Compact Mirrors

-The mirror… It’s broken.

-Yes, I know. I like it that way.  Makes me look the way I feel.

From The Apartment

Here is my growing collection of powder compacts. I think useful things should be beautiful too.

Compact mirrors

Vintage & new compacts. The Art Deco peacock and the black diamante designs are modern mirror only compacts,  from Accesorize.

The gold coloured rectangular powder compacts are vintage. The etched gold compact with the black pocket was my grandmother’s, and the painted fish compact was a gift. The rectangular design seems to be rare, when I’ve searched for them, so fancy having two!

Benefit cosmetics powder compact

The Benefit Hello Flawless compact comes with a compartment for a brush and a sponge applicator. The sponge is a thick foam rectangle, about 3/4 the size of the box.

With the storage compartment, this compact is really useful to take in my handbag, and I can carry extra hairpins in it too. I found the brush and sponge difficult to load with enough powder for smooth and quick application all over, but it is fine for powdering your nose throughout the day. I take this compact to work.

I replace the sponge with a  multi-pack one you can find in good pharmacies and superstores, as they soon need replacing. The foam isn’t sturdy enough to wash and re-use, but well made fabric sponges are sturdier and I wash them regularly. Soapy warm water with a drop a lavender oil is a gentle way to keep sponges and make-up brushes clean.

Pressed powder refills don’t seem to be available for rectangular compacts, so I buy loose powder and pack it in.

The smaller one is a Stratton compact, and you can find plenty being sold online. Most designs are round, some square.  I’ve seen one with a lipstick compartment. This one came with a gold lipstick case, which I’ve only just managed to fill. This compact must have had loose powder originally, as it has a mesh sieve to sit over the powder. I use this compact the most, and can’t wait to use the matching lipstick case.

The larger, fish design compact appears to have had pressed powder. It is engraved as Vogue Vanities, made in England. I still need to clean the inside before I refill it with loose powder.

This decagon shaped compact was my great aunt’s, and is also a Stratton.

Finding new pressed powder refills takes a lot of time, as not all online stores give a diameter measurement, but only list the weight! A lot are much smaller now as well. Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder is the right size for this compact, but I have yet to Jimmy it out of its plastic packaging, so I can transfer the metal base into this compact.

I love that the mirror is cracked and my aunt kept it. It must have been a treasured possession. It also reminds me of Shirley Maclaine in The Apartment.

Have you found any good powder refills? Which compact is your favourite?


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