitudinal axis of the core and have a circular cross-section. The cross-section of the envelope surface may diminish on approach to at least one of the proximal and distal ends of the application member, preferably on approach to the distal end of the application member.

In the description below, the cavities with quasi-closed contour are described in isolation. The characteristics are described for one cavity with quasi-closed contour but could be applied alone or in combination to each of the cavities with quasi-closed contour of the application member.

Preferably, the cavity with quasi-closed contour is a through cavity.

The cavity with quasi-closed contour may be at least partially delimited by the core.

The cavity with quasi-closed contour may be delimited by the core and by one or more application elements.

The cavity with quasi-closed contour may have a larger dimension less than or equal to 20% of the length of the core.

Preferably, the contour of the cavity with quasi-closed contour has an opening towards the outside of width less than or equal to 0.3 mm, preferably 0.2 mm, more preferably 0.1 mm. The cavity with quasi-closed contour may be formed by a single application element or by the proximity of two adjacent applications elements. The opening may be formed

- between two branches of an application element, the free ends of which are spaced apart by a distance not equal to zero, wherein the space between the two branches in particular forms an opening as described above,

- between a single branch of an application element and the core, the free end of the branch being spaced away from the core by a distance not equal to zero, wherein the space between the branch and the core in particular forms an opening as described above, or

- between branches of two adjacent application elements, the free ends of which are spaced apart by a distance not equal to zero, wherein the space between the two branches in particular forms an opening as described above. The at least one of these two branches is not rectilinear perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis of the core.

The cross-section of the branch or branches of the application element or elements forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour may have any shape depending on the desired characteristics, in particular a constant or non-constant cross-section. The contour of the cavity with quasi-closed contour may have a form which is thinner at some points in order to provide more flexibility locally. Preferably, the cavity with quasi-closed contour extends at a distance from the core which is less than or equal to 10% of the height of the application element(s) forming it, preferably at zero distance from the core. As a variant, the cavity with quasi-closed contour may be spaced from the core, in particular extend to a height greater than or equal to 10%, preferably greater than or equal to 25%, even more preferably greater than or equal to 50% of the height of the application element or elements forming it.

The cavity with quasi-closed contour may have a substantially rounded contour, for example oval, in particular circular or polygonal, in particular triangular, square, pentagonal or hexagonal.

The cavity with quasi-closed contour may have a greater dimension which is more than 0.1 mm, preferably between 0.2 mm and 4 mm, preferably between 0.5 mm and 1.5 mm.

The cavity with quasi-closed contour may be delimited by one or more branches of one or more application elements.

The branch or branches delimiting the cavity with quasi-closed contour may be flat and define a median cavity plane for the latter, the cavity plane being in particular a plane of symmetry of the cavity.

The plane of the cavity may be a plane which is transverse to the longitudinal axis of the core, or a plane which is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the core.

The cavity with quasi-closed contour may be symmetrical relative to an axis of symmetry, preferably contained within the plane of the cavity.

The cavity with quasi-closed contour may be symmetrical according to at least one plane of symmetry, preferably two planes of symmetry which are mutually orthogonal, in particular the plane of the cavity and a plane orthogonal to the plane of the cavity.

The branch or branches delimiting the cavity with quasi-closed contour may have a cross- section of circular or polygonal form, in particular square, rectangular or triangular.

The branch or branches delimiting the cavity with quasi-closed contour may have cross- sections of area between 0.04 and 1 mm 2 over at least a quarter, preferably at least half, further preferably three-quarters and even more preferably the totality of the contour.

The branch or branches delimiting the cavity with quasi-closed contour may have a thickness greater than or equal to 0.1 mm, preferably between 0.2 and 2 mm, preferably between 0.25 and 0.5 mm, in particular close to 0.3 mm. The branch or branches delimiting the cavity with quasi-closed contour may have a cross- section which is constant along the cavity with quasi-closed contour. In the case where the cavity with quasi-closed contour is delimited by several branches, said branches may have the same cross-section along the cavity with quasi-closed contour.

As a variant, the branch or branches delimiting the cavity with quasi-closed contour may have a cross-section which is variable along the cavity with quasi-closed contour. For example, the branch or branches delimiting the cavity with quasi-closed contour have a cross-section which varies steadily or passes through an extreme, in particular a minimum, along the contour of the cavity starting from the core. The opening of the contour of the cavity may lie at a distance not equal to zero from the core, in particular may open into the distal half of the cavity, preferably substantially at the distal end of the cavity. This makes the product contained in the cavity more easily accessible to the eyelashes and eyebrows.

As a variant, the opening of the contour of the cavity lies in the proximal part of the contour of the cavity, for example at the or one of the proximal ends of the branch or branches forming the contour of the cavity.

Preferably, the opening of the contour of the cavity has a constant width over the entire thickness of the branch or branches between which it extends. As a variant, the width is variable over the thickness of the branch or branches.

The branch or branches delimiting the cavity with quasi-closed contour may have a distal portion which is not rectilinear, in particular curved. Preferably, the distal portion has a constant curvature, in particular a radius of curvature between 5% and 40% of the height of the corresponding branch.

As mentioned above, the cavity with quasi-closed contour may be formed by a single application element in the form of an open loop, in particular a flat loop.

The application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour may extend along an axis of elongation which is defined by the line j oining the centres of mass of the cross- sections of the application element. Preferably, the axis of elongation is rectilinear. The axis of elongation may be an axis which is radial to the longitudinal axis of the core.

The application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour may be symmetrical relative to its axis of elongation if the opening is abstracted into the contour of the cavity with quasi-closed contour. Preferably, the application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour has a plane of symmetry, preferably two planes of symmetry which are mutually orthogonal, if the opening is abstracted into the contour of the cavity with quasi-closed contour.

The application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour may comprise at least one branch connected at the base to the core, preferably two separate branches connected at the base to the core.

