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From The Collection: Cosmetic Compacts

 Mostly small and simple in the beginning, the compact originated as a practical receptacle meant to make the loose or pressed powder and puff it held portable. The vanity case, which held additional cosmetics such as rouge and/or lipstick soon followed.  Later extensions of this compact idea would lead to the extremely popular carry-all, which in addition to making a fashion statement held everything from cosmetics, combs and other beauty items to cigarettes, lighters, and coins.  

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