The Quest for a Vintage Lipstick Refill

Gather the horses my friends, we ride at dawn.

Back in the 40s and 50s, many makeup products were sold as refills which you would put into reusable packaging. As plastic wasn’t as readily available and used as widely as it is today, many makeup canisters and tubes were made of metal which was durable and easy to reuse making it more of an investment. I’ve recently purchased a really beautiful 50s (I think) gold lipstick tube with roses painted on it. I don’t want to have it just laying around so I am on a quest to find a Filipstick refill to fill my canister and I’m taking you along for the adventure.

When it comes to vintage lipstick canisters, there are two main types. The first is the canister which comes with a built in wind up mechanism and you simply replace the lipstick crayon. The other type is a canister that requires a complete windup mechanism which is the type we are searching for. Our canister, of which I am unaware of the exact production year or even brand, is made up of a bottom section which holds the refill and lid. It goes without saying that you could just stick a lipstick crayon into the bottom part and pop the lid on but I’m worried about the lipstick smearing all over the sides which can get very messy and even the fear of the lipstick melting because it can get quite warm in Australia. If I am successful with my search for a refill, I want to find the first kind of lipstick canister and show how to swap out a lipstick for those interested but it would be at a later date. Let’s move on with our quest.

At the time of filming/writing this project, I am in Canberra, our nations capitol which is a really beautiful place to explore. The problem with Canberra is because there’s quite a small population, there’s not much choice when it comes to brands and shopping in comparison to bigger cities. Regardless, I want to check out the following stores; Sephora, Mecca, Myer and David Jones. For those who are not in Australia, Mecca is another Sephora or Ulta style makeup store which houses many brands whereas Myer and David Jones are “higher end” department stores which have beauty sections. I will be heading into the city to find all four of these stores and hoping to find a lipstick refill that will fit our canister.

Now let’s look at some brands that I should be able to find at the above stores. The easiest brand to find would be Dior which sells lipstick refills in many colours. Our second and third brands that we are hunting for is Gucci which apparently now sells lipstick refills and Charlotte Tilbury. There are other brands that sell lipstick refills but they are either not easy to find in Australia or only available online. At the end of this post I will create a list of other brands that have lipstick refills just incase you want other options. It is now time to head to the city.

After a brief distraction of some cute bunnies just chilling out in the city, I headed to our first stop Sephora. Here I made a beeline for the Dior section and I instantly found the lipstick refills, from here, it all goes horribly wrong. First up, the sample refill was glued to the makeup display which meant I couldn’t check to see if the refill would actually fit my canister. The Sephora unfortunately had no Gucci or Charlotte Tilbury so it was time to head to Mecca. I managed to find the Charlotte Tilbury display stand but a friendly staff member informed me that refills were only available online. She also told me that no where in Canberra stocks Gucci makeup. In a last ditch attempt I went to Myer and David Jones and once again found nothing which was rather sad. To cheer myself, I grabbed a bubble tea and found a cute record store and bought myself a new record.

Our quest for now has been put on pause but I am determined to find a refill online. I have placed an order for some lipstick refills from various brands but they won’t arrive for at least another month so I will get around to creating a part 2 later in the year. Although We weren’t able to come home successful, we still have options so be sure to check back at a later date. Thank you for joining me for this epic quest, next time we will bring more snacks and stop for ramen.

Brands that sell lipstick refills:
-Charlotte Tilbury
-Paul and Joe
-Rose Inc


Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.


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