The application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour may have a thickness greater than or equal to 0.3 mm, preferably between 0.5 and 8 mm, preferably between 1 and

2 mm.

The height of each application element, measured from the core at its distal end along its axis of elongation, may be between 0.2 mm and 5 mm, better still between 0.5 mm and 3 mm.

The application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour may comprise surface reliefs extending over at least part of an outer and/or inner surface, preferably an outer surface. The number of surface reliefs may for example be between 1 and 30, better still between 1 and 10. This allows better contact with the eyelashes, which facilitates application of the cosmetic product and separation of the eyelashes. The relief may also, in particular when present on the outer surface, constitute an additional zone for accumulation of product. These zones allow the eyelashes and/or eyebrows to be better loaded with cosmetic product. The surface relief or reliefs may be reliefs protruding from the surface of the application element, in particular the outer surface of the application element.

The surface relief or reliefs which are convex towards the outside may take the form of bosses. Each application element may comprise at least two surface reliefs in the form of bosses towards the outside, which between them define a hollow zone. The hollow zone allows accumulation of the product at a distance offering easy access to the eyelashes. The hollow zone may have a form which is concave towards the outside or not. The hollow zone may have a maximal depth of between 0.05 mm and 3 mm.

The term "maximal depth" means the distance between the highest point of the surface comprising the reliefs, and the lowest point thereof in projection along the axis of elongation of the element. The relief or reliefs in the form of bosses may take the form of a polygon viewed from the front of the application element, for example a rectangle or triangle, preferably a rectangle. This allows a good separation of the eyelashes and/or eyebrows.

As a variant, the surface relief or reliefs have a rounded form, in particular when extending towards the outside. The presence of rounded reliefs may also ensure gentler contact of the application member with the eyelids or eyelashes, in particular when they have rounded edges. That may encourage the user to bring the application member closer to the eye, allowing the cosmetic product to be applied to the base of the eyelashes, or encourage her or him to press the application member more firmly against the eyelashes and/or eyebrows, making it possible to achieve a better loading of cosmetic product onto the lashes.

The relief or reliefs in the form of rounded bosses may have an outer edge of semicircular shape, viewed from the front of the application element, with a radius of curvature of between 0.05 mm and 1.5 mm.

The surface relief or reliefs may, viewed from the front of the application element, have an undulating form with a succession of arches of the same concavity or alternating concavity. The application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour may comprise one or more grooves. Such grooves may allow a reserve of product to be formed. The grooves are preferably annular.

The application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour may comprise one or more protuberances, preferably in the form of studs, extending over at least part of the outer and/or inner surface, in particular between 1 and 40 protuberances, preferably between 1 and 30 protuberances, further preferably between 1 and 25 protuberances.

Preferably, the protuberance(s) extend perpendicularly to said surface.

Preferably, the protub erance(s) may extend in a longitudinal plane of the application element.

As a variant, the protub erance(s) may extend in a transverse plane of the application element. As mentioned above, the opening may be formed between two branches of an application element, the free ends of which are spaced by the above-mentioned distance in order to form between them the opening of the contour of the cavity with quasi-closed contour. The at least one of these two branches is not rectilinear perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis of the core. Each of these two branches may extend along a non-rectilinear elongation axis perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the core. In this case, the opening of the contour of the cavity lies at a distance not equal to zero from the core. The application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour is then connected to the core by the two branches.

Preferably, the opening of the contour of the cavity is positioned in the distal half of the application element.

The two branches of the application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour may be substantially of the same length, wherein the opening is arranged substantially in the centre of the application element, in particular at the distal end of the application element. The two branches may have substantially the same height measured from the core along the axis of the elongation of the application element.

The two branches of the application element may have substantially identical form apart from orientation. As a variant, the two branches of the application element may have different forms.

Preferably, each branch comprises a proximal portion connected to the core which is preferably rectilinear, and a distal portion which is not rectilinear. A“non-rectilinear distal portion” means that the branch exhibits a change in direction at its distal portion. The change in direction may be progressive, the distal portion being a curved portion, or abrupt, the distal portion exhibiting a break in slope. The non-rectilinear distal portion is for example bent or curved.

Preferably, the distal portion is curved. It may have a constant curvature. For example, it may form an arc of a circle which is concave or convex towards the inside. Preferably, the distal portion has a radius of curvature of between 0.2 mm and 2 mm, preferably substantially equal to 0.3 mm.

Preferably, the distal portion has a radius of curvature of between 5% and 40% of the height of the branch, preferably between 10% to 25%, further preferably between 15% and 20%. Preferably, the distal portion has an angular extension relative to its centre of curvature of between 1° and 269°, preferably between 90° and 180°.

Preferably, the distal portion has a curvature which is concave towards the core.

As a variant, the distal portion is bent, the distal portion having a break in slope with an angle of between 1° and 179°.

As a variant, one of the two branches is shorter than the other. The opening of the contour of the cavity may be positioned close to the core. The free ends of the two branches may comprise mutually facing flat faces, or faces of complementary forms, in particular a male part and a female part respectively. For example, the free ends of the two branches comprise faces of complementary forms in a U shape, Y shape or zigzag form.

As mentioned above, the opening of the contour of the cavity may be formed between a single branch of the application element and the core, the free end of the branch facing the core and being spaced from the core by the above-mentioned distance.

In this case, the opening is positioned at the level of the connection of the application element forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour to the core.

The branch may have a constant cross-section of its base at which it connects to the core at its free end.

As a variant, the branch has a cross-section of variable dimension of its base connected to the core at its free end. For example, the cross-section may diminish starting from the branch towards its free end. The branch then has a base which is wider than the distal end.

As a variant, the cross-section of the branch passes through at least one extreme, in particular a minimum, along the cavity. The branch may in particular have a frustoconical base and/or free end.

