My Love Letter to Bésame Cosmetics: More Than Just a Pretty Face

My Bésame collection in the Glamour Cave

My dearest darling Bésame,

Your reds are as true as my love for you.  When I see a glint of your beautiful golden case in my makeup bag, my heart goes aflutter…

So, I had a huge crush on Bésame Cosmetics long before I tried them.  Like many of you beauties, I am very enamored of that vintage aesthetic and love looking at vintage cosmetic ads and photos of Old Hollywood Glamour.  Years ago, when I first saw Bésame’s lipsticks in the vintage gold tube, I wanted just one to treasure in my makeup bag.  I figured it would be just a standard lipstick, but that packaging, oh wow.  Then Sephora started carrying Bésame Cosmetics, I finally ponied up and bought Red Velvet, and everything changed.

Different shape, but still perfect.

When I first got the lipstick, of course I ooh’d and aah’d over the pretty vintage box and the gold tube with maroon designs.  It was beautiful.  Then I tried to put it on and I was like, what the heck, how do you use this strangely shaped lipstick?  The shape of it is much different than I was used to, as it is designed after lipsticks from the 1920’s and beyond, and I couldn’t really get a smooth line as I do with my other lipsticks.  But then I tried it with a lip brush (as they recommend) and it turned out to be more than just a pretty face.

First off, the lipstick’s texture is really lovely and much different than any other modern lipstick I’ve tried.  It is kind of “waxy” but this is not a bad thing–it is both very pigmented and almost translucent.  It goes on very smoothly and is buildable without feeling clumpy. I remember playing with lipsticks that my mom had left from the 60’s (and seriously, how gross, because at this time these lipsticks were probably 15-20 years old) and it had that similar waxy texture.

Bésame Red Velvet Lip Swatch

Red Velvet was a beautiful, true red, and damn, I sure do love a bold red lip.  I went most of my life thinking I couldn’t pull off a red lip but that was a fallacy.  It’s all about the application, you have to really get a red lip perfectly applied with very clean edges.  Anyone can wear a red lip as long as it’s applied well.

How this ends up wearing is just flawless. It’s kind of a satin matte finish, not a flat, papery matte. It does not bleed or sink into the crinkles of your lips at all.  It wears incredibly long for a standard (non liquid matte) lipstick, and when it does fade, it fades smoothly without getting patchy. It’s not transfer-proof, but transfers quite a bit less than most standard bullet lipsticks.  I knew after I wore it that this was the best red lipstick I’d ever tried.

Don’t worry about the need for a lip brush.  Bésame sells one with a cap, and you can also find retractable or capped lip brushes on Amazon for under $10.  Just pop it in your bag with the lipstick for touch-ups when you’re out and about, if needed.

After that first one, it took me a while to get more because I just thought the Red Velvet was perfect, and how could I need more than one?  I kept trolling Bésame’s website, though, and learned more about their products.  Bésame Cosmetics was founded by a woman from Argentina, Gabriela Hernandez, who shares our love for vintage glam.  Each product is designed from actual packaging and colors of vintage brands from the 1920’s to the 1970’s.  The attention to detail on this is just so different from any other brand that tries to aim for that aesthetic.  For example, their cake mascara tin looks exactly like an old Maybelline cake mascara from days gone by.  The color of Red Velvet is aligned with a shade that was popular in the 1940’s.  From their website:

“Gabriela searches through actual vintage makeup to pick out particular colors that speak to her and truly represent the years they were produced.” 

Bésame Red Lip Swatch

My second purchase was the shade Bésame Red, based on a popular color from the 1920’s.  It’s a little hard to see a big difference in my swatches, but this one is a brighter, cool (pinkish) red.  It’s beautiful, too, and I wore it for Valentine’s Day this year.

Valentine’s Day with Bésame Red!
Noir Red Lip Swatch

Then I decided to vamp it up with Noir Red.  This shade was also from the 1920’s, and reflects the look of Theda Bara, the original vamp.  It’s a very dark, warm wine color, perfect for autumn or just for being a badass.

There are several shades that I am still lusting after.  This past year I discovered how much I unexpectedly enjoy orange lip colors, and they have a shade, Carmine, that is a bright vivid orange red.  I also would love to try some of their more neutral colors, Dusty Rose and Chocolate Kiss, from the 60’s and 70’s. Neither of these are currently available in full size on their website but are still at Sephora and I’ve noticed that their shades come and go.  Their most recent release is Wild Orchid, a fuschia-red from the 1950’s.  I want that one too.  (Donations towards this cause can be sent to… just kidding!)

Cherry Sweetheart Glaze
Tangerine Sweetheart Glaze

Just a couple of weeks ago they had a flash sale on their Sweetheart Glaze lip glosses, which I see are no longer available on the website (maybe they are repackaging?)  They’re very pretty sheer glosses in their signature vintage-style packaging.  Yes, they’re kind of sticky, like most lip glosses, but they wear well and are fruit-scented.  I got Tangerine and Cherry–and guess what? I picked up one for you too!  A Cherry Sweetheart Glaze will be included in my “Domain Celebration” giveaway next week.

All those Bésame Lip Swatches in one handy image!

Bésame also has a number of other products, like rouges in powder and cream formulas, brightening powders and brushes, which I hope to review for you in the future.  Especially the powder brush which is absolutely beautiful and would look amazing in my Glamour Cave.

In summation, if you love Old Hollywood Glamour, or if you are just looking for some damn fine lipstick, you should try Bésame.  They are mid-range prices: lipsticks retail for $22.  Their products are available through their website, and from Sephora if you want to boost your points towards VIB Rouge.  I’d recommend their website though–shipping is fast, and they have a larger selection of their products.

My dearest, darling Bésame: don’t ever change, beautiful!

***Note: I purchased all of my Bésame products with my own money, and received no products, promotional or financial compensation for my glowing review.  There are no paid referral links included in this post.

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