There was one booth in particular at Cosmoprof North America (held July 22-24, in Las Vegas) in which I felt transported back in time to another era, where smoking was socially acceptable, and movie stars were glamourous.
I’d like to introduce you to Besame, a cosmetic brand inspired by the post-war starlets of the 1940s.
Besame is very luxe, yet very simple. Why? Because in the 1940s, makeup was simple. Women wanted red lips, flushed cheeks and powder for the faces. Mascara didn’t have a long, unpronouncable list of ingredients.
Let me take you on a small journey through some of the offerings that Besame has!
This is a display of Besame’s Crimson Rouge, a cream rouge for any complexion – lips and cheeks. Gabriela Hernandez, founder and CEO, told me that this product is similar to what was popular in the 1930s, and feels lightweight. It comes in a red and gold recyclable metal tin. It retails for $22.
Besame’s lipsticks are powerfully pigmented, and finish semi-matte. The gold-plated bullet packaging is a throw-back to the 1940s, and these lipsticks even come with a small velvet pouch for safe keeping. The shades are reproductions of shades worn by starlets of the 1940s era. Ingredients include vitamins A, E and C, aloe and green tea. These retail for $22.
Besame’s 1930s Mascara is simple – it’s seven ingredients that are natural conditioning oils, food grade colorants and has a clove and spice scent. The oil of these two ingredients provide antibacterial properties in the mascara to keep it fresh. It’s paraben-free, safe for sensitive eyes, waterproof but easily removable. It retails for $18.
Gabriela holds and shows what Violet Powder looks like:
Violet Powder is a translucent powder with a violet hue that brightens skin. Gabriela said it’s based on Marie Antoinette’s powder. It reflects dark circles, doesn’t accentuate wrinkles and blends into skin quickly. It sets your makeup and gives your skin a matte finish. It retails for $22.
Besame’s Souffle Foundation is a newer product, I don’t even see a listing for it yet on the website. A reproduction of the creamy foundation from the 1940s, Souffle Foundation is light and smooth, but full coverage. It’s available in five shades, in vintage-style glass cream jars. It smells lightly of tea rose. It has vitamin C, which diminishes dark circles; the foundation can also be used as a concealer. It retails for $34.
Sweetheart Balm is a moisturizing balm, sweetened with Stevia, that is a nonsticky lip protectant. It provides a sheer pop of color and a fruit flavor. These retail for $18.
Collaboration with Kenly Collins
Besame collaborated with Project Runway star Kenley Collins. Gabriela matched a lipstick – Kenley Red- to a scarf designed by the vintage designer. It’s coming for holiday 2012, and only 1,000 units are being produced. Not sure of price point on this one.
Besame also has a beautiful makeup bag that reminds me of the “train-case” for makeup. Again – don’t see this one on the website and am not sure of price point. It might be another coming out later this year.
“Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup,” is Gabriela’s own book. The book is a 430-picture trip down cosmetics memory lane, detailing facial trends and the evolution of makeup. It retails for $49.95.
I fell in love with this line, which is a family business that launched in 2003. Although the products are made in the United States, Besame is sold in more than 16 countries. In a brochure about the line, Gabriela states, “My Besame is for the woman who makes it clear to the world she is not going to be taken lightly!” Doesn’t that just conjure up images of Greta Garbo? Lauren Bacall? Rita Hayworth? These were elegant, sophisticated and beautiful women – I love the idea of going back in time to capture that kind of beauty.
Just like when I wrote my NCLA post, I got halfway through this post and realized I couldn’t live without trying more from this brand. I ordered Violet Powder, 1930s Mascara, and lipsticks in Red Velvet, Besame Red and Dusty Rose. I also received a small sample of Crimson Rouge to try, which I’m hoping to do this week!I’ll make sure to review everything and report back!
Do you see anything that appeals to you from Besame? What do you think about the concept of reproducing the simple, elegant beauty of the 1920s-1950s, compared with trying to create the next best thing? Personally? I love it!