Preferably, the branch is concave towards the core in order to form the cavity. It may be curved, in particular with a constant curvature at least over a distal portion. Said distal portion may have a radius of curvature of between 0.2 mm and 2 mm, preferably substantially equal to 0.3 mm.

Preferably, said distal portion has a radius of curvature of between 5% and 40% of the height of the application element, preferably between 10% to 25%, further preferably between 15% and 20%.

The free end of the branch may comprise a flat face oriented towards the core, or a face of complementary shape to the surface of the core.

As mentioned above, the opening of the contour of the cavity may be formed between at least two branches of adjacent application elements spaced apart by the above-mentioned distance. For example, the branches of adjacent application elements comprise a succession of pointed arches which start from the core and define teeth, two of which are sufficiently close together for a quasi-closed cavity to be formed between them. Thus at least one of the two adjacent application elements may have an axis of extension which is non-rectilinear perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis of the core.

In this case, the opening of the contour of the cavity lies at a distance not equal to zero from the core.

The branches of the adjacent application elements may be bent or curved.

The application elements may at least partly form a plurality of cavities with quasi-closed contour, in particular two cavities with quasi-closed contour.

Preferably, the application elements forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour are arranged in the same row of application elements. As a variant, the application elements forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour are arranged in two different rows of application elements, the cavity being formed between the two rows.

Preferably, the opening of the contour of the cavity is positioned in the distal half of the two application elements.

The two branches forming the cavity with quasi-closed contour may have substantially the same length.

The two branches may have substantially the same height measured from the core along the axis of the elongation of the application element.

The two branches may have substantially identical form apart from orientation. As a variant, the two branches may have different forms.

Preferably, each branch comprises a proximal portion connected to the core which is preferably rectilinear, and a distal portion which is not rectilinear. A“non-rectilinear distal portion” means that the branch exhibits a change in direction at its distal portion. The change in direction may be progressive, the distal portion being a curved portion, or abrupt, the distal portion exhibiting a break in slope. The non-rectilinear distal portion may for example be bent or curved.

Preferably, the distal portion is curved. It may have a constant curvature. For example, it may form an arc of a circle which is concave or convex towards the inside. Preferably, the distal portion has a radius of curvature of between 0.2 mm and 2 mm, preferably substantially equal to 0.3 mm.

Preferably, the distal portion has a radius of curvature of between 5% and 40% of the height of the branch, preferably between 10% to 25%, further preferably between 15% and 20%. Preferably, the distal portion has an angular extension relative to its centre of curvature of between 1° and 269°, preferably between 90° and 180°. Preferably, the distal portion has a curvature which is concave towards the core.

As a variant, the distal portion is bent, the distal portion having a break in slope with an angle of between 1° and 179°.

As a variant, one of the two branches is shorter than the other. The opening of the contour of the cavity with quasi-closed contour may be positioned close to the core.

The free ends of the two branches may comprise mutually facing flat faces, or faces of complementary forms, in particular a male part and a female part respectively. For example, the free ends of the two branches comprise faces of complementary forms in a U shape, V shape or zigzag form.

The invention furthermore concerns a method for producing an applicator according to the invention as defined above, wherein a blank of the application member or the application member itself is produced in successive layers from a digital model of the applicator or application member.

Such a method allows an applicator to be produced in a single step, wherein the various elements constituting the applicator are made from the same material as each other without the need to use a mould.

Such a method also allows the development of new forms of applicator which in particular are impossible to produce by injection moulding in monoblock fashion because of the presence of undercuts.

The method may comprise:

(i) production of a digital model of the applicator,

(ii) solidification of a castable raw material as a function of the digital model,

The raw material is preferably a powdery material. In this case, step (ii) can be performed by sintering the raw powdery material layer by layer.

As a variant, the raw material is liquid, in particular is a photo-crosslinkable material. In step (ii), the raw material may be solidified section by section, by irradiation of the raw photo- crosslinkable material.

The production method by additive manufacturing may be a process of filament deposition modelling (FDM), stereolithography (SLA), multi -jet fusion (MLF), selective laser sintering (SLS) or digital light processing (DLP), in particular CLIP (continuous liquid interface production), preferably MLF.

Preferably, the production process is a multi -jet fusion technique. The process may comprise the steps consisting of:

a) depositing a layer of powdery material on a printing substrate,

b) distributing one or more coalescence agents and coalescence modifiers on parts of the layer determined from the digital model of the application member,

c) applying energy to the layer of powdery material, in particular by irradiation with infrared or near infrared light, so as to cause at least partial melting of the parts on which the coalescence agent or agents have been applied,

d) cooling the layer of powdery material to solidify the melted parts,

e) repeating steps a) to d), the layer of powdery material previously deposited forming the printing substrate, in order to produce solid parts continuously in successive layers which adhere to each other so as to form the application member.

Preferably, the powdery material is a semicrystalline powdery thermoplastic material, in particular a polyamide such as Nylon 12 or PA2200. As a variant, the powdery material is a metallic material, a composite, ceramic, glass or resin.

The coalescence agent or agents may be a compound of an ink type comprising carbon black, such as for example the ink compound CM997A available in particular from the Hewlett- Packard Company. The coalescence agent or agents may additionally comprise an absorber of infrared and/or near infrared and/or visible light, in particular the ink compounds CE039A and CE042A available in particular from the Hewlett-Packard Company.

The coalescence modifier(s) may be a colloidal ink, a dye-based ink or a polymer-based ink. The coalescence modifier(s) may comprise solid compounds or compounds in solution, in particular may be a saline solution. The coalescence modifier(s) may be the ink compound CM996A or CN673A available in particular from the Hewlett-Packard Company. Preferably, the layer of powder material has a thickness of between 90 and 110 microns. Preferably, the printing plate has a dimension ranging from 10 cm x 10 cm to 100 cm x 100 cm.

