Sephora Canada recently started selling Bésame Cosmetics online, and despite the fact that I already own quite a lot of red lipsticks, I had to have one. Honestly, how do you pass up retro-inspired lipsticks that come in this packaging?!
Beautiful, right? It’s even slightly smaller than today’s typical lipstick tubes, since that is generally how vintage lipstick cases were made. (The lipstick bullet itself weighs 3.5 g, which is standard for today’s lipsticks, so you’re not getting less product. Just a cuter tube!)
Even the box is pretty:
Bésame’s lipsticks are all based on actual lipstick colors that were made between the 1920s and 1960s (presumably in the US). There is a nice little write-up about the making of their lipsticks on their About Us page.
Women seldom have time to re-apply lipstick throughout the day, so long-wearing was a priority for this lipstick. Denser colors provide longer wear, so we created a weightless, high-pigment formula that stays put with a semi-matte satin finish.
And it is all true. All of it. This is one of the most long-wearing lipsticks I’ve ever tried, and even as it wore off slowly throughout the day, it never looked sloppy. I had a little wear off the insides of my lips after having two meals. The semi-matte finish dulled a little. That’s it. The lipstick stayed on, never bled past my lipline, and not once did I retouch it. For a gloriously strong red lip color, this was pretty amazing. Literally, the only two things I can complain about are 1) the lipstick did dry a bit near the end of the day, so my lips felt a little taut at times, but they still looked good, and 2) I didn’t get the chance to whip out that gorgeous little lipstick tube to reapply in public! (Just kidding. I actually really dislike applying lipstick in public. But I know some people like to show off their nicely packaged makeup!)
In addition, I didn’t even follow Bésame’s lipstick application procedure to the letter. Yep, it comes with instructions:
I didn’t put foundation along the edges of my lips, and I didn’t blot.
So, now that I have gushed over this lipstick’s packaging and formula, here’s the swatch. Red Velvet a medium (to me; to others it might run a little medium-dark), fairly neutral red cream. It’s not muted, but not too bright, either, which makes it work well for both day and night. Bésame based it on a lipstick from 1946.
A point of interest for fans of the Marvel TV show Agent Carter (also set in 1946!), or just of its star, the lovely English actress Hayley Atwell, this is one of the lipsticks her character Peggy Carter wears. I’ve not yet had the chance to catch Agent Carter, but I loved her in the Pillars of the Earth miniseries.
I will say that I found the blunt, squared top of the lipstick bullet to be difficult to use, so I ended up using a lip brush. (I suppose with opaque reds, you’d want to use a lip brush for precision, anyway.)
The lipstick has a soft vanilla scent, similar to that of MAC lipsticks. I didn’t detect any taste, though.
I highly recommend this lipstick shade and I really hope to try more soon. I found pictures of their lipstick in Merlot, which is completely down my alley, but they don’t seem to sell it anymore! I’ve emailed them about it, but am yet to receive a response.
Bésame Classic Color Lipstick is 0.12 oz / 3.5 g and retails for US$22 / CA$27. It is made in the USA. Bésame is cruelty-free. It also comes with an expiry date:
Bésame (meaning kiss me in Spanish!) Cosmetics is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. It was founded in 2004 by “artist, cosmetic historian, and designer” Gabriela Hernandez.