What Are the Different Types of Cosmetics Bottles?

Lumara Lee

Cosmetics bottles come in different sizes and shapes. The most common shapes seen in cosmetics bottles are cylindrical, oval, and rectangular, but some sport unique shapes. Most cosmetics bottles are made of plastic or glass, and usually have lids or caps made of metal or plastic. Some of the products packaged in cosmetics bottles include shampoo, conditioner, liquid foundation makeup, nail polish, and nail polish remover. Other products found in cosmetics bottles are shower gel, facial cleanser and toner, talcum powder, and liquid hand soap.

A bottle of nail polish remover.
A bottle of nail polish remover.

The shape, size, and material used in the manufacture of some cosmetics containers are generally determined by the ingredients. For example, face creams and creamy eye shadows and blushers are usually associated with small, round glass jars with wide mouths, while skin lotions generally come in tall containers with a narrow opening at the top. Nail polish bottles are usually small and made of glass, while nail polish remover comes in larger plastic bottles. Perfume generally comes in small glass bottles, while body lotion, shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner are packaged in large plastic bottles.

Liquid hand soap is found in cosmetics bottles.
Liquid hand soap is found in cosmetics bottles.

Just as clothing styles change, some designs of cosmetic bottles also change throughout the years. For instance, some plastic bottles designed to hold shower gel have a hook on one end so they can be hung from the shower curtain rod or shower head. This is a modern innovation since hooks weren’t used with any type of cosmetics bottle until the latter part of the 20th century.

Vintage perfume bottles are often made of brightly colored glass.
Vintage perfume bottles are often made of brightly colored glass.

Antique perfume bottles were generally more ornate than those used to package perfumes and colognes today. Some cosmetics companies offered bottles with whimsical shapes including automobiles, dogs, Christmas ornaments, Santa Claus and other human figures. Another difference between the antique cosmetics bottles and contemporary cosmetics packaging is that the old bottles were often embossed with information such as the company’s name and quantity of product inside. Today, this information is most often provided with labels affixed to the containers instead of embossing the glass.

Tubes of cosmetics.
Tubes of cosmetics.

Cosmetics bottles require lids or caps to secure the contents from spilling or leaking, and to maintain any fragrance. Some bottles have threaded openings so that a lid can be screwed on, while others aren’t threaded and have plastic caps that snap on. The bottle opening has to be able to provide a tight, secure fit that will not only prevent leaks, but also allow any mechanism such as a pump or spray to operate properly.

Shower gel in bottles.
Shower gel in bottles.

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