I had mentioned that I would be reviewing starter up and coming mom and pop makeup operations, and this one stood out the minute I saw a couple of YT’ers review it. One didn’t like it and didn’t get it, and the other absolutely adored it and the concept.
If you are into the retro look and attention to detail, then you will understand what Besame is all about. If you are into supporting companies that have a love and respect for the history of makeup, you will absolutely adore Besame Cosmetics. An introduction to what Besame (“Kiss Me” in Spanish, gotta love that) and its owner is all about can be found HERE.
The company is created and owned by a woman named Gabriela Hernandez, and she is Hispanic. She trolls antique shops and looks for old makeup to get an idea and develop historically accurate color shades. It’s also a family affair – her daughter and husband are involved with the company from its product and packaging to its website and shipping. It’s all done with love. Her daughter has input on the colors as well.
I love it’s a woman owned, family business.
If you have a grandmother who grew up in the 1930’s and 1940’s, or a parent who grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s, they can tell you how important makeup played in their lives. How the product was not a throwaway, it was meant to be treasured and part of your daily dress. It was not about looking “natural” or “no makeup”, this was about beautifying and a part of your daily armour to face the world.
As a kid, my mom and grandmother would watch these black and white movies on the weekends and I found them overly dramatic and boring. I couldn’t relate, I didn’t understand and just found the black and white boring. When I got older, I started to appreciate the fashion, the clothing and hairstyles I would see in these old movies and the Hollywood musicals that had all that and brilliant lush gorgeous color. Those carefully coiffed hairdos, the painted nails and lips, the arched brows, flawless skin were part of what made glamour back then. A lot of the clothing for every day was rather kind of dark and bland, and the hair, color and makeup made up for that and polished one’s look, making one stand out. I’m now an avid fan of TCM.
As the owner of Besame Cosmetics recounts in the YouTube video about the company, to paraphrase here, it seems there was a ritual, a magic about the vanity table, where you had one’s hair brush, comb, mirror, and the containers of powder, lipsticks, powder puffs, and the smell of powder and perfume and would get ready for your day or night. You glimpse it in the old movies, the “powder room”, or if one is lucky enough to have their own vanity room where they can “get ready” and there was a fancy paneling where one got dressed or undressed behind. A boudoir.
Nowadays, women seem to get ready on the fly, brushing their teeth over the kitchen sink and hurrying with some blush and lipstick if they remember before they fly out the door. Or only pull out the makeup stops for vlogging purposes. Besame is about bringing the joy and magic of treasuring one’s makeup and enjoying it.
The packaging is gorgeous, very retro, attention to detail is beautiful. The lipstick container is gorgeous, a shiny gold bullet form with a floral design in red decorates the lipstick container. The beautifully red lipstick product itself is cut on both sides, like the old lipsticks used to have (it seems the lipsticks today only have one side cut to apply to lips). The lipstick I got was the Special Edition lipstick color dated World War II 1941, smells like a lovely vanilla and it includes a “V” victory pin in the lipstick package box along with a small white paper that lists a how to put on your lipstick so it stays on properly — reintroducing the concept of the proper technique of “blotting” one’s lips.
The brightening powder (it’s one of three they have in a line but I bought only one, the Violet) which smells delicious, comes with a little powder puff contained inside with a sifter built in for the powder distribution. For the holidays, Besame has the three in a small set to try out if you are curious about all three powders. I’m already eyeing (pardon the pun) the 1920 Black Cake Mascara and separate container tin, both of which are currently sold out at the site and I’m waiting patiently for the re-stock.
The line is a bit pricey and the products, as you see my hand in the powder puff one above, run on the quaint size – $22.00 (U.S.) each for their lipsticks and $22.00 (U.S.) each for the powders and the hair brushes run from $48.00 (U.S.) for those with short hair and $50.00 for those with long hair. The 1920’s mascara cake by itself with the brush included within runs $25.00 (U.S.) while the container tin is $2.00 and currently sold out.
Free shipping in the U.S. when it’s $50.00 (U.S). and over, which can readily be accomplished – my two above amounted to the magic 50 dollars.
Did I mention this line is a bit pricey? Um. Yes! But it’s so beautiful!
All I can say is you have to check out their website and the YouTube video and their tutorials so you can really see what they are about. They are also sold at Sephora At Sephora, they have a mini lip set and also the powder 3 set – a great way to try out their product, especially the lippies!
Some points from their FAQ page:
HOW IS BESAME MAKEUP FORMULATED?
We use only the highest quality ingredients in Bésame formulations, including natural waxes, oils and extracts. Our products work well with sensitive skin and have not caused reactions with our customers.
DOES BESAME COSMETICS TEST ON ANIMALS?
No! Bésame does not test on animals at any level of production and uses natural responsible ingredients in all our products.
ARE ANY OF YOUR PRODUCTS CONSIDERED VEGAN?
Yes, all our powders both loose and pressed, as well as our Sweetheart Balm, are Vegan. Our lipsticks do contain beeswax for texture.
One other fantastic point: I live in NYC, and ordered and paid for the product (they’re based in Los Angeles, CA) in early afternoon online at their website. Several hours later, end of day, I got an email from them alerting me that the order was packed and shipped. Same day this all happened. I got the package three days later, on the third day. Impressive with the shipping fulfillment and details for sure.
As I love people like 1950’s pinup Bettie Page, performer Dita Von Teese and old Hollywood films from the ’30’s, 40’s and ’50’s, I can tell you – I absolutely love this line and its concept and visuals and will be asking my friends and family for all the Besame products like their hair brushes, rouge brush and lipsticks to add to my collection.
Their hashtag is #MakeupWithHistory