The method for producing the applicator may be as described in international application W02015106816.

As a variant, the method of production by additive manufacturing comprises: a) localized irradiation by a light source, in particular a laser, in a predefined forming zone, from a fluid photo-crosslinkable material contained in a container in order to form one or more solid polymerized parts in the polymerizable material in said forming zone, wherein the solid polymerized parts are attached to a support, the irradiation sites in the predefined forming zone are determined from the digital model of the application member, b) movement of the support and solid polymerized parts attached thereto relative to the light source by moving away from said forming zone, in order to release the polymerized solid parts from the forming zone, wherein the forming zone is refilled with fluid photo- crosslinkable material,

c) repeating steps a) and b) in order to produce continuously, in successive layers, solid parts which adhere together so as to form the application member.

The container preferably comprises a surface in fluidic communication with a polymerization-inhibiting source, wherein step a) is performed while forming or maintaining a fluid zone between the predefined forming zone and said surface, a fluid zone within which the polymerization of the fluid photo-crosslinkable material is inhibited by the polymerization inhibitor.

Preferably, the polymerization inhibitor is oxygen.

Preferably, the fluid zone has a height which is less than or equal to 1 mm, preferably between 500 pm and 0.01 pm, preferably between 100 pm and 10 pm.

Preferably, the localized irradiation and movement of the support are continuous, wherein the fluid zone and the forming zone at the interface have a polymerization gradient such that production of the application member is substantially continuous. This limits the presence of apparent strata as occur in additive manufacturing methods in which the object is produced layer by layer.

The process preferably comprises an additional step of heating the formed application member. This allows hardening of the structure of the produced application member and smooths out its surface.

The method for producing the applicator may be as described in international applications WO2014126830 and WO2014126837.

The invention also concerns a makeup process for the eyelashes and eyebrows using an applicator according to the invention as defined above, in which the product is applied by bringing the applicator into contact with the eyelashes and/or eyebrows. Brief description of the figures

The invention may be better understood from reading the following detailed description of non-limiting illustrative embodiments thereof and from examining the appended drawing, in which:

[Fig. 1 A] figure 1 A represents an application and packaging device according to the invention.

[Fig. IB] figure IB is a diagrammatic, perspective representation of the profile of an application member of an applicator according to the invention.

[Fig. 1C] figure 1C is a diagrammatic, perspective representation of the profile of a core of an application member of an applicator according to the invention.

[Fig 2] figure 2 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 3] figure 3 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 4] figure 4 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 5] figure 5 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 6] figure 6 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 7] figure 7 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 8] figure 8 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 9] figure 9 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 10] figure 10 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 11] figure 11 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 12] figure 12 represents an application element according to a first embodiment. [Fig 13] figure 13 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 14] figure 14 represents an application element according to a second embodiment.

[Fig 15] figure 15 represents an application element according to a second embodiment.

[Fig 16] figure 16 represents an application element according to a second embodiment.

[Fig 17] figure 17 represents an application element according to a second embodiment.

[Fig 18] figure 18 represents an application element according to a second embodiment.

[Fig 19] figure 19 represents an application element according to a second embodiment.

[Fig 20] figure 20 represents an application element according to a second embodiment.

[Fig 21] figure 21 represents an application element according to a second embodiment.

[Fig 22] figure 22 represents an application element according to a second embodiment.

[Fig 23] figure 23 represents an application element according to a second embodiment.

[Fig 24] figure 24 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 25] figure 25 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 26] figure 26 represents an application element according to a first embodiment.

[Fig 27] figure 27 represents an application element according to a third embodiment.

[Fig 28] figure 28 represents an application element according to a third embodiment. [Fig 29] figure 29 represents an application element according to a third embodiment.

[Fig 30 A] figure 30A illustrates a step in a method of production of the application member according to the invention.

[Fig 30B] figure 30B illustrates a step in a method of production of the application member according to the invention.

[Fig 30C] figure 30C illustrates a step in a method of production of the application member according to the invention.

[Fig 30D] figure 30D illustrates a step in a method of production of the application member according to the invention.

[Fig 3 OF] figure 3 OF illustrates a step in a method of production of the application member according to the invention.

[Fig 30E] figure 30E illustrates a step in a method of production of the application member according to the invention.

[Fig 31] figure 31 illustrates a method of production of the application member according to the invention.

[Fig 32] figure 32 illustrates steps in a variant of the method of production of the application member according to the invention.

[Fig 33] figure 33 illustrates steps in a variant of the method of production of the application member according to the invention.

Detailed description

Figure la shows a packaging and application device 1 produced in accordance with the invention, comprising an applicator 2 and an associated container 3 containing a cosmetic product F to be applied to the eyelashes and/or eyebrows, for example mascara or a care product.

The container 3, in the example concerned, comprises a threaded neck 4, and the applicator 2 comprises a handling element 5 which also forms a closure cap for the container 2. This is arranged to be attached to the neck 4 in order to close the container 3 in a sealed fashion when not in use.

The container 3 may also be produced differently. The applicator 2 comprises a stem 7 of longitudinal axis Xt, which is attached at its upper end to the closure cap 5 and at its lower end to an application member 8 according to the invention. The latter comprises a core 10 that carries application elements 15 which extend from the core 10 and preferably all around the latter.

The container 3 also comprises a wiping member 6, for example inserted into the neck 4. This wiping member 6, which may be any wiping member, in the example in question comprises a lip designed to wipe the stem 7 and the application member 8 when the applicator 2 is withdrawn from the container 3. The lip defines a wiping orifice 6a having a diameter adapted to that of the stem.

The wiping member 6 may be made of elastomer.

The wiping member 6 may comprise a wiping orifice 6a with a circular shape, optionally with slots.

