11.29.2008

How to fill a vintage compact.

Gather all materials. You will need: loose powder, rubbing alcohol, new powder puff or sponge to fit in compact, spoon, small bowl, scrap of fabric, and an item such as a knife or thick paper for smoothing.

First thing to do is wash out your vintage compact very well. Bacteria can spread through the leftover makeup so make sure it is washed with soap and let to dry.


Scoop some powder into a small bowl.


Add about a cap full of liquid to the powder.


Mix to a thick paste. You will need to add more powder and liquid as you mix to reach the correct consistancy.


Scoop the paste in and spread the paste around the dish and press a little to make sure there are no empty bubbles hiding.

Smooth out the top with a flat item such as the back if a knife or strong piece of paper.


This step is optional, but I like it because it feels more finished.
Take a scrap of cloth (a woven cotton will work best) and lay it on the powder. Press gently onto to cloth with your fingers, making a mark in the powder. If the powder is of the correct thickness, then it will not stick.


Now you have that professional "woven" look.


Set it in a safe dry place for about 24 hours and after that you are ready to go! As with any other pressed powder compact, be careful not to bang it around in your purse, or drop it as the powder will break. But if that does happen you can just do the process over again reusing the broken powder.

33 comments:

revolt said...

Great post. I learned something new ;)

Lava Jewelry said...

How neat! I would never have thought of doing something like that. Thanks for sharing!

Vicki said...

Wow what a great lesson to have learnt, thank you very much! x

Nicole R.J. said...

Very cool! I have some of my grama's old compacts and I never would have sorted out how to do that! Thanks!

Darlene said...

Sweet recycling, S! Good on you for your vintage spirit that still embraces the modern philosophy of green and recycling. Yet one of just a myriad of reasons I appreciate and cherish you, girl.

GwynnsGifts said...

Thank you for so sharing. that is the greatest idea. I have a wonderful compact from my late grandmother and I wanted to use but didn't know how. Thank you

k*smith said...

Wow~ Great tip!

kim* said...

hm----- interesting. I was in Orange yesterday and was in an antique and walked past some compacts and thought of you and this (upcoming) post. thanks for the share, what neat info :)

Christine said...

Wow, that's really neat. Thank you for the awesome tutorial. I'll have to try it soon.

BaldyLocks said...

Now that is some unbelievable advice. Thanks!

High Desert Diva said...

Ok...this is beyond cool. I've always admired those vintage compacts, but have only used them for the mirror. Now I will be able to powder my nose!

Maisy Brown said...

I think I may actually try this! Thank you for posting this.

teacups said...

Great post! I have soo many vintage compacts, I'll be able to get some use out of them now :)

Tina Amato said...

Really neat! I have two vintage compacts that I can actually use now!

a cat of impossible colour said...

Thanks for this, I've often wondered!

Anonymous said...

I followed these directions last night and it worked perfectly! Thanks for the instruction. Now I can use my late grandmother's compacts.

Amanda said...

Fabulous! I have a vintage compact and have been wondering how to refill it! Thanks!

Lauren said...

Oh I liked this post!!! I love coty airspun poweder too!!!

DearBitsy said...

I love airspun, but I'd never think to do this!!
Now I need to start looking for a vintage compact!

For my airspun I punch holes in the plastic with a pin, it gives it that sifter effect. All you have to do is shake the container back and forth a bit, then use a big puff brush to scoop up the makeup!

Alli said...

what a great post! i've always wonderes how to do that!

Anonymous said...

Voice of experience here. The best way to do this is to (if possible) track down a powder pan that fits in the vintage compact. Rimmel Stay Matte and NYC Color Wheel Mosaic fit the larger ones, and the smaller ones may take a standard size powder pan from a drugstore compact. Moisten the powder with very little alcohol, to form a stiff dough, and press it firmly into the powder pan or the compact, to reduce shrinkage and cracking of the powder.

Andromache said...

Cool,
except I don't think I would put ethyl alcohol in it, especially having dry skin. Yes, most will evaporate, but not all of it.

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Ellie Vintage said...

Wow! I have a gorgeous one in my bag, it's slightly tarnished gold with flowers on, soo cute, and I've wanted to fill it for ages! I'm totally trying this out when I get the chance! Thank you sooo much! :)

lydiawhispers said...

Fabulous site and solid information.
I have a plethora of powder compacts that I have collected, (jewelled, plain, a big round Max Factor one which I am quite partial to - called a headlight I think at the time-it has where the mirror should be cut out newspaper direction to the Cotton Club and a few others from 1940's NY Daily News)
Now I can go fill them all up, thanks to your precise instructions. Hopefully I can find an online store that still sells Coty "Rachael" face powder loose.

Barb said...

Wow! Thanks for this fabulous info. I always wondered how it was done.

toridawn said...

LOVE this!

she's a makeup addict said...

Thank you so much for this. I have a beautiful Stratton compact and I put loose powder in it and it was just messy even with the screen it came with. I shall try this method and hope it works out for me. Again thank you!

Auntie said...

Thank you!!!! I had just decided to buy (but not yet ordered) a $65. NEW compact. I's SO MUCH rather have a vintage one, to carry and use. Now, I'm off to ESTY to have a look around.

~Katherine said...

I done this; but reused a newer compact that I used all the powder from. :) You saved me $9! I already had loose powder laying around I didn't use so I made a new compact cake with it. I was absolutely in love with your blog when I discovered it via pinterest. You are a very talented lady; brava! :)

Melany Flemmings said...

Hey nice post I was searching for this information but there are very limited resources. Thank you very much for sharing.

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Handmaden Designs said...

Great information!! Extremely helpful as I'm looking to create my own custom compact out of some unusual materials.

kerry said...

I wonder if it would work with water instead of alcohol and maybe just take longer to dry? I'd be concerned about putting alcohol on my skin in any form.