Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Columbia rouge and powder compact

Columbia powder compacts were the American modestly priced additions at the height of the selling and use of the powder compact. Along with Zell, Rex and Direst these were all termed the "fifth Avenues" - categorised as thus for all selling and being based along New York's 5th Avenue. 
What cases my eye is the orangey mustard topping, its like a plastically mother of pearl and after a quick dusting it shines brilliantly. i have a love for square and oblong  vintage powder compacts and this one is edged with a little pattern, its lid still clicking tight shut. I'm not really sure what the emblem on the top of the compact is meant to be representing. I've never been to New York (yet - that's next years road trip) so i'm not entirely sure if its some NY attraction? It looks to be randomly like a mine shaft (not really very feminine) or some fair ground attraction. You're ideas/interpretations would be highly welcome.
Powder compacts containing rogue were at their height before WW2. While we might just consider this colouring for the lips, it was additionally used as for blusher, additionally references have suggested rouge being used as a nail colourant - however I would how lasting this would be as a product. They were credited for being excellent space saving devices, disregarding the need and room for a separate lipstick container, and therefore was overall more cost effective.

As you can see the rouge/blusher is still so vivid and untouched. I love the pinkness to it, so pretty and feminine. When I first got this compact I just (wrongly) assumed it was just a foundation compact - this rogue was hidden rather well under the what turned out to be a double sided mirror, clicked tight in shut underneath. 

 Its rare - and very lucky to get the original puff stamped with "Columbia Fifth Avenue" and it's original stiffer both intact and looking so fresh. What's even more rare is finding a powder compact complete with original foundation still within a packet. Obviously this compact was never used, perhaps the gift was forgotten about, or the lady didn't like or need it in the end. But what's left is a complete, unopened sachet of Jergen's Peach Bloom liquid foundation, by the smallness of the packet i'm guessing it was perhaps a shade tester. 

Opened up and laid out you can clearly see the two wells for the foundation and the rogue, both with their only complete puff.  Joe has such an eye for finding brilliant well conditioned compacts that always offer something a little different from the norm.

Don't you just wish you could still buy your everyday foundation in compacts like these?!


  1. oh wow, this is an amazing find! and the liquid foundation too..ah adorable. beautiful blog xox

  2. Oh. My. Lord. That is absolutely beautiful. You are so fortunate to have found something like that in that condition. I'm so jealous. I don't know what that emblem means, but if you go to this site called thefedoralounge.com under the "Beauty" section they might help. That's a liquid foundation in there. So cool!

  3. Wow - thank you for that link louzee - that forum looks very interesting indeed!

  4. that has to be THE most incredible find! x