Form and Function

Battery Operated and Roll On content courtesy of Amy Marks-McGee of Trendincite LLC.

Despite the focus on eco-consciousness, consumers are not willing to compromise on performance, aesthetics or value. The demand for packaging with greater functionality, personalization or customization, and easy-to-use formats will continue to drive packaging innovations. Meeting the needs of these consumers is an important priority for successful packaging.


Applicators, for example, are sometimes developed specifically to save time—notably, there is an increase in the use of flat brushes for nail polishes that apply wider, meaning treatment or polish can be completed in fewer strokes. Now, The Packaging Company and Cosmopak have developed precision nail pens for quick and easy application. Both are airtight push-button systems that help ensure a consistent and maximum flow of nail polish. Application is with a flat brush that requires no dipping into the bottle, eliminating the risk of spillage and preventing the drying out of polish.

Most mascaras feature a wand that reduces flexibility of the formula and requires two hands to use. A new patented pen from Cosmopak, however, is hoping to do for eyes what the first pen did for lips. The pen separates the applicator from the formula inside an airtight chamber, removing the wiper. The formula is always separate from the brush, allowing it to remain fresh and bacteria-free. The tapered TPE rubber is very soft on the eyes, and allows for precise, even application. The shape and profile of the applicator can be changed very easily, depending on manufacturing needs. The product is the result of three years R&D.

Battery Operated

High-tech battery operated products are the latest technology used in package design—mascara brushes that oscillate and pulsate are quickly gaining popularity. Estée Lauder TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara, Lancôme Ôscillation Vibrating Infinite Powermascara and Maybelline Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara are all examples of vibrating mascaras. Lancôme added the Ôscillation Power Foundation that uses “7000 micro-vibrations per minute [to] break down the featherweight mineral powder for seamless blendability” to its line, and Neutrogena Wave Duo Power Cleanser is a vibrating facial cleanser with two speeds for gentle and deep pore cleansing.

Roll On

Roller ball applicators once popular in roll-on deodorants have resurfaced in fine fragrance, and are now appearing in targeted facial products, including Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller and L’Oréal’s True Match Roller Foundation. Taking the innovation another step, Cosmopak has introduced a roll-on applicator with a delivery system that gives a gentle vibrating massage to assist in the application—offering formula, application and, now, treatment all in one. This 12 mL unit, available with a single or multi-ball roll-on, features a built-in massager in the base. By squeezing the bottle, the formula is delivered to the roller balls and applied as it is moved. By engaging the button at the packaging’s base, the motor creates a vibration to massage the application area. This technology works in unison with the bulk to maximize the effect and give the user a truly unique experience.

Eliminating Product Waste

It’s also important to consumers not to waste product. Recognizing this trend, Sara Lee utilized Crown’s Bican technology for its Williams Confort Pro Mousse Crème brand in Europe. The bi-compartmented aerosol technology incorporates a plastic inner bag to keep the product and propellant completely separate, preventing the cream from drying or hardening—increasing its lifespan and reducing product waste due to expiration.

Airless packaging is a popular choice for skin care products, as it can help protect the formula within by eliminating contact with the external environment. In addition to cutting down on product waste, more than 95% of the product, even the most viscous formulas, can be dispensed. The beauty market also demands tamper proof packaging that is sealed and can guarantee maximum protection against bacteria, allergens and micro-organisms, making airless packaging one of the fastest-growing packaging choices.

“Airless bottles are in high demand, and our goal as a company is to remain the leaders in innovation and quality,” said Derek Harvey, president of Fusion Packaging. Arbonne International, direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics, has reformulated and repackaged its liquid foundation and makeup primer using Fusion Packaging’s airless acrylic bottles. The transition from glass to plastic enabled Arbonne to take advantage of an airless dispensing system, which ensures nearly 100% product evacuation and improved product preservation.

In addition, Fusion Packaging recently introduced Reveal, with a clear window for viewing product volume—as packaging for many categories are traditionally thick-walled and not necessarily transparent, making it difficult to gauge the amount of product remaining. Reveal’s design was developed to help ensure consumer satisfaction and encourages repeat purchases. With a single-walled format as opposed to the traditional double-wall, it remains affordable as well.

These ideas that stretch current ways of thinking allow for innovation that changes the way consumers use their products and view their brands.

“The goal of every package is to create a better experience for consumers—whether by adding convenience, protecting freshness or reusability,” said Andres Guiterrez, marketing manager, Crown Aerosol Packaging North America. “If you can do that, consumers will likely leave with a positive first impression, gain confidence in your brand and become repeat purchasers.”