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Sep. 13, 2022

Publisher: Shiseido

R&D/Supply Network

Shiseido Develops New Cosmetics Container with Free-Standing Spatula Holder, Achieving High Usability and Good Design

Shiseido Company, Limited (“Shiseido”) has developed a cosmetics container with a free-standing spatula holder by applying a new structural design that achieves a high level of usability as a container, such as an easy-to-hold body and an easy-to-open lid, as well as design features specific to cosmetics packaging.
Generally, in designing of cosmetics containers, it is important to realize the design features that embody the brand’s worldview and sense of luxury and also meet consumers’ psychological satisfaction. At the same time, the container must not only fulfill its basic function of storing the contents reliably, but also provide advanced features such as the easy-to-hold body and easy-to-open lid. As one of the features, a cosmetics spatula can give a sense of value-added quality and cleanliness to a product, however, in many cases, the container has no place to store it after use. In addition, there are many restrictions including container size and lid shape, etc. on creating a container that allows the spatula to be stored cleanly and independently, leaving many technical challenges to tackle in order to design a container with a free-standing spatula holder that balances design and usability at a high level (Figure 1, left and right). In this project, by applying a newly developed “built-in rotation control mechanism” to the existing lid, we succeeded in developing a container with good design and the advanced feature of a free-standing spatula holder, which can seal and store the contents in the same way as the existing containers, without the tip of the spatula coming into contact with the inner surface of the lid (Figure 1, middle). The new container will be used for BENEFIQUE LUXE Rebloom Night Cream, which is to be released on September 21, 2022.
The research was conducted based on the Functionality/Japan Quality approach of our R&D philosophy “DYNAMIC HARMONY”, aiming to achieve a high level of functionality and design that satisfies consumers’ emotional values. We will continue to provide every user with the best cosmetic experience from various perspectives.

Figure 1: New mechanism balancing design and usability.

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New Cosmetics Container with Free-Standing Spatula Holder|Shiseido

Development of built-in rotation control mechanism

To date, there have been high technical hurdles in developing a container with a free-standing spatula holder while achieving good design and advanced features due to the restrictions on container size, lid shape, etc. The main issue was a restriction in the positioning of the inner container, which is attached to the inside of the outer container along with the spatula. Ideally, the spatula is placed free-standing on the side of the inner container by shifting the alignment of the inner container from the center of the outer container, which allows us to utilize the space inside the outer container more efficiently, realizing both features of an easy-to-hold body and easy-to-close lid (Figure 2). That being said, when closing the lid with the existing mechanism, the spatula comes into contact with the inner side of the lid, misaligning the centers of the inner and outer containers and the lid, hindering it from sealing the inner container.
By installing the new “built-in rotation control mechanism” in the inner part of the lid, the part rotates horizontally as the lid is being closed, and when it reaches a predesignated position (a position where the spatula is not in contact with the inner side of the lid and the inner container can be sealed), the inner part automatically stops rotating and the lid descends (Figure 3). Meanwhile, the outer side of the lid continues to rotate, closing the container, just like an ordinary container. With this mechanism, the spatula can be kept cleanly with the tip of the spatula standing out, free-standing at a height that makes it easy for a user to pick up, which also enhances the design.
The space for the spatula holder has a structure that enables a user to wipe off smudges easily, helping balance usability and design in sustainable product designing such as refill containers, too.

Figure 2. Space organized with new mechanism (right)

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Figure 3. Movement of new mechanism inside the lid

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New universal mechanism

The lid part with the new “built-in rotation control mechanism” can be used not only for spatula holder, but also for various containers storing beauty tools inside. In addition, the mechanism provides more freedom in design, allowing future application to a wider range of brands and products. Furthermore, the mechanism can be applied to the design of inner containers for refill containers, minimizing the space/volume ratio*1, and leveraged to sustainable product designing, too.
Shiseido will continue to provide various values to consumers while developing cosmetic containers that are well-designed and friendly to both people and the earth.
*1 Ratio of container capacity against product content volume. Generally, in container designing, a lower ratio against product content volume indicates more efficient use of the space occupied by the product content in the container. Therefore, a lower volume ratio can contribute to reducing the environmental impact in transportation per product.

*The content of the release is correct as of the time of release, but please note that it may in some cases differ from the latest information.