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Compacts: The Beautiful Story of Make-Up

Joe Payne 06/08/2014 Editor
The Lightbox Woking Compacts Guide 2 glamour on the go
Image: Victoria Willment

The humble compact - the staple of the handbag. It seems remarkable to think that such a ubiquitous piece of kit represents something so culturally significant. For while we adorn ourselves with powder cake in the train or in a traffic jam, we are actually showcasing a very modern phenomenon – namely, the need for instant gratification and how essential portability has become. In a sense, this exhibition is the 21st century condition in a microcosm. Or, you know, it’s a good excuse to see some gorgeous vintage beauty trinkets. Depends on how you see it really…

Between now and the 28th September, The Lightbox will be hosting ‘Compacts: The Beautiful Story of Make-Up’, an exhibition that will lead you on a journey through the glamour industry, with beauty essentials from the Pre and Post-War decades and beyond, presenting a remarkable piece of social history for all to explore.

The exhibition, held in association with The British Compact Collectors’ Society, charts the tale of the portability of beauty products and glamour accessories as they moved from the dressing table to the handbag. So while you’re just touching up your lip gloss or applying a smidge of mascara, just think that less than a century ago your lengthy home mirror sessions were your last chance to get your look just so…

An array of breath-taking compacts will be set in context with all the accoutrements that made female glamour possible, from hairstyling accessories, creams and perfumes to the finishing touches of powder, mascara, lipstick and rouge. In short: this is an absolute must for those of us who realise that, in a social and historical context, beauty really is far more than skin deep…

‘Glamour on the Go. Compacts: The Beautiful Story of Make-Up’ will be on show at The Lightbox from 26 July – 28 September 2014, entrance is free.  For further information please visit www.thelightbox.org.uk.

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