Monday, April 2, 2012

Bésame Classic Color Lipstick: All of the Reds, Swatched!

source

Bésame Cosmetics is a brand that very quickly earned a high reputation for its beautifully-pigmented, retro lipsticks in historically-accurate packaging. If saturated red lips are your thing, make sure besamecosmetics.com is one of your next stops.



In spring last year, Bésame repackaged its Enchanting Lipstick—which previously came in tiny gold tubes, not much bigger than my pinkie from middle knuckle to tip—with new packaging. The same colors in the same wonderful formula are now sold under the Classic Color Lipsticks ($22) line, and they come in tubes that follow the same design but which are easily twice the size as their former selves at only around $7 more.




Each lipstick comes in a gold-plated, bullet-shaped case, which mirrors what you might have seen in the 1940s, when lipstick tube design was based on actual bullet casing. Each lipstick comes with a protective red-velvet pouch with gold drawstring.




Like its former diminutive version, Classic Color lipstick bullets are still chiseled, and their design makes it easy to both line and fill in your lips with pigment—at least until you've worn down the edge. I know I am in the minority, but I miss their tiny sisters and wish they were still available, even if only in a set.


Edges already worn down slightly after several uses


The Bésame Classic Color Lipstick formula provides a semi-matte, full-coverage finish in one swipe. Each contains the highest natural pigment, along with vitamins A, E and C, as well as aloe and green tea, for a smooth finish. 

Compared to another popular retro lipstick brand (Julie Hewett Noir lipsticks), Bésame lipsticks fade evenly, instead of from the center, and they do not get crumbly around the edges. When it comes time to reapply, I don't have to remove all traces of lipstick and start over. I just blot well and put down a fresh layer.

The color descriptions on the Bésame web site need no further editing by me, as they are completely accurate. These vintage reproduction colors are purported to be the exact same shades Hollywood starlets used in a different ear:
  • Bésame Red – True red with a cool base (no warmth), bright and vibrant navy red
  • Cherry Red – Cool, deep, rich, dark-cherry. If blotted down to a stain, leaves a nice rose color. Flattering to medium and olive skin tones.
  • Red Hot Red – Bright and bold, a bit warmer than Bésame red, and Marilyn's favorite.
  • Red Velvet – Deep, rich red that is flattering on most skin tones. Great for office wear or everyday red, neutral and not too bright.
  • Merlot – Subdued brick red, great neutral red for daily wear. 
  • Carmine – Vibrant orange red, not too yellow-based. Changes depending on skintone. Flattering on warm and olive skin-tones.


Direct sun; Hannibal approved™


Indirect sunlight



Indoors, natural lighting



Swatched on plain white paper



And while you are relaxing with an espresso and your ruby lips, you might want to page through the glorious book that is worthy of any beauty-lover's coffee table—especially the history buffs among you.





Just a few more pictures for your enjoyment.


I loved the entry for Clara Bow. I have a soft spot for her after being compared to her in the 80s when my hair was bobbed, permed, trained into finger waves, and then piled up. Plus I have a teeny tiny mouth, just like Clara! (I don't really look anything like her, but the comparison made my day.)







Blast from the past! (At least my past, though I managed to avoid the whole hear scarf thing)











Bottom line: Wonderful lipsticks with wonderful textures and long-lasting finishes. If you like red lipsticks and you haven't shopped here yet, give it a try.

All pictures taken by me, except the first one

20 comments:

  1. Every single thing about these is truly gorgeous! All you'd need is a beautiful compact, I'd sell my soul for the Estee Lauder Golden Alligator one, to look like a complete lady re-applying your lippy, beautiful! BTW, the scarf hair thing - oh yes I did!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I might have done the scarf thing at the gym, lol!

      As for a beautiful compact, Besame makes those, too!

      Delete
  2. Great review;I might have to get that book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ammie. And it is a beautiful book. Gabriella clearly put a huge amount of research, work, and love into it.

      Delete
  3. FANTASTIC post & gorgeous pictures. I still have not tried any Bésame products, but I have stalked her website numerous times. I have always wanted to try her products, and I love her vintage mirrors! Now I really want some of her lipsticks and that book! This is just deliciously retro glam!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it?? I love her attention to detail and how meticulously she researches and executes her plans. The only color that was awful on me was Carmine. The others were all good, and Red Velvet and Besame Red were great.

      I like Julie Hewett lipsticks, too, but Besame feels better on the lips.

      Delete
    2. Truly! Carmine would look hideous on me!! Julie Hewett is another one that I haven't tried-- which is rather ridiculous given that it's an LA company and I can easily get it from Nigel Beauty Emporium. I didn't realize that they also have Becca!

      Delete
    3. Ooh, I'd love to see all of Becca in person!

      Yikes, what a day!!

      Delete
    4. ME TOO!!!! I saw your post on the Ellis Faas Master Class at Nigel's, but they don't have Faas on the website- which is kind of strange given that your post was on Feb, 16th. Once I get my work sent off- then I will have a moment to breathe- so I will have to pop on over there! Such a shame you are on the opposite Coast- can you imagine the damage we could do in there together?!

      Delete
    5. Oh, yes. Yes I can. But it sure would be fun being the bessies in the China shop!

      Delete
  4. Eeee, these are fantastic :D I've never heard of Besame before, but the pigmentation of this lipsticks is to die for! It would be amazing for me if I could pull off a red, and if she ever made a nude-bronze/peach I would be all over that, for now I'll admire from afar :)

    Devon xx
    www.eightforawish.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Devon, in the same formula, she makes a Chocolate (bronze like) and Champagne. If you go to the web site, you can mouseover the color swatches and lips pop up! You can also buy a sample set of all 6 red lipsticks for $!5, and the samples are huge. All together it amounts to the size of two full lipsticks, and the pigment comes in little pots.

      Delete
  5. As a red lipstick lover, this post makes me happy. :) Although I have to agree with you - I was more likely to purchase lipsticks when they sold the smaller size. I already have so many reds, it's hard to justify purchasing any more. With the little ones that they used to have, I could've explored a variety without being out a lot of money. :/ Ah, well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sample set! Sample set! Sample set! ;D

      http://www.besamecosmetics.com/products.cfm/Sampler-Sets/pID-19

      Delete
    2. Well, it's not like you don't love red lipstick, or anything. Hee hee. ♥

      Delete
  6. I like every shade. I need help! :)
    That book is amazing! I might have to get that too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you like 'em that pigmented? The colors are extremely rich and dense!

      Delete
  7. So many gorgeous reds, and the book looks fantastic! I went off to check if the brand was available in the UK after I read your post (I really like the sound of the sample set), but I don't think they do ship here. A couple of sites seem to stock a very small range, but I can't find the sample set anywhere. The colours all look fabulous though, and the packaging is lovely, too!

    ReplyDelete

I love reading your comments! If you have a specific question or request, please feel free to e-mail me directly. Comments that contain advertising links or shameless plugs will not be published.