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Cover Story: In Step

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: March 5, 2008, from the March 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 5

“Mechanically actuated and flow-through pens for liquid eyeliners were once relatively unusual but are now very common,” says Neuner. “Conventional inkwell-design eyeliners have also changed in that most successful designs have a reservoir feature to allow lines to be made in one pass. The goal for all these developments has been to allow the consumer to apply eyeliner with accuracy and to do so in a single motion without needing to re-dip and continue the line. Such performance is a basic expectation in today’s market, but was virtually unheard of a decade ago.

“From a formulator’s perspective, viscosities and package compatibility issues have been addressed to allow liquid eyeliners to be stored and delivered with the packaging mechanisms and materials currently available. Eyeliner pigments have also been developed to create the opacity and depth of color required while resisting being filtered out of the formula by the applicator tip. This is particularly important with flow-through package designs which often use filter-like tip materials.”

Applicator tip technology has advanced, according to Neuner, from fine-tipped hair and fiber brushes to sophisticated elastomeric resins, some with a variety of surface treatments to enhance product delivery and line quality, and formulas have evolved to exploit the performance of these tips, using, for example, new pigment technologies and bases for better line definition and wear.

The continuation of advancement in the segment lies in the collaboration of marketers and suppliers—Neuner cites the development of new technologies across Lauder brands in partnership with its suppliers—and building upon the paths already laid is integral to competing for consumers, meeting those consumers’ expectations, beating those expectations and forging nearly limitless new options.

“As the need for differentiation increases, advances will have to be made in new application techniques, materials and customization options,” says Neuner. “Consumer expectation grows with every new advancement; manufacturers respond with new technology, and there are no limits to either. Provided the application brief can be met with a volume of product normal to pen geometry, virtually any color or treatment product could be delivered with the right pen design.”