A Year of Innovative Cosmetics Packaging

From applicators to decorative effects, here are some products that stood out over the past year.

By Jamie Matusow, Editor-in-Chief 02.14.17
The word “innovative” has come to mean many things when it comes to beauty, as evidenced with the products shown here. From a brushless mascara to new deco techniques, disruptive packaging remains one of the best ways to attract consumer attention. Please let us know what packages shone on your radar over the past year.

These innovative packages descriebd below are featured in the slideshow above.

Hourglass Curator Lash Instrument

Hourglass’ Curator Collection features a mascara and primer bottle with a unique applicator wand, in packaging produced by HCT Group. This is the first time that mascara is being sold in a glass bottle separately from its application wand, as well as one of the first brushless mascara application tools to hit the market.

Tarte's Lip Sculptor

Two formulas built into tarte’s unique lip product helps to reinvigorate volume and moisture while topping off the full coverage color with a coordinating glossy finish.

L'Oreal's 'Connected' Hair Brush

Last year L’Oréal made the tech news with its launch at CES of the electronic patch which informed wearers of sun exposure. This year, L’Oréal’s Kérastase brand —in partnership with Withings (part of Nokia)—unveiled what they call “the world's first smart hairbrush” at CES 2017.

Developed in collaboration with L'Oréal's Research and Innovation Technology Incubator, the brush features Withings' advanced sensors and seamless product design along with L'Oréal's patent-pending signal analysis algorithms to score the quality of hair and monitor the effects of different hair care routines. An accompanying mobile app provides additional insights and customized product recommendations to help people better care for their hair.
Kiehl's Limited Edition Artsy Collection

Kiehl’s 8th Annual Limited Edition Holiday Collection features custom designs by Brooklyn-based artists Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller. FAILE is an anagram of the world-renowned duo’s first project, “A life.” From this limited-edition collection, 100% of Kiehl’s net profits, up to $100,000, helped provide more than a million meals to families during the holiday season through the hunger-relief charity, Feeding America.

The artists created typography that could serve as a bridge between skin care and something as serious as hunger while keeping it empowering and whimsical by writing lines such as “Skin Caring is Sharing,” “Beauty and the Feast,” and “Apply Generously,” says McNeil. They also chose to include the amount of meals provided in the artwork on each box, in what they call “a lunch box style package.”

Sunzhou Ante Cosmetics’ 24 Flower Lip Balm

Sunzhou Ante Cosmetics’ 24 Flower Lip Balm was a consumers’ delight -- with not only beautiful flowers inside the lip balm, but real 24K gold chips to make it even more attractive.

Kao’s Evita Beauty Whip Soap

Kao’s Evita Beauty Whip Soap, a Japanese market launch from Kanebo Cosmetics, illustrates the company’s goals. The packaging “delivers the need for rich, velvety facial cleansing foam and brings extra delight to the consumer through the aerosol packaging and unique dispensing head, creating a beautiful rose shape with one easy pump.” It’s more than your normal face wash or foam cleanser, it brings the element of “wow” through packaging innovation.

Jungsaemmool’s Star-Cealer Foundation

Consumers can mix their desired shade with Jungsaemmool’s Star-Cealer Foundation. It features a push-able bar on the left side of the product next to the concealer. The palette in the middle is skin-toned and customers can mix a custom combination of foundation and concealer to make their skin evenly toned.

Galop by Hermes

The equestrian heritage of French luxury brand Hermes spurred the development of its latest fragrance package, Galop by Hermes, in the shape of a stirrup. It is based on a classic Hermes design from the 1930s.

Loubichrome Nail Colors

Designer Christian Louboutin has interpreted the start of an exciting year with a new launch in Nails—a new limited edition trio of mini Loubichrome Nail Colors. The miniature bottles speak to the designer’s inclination to mix-and-match. Each one is housed in a multi-colored chrome box featuring a combination of all three shades.

Mylookingglass Beauty Pairs with an App

Cosmopak created the packaging—along with the products and the camera—for mylookingglass beauty, a limited-edition makeup studio with a built-in camera that pairs with their app, and allows users to take photos they can share on the app.

Estée Lauder's Nude Cushion Stick

The Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup is a makeup + pro tool in one innovative package, which capitalizes on the cushion trend that started in Korea. The cushion stick package is designed to both apply and blend in liquid foundation in simple gestures whether at home or on the go; consumers can easily "Touch On, Buff and Blend" for a flawless finish.  The package was designed and developed with HCT Group.

Tae Sung's Lipgloss Packaging, in Novelty Shapes

Full-service provider Tae Sung Group, Korea, showcased lip (and mascara and skin care) packages from novelties to luxe. Lipglosses housed in miniature “wine bottles” and “wine glass” forms drew attention, as did unique formulations such as lentil bean tanning lotions and fermented snail infusion.

Reina Rebelde’s Cosmetics

Reina Rebelde’s products reflect the rich Latina culture. Reina Rebelde’s products, branding, design and communication reflect the complicated Latina demographic, taking into account that the color cosmetic line that would be sold in the U.S., but for a Latina consumer. Tiny charms are illustrated in a modern tattoo style.

Urban Decay's Nude Palette, decorated by Compax

Compax collaborated with Urban Decay on its newest product in the popular Naked franchise.
An exclusive technique allowed for the entire palette to be matte sprayed, but only certain details to be polished, buffing away the matte spray and revealing the shiny vac metallization underneath.
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