The diameter of the wiping orifice 6a of the wiping member 6 is, for example, between 2.5 and 6 mm.

The wiping member 6 may optionally comprise undulations, allowing the wiping orifice to widen more easily when the application member 8 passes through.

The wiping member may also be adjustable, if appropriate.

In the example illustrated, the stem 7 has a circular cross-section, but it would not constitute a departure from the scope of the present invention if the stem 7 had a different cross-section, it then being possible to fasten the cap 5 on the container 3 in some other way than by screwing. The wiping member 6 is adapted to the shape of the stem 7 and to that of the application member 8.

Preferably, and as in the example in question, the longitudinal axis Xt of the stem 7 is rectilinear and coincident with the longitudinal axis of the container 3 when the applicator 2 is in place thereon, but it would not constitute a departure from the scope of the present invention if the stem 7 were not rectilinear, forming for example an elbow.

If need be, the stem 7 may comprise an annular narrowing at its portion that is positioned opposite the lip of the wiping member 6, so as not to mechanically stress the latter unduly during storage.

The stem 7, to which the application member 8 is fixed, may be at least partially and in particular completely flexible, in particular in the vicinity of the application member. The application member 8 may be fixed to the stem 7 by any means, and in particular by force-fitting, snap-fastening, adhesive bonding, welding, stapling or crimping, in a corresponding housing provided at the end of the stem 7.

As shown in figure lb, the application member 8 may comprise an end piece 9 for fixing it in a corresponding housing of the stem 7.

The application member 8 comprises a core 10 and a plurality of application elements 18 extending from the core 10.

The core 10 is elongate along a longitudinal axis X. The longitudinal axis X is rectilinear, but as a variant may have another shape, for example curved. The longitudinal axis X is central, but this could be different.

The length H of the core 10 may for example be between 15 mm and 27 mm.

The application member comprises application elements 18 in the form of an open loop, each comprising an opening situated for example level with its connection to the core as shown, thus forming a cavity with quasi-closed contour.

The application elements are aligned with each other at their base so as to form a plurality of longitudinal rows.

In the example illustrated, the application member comprises two different types of application elements: application elements forming cavities with quasi-closed contour, and application elements in the form of studs. The application elements in the form of a loop form rows of application elements, and the application elements in the form of studs form other rows of application elements alternating with the preceding rows. The invention is not, however, limited to the arrangements of application elements described above. In a variant not shown, the application elements all form cavities with quasi-closed contour, or the rows of application elements may comprise alternate application elements of different shapes.

In the example shown in figure lb, the rows are rectilinear and extend on the core along an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of the core. However, this may be different, and in particular the rows may extend helically around the core following a helix of fixed or unfixed pitch, as illustrated in figure lc. In this example, the core 10 comprises two grooves 16 and 17, each rotating around the longitudinal axis X of the core and following two respective helices 13 and 15. The two helices 13 and 15 are opposite each other relative to the longitudinal axis X and have the same pitch. The helices 13 and 15 turn around the axis X over more than one turn, in particular over more than 6 turns, for example over 9 turns. The distance D b between two consecutive application elements of the same row may be between 0.05 mm and 5 mm, preferably between 0.5 mm and 1 mm.

Exemplary application elements according to the invention are described in relation to figures 2 to 13 below.

Figures 2 to 13 show examples in which a cavity 26 is formed by a single application element 18. In this embodiment, the application element 18 comprises a branch 20 which is concave towards the core and forms a cavity. The branch is connected to the core by a single base 21a, the other end 21b of the branch being free and facing the core. The space between the free end 21b and the core defines an opening 29 in the contour of the cavity 26. The free end 21b is spaced from the core by a distance e which is less than or equal to 0.3 mm, preferably 0.2 mm, further preferably 0.1 mm.

The opening with a width e as described above in particular allows formation of a composition bridge by capillary action.

The application element 18 extends along an elongation axis Y which is perpendicular to the core 10.

The height L of the application element 18, measured from the core along the axis of elongation Y, may be between 0.2 mm and 5 mm, better still between 0.5 mm and 3 mm. The application element 18 has a width d , calculated perpendicularly to the axis of the elongation Y, of between 0.3 mm and 8 mm.

The contour of the cavity 26, viewed from the front of the application element, has a quasi circular form.

The ratio w/d, wherein w is the maximal width of the cavity 26, lies for example between 10% and 90%, preferably between 25% and 80%.

The ratio L c /L, wherein L c is the height of the cavity 26, is for example between 10% and 90%, preferably between 25% and 80%.

In the example illustrated in figure 2, the branch 20 of the application element 18 has the form of an inverted U. The branch 20 comprises a first side portion 22a extending from the core along an axis P a , a central portion 22b, in particular in the form of a circle arc, which is connected to the upper end of the first arm 22a and is convex towards the outside, and a second side portion 22c connected to the central portion and extending towards the core in the extension axis P c . In the example illustrated, the two axes P a and P c are substantially rectilinear, preferably perpendicular to the core and parallel to each other. The second side portion 22c is spaced from the core 10 by the distance e of a value as stated above.

The central portion 22b has a rounded outer edge in the form of a semi-circle with a radius of curvature of between 0.2 mm and 2 mm, preferably substantially equal to 0.3 mm.

Preferably, the central portion 22¾ has a radius of curvature r of between 5% and 40% of the height L of the application element, preferably between 10% and 25%, further preferably between 15% and 20%. In the example illustrated, the radius of curvature is constant along the curved portion, and represents 15% of the height of the application element.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated above, the branch 20 has a constant, circular cross- section. As a variant, this varies between the base 21a of the branch 20 and its free end 21b, as illustrated in figure 8. In this example, the branch 20 has a shape which tapers towards the free end thereof. Such a shape avoids possible deformation of the application element when passing through the wiping member. This shape also reinforces the strength of the application element while retaining its flexibility.

