Beauty and personal care packages that contain multiple products represent the epitome of convenience and functionality and help consumers take the guesswork out of coordinating products and shades—and can even be more sustainable.
The biggest benefit of multi-task products is versatility and compactness, says Bob Congionti, vice president of operations, Tokiwa Cosmetics America LLC. “In the past a consumer may have had to purchase two or more separate products to complete a task; now one single item does the trick—it’s more compact, creating less clutter and mess in a purse or caddy.”
Cost and environmental friendliness are also compelling factors. “[They’re more] economical than buying multiple, single-use items, not to mention being environmentally beneficial, since multi-use items use far less plastics and resources than multiple single-use items,” Congionti comments.
And while multi-functional packages also help consumers simplify the guesswork surrounding color or formula harmonization, Jae Chong, senior vice president Global Skincare Division, HCT Group, advises that brands considering multifunctional packaging should be conscious of the formulas they are intending to co-package. “Pairing formulas that make the product more convenient for the end consumer is the best way to maximize on a multi-use package,” he says, noting that precision engineering is a chief goal of HCT’s worldwide team of designers and engineers. “When in the design and engineering phase…we like to make sure that the formulation pairings being considered are always top of mind as working with different formulas can add challenges to both the sealing process as well as the fill and assembly process.”
One of HCT’s most recent creations is a Gyro Compact characterized by a rotating platform for combining two products into one pack. “From the outside it looks like your typical cushion compact, but the rotating platform allows you to include a product like a foundation on one side and a concealer, or other complexion enhancement on the other,” Chong explains.
HCT’s Swing Top Compact also looks like a typical cushion compact but a slide-out feature on the lid reveals space for housing two additional formulations. “This is most unique because the two additional wells on this slide-out portion can feature both powder and cream formulations in addition to the main reservoir, which is most ideal for mousse and creamy textures,” Chong says.
The format was selected by Chinese beauty brand Hangzhou Meixi for its Fab2Cherie Cushion Compact product, which combines a foundation formula in the cushion compartment with two concealer shades.
For consumers, multi-functional products embody simplicity and ease of use. For brands, it’s an opportunity to put multiple products on a consumer’s radar.
“Offering two or more beauty, skin or body care products in one means that consumers can create multiple makeup looks or access multiple skin or body care formulations with just one product,” comments Sue Nichols, CEO, International Cosmetics Suppliers Ltd. (ICS). “Not only is this an efficient time-saving solution, but it also provides a simplified, more convenient application reducing the effort involved in consumers’ beauty routines [because] they no longer need to worry about matching multiple products as the formulations are already perfectly paired.”
ICS has been providing a variety of double-duty and multi-functional packaging for color cosmetic, skin and body care formulations for more than 25 years. One of the company’s most popular options is its Versatile Vial Duo package. “The 2-in-1 configuration combines a vial on each end of the pack that can be paired with a doe foot, brush or stainless steel or plastic rollerball applicator,” Nichols says. “The rollerball applicator is a perfect option for serums, oils and stains and the doe foot and brush applicators are ideal for more viscous formulations such as creams, liquids or glosses. Brands can mix and match the applicator depending on the formulation and application technique needed on each side for endless varieties.”
Multi-functional packages are convenient options for on-the go beauty or skincare at the gym, or during travel and commutes. Many of HCP Packaging’s formats offer the opportunity for shade ID which Cheryl Morgan, creative marketing manager, says can be helpful for double-ended packs. “It can be achieved with a transparent bottle to reveal the formula within or by color-matching the molded part, adding a spray, metallized or anodized finish for aluminum parts,” she says, adding that some multi-format packs also enable unique opportunities for customization. “Two-in-one products offer the consumer a chance to switch-up their beauty look; for example, a double-ended lipstick combined with a lip-topper to add gloss or sparkle; or a mascara combined with a primer at one end to offer a buildable lash result.”
To that end, HCP’s Dolce Disco Double-Ended Mascara is a newer option for glitter mascara topcoats applied with a spider technology fiber brush and a curved molded plastic applicator. “The aluminum connector [is] anodized in shiny gold, with a printed neon-sign inspired logo,” Morgan explains. “Each bottle is sprayed with a metallic pearl effect [and] completed with a disco-ball inspired design.”
East Hill Industries supplied a chic, metallic, dual package for Luminess to house lip stain and mascara duos. The sleek 2-in-1 containers connect together via magnets inside the caps.
3C Inc. also offers many dual-purpose containers for the beauty and personal care segments. According to Lou Della Pesca, president, the company’s range spans an assortment of brow pens with product on one side and applicators/brushes on the opposite side, dual-ended mascaras and lipsticks, dual airless containers with two separate pumping stations capable of dispensing two products at the same time or separately, and an airless 15ml configuration that houses makeup or treatment products and features a flip-top, mirrored cap that can hold a lipstick, eyeshadow or a second treatment product.
Multi-functional packages may make beauty and skincare effortless, but they can pose distinct challenges to the packaging providers that design, manufacture and fill them.
Sonia Cerato, Makeup Division category manager, Quadpack Industries, says designs need to be practical, deliver inherent ease of use and reflect a satisfying experience.
She advises brands to work closely with their packaging and filling partner to ensure the process is optimized. “It is essential to consider filling, as it can lengthen the process, and affect cost and time to market,” she says. “It might also be more than twice that of producing two separate products—but then, the objective is to make life easier for consumers, so the added value makes it worth it.”
