HERgonomics: 3 women reinventing the gestures of beauty

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

photo via @lashbinder on InstaGram
photo via @lashbinder on InstaGram

Related tags Indie beauty brands beauty tool applicator Invention ergonomics

Skin care tools, makeup applicators, and cleansing devices are fairly commonplace in consumer beauty routines. And when something is common and familiar it can be difficult to imagine things differently. But that’s exactly what beauty entrepreneurs Angela Caglia, Cassandra McClure, and Adiya Dixon Wiggins have done.

Ergonomics is a science and it’s an art. It’s about the nuance of design and the functionality of tools.

Yet, in addition to the science and art of design, empathic understanding and lived experience can go a long way toward creating new products that consumers adopt and enjoy in their everyday lives. Here, Cosmetics Design considers how 3 women have reinvented basic mechanical beauty tools, changing how consumers use skin care, lashes, and makeup.

Skin care

The women-led independent beauty movement has brought any number of traditional, even indigenous, tools and devices back into consumer beauty routines, e.g. tools like jade rollers and Gua Sha.

So when renowned esthetician Angela Caglia launched her own skin care brand in 2016, it wasn’t surprising to see the product portfolio grown (in the intervening years) to include not only topical skin care products like cleansing balm, serum, facial oil, and a sheet mask but also an array of beauty tools.

The brand’s signature rose quartz Gua Sha​, replicates the pattern of Caglia’s knuckles and lets consumers have a tactile experience similar to a professional facial massage during the serum step of their skin care routine.


Applying false eyelashes well takes practice and dexterity; and until now, the process almost always included tweezers.

That is until makeup artist and podcaster Cassandra McClure launched Lash Binder​ early this year. The tool is a sophisticated variation on a clothespin or chip-clip design. It lets the consumer neatly remove a lash from its package, apply glue to the strip, let the glue dry to the right consistency hands-free, and then apply the lash in a single step. (Similar lash application tools do exist in the marketplace. But McClure is confident that her patent-pending design will stand out from the competition.)

Since the initial launch of Lash Binder this past March, McClure has been using her Clean Beauty Podcast, social media, and live events to market the tool.


“When you think about a typical makeup brush, it’s really just a paint brush: long handle, bristles at the end,”​ remarked Adiya Dixon Wiggins, founder of Yubi Beauty​, when Cosmetics Design caught up with her at Cosmoprof North America last month.

“When a woman takes that same tool and turns it to her own face for self-application, that’s when things start to go wonky,” ​says Dixon Wiggins. “The ergonomics are all off and that means that you’re using too much pressure (often). It means that you’re uncomfortable and you’re lacking in confidence. And, the results are less than stellar.”

The makeup applicator she’s invented as an alternative is a brush head (or sponge applicator) that can be worn on the hand like jewelry and that lets consumers use a more natural gesture to apply makeup and complexion products. Learn more about Yubi in this Cosmetics Design video.



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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