Packaging is an essential component of product design and marketing, and integral to the  advertising and  distribution of consumer goods.  In the  beauty  industry, packaging is highly  important as a function of cosmetic products and  the  use of products on  a regular basis  by consumers. Many  cosmetic products integrate packaging as a tool  for storage and  a method for product application. Typically, packaging design  is tested  through various  stages  of development to ensure ease of use,  attraction to  consumers, transportation and  distribution reliability,  and overall production protection.

In the  early 20th  century, cosmetics were  sold  in general  use  jars or boxes, but  competition from  firms and  manufacturers in Paris led American manufacturers, like Weeks,  to reconsider how  the  products were  packaged. Looking to the art world, manufacturers and magazines such  as Vogue redesigned and marketed  the  products according to the  new  packaging. The  new  containers eased application and acted as fashion components of the consumers’ appearance and attire.

Since World  War II, packaging has emerged as a major  component of advertising and  branding. Packaging allows  manufacturers and  advertisers to integrate the  product and  its brand into  the  lives of consumers. Advertisers incorporate images  of models using  the  product and  images  of product use  into  packaging. These images  are designed to demonstrate and  educate consumers on  product use, as well as to promote the continued use of the product. In cosmetics packaging, the name  of the product may be incorporated into the package, but the package primarily  operates as a tool  for application and  storage. Lipstick provides an obvious example  as the  package  functions as both an easy container preserving the product and an application tool for consumers. Many cosmetics products also incorporate mirrors into  packaging to further aid application and use.

Cosmetics use  packaging in  their  functional design,  and  manufacturers use further packaging to sell a product or group of products. Packaging in direct  contact with the product in question is considered primary, while packaging designed for easy sale of products is considered secondary. For example,  powder compacts incorporate packaging for product use, but  consumers purchase the item backed by cardboard and plastic. Secondary packaging denotes the state of the item, typically new or used,  mint  or not. Further packaging in this form, or bulk packaging of products, is used  to ship  mass  quantities of products to sale from  the  manufacturer to the retailer. Tertiary packaging is often  cardboard boxes  or crates  that also feature the  name  of the  manufacturer or brand. Crates, boxes,  and  palettes are used  to store  products in warehouses, too.

Packaging can take advantage of color schemes to denote different product use or application and manage which product in a brand should be used for what type of feature, and  so forth.  Makeup foundation may be packaged in various  colors to address different skin  tones  or conditions, indicating the  product best  suited to consumers with specific needs. The  same is true  of other products where  color packaging denotes the  color  of the  product or its specialized application. Critics have  attacked packaging practices for developing these  types  of techniques and models because they  appeal  to younger consumers and  increase the  number of users  of products. These critiques of packaging are akin  to those  leveled against advertising and branding.

Packaging is also  used  to  promote a brand of products that  together  signify a particular ideology  or meaning. Similar  packaging between branded products may appeal  to consumers because they associate functionality or product maintenance with packaging and associate different product lines by the same manufacturer or under the same brand. Modern practices of product manufacturing and consumption rely on packaging to maintain the product, make  it appeal  to more consumers, and create  useful  and easy functionality.

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