besame 2011 beauty fashion

New Cosmetics Obsession: Besame

My love of all things vintage and vintage-inspired is well-known. My dream job would have been to be a contract chorus girl at MGM studios in the 1940s and 1950s. Alas, I was born too late, and so I am stuck with beehive hairdos, Pinup Girl Couture, and black and white movies. My latest find, and a new valued weapon in my vintage arsenal, is the lovely Besame Cosmetics, whose delightfully old-school products put retro pretenders like Benefit to shame.

Ava. Sigh.

I first discovered Besame this summer at Wink Beauty lounge, which was carrying a very limited range of Besame lipsticks - I think at the time they had four colours, which were all reproductions of 1940s lipstick colours. They are beautifully packaged in gold plated cases, thick enough for one coat, and semi-matte - in other words, a great red lipstick worthy of Marilyn or Ava. I bought Red Velvet, a shade described as a "deep, rich red" that is "perfect for officewear" and "not too bright." Unfortunately, I looked less like Marilyn and more like Joan Crawford in this colour - it was too dark for me and made me look very severe and my lips drawn and pursed. I was disappointed since I loved the quality of the product, but had to relegate it to my theatre make-up box - it's more a colour for a villain than a bombshell.

Sorry Joan, but

This week I popped into Wink and found they were now carrying an expanded line of Besame products - many, many more lipsticks, and also rouges, powders, liners and shadows. Yes! How exciting! I have to admit, I went a little crazy, but how can you not with beautifully packaged products like this:

I bought the boudoir rouge, and two double-colored liners, one in grey and taupe and one in plum and brown. The rouge is absolutely beautiful, a neutral blush that goes on not-too-pink and highlights cheekbones. According to Besame's website, they can refill these beautiful cases, which makes Eco-Dani happy. The liners have so far survived their first bouts with Vancouver rain. And then - well, I couldn't resist. I had to try to find the perfect red lipstick, and I think I've done it this time, with Besame Red, a cooler, pinkier red that has the va-va-voom I was missing with the Red Velvet. Ah, there's nothing like finding the perfect red lipstick, is there?

First stop, Besame, next stop burlesque queen! OK, not really, but a girl can dream, can't she?

Visit Besame's website here.