Friday, 1 April 2016

Re-filling your vintage compact : just how do you do it?

When it comes to having a darling dainty compact mirror for your handbag you really can't beat going vintage, you can find an abundance of decorated compacts from the past emblazoned with floral patterns, mother of pearl detailing or simple embossed detailing, which certainly stands out compared to modern day compacts.

Now that you've got yourself a darling vintage compact just how do you re-fill it? Is it easy to find foundation re-fills that fit a vintage compact? Or do you have to come up with something inventive to make it fit?

Your first step is to measure your compact, this will help you to find a modern day re-fill which may fit inside. Take a measuring tape and measure the inside diameter where your re-fill would sit, if it measures 67mm your in luck, you'll be able to find re-fills that should fit inside. Some recommended brands to try include Max Factor's Creme Puff and Rimmel's Stay Matte, very few brands offer the 67mm sized re-fills though, with the majority measuring a smaller 59mm, which simply wouldn't fit.

What to do in this case? Fret not there is a rather inventive way around this as discovered by vintage blogger Vixen vintage. Her handy tutorial shows you how to turn loose powder into a pressed powder to fit inside your compact, a rather straightforward method using the powder mixed up with rubbing alcohol to create a powder re-fill, sadly as rubbing alcohol is unavailable in the UK we have to be a little more inventive with how we do this..

To turn loose powder into a pressed powder re-fill you'll need:
  loose powder in the shade of your choice
  surgical spirit
  a tea spoon
  optional extra, tissue or fabric to add detailing


Firstly and most importantly give your compact a thorough cleaning out to ensure any residual bacteria lurking inside that compact is washed out, then leave it to dry out.

Take your powder and pour a small amount of this into a small mixing bowl, adding a little surgical spirit to it, you'll notice how this starts to form a paste as you mix it in keep on at this adding small amount of powder and surgical spirit at a time.

You don't want to mix too much just enough to fill your compact so stop when you feel you've mixed the right consistency to fill your compact.

Transfer this mixture into the compact using a small spoon and start to flatten the mixture down, smoothing it off with the back of the spoon.

Wipe away any residual powder from the edges of your compact, if you'd like at this stage you can press some fabric or patterned paper down into it to create a pretty pattern in the powder once it's dried.

Now simply leave it to dry, it will take a while to dry out so it's best to leave it for a full 24 hours before you use it.

It is a somewhat messy alternative towards buying a re-fill which fits your compact but it will enable you to make use of your compact for more than just a handbag sized mirror, and why have a dull plastic powder compact bought off the shelf when you can have a gorgeous vintage compact.

Images: Antique Atlas & The Stellar Boutique

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