Figure 9 illustrates another exemplary application element with a non-constant cross-section of the branch 20. In this example, the base 21a of the branch 20 and its free distal end 21b have a widened form, in particular in a trapezoid shape. In this example, the cross-section of the branch 20 has a minimum at a location other than the base and the free end.

In the examples described above, the cross-section of the branch is circular. However, it could be polygonal, for example rectangular.

In the example of figure 3, the central portion 22b is not rounded on its outer surface. Viewed from the front, it has an outer edge with at least one chamfered edge, in particular at the junction between the central portion and each of the arms.

Figures 4 and 10 illustrate exemplary application elements 18 in which the central portion 22b comprises surface reliefs in the form of undulations 24. The undulations comprise a succession of arches, three in the example illustrated in figure 3, and 5 in the example illustrated in figure 10. The undulations comprise an alternation of arches which are convex towards the outside 24a and 24c, and arches which are concave towards the outside 24b in between. The arches 24a-c have a radius of curvature r ci between 0.05 mm and 1.5 mm. The arches which are concave towards the outside define concavities 25 which are open towards the outside in a direction T congruent with the axis of the elongation Y of the application element 18. The concavity 25 has a depth d of between 0.05 mm and 3 mm. The depth d corresponds to the distance measured along the axis of elongation between the highest point of the surface with reliefs and the lowest point thereof.

In the example of figure 12, reliefs 24 are present on the outer surface of the central portion 22b of the branch 20 of the application element 18. In this example, the reliefs 24 comprise a plurality of identical periodic motifs 24a-d which protrude from the outer surface of the central portion 22, for example in the form of crenellations. Each of the motifs 24a-d has a rectangular or rounded form. These reliefs between them form concavities 25a-c which are open towards the outside and are rectangular or rounded in shape. As a variant, these reliefs 24a-f are present over the entire outer surface of the application element 18, as illustrated on figure 6.

Figure 11 illustrates an exemplary embodiment in which annular grooves 32 are formed in the branch 20 of the application element 18. Such grooves may allow a reserve of product to be formed. In the example illustrated, the branch has a cross-section of general dimension which diminishes on approach to the free end of the application element 18. As a variant, the cross-section is constant along the branch, as illustrated in figure 7. In this example, as well as the annular grooves 32, the application element 18 comprises protuberances, in particular in the form of studs, which extend from the outer surface of the branch 20. Such protuberances improve the separation of the eyelashes and/or eyebrows.

Figure 5 illustrates another embodiment in which the branch 20 of the application element 18 is defined by a succession of broken lines 31, giving it a zigzag form. This zigzag form defines several concavities 25 which are open towards the outside, in particular allowing an accumulation of the product within easy access distance. The zigzag form allows good separation of the eyelashes.

Figure 13 illustrates another exemplary application element with a branch 20 with non constant cross-section. In this example, the application element 18 comprises a wide base 21a and a wide free end 21b, for example in frustoconical form. Starting from the core 10, the branch 20 comprises an arm connected to the core and formed by a succession of conical steps converging towards the top, a central portion 22b in the form of a circle arc, and a portion 22c which extends in the direction of the core along its extension axis Pc and has a free end in the form of a cone which widens in the direction of the core.

Variant embodiments of application elements in which the branch 20 has a general P shape will now be described with reference to figures 24 to 26. In the example of figure 24, the branch 10 comprises a first arm 101 extending towards the outside from the core along axis Tl, an arch 102 which is connected at the upper end of the first arm 101 and is convex towards the outside, a third arm 103 which is connected both to the arch 102 and the first arm 101. The third arm 103 has a rounded edge where it connects to the arch 102 and extends along an axis T2. The third arch 103 is spaced from the first arch 101 by a distance e which is preferably less than 0.3 mm. The space delimited by the three arms 101 to 103 constitutes a cavity with quasi-closed contour. This is situated at a distance D not equal to zero from the core.

In the example of figure 25, the branch 20 comprises a first arm 101 extending towards the outside from the core along an axis Tl, an arch 102 which is connected to the upper end of the first arm 101 and is convex towards the outside, a third arm 103 which is connected both to the arch 102 and to the first arch 101, wherein the third arm 103 has a rounded edge at its junction with the arch 102 and extends along an axis T2, and a fourth arm 104 which is connected to the arch and extends towards the core along an axis T3 at a distance e not equal to zero from the core. The axes T 2 and T 3 form an angle g2 between them. Said angle may be between 30° and 160°, more preferably between 60° and 120°, preferably 90°.

Preferably, axis Tl coincides with the axis of elongation Y of the application element.

The arms 101, 103 and 104, together with the core 10, form a cavity 26 with quasi-closed contour.

The space e between the free end of the arm 104 and the core is less than or equal to 0.3 mm, preferably less than or equal to 0.2 mm, further preferably less than or equal to 0.1 mm.

The arms 101 and 103 together with the arch 102 form a closed cavity 108 where product may accumulate at a distance not equal to zero from the core. This allows an increase in the loading capacity of the applicator.

As a variant as illustrated in figure 26, the application element is solid and has an outer surface of form identical to that shown in figure 25.

The contact between the branch 20 and the core may be superficial or local, as indicated in figure 27.

In this example, a protuberance, in particular a stud, is present inside the cavity 26 formed by the branch and the core. This protuberance can avoid the deformation of the branch 20 and increase the loading capacity of the applicator. Figures 14 to 23 illustrate examples in which the cavity 26 with quasi-closed contour is formed between two branches 20a and 20b of an application element, the free ends of which are spaced apart by a distance e. The distance e corresponds to the opening of the cavity 26 with quasi-closed contour. The distance e is preferably less than 0.3 mm, preferably less than or equal to 0.2 mm, more preferably less than or equal to 0.1 mm.

