Saturday, May 7, 2011

Besame Cosmetics Classic Color Lipstick: Red Velvet and Dusty Rose

My Besame Cosmetics package arrived today.

I ordered two Classic Color Lipsticks ($22) and the Cashmere Powder Compact ($38). One of the first things I noticed that was new from previous orders was a large card with women wearing red lipstick on one side and a chart for finding your perfect red on the other.

I have been a happy customer of Besame's vintage makeup for a couple years, but I had not ordered anything in a while. I knew that Besame Cosmetics had recently reintroduced their Enchanting Lipstick in larger packaging, which they are now calling Classic Color Lipstick, and from what I can tell so far, only the packaging is different. The color and quality are exactly the same.

Reminiscent of the decorative bullet-shaped cases used in the 1940s, each lipstick arrives packaged in a red velvet pouch to protect the pretty case from scratches.

Like the Enchanting Lipstick originals, the Classic Lipstick has a chisel tip, so you can get right up along the edge of the lip line. Unlike the originals, the lipstick now retracts fully into the tube, so no more accidents.

Deeply pigmented, the Classic lipsticks provide one-coat, full coverage. The formulation is semi matte, but they do not have as much traction as two other retro/vintage brands,  Julie Hewett and Lipstick Queen. Thus, the color needs something to anchor it down. I use Edward Bess lip pencil in Nude or MAC Whirl, or any lip pencil that matches my lips (or Lipstick Queen's clear pencil), and then blot.

Unlike the Julie Hewett Noir lipstick collection, Besame lipsticks fade evenly, instead of from the center, and they do not get crumbly around the edges. When it comes time to reapply, you don't have to remove all traces of lipstick and start over. Just blot very well and put down a fresh layer.

The texture is divine, as the lipsticks are enriched with vitamins A, E and C, aloe and green tea, and the vintage reproduction colors are the exact shades used by Hollywood stars of an age gone by.

I purchased Red Velvet and Dusty Rose:
  • Red Velvet is the most universally-flattering of the reds. It is neutral-cool and has undertones of navy, but it does not turn fuchsia on me the way Besame's Cherry Red or Besame Red does. There might be a whisper of brown in it.
  • Dusty Rose is a mid-toned rose with brown undertones, perfect for fair to medium skin tones. It's a rosier version of MAC Brick-O-La and has less red than Edward Bess Tender Love.

Natural light, no flash
Red Velvet
Bottom line: A must have for anyone who loves red lipstick, especially lipsticks with a deeply-pigmented retro feel.

The Besame Classic Color Lipstick ($22) is available at on the Besame Cosmetics web site.

Photos mine.


  1. I love Red Velvet. If Red Hot Red is a Marilyn red, Red Velvet is a Lauren Bacall red.

  2. Your pics are just terrific!

  3. Thanks, Ammie! Grace, I think I once read that Carmine would have been Grace Kelly's red ... or maybe I am thinking of Julie Hewett colors, but the same basic principle applies. Tomato red for Marilyn, bluer/brick red for Lauren, and orange red for Grace. I love them all, but the bluer/brickier ones suit me best.

  4. They have the most beautiful packaging!

  5. I used to love her pressed powder- the compact is so adorable. I need to see if I can locate that...

  6. Vintage, I agree their packaging is so elegant!

    MM, I love the powder. It's so silky and weightless and it doesn't cause that white fell-into-a-pile-of-cocaine look that MUFE does in the camera flash.


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