French company SIMP (HCP Packaging), a developer and manufacturer of microinjected plastic and rubber components for cosmetics applicators, has launched a mascara service aimed at reducing time-to-market.
Called Le Rendez-Vous, SIMP explains that the patent-pending process enables brands to obtain a custom applicator molded in the final plastic material almost immediately. As it is based on injection tooling that can mold any bristle design in SIMP’s catalog, its clients can dispense with the prototype stage and move directly to production, explains the supplier.
In practice, brands send their formulas to SIMP so they can be compatibility-tested with the plastic materials on offer. SIMP’s plant in Tigery, France then provides its clients with a model seven-times the size of a traditional mascara wand, composed of a large number of sections and bristles, from which they can create their own brush. Following molding, brands test the applicator with their formula to see if it needs to be adjusted.
SIMP is developing a dedicated website for Le Rendez Vous, opening the service up to international customers or customers not able to come to SIMP’s factory. These clients will be able to create one or more mascara brush models in 3D by selecting each section one-by-one, with a maximum of 16 sections, Laureen Decras, marketing manager at SIMP, explained to Luxe Packaging Insight.
“As for the sessions at SIMP’s factory, customers can send us their mascara formula beforehand so we can carry out compatibility tests with the available plastic materials (Hytrel, SEBS or PE mixes).” Both parties then communicate via videoconference, and the supplier can mold the brush in its workshop in the desired material and hardness, resulting in a dozen brushes in just a few minutes. “The aim is to test them along with the customer’s formula thanks to our in-house panel of testers,” Decras detailed. “The customer will be able to see the makeup effect via videoconferencing, and can validate or make adjustments to the design of the brush itself or by modifying certain aspects, such as the material and the hardness.” The brushes will then be sent to the customer for them to test for themselves.
As a point of comparison regarding time-to-market, Decras explained that standard mascara brushes in SIMP’s catalog take around three weeks to mold. For a custom brush not using the Le Rendez-Vous service, the total time is around four months, which entails creating a hard 3D model to validate brush design, a flexible mock-up allowing the customer to test it with mascara formulas, creation of a pilot mold and then finally, the production mold.
Decras noted that despite the current context, the company still aims to launch the website in June.