US 20040237996 A1
In an applicator for a decoration lip cream or lip-care cream or the like of comparatively soft plastic material for being mounted on a stem or a stem connection attachment, it is provided, for defined and efficient application accompanied with accurate contouring, that the applicator has a surface comprising a plurality of ribs and grooves.
1. An applicator (1, 1′) for decoration lip cream or lip-care cream or the like of comparatively soft plastic material for being mounted on a stem or a stem attachment (2, 2′), wherein it has a surface comprising a plurality of ribs (7, 7′) and grooves (8, 8′).
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 1. Field of the Invention
 The invention relates to an applicator for liquid, viscous or creamy substances for decoration, cure or lip-care purposes or the like of comparatively soft plastic material for being mounted on a stem or a stem connection attachment.
 2. Background Art
 Conventionally, lip cosmetics are predominantly applied by means of a so-called lipstick, the cosmetic being of comparatively solid, dimensionally stable consistency and the molded part formed by the cosmetic being screwed out of a protective sleeve for use and screwed down again for storing.
 For application of lip cosmetics of soft and even liquid consistency, it has been known to keep the cosmetics in a container of the type of a bottle, similarly to nail varnish, and to provide a soft plastic applicator with a stem on the inside of a screw cap that closes the container.
 Finally, it has also been known to pick up lip cosmetics manually by dipping a finger into a comparatively wide opening and then applying them to the lips. This will give a user a direct sensation of application, but is accompanied with the drawback that, in the process, the user cannot observe the application to her lips because her finger will largely obstruct the user's view in a mirror; and that the user's finger will become stained, with more-over hygienic problems occurring when germs are on the finger.
 It is an object of the invention to embody an applicator for a decoration or lip-care cream or comparable cosmetic that will ensure defined and efficient application accompanied with accurate contouring.
 According to the invention, this object is attained by a plurality of grooves and ribs being provided on the surface of the applicator. They ensure defined pick-up of sufficient quantities of cosmetics from a container, and transfer as well as defined and controlled delivery to the lips.
 In a preferred embodiment, the applicator is provided to have an approximately almond-shaped basic form.
 The ribs and grooves can be substantially parallel to one another, in particular linear.
 The applicator can be joined to the stem or a stem attachment, respectively, by way of a surface that inclines towards the longitudinal axis, creating applicator surfaces of varying extension.
 In keeping with another embodiment, the applicator is provided to have a concave application surface.
 In this case, the ribs and grooves can form substantially closed lines that are in particular approximately oval and congruent of each other.
 In this embodiment, the application surface preferably extends at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the applicator, optimally fitting the contour of lips when the stem of the applicator is held without constraint.
 Instead of a stem, the applicator can comprise a stem attachment which can be connected to an applicator handle by means of locking engagement.
 The width of the ribs and grooves, respectively, is in the range of 0.1 to 5 mm, preferably approximately 1.5 mm. The depth can amount to for example 0.1 to 1.0 mm.
 Details of the invention will become apparent from the ensuing description of two preferred embodiments, taken in conjunction with the drawing.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the applicator according to the invention, comprising a stem connection attachment;
FIG. 2 is a front elevation;
FIG. 3 is a view from the side;
FIG. 4 is a view displaced by 90° as compared to the view of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a side view of a second embodiment;
FIG. 6 is a partially sectional view corresponding to FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a view from above of the embodiment according to FIG. 5.
 As seen in FIGS. 1 to 4, an applicator 1 according to the invention consists of soft plastic material (trade name Santoprene). It has an almond-shaped basic form and is provided with a stem connection attachment 2 which includes a locking groove 3 for snap-in engagement with a handle.
 At its front end, the applicator 1 has an approximately conical tip 4.
 As seen in particular from FIG. 3, the central longitudinal axis 6 of the applicator 1, and consequently the surface of the applicator, comprises a downward convexity.
 The surface of the applicator 1 is provided with a plurality of ribs 7 and grooves 8 which encircle the basic body straightly and in parallel, as seen in FIG. 4.
 In the exemplary embodiment, the width B of the ribs is 0.3 mm and the depth T is 0.2 mm.
 Cross-sectionally, the ribs 7 and the grooves 8 are approximately rectangular.
 The embodiment, seen in FIGS. 5 to 7, of an applicator 1′ according to the invention, is also provided with a stem attachment 2″ and has a spherical basic shape, a concave application surface 9′ extending at an angle to the longitudinal axis 5′ at the front end; the concave application surface 9′ is provided with a plurality of ribs 7′ and grooves 8′ which, as seen in FIG. 6, run concentrically of each other across the application surface 9′.
 In the exemplary embodiment, the width B′ and the depth T′ of the grooves 8′ are approximately 0.4 mm, the cross-sectional configuration being corrugated.