Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Guest blog: Vintage Powder Compacts

Hi everyone, today I'd like introduce a wonderful blogger that you may or may not already know. Louise's blog is always a great read, life with a vintage twist as she calls it. There are always lots of gorgeous pictures and a giggle or two, if you've not read it yet, head over to sharpish! Louise is the first of my guest bloggers and she has written a brilliant post which I hope you will enjoy...
Louise it's over to you...
     Hello readers. My name is Louise, and I blog over at the Princess Prudence Diaries ( about everything from arts and crafts to vintage and modern fashion. Emma has kindly invited me to write a guest blog post, so I would really like to share a passion of mine with you, Vintage powder compacts. 
My passion for vintage compacts began before I was even aware of it. It was a collection started by my mum when I was a teenager. In my early 20s, I began taking an interest in them myself and building my own collection, amazed by how easy it was to get started and quickly build an admirable array of compacts from various eras. Now it's a passion we share, admiring eachothers new additions and expanding knowledge of what's available. 
Collecting compacts is something that anybody can get into with relative ease and little expense. Furthermore, unless you are displaying your collection then you don't actually need too much space to store your treasures. A nice chest or even a sturdy box will suffice so long as the compacts are protected from damage, damp and scratches. 
Initially, you may want to keep your eyes peeled at car boot sales, jumble sales and charity shops. There's a massive list of manufacturers names in the compact world, but in the UK you're probably most likely to come across Yardley, Coty, Stratton, Kigu and Estee Lauder at the more affordable end of the spectrum, but names such as Gwenda, Elgin and many many more are around. Make sure and handle your prospective purchase.
In particular look out for:
- Enamel decoration; What condition is it in? You might be willing to accept a little damage on the compact if it is a rare piece, or if it is one you intend to use rather than display, but always try to get the best quality you can afford. 
- Hinges; are they damaged or not flowing freely? These can sometimes be repaired, but at a cost.
-Clasp; does it shut securely with a reassuring click?
-Mirror; Is it foggy, or broken? does it need resilvering? these can all be costly repairs. 
-Dents, breakages and other damage. 
Once you're a little more confident of what you are looking for then you might want to check out eBay, which can be a real goldmine of compacts. There are so many makes and styles that you might get carried away, but always ask the seller lots of questions about condition before you decide how much you would be willing to part with. Most of all, don't be afraid to use your acquisitions, you can buy powder to refill them, and it looks so much more glamorous coming out of your evening bag than a boring plastic case. 
Wow, thanks Louise, it's wonderful to hear someone talking about their passion and the compacts that you've collected are absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for the tips, I hope some of you have been inspired to start a little collection of your own!

If you would like to guest blog here, just drop me a line anytime to

For now, au revoir

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I read all your comments and love to receive them. Thanks so much for getting involved with the blog! Emma x