I’ve been lusting over Besame Cosmetic lipsticks for the longest time, ever since Agent Carter started airing and it was revealed that she was wearing Red Velvet. I can’t be Agent Carter, but I can wear the same lipstick!
Anyway, I do have a love for all things classic and clean, although I’m not an ALL VINTAGE ERRRTHANG kind of girl. I’m all about Lana del Rey (except the grungy white-girl trash stuff) – a throwback and nostalgic reminiscence of old Hollywood, but with a definite modern touch. And Besame is perfect for me. Their shades and packaging are so rooted in history, and they’re perfect for the modern lady who wants to channel the elegance of screen sirens.
[Because I’m super awkward, and I’m still hoping as I creep closer to 30 I’ll grow out of the awkwardness….]
Anyway, for Holiday 2016, Besame released a few mini sets. I wanted to buy this set after seeing Temptalia’s review, but I was still hesitant. It was only after seeing Renee’s review on Badoutfitgreatlipstick that I felt confident to bite the bullet.
I bought this on CultBeauty, and I paid GBP 23.62 after shipping and deducting VAT, which is about $42 SGD. This makes each mini lipstick about $8.50 – Not expensive, but a bit more than I’ve spent on a single item in awhile.
The colours in this set are Noir Red (1930), Cherry Red (1935), Red Velvet(1946), Dusty Rose(1969) and Chocolate Kiss(1970). I really wanted to try Red Velvet, Dusty Rose and Chocolate Kiss, but didn’t really care for Noir Red and Cherry Red.
The tubes are super tiny even by mini standards, but very pretty still. They’re plastic and light, but I don’t really mind. They work by a slider, so no worries about it swivelling up or the cap coming off or anything. Although the amount of product looks tiny, this formula is extremely dense and you’ll likely easily get 50 uses out of a single mini tube. Because of the density of the formula, the mini tube will likely not break off too, which is a problem I’ve had with some of my Buxom minis.
Let’s start the review in chronological order!
1930: Noir Red
1930 was during the Great Depression. The 20s are of course, known for flapper girls and extravagant parties. Lipsticks were vampy and dark, and Clara Bow lips with exaggerated cupid bows were very in vogue.
Besame calls this a Deep Plum. This is by far the darkest lipstick I have, because I don’t tend to wear very dark lipsticks very often and I got rid of most of them. Still, I really dig it, surprisingly, even though it was one of the ‘meh’ colours in the set for me. On me, it takes on a slightly brown tone, but the red is still evident. It appears just a touch brighter in this photo than in real life. It glides on like a dream, and doesn’t drag at all. It doesn’t even settle in my lip lines or flakes much. You’ll want to be very careful in application because it’s so dark, but once you’ve got the perfect shape and blotted it down, it doesn’t bleed or feather. I know because my boss bought us lunch when I was wearing this. It also wears off extremely evenly and leaves an even stain, and the red in it does become more apparent as it wears off. I did 1 touch up in the entire work day.
(I wore this on the last working day of 2016 to the office and got many comments, but still vaguely passable in polite society. My mum hates it, but my sister digs it too.)
I don’t foresee myself using up this tube very fast due to the limited opportunities to wear super dark lipstick, but I would consider getting a full size, depending on my lipstick stash at that point of time.
1935: Cherry Red
Cherry Red, the other colour in the set I didn’t really care for. I don’t have much background knowledge and history of 1935… Besame describes it as a deep, rich cherry.
Out of all 5 colours in this set, Cherry Red is the driest and draggiest of them all. The difference in texture is rather apparent to me. It makes application a little more annoying, but it’s not too bad. It’s a darker, cool red.
The first photo is my front facing camera, which somehow made it looked superrrrr bright. The photo using the selfie camera, although much worse in quality, more accurately reflects the colour and darkness relative to my skintone.
This colour doesn’t really stand out to me, so I don’t foresee myself reaching for it much. It’s probably the kind of colour most people think about when you say ‘red lipstick.’ And obviously, I don’t think I’ll purchase the full size because it doesn’t excite me much.
1946: Red Velvet
And here comes the lipstick that sparked off my Besame obsession. 1946 was just after World War 2, and life seemed to be picking up. Women proved themselves indispensable in various capacities in the war. And of course, it’s when Agent Carter was set. 😉
Again, this is impossible to capture accurately. Which is the chief reason why I love it so much and worn it quite a few times and never posted a photo on any social media. The first photo is way too bright and makes it look cooler than it actually is, while the 2nd photo is way too cool. Besame describes it as a deeper red suitable for everyday wear.
As a dedicated Dragon Girl and other screaming bright lipstick wearer, even though I seriously wanted to be Agent Carter, I wasn’t sure whether I would actually like this shade on me, but I was proven totally wrong.
This lipstick is as what Besame describes. It’s a medium red, not bright but not dark, and a little bit muted. It’s also quite neutral, not leaning warm or cool. Though red lipstick in our day is considered rather dressy, I would say this feels quite ‘everyday’, mainly due to the slightly muted quality.
The formula is perfect – creamy and easy to apply, without feathering or bleeding. I need very minor touchups in the day.
I have used this lipstick quite a few times and the bullet is beginning to show some wear. I would definitely buy the full size after the mini is gone. It is such a beautiful, classic red.
1969: Dusty Rose
Besame has tons and tons of different variations of red, so definitely I wanted to get one of the few MLBBesque shades they offer. Besame describes this as a natural rose for everyday wear.
The very first photo is a good representation of the depth of the colour – it’s far darker than what I expected. Not quite MLBB on me, probably on someone a good few shades darker. I could definitely wear it as an everyday shade though. It’s definitely quite a vintage, classic colour, but isn’t the kind of shade that you’d call old or out of fashion. It’s quite mauvey and muted, rather than outrightly a rose.
The formula is also creamy and easy to apply, and wears away evenly and nicely.
I’m not sure I would buy the full size – it’s beautiful, but a little darker than what I expected and hoped to get.
1970: Chocolate Kiss
Yay, brown lipstick! Though brown lipstick is strongly associated with the 90s and the 90s revival trend we’re having right now, this shade is most definitely not like the brickish browns of the 90s. I was super excited about this as this shade is quite rare and not available on Cultbeauty. Besame describes it as a neutral milk chocolate brown.
And what a beauty! It’s quite a neutral on me, more so than Dusty