In the examples illustrated in figures 14 to 23, the application element 18 takes the form of a loop and comprises an opening 29 situated at a distance not equal to zero from the core 10. The application element is connected to the core by the bases 201a and 201b of the two branches 20a and 20b. The application element extends along an axis of elongation Y.

The branches 20a and 20b each extend along an axis of extension Pa and Pb.

In the examples illustrated in figures 14 to 21, the opening 29 is positioned in the distal half of the application element 18.

The two branches 20a and 20b have substantially the same height La and Lb measured from the core along the axis of the elongation Y of the application element 18.

The two branches 20a and 20b have substantially the same length Xa and kb measured from the core along the axis of the extension Pa and Pb of the branches 20a and 20b.

Each branch 20a and 20b comprises a rectilinear proximal portion 202a and 203a connected to the core.

Each branch 20a and 20b comprises a non-rectilinear distal portion 202b and 203a. The distal portion may be curved as illustrated in figures 15 to 21, or bent as illustrated in figures 14 and 19.

In the example of figures 14 and 19, the distal ends 22a and 22b each have a bend of angle Pa and pb between 20° and 120°, preferably between 45 and 120°. In the example illustrated, Pa is substantially equal to 100° and pb is substantially equal to 80°. In the example illustrated in figure 19, the two free ends 22a and 22b have a 90° bend.

In the examples illustrated in figures 15 to 18 and 20 to 21, the distal portions 22a and 22b of the branches 20a and 20b are curved. These each form an arc of a circle which is concave towards the inside. The distal portions each have a radius of curvature r C2 of between 0.2 mm and 2 mm, preferably substantially equal to 0.3 mm.

Preferably, the distal portion has a radius of curvature r a or n, of between 5% and 40% of the height L a or L b of the corresponding branch, preferably between 10% to 25%, further preferably between 15% and 20%. The distal portion 202b of the branch 20a has a radius of curvature r a which is substantially equal to the radius of curvature r ¾ of the distal portion 203b of the branch 20b, but this may be different.

In the examples in figures 15 to 19 and 21, the free ends 27a and 27b of the two branches have complementary forms, in particular a male part and a female part respectively, for example in a U shape, Y shape or zigzag form.

Figures 19 and 21 illustrate exemplary application elements with one or more protuberances, preferably in the form of studs. The protuberances extend over at least part of an outer and/or inner surface. The application elements may each comprise between 1 and 40 protuberances 33, preferably between 1 and 30 protuberances, further preferably between 1 and 25 protuberances.

In the examples illustrated, the protuberances extend perpendicularly to said surface.

In figure 21, the protuberances extend in a longitudinal plane of the application element 18. As a variant, the protuberances extend in a transverse plane of the application element, as illustrated in figure 19.

The height of the protuberance(s) measured from their base along their axis of extension is between 0.2 mm and 5 mm, better still between 0.5 mm and 3 mm.

Figures 22 and 23 illustrate an exemplary application element 18 in which the opening 29 is situated in the proximal half. In this case, branch 20b is shorter than branch 20a. In the example illustrated, branch 20b is rectilinear.

Figures 27 to 29 represent examples in which the cavity 26 with quasi-closed contour is formed between two adj acent application elements 18a and 18b. In this case, the cavities with quasi-closed contour may extend between two adjacent application elements 18a and 18b of the same row of application elements, or between two adjacent application elements 18a and 18b of adjacent rows of application elements.

In the example of figure 27, the application elements 18a and 18b each have the overall shape of a V, with two diverging branches 401a and 401b toward the outside for the element 18a and two diverging branches 501a and 501b for the element 18b. The opening angle k' of the V is for example between 15 and 60°, better still between 30 and 45°.

The branches 401a and 401b are bent towards the outside at their distal end and comprise two distal portions 402a and 402b that are oriented perpendicularly to the elongation axis Y, which is an axis of symmetry for the application element 18a. The branches 501a and 501b are likewise bent at their distal end, but at a greater angle than the branches 401a and 401b such that the distal portions 502a and 502b formed by the elbows each form an acute angle c with the corresponding portion of the branch which is joined to the central part 10.

As a variant, branches 501a and 501b are curved. The distal portions 502a and 502b may have a radius of curvature of between 0.2 mm and 2 mm, preferably substantially equal to 0.3 mm. The distal portions may have a radius of curvature of between 5% and 40% of the height of the corresponding branch, preferably between 10% and 25%, further preferably between 15% and 20%.

In the example illustrated, the distance e between the free end of one portion 402b and the adjacent branch 501a of the neighbouring application member 18a is less than 0.3 mm, better still less than 0.2 mm, even better still less than 0.1 mm, such that two application elements 18a and 18b form between them a quasi-closed cavity 26 that is able to collect a certain amount of composition. In this embodiment, the application elements may each participate in forming two consecutive cavities with quasi-closed contour.

In the example illustrated in figure 29, the adjacent application elements 18a and 18b have a jagged form. Each application element is formed by a succession of pointed arches 301a, 303a and 305a which are concave towards the outside, teeth 302a, 304a and 306a being formed at the junction between two arches. In the example illustrated, the application element 18 describes, starting from the core 10, a first pointed arch 301 which is joined to a second arch 303 a, forming a first tooth 302, this second arch 303 itself being joined to a third arch 305, forming a tooth 304.

The application elements 18a and 18b have a shape that is symmetrical with respect to their elongation axis Y.

At their meeting point, the two arches 305a form a tooth 306a which defines the vertex of the application element and is situated on the elongation axis Y.

Figure 29 shows that the gap e , which exists between two adjacent application elements at the teeth 302a and 302b, is relatively small and for example less than or equal to 0.3 mm, and may notably be between 0.1 and 0.3 mm.

The fact that the teeth 302a and 302b of adjacent application elements are relatively close together allows reserves of product to be created in the cavity 26 with quasi-closed contour between the first arches 301a and 301b of two adjacent application elements. Figure 28 shows a variant embodiment in which the adjacent application elements 18a and 18b each have the overall shape of a V, with two branches 601a and 601b diverging toward the outside, having bases that meet, and being provided at the end with enlarged heads 602a and 602b in the form of disks.

The angle a of divergence between the axes of the branches 601a and 601b is for example between 15 and 60°, better still between 30 and 45°.

The close-together heads 602a and 602b of two adjacent application elements 18a and 18b may, when the gap e between them is sufficiently small, i.e. less than or equal to 0.3 mm, better still less than or equal to 0.2 mm, even better still less than or equal to 0.1 mm, form a cavity 26 with quasi-closed contour which is delimited on the inside by the core, on the sides by the branches 601a and 601b, and on the outside by the heads 602a and 602b.

Finally, the heads 602a and 602b may receive a certain amount of composition on their surface facing towards the outside. In particular, the composition may collect in the recesses formed between two heads 602a and 602b if the latter are sufficiently close together for a bridge of composition to form by capillary action.

The application member 8 may be produced using a device for production by an additive manufacturing from a digital model of the application member 8.

The digital model faithfully represents the application member 8 in three dimensions, and may be generated using a computer-assisted design software such as SolidWorks 3D.

As illustrated on figures 30a-f and 31, the production device 50 may comprise a printing substrate 51, a distributor 53 of powdery material intended to supply a layer of powdery material 63 onto the printing substrate 51, a first distributor 55 for delivering one or more coalescence agents 65 onto the layer of powdery material 63, a second distributor 57 for providing one or more coalescence modifiers 67, and an energy source 59.

During production, the distributor 53 of powdery material deposits a first layer of powdery material 63 over the entire surface of the printing substrate 51, as illustrated in figure 30 A, by moving the material distributor 53 along axis Y'. One or more coalescence agents 65 and/or coalescence modifiers 67 are then deposited on the parts of the layer 63, as shown in figure 30 A, by moving the associated distributors along axis Y'. The parts of the layer 63 on which the agents 65 and modifiers 67 are deposited are determined as a function of the digital model previously formed. Once the coalescence agents 65 and coalescence modifiers 67 have been deposited, the latter at least partially penetrate the layer 63 as shown on figure 30b. Finally, energy is applied to the entire layer 63 using the source 51. Application of this energy allows the parts on which the coalescence agents 65 have been applied to melt at least partially; once the layer has cooled, these melted parts may then solidify as shown on figure 30C. The modifiers 67 allow sharp edges of the fused zones by preventing the fusion of peripheral zones. After the material layer 63 has been treated as described above, a new layer 73 of powdery material is deposited on the layer 63 previously treated, as illustrated in figure 30D. The process explained above may then be repeated to generate the three-dimensional application member layer by layer, as illustrated in figures 30D-F.

During production, the support 51 moves along axis Z' such that as the new material layers are deposited, a predefined gap is maintained between the surface of the most recently deposited layer and the distributors 55 and 57. As a variant, the support 51 is not movable along axis Z' and distributors 55 and 57 may be movable along this axis.

Preferably, the application member 8 is produced using this device from its proximal end 13, i.e. that intended to be connected to the stem 7, to its distal end 11. The reverse is also possible.

A production process of this type, suitable for production of the applicator, is described in particular in international application W02015106816.

As a variant, the application member 8 is produced using a different device for production by an additive manufacturing, in particular by light-irradiation of a photo-crosslinkable material, as illustrated on figures 32 and 33. In the example concerned, the production device may comprise a light source 40, a container 42 arranged below the light source 40, and the support 46. The container 42 is at least partially transparent to the radiation emitted by the light source. It contains a liquid photo-crosslinkable material 44.

During production, the light source 40 is controlled according to the digital model in order to crosslink the liquid material 44 in a forming zone between the support 46 and the plate 42, following a pattern dependent on the digital model. The crosslinked parts of the liquid material 44 are solid. Before production, as illustrated on figure 32, the support 46 dips into the liquid material 44, and the forming zone is in contact with the support 46 such that the liquid material 44 is crosslinked onto the support 46 and attached to the latter. During production, as illustrated on figure 33, the support 46 is moved away from the light source 40 at the speed of production of the application member 8, such that the crosslinked parts are produced by successive layers, each crosslinked layer being attached to the preceding layer.

The container 42 may comprise a surface 48 between the support 46 and the light source 40 which is in fluidic communication with a polymerization-inhibitor source, in particular an oxygen source. The polymerization inhibitor allows the liquid material 44 to be maintained in liquid form, by preventing its polymerization by the light irradiation, in a fluid zone of thickness not equal to zero. This fluid zone extends from the surface 48 to the forming zone and allows the circulation of liquid towards the forming zone. Preferably, the fluid zone has a thickness of between 10 pm and 100 pm.

The interface between the fluid zone and the forming zone may not be abrupt, but may be formed by a gradient of polymerization. In this case, the support 46 is moved continuously, and the irradiation by the light source 40 is continuous.

Preferably, the application member 8 is produced using this device from its proximal end 13 to its distal end 11. The reverse is also possible.

After production of the application member 8, the latter is detached from the support 46 and heated in order to stiffen and smooth out the structure.

A production process of this type, suitable for production of the applicator, is described in particular in international applications WO2014126830 and WO2014126837.

As a variant, the application member 8 is produced using a different device for production by an additive manufacturing method, in particular by filament deposition modelling (FDM), stereolithography (SLA) or selective laser sintering (SLS).

The invention is not limited to the exemplary embodiments described above.

The device may comprise a reservoir of product and the applicator may be mounted by its proximal end 13 on the reservoir. In this case, the applicator comprises a hollow core and at least one opening allowing the supply of cosmetic product to the applicator.