Mascara brushes: Dupont is pulling out all the stops and going upscale!
The American chemical group and world’s leading supplier in fibre brushes for mascara has decided to increase its penetration on this market, on the one hand by ramping up its production in both Europe and Asia, and on the other hand by communicating on the diversity of its ranges of fibres. Two major assets in the face of increasingly intense competition from a number of other actors, small producers of standard fibres, often of Asian origin. Explanations by Sarah Perreard, Product Manager, DuPont.
A market always on the rise! With it seems a strong comeback of fibre-based brushes.
Sarah Perreard – Yes, we can consider that this market is continuing to grow globally by about 6% a year, with differences depending on countries of course. It is clear that those with the highest increase can be mostly found in Asia, South America and Central Europe. As for the different types of brushes, the latest statistics show that indeed fibre brushes are becoming again increasingly popular among women and therefore brands. We can consider that they represent about 60% of the market, with the remaining 40% still belonging to the injected brushes.
An old story that of mascaras.
Sarah Perreard – A story that dates back to the 19th century with the arrival of the first non-toxic mascara imagined by the chemist Eugène Rimmel who used a bulk made of petroleum jelly.
In 1913 another chemist, T.L. Williams creates a similar substance for his sister Maybel. In 1917, the first mascara sees the light with the company Maybelline. In 1923 appears the cake mascara, sold for the first time with a brush as applicator. In 1957 Helena Rubinstein creates a lotion-based cream formula. Mascara-Matic, the first mascara wand and tube applicator is launched. It is the first automatic mascara that needs no brush.
1959 is the year of the launch of the Maybelline Magic Mascara, the first filaments twisted brush (spiral brush). In 1964, the Ultra Lash mascara by Maybelline is created, the first mass market tubed mascara. Then we can make a huge leap in time, with in 2004, the launch by Beiersdorf of Lash Revolution with its brand Nivea Beauty, it is the first moulded brush using thermoplastic elastomer.
In fact what is important in the design of a mascara to make it efficient?
Sarah Perreard – Having a good fit between the brush and the bulk is the most important factor. The winning association between formula-wiper-brush ensures the efficiency of a mascara. In no way only one of the parameter alone would make a difference. For this reason, it is crucial to develop the brush depending on the bulk or vice and versa. We can summarize by saying that the main parameters on which we can play are: the tightness of the wiper, the thickness of the formula, the filament, the brush design, and the brush stiffness.
Why is the stiffness of a mascara brush so important in the make-up result?
Sarah Perreard – When the brush is not stiff enough compared to the thickness of the bulk, the umbrella effect, feared by consumers, happens: when the filaments go through the wiper in order to clean the excess of mascara, if the bulk is too thick, filaments have difficulty to get back in shape, they remain stuck together. This is also what happens when the formula has dried.
The brush stiffness is influenced by the following factors: the number of filaments in the brush, the filament diameter, shape and length, as well as their composition (the resin they are made of). Most of our filaments are made of nylon 612 and some of thermoplastic elastomer, which both offer minimum liquid absorption which respects the formula, not making it dry.
The range of fibres that you offer is very wide?
Sarah Perreard – That’s right! The most standard and the first one we offered in the 1960s is DuPont Tynex® Standard (0900) which characteristics you find in all other filaments we have developed since then: solid round level filament and cylindrical shape. It is a Nylon 12.6 in diameters ranging from 0.051 mm to 0.127 mm (2mil – 5mil). A product suited for nails, mascaras but also other applications. Main advantages: excellent bend recover (thus, optimum application), low liquid absorption (respects the bulk), good stiffness when wet.
But I can also detail you our range DuPont Tynex® Soft (0902) whose main advantages can be summarized as:
– Soft feel
– Full brush
– Half the stiffness of standard Tynex®
– Smooth lay down and flexible application
– Excellent bend recovery.
Our range DuPont Tynex® Supersoft (3100) which is a thermoplastic elastomer with the following main advantages: soft touch and low stiffness even with large diameter.
In terms of make-up benefits this means: smooth laydown and flexible control, and a soft brush, nice to use.
Filaments are not all cylindrical, quite the contrary!
Sarah Perreard – Indeed, the shape of the fibre is often fundamental to obtain a specific desired effect. Thus in the case of our DuPont Tynex® Hollow (0950 & 0951), several ranges are available:
– 0950: oval hollow filament.
– 0951: round hollow filament.
– Cylindrical shape.
Main added value:
– Lower stiffness than solid round filaments.
– Used for soft bushy brushes.
– Hollow section enhances design freedom.
Results in terms of make-up:
– Soft and unique make-up experience thanks to the softness of the hollow filament.
– Bushy brush allows to carry thick bulk for great volume result.
Another interesting example with our DuPont Tynex® Seahorse (0960) which is a round level hollow filament.
– Great Amount of surfaced area.
– Random shape formation.
– Hollow section allow for design freedom.
Regarding make-up result: exceptional pick up and pay off.
Then sophistication rises crescendo!
Sarah Perreard – This is indeed the case with our DuPont Tynex® Diamond Hollow (0993) with a diamond shape hollow filament.
– Diamond shape increases filament surface area in contact with the lashes.
– Sparkly appearance.
– The hollow section ensures a soft touch.
Make-up result: more volume is brought to the lashes thanks to a unique diamond shape. Its angled shape penetrates easily between the lashes for a better separation.
Our DuPont Tynex® Quadrilobal (0920) is a four-lobed level filament. Main advantage: Up to 10% more surface area with 20% less volume, as compared to equivalent diameter of solid round filament. Regarding make-up result, this means exceptional pick up and pay off.
The DuPont Tynex® Crimp (0900HW) is a solid round wavy filament which brings bushiness to the brush which therefore holds more formula into the crimps allowing for volume result.
In the case of DuPont Tynex® splittable (0930) and DuPont Tynex® Supersoft splittable (3100), it is a three hole hollow filament, the first one being in nylon, the second one in thermoplastic elastomer, softer.
Main key advantages:
– Large diameter, splittable into thin tips.
– Once separated, the filament offer surface with more filaments which improves the brush performance.
Make-up result: Lengthens the lashes thanks to the splittable tips of the filament that retain the formula up to the tip.
You end up adding a lot of features on your filament.
Sarah Perreard – That’s true! This is also the case with our DuPont Tynex® Texturized (0901) which is a textured solid round level filament. Main advantage: structured surface.
– Higher pick up and release of formula.
– Enhanced pick-up prolonged hold of the formula up to the tip of the lashes, resulting in perfect and uniformly covered lashes from origin to the end.
As for our DuPont Tynex® Natrafil ® (0101), it is a polyester with different additives.
Main added value:
– Structured surface.
– Softer than nylon-based Tynex® Textured.
– Higher pick up and release of formula.
– Soft feel even in small brush.
Finally, the last but not the least. The DuPont Tynex ® PTFE loaded (0906).
It is a solid round level filament loaded with PTFE. Main advantages: Improved slip characteristics allow for better bulk distribution on the filaments; it allows to use longer filaments while ensuring that the bulk is distributed on the whole length of the filament. It also allows to increase the speed of application.
– Less residuals on the lashes thanks to better redistribution of the bulk along the filaments after wringage in the neck.
– Maximum distribution of the bulk on the lashes, since attachment on the brush is limited. Volume is brought thanks to thicker layers of bulk.
We do not always realize but could you give us a few figures to give us an idea of the number of fibres in a mascara brush?
Sarah Perreard – It varies from one brush to another, as the number of filaments per brush is one of the crucial parameters in terms of make-up result. What I can tell you is that one kilo of fibre enables to make on average 10,000 mascara and 40,000 nail polish brushes.
So what really makes the success of a mascara?
Sarah Perreard – Like for any product what ensures the second buy of a mascara is its capacity to deliver the promised result. But we may add that each consumer has different lashes, and specially a different gesture when applying mascara, which has a huge impact on the make-up result.
This being said, in terms of product development, we will never repeat enough the importance of developing a brush according to the bulk or vice and versa, since the success hangs on the association between brush bulk wiper.