Like the mobile phone, cosmetics is a fantastic example of a product category where the main design constraints are mobility and pocketability. From efficient, easier-to-use lipstick tubes to more compact compacts, we've proposed, then invented some pretty neat/wacky/seemingly-obvious/ingenious stuff for carrying, applying and removing makeup and other cosmetics.
Pictured is a patent for an eyebrow stencil kit from the late 1980's:
For the purpose of mobility a pair of wing shape stencils is connected by a nut and screw passing through the elongated slots which allows the stencils to move horizontally and vertically. This procedure allows the adjustment of horizontal distance and an angle of the eyebrow cut-outs simultaneously.
Seemingly helpful. I don't know why all eyebrow pencil pushers don't carry these today.
After the jump, check out inventions dating back to the late 1890s...*
*Note: this is by no means a complete history, just stuff I found intriguing. If you've got any particularly fun ones I missed, please leave info/links/suggestions in the comments.
1897: A "curling-iron which may be heated and such heat maintained while the curling-iron is in use"
Patent number: 580877
Issue date: Apr 20, 1897
1898: Combined Manicuring Device and Cigar-Cutter
Patent number: 612990
Filing date: May 11, 1898
Issue date: Oct 1898
1922: "Method and apparatus for curling eyelashes in several bunches"
Patent number: 1542014
Filing date: Jun 5, 1922
Issue date: Jun 16, 1925
1926: a beauty compact with a "plurality of tubular parallel barrels [with] each socket member bearing a receptacle for beauty aids adapted to be partially and removably inserted within the respective receptacles"
Patent number: 1626312
Filing date: Dec 24, 1926
Issue date: Apr 1927
1927: "A theatrical makeup box for use by actors and actresses both as a handy carrying case for their makeup paraphernalia and as a dresser stand..."
Patent number: 1650241
Filing date: Jan 13, 1927
Issue date: Nov 1927
1933: "a compact case cooperating with the said mascara brush such that the upper portion of the compact case is adapted to compress the protruding brush handle when the said upper portion latches with the lower portion of the compact case
Patent number: 1956936
Filing date: Apr 5, 1933
Issue date: May 1, 1934
1942: A cartridge-type lipstick with a "means for preventing rotation"
Patent number: 2336328
Filing date: Jan 16, 1942
Issue date: Dec 1943
1960: a face mask "designed to protect the face of the wearer from contact with atomized cosmetic preparations"
Patent number: 3060445
Filing date: Feb 10, 1960
Issue date: Oct 1962
1968: "A finger-operated brush for the application of cosmetics"
Patent number: 3505700
Filing date: Jul 24, 1968
Issue date: Apr 1970
1972: "A transfer for providing an eye shadow on an eyelid"
Patent number: 3568684
Issue date: Mar 1971
1986: "A portable aerosol airbrush type gun apparatus is used for applying liquid cosmetics."
Patent number: 4742963
Filing date: Feb 21, 1986
Issue date: May 10, 1988
1989: An eyebrow stencil kit for the "purpose of mobility a pair of wing shape stencils is connected by a nut and screw passing through the elongated slots which allows the stencils to move horizontally and vertically. This procedure allows the adjustment of horizontal distance and an angle of the eyebrow cut-outs simultaneously."
Patent number: 5186190
Filing date: Dec 7, 1989
Issue date: Feb 16, 1993
1991: A disposable eye makeup shield
Patent number: 5050624
Filing date: Jan 2, 1991
Issue date: Sep 24, 1991