After I received Besame 1930’s Mascara in my first Wantable Makeup Box, I became quite intrigued by the brand. I’m a fan of anything vintage and I love that Besame is not only bringing back colors from the era of Old Hollywood, but also packages their products in compacts and tubes that could easily pass for genuine collectibles straight from the dressing table of your favorite Golden Age star. In creating the look of Besame, founder Gabriela Hernandez was inspired by advertising she found in period magazines, as well as original 1940’s lipsticks belonging to her grandmother. As their website’s mission statement claims: “Besame is committed to creating truly unique artful cosmetics, hand crafted to empower women to feel feminine, elegant, and glamorous. Besame is dedicated to creating responsible luxurious products that enhance beauty and improve well-being.”
They certainly have glamorous down pat. The products are lovely to look at. My items arrived in a sheer red bag – an elegant touch – and the boxes and tubes themselves are almost too gorgeous to keep hidden in a makeup bag. I purchased their Classic Color lipstick in Red Velvet which is described as “a deeper red suitable for everyday wear. Neutral and subdued.” I’m always a little leery of red lipsticks because of my sallow complexion. Reds often look either too orange or pinkish on me, but the Classic Color is a very true red. I wouldn’t necessarily call it “neutral” or “subdued” since I feel that by nature, a red lipstick seldom fits either of those descriptions, but it wasn’t too much by any means. The formulation is creamy and high pigment with one coat being more than enough to give you complete coverage and a bold lip. One thing that especially pleased me was that the color doesn’t stain your surrounding skin if you err a bit in your application. I think everyone has experienced using a dark lip color at one time or another, getting it a little outside the lines and having to use a dab of concealer after wiping it off, so you don’t have a tell-tale stain. As dark and rich as the Classic Color lipstick is, it came off as cleanly and smoothly as it went on. It stayed put and didn’t stray, which is a bonus for those of us with concerns about fine lines around the mouth.
I tried the lipstick alone, and then together with a coating of the other product I purchased, Besame Black Liquorice Lip Glaze, which is part of their 1920’s Deco Collection. This glaze, which contains real liquorice, is a deep russet shade. The application is smooth without any tackiness or stickiness and the color is not as bold as it appears in the tube. Worn alone, it is much more subtle than the lipstick, but still a deep color. Worn over the lipstick, it takes the dramatic look of the Classic Color lipstick to a whole other level and that level is “Vavoom!” Neither of these products are for the timid, but if you seeking the full-on bombshell look of Rita Haywood or Hedy Lamarr, Besame is definitely for you.
Besame has a range of other products including lip balms, rouge, powders and more. You can also purchase Gabriela Hernandez’s book “Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup” at their website, www.besamecosmetics.com.