Cerato’s colleague, Julie Vergnion, Skincare Division category manager, adds that Quadpack’s production experts work with package developers to optimize packaging solutions. “It depends on the kind of products being combined in the same pack—if they are very different in texture, then you might be looking at consecutive filling sequences,” she says, noting that Quadpack collaborates with fillers to fine-tune the products.
Quadpack offers bespoke and ready-made double-duty solutions in its skincare portfolio, including Dual-Ended Twist Pens with a 1.5ml capacity on both sides. Suitable for makeup and skincare, the polypropylene pens come with a choice of applicator tips to suit different formulas, including brush, doe foot, silicone spatula and metal roller.
Twisting the tip activates a pop-out applicator for intuitive product application. The pens are designed for easy filling and have an airtight closure to protect the product from drying out.
“One of our more interesting [products] is the Tube-in-Tube, which offers literally that: a tube inside another tube, allowing consumers to mix two different bulks and create their own end product,” Vergnion says. “The design offers a rich canvas for decoration, to play with transparencies and gradient tints and even the texture of the formulas themselves, to create a unique pack full of personality. As with most double-duty packs, filling and sealing this kind of pack can be challenging, so we have conducted extensive trials with a trusted filling partner to ensure it can be done efficiently.”
A secondary aspect of multi-functional packaging is a configuration that keeps two or more formulations separate until they are dispensed, either individually or in unison.
“Many brands today offer complementary products to be used together,” says Bob Murphy, principal, RLM Group Ltd. “The opportunity to deliver two individual, but complementary products simultaneously can enhance the overall performance of both. Furthermore, many products can be given new life by adding a second product to enhance the primary formula’s performance.”
RLM Group has developed several innovative multifunctional packages that allow brands to distribute two separate formulas in a single package. In some cases, such as with its Dual-Use Glide Cap tube, the formulas are housed and dispensed separately and, in others, such as with its Infusion Tip Lip Gel System, two separately housed formulas blend together as they are dispensed or applied.
Vinay Upasani, president, Global Packaging Inc., explains that a primary reason to offer two personal care products in one package is to keep the products separate from each other to avoid any chemical reaction between them. “The product can be mixed together at the time of application on the skin; but if it is pre-mixed and stored in a container it loses the desired efficacy,” he says.
Similarly, he says, some brands prefer using dual-chamber containers so tthey can offer two products to better deliver a desired outcome, which would be the case with a day/night skincare product housed in a single package. “It not only avoids the need to carry two separate containers by the end user; but it also ensures that both the day and night products are bought by the end-user together,” Upsani says. “The dual container packaging also connotes a high-end image on the shelves and distinguishes itself from all other products.”
Skin Medica, an Allergan company, worked with Global Packaging on a dual-chamber airless bottle for its Facial Serum product formulated to help preserve the effects of Botox treatment between two treatments. The 15ml x 2 capacity airless bottle dispenses products in the same ratio for every dispense. This bottle is accented with eye-catching spraying, vacuum metallizing, silk screen printing and hot stamping.
For its Root Erase hair color product, Revlon selected The Dual, a bag-on-valve technology from Toyo & Deutsche Aerosol GmbH that pairs the color and developer formulas in two aluminum pouches on one valve. The configuration separately stores the two chemically reactive formulas and discharges them together with one push. “The pouches hermetically seal the formulations and prevent any contamination or oxidation of the components, even after the first usage,” says Valerie Vail, executive vice president, North America. “Our packaging also contains small poppets in each stem that help regulate the flow rate.”
The configuration uses nitrogen (compressed air) as a propellant and consists mostly of aluminum to ensure a high recyclability. The Dual is currently available with a volume of 2x50ml as well as a newly developed smaller size of 2x25ml.
For dual-chambered tubes in particular, Melanie Gaudun, manager, business development, Viva IML Tubes, strongly advises that brands add compatibility testing into their product development timelines.
In addition to avoiding unwanted chemical reactions, Gaudun says different formulas with potentially different viscosities means brands need to plan out how the two formulas can and should dispense out of the one package.
Viva’s dual-chambered tubes can be designed to dispense one at a time or together, through a single or dual orifice, as well as with a single or dual flip top. The package design encourages visual interest, with two formulas displayed vertically, side-by-side. In-mold labeling provides extra room for artwork, 360 degrees around the tube, from the tube shoulder through the crimp, with options for spot matte, spot gloss, silk screen and cold foil. The tube, caps and labels are also mono-material polypropylene, recycle category five (meaning they are curbside recycle-ready) and save up to 35% in greenhouse gas emissions over comparable tubes.
Canadian hair care company, Marc Anthony, worked with Viva to create four, dual-chambered tube presentations for its Cocktail Dual Styling series, which offers tandem products for Curl, Volume, Smoothing and Beach Waves.
Gaudun says the company selected 200ml/6.76 fl. oz. (100mL + 100mL) tubes constructed of translucent polypropylene and topped with a matching translucent matte, dual orifice, dual flip-top caps. “The tube separates the two formulas vertically, which creates a nice visible stripe through the tube,” she says, concluding that the ergonomic tube allows “the consumer to grab both styling products at once and easily dispense as much as they need of each, for each styling experience, with the squeeze satisfaction only a tube can give.”