Besame is not the easiest brand to get hold of in the UK. Cult Beauty stocked them for a while, they have been to IMATS and there are some smaller stockists who sell part of the range. You can get the full product range from their website but if you are in the UK this means that that you won’t get the colours into your hands for a while due to shipping and then a customs fee on top. Having said all that, if you are a lipsitck aficianado, this brand is worth getting hold of by any means possible. The shades and level of pigment are worth it.
The lipsticks are cute, vintage but not kitsch. They are light in weight and it is a shame as I feel like a bit of weight in the packaging would have added to the vintage feel of them (admittedly this would have had an added cost … but still). The bullets are squared off. I don’t know if this is an authentic touch from the era but I like it. It means that you can get an almost lip liner finish with the edge. The colours are opaque in one swipe with no discernable smell and the finish has a slight sheen. These are a proper lipstick in the traditional sense.
Besame are know for their reds, so I made a conscious decision to try the pink. From the bullet, and the swatch, I thought it was going to be a fuchsia on my lips. Interestingly, this is a pink toned red on the lips. It is beautiful shade and not something that is easily dupeable. Touch ups are necessarily but it it not a chore as the lipsticks definitely have the purse factor.
I do not wear red often so it is interesting for me to wear this colour. I definitely feel like I need to have a ‘vintage’ look (ie, mascara, liner and a touch of blush ). I love this look occasionally. It photographs really well and the lack of highlighter makes a real change. My favourite thing about this shade of red is the lack of orange. It makes the colour more formal and more vintage. I like to blot it and apply a second coat as well as a thin layer of translucent powder to increase longevity on the lips.
When you think about vintage imagery and vintage lipstick you probably are thinking about the Pathe News reels showing women with their victory curls and bandanas working in a munitions factory. These images are always of white women. According to Besame and other brands that use vintage imagery like Soap and Glory black women did not exist in history. It is a shame that Gabriela Hernandez a cosmetics historian cannot access sources that show the presence of people of colour at the time. The products are amazing. Shades suitable for all skin-tones. I just wish that the historical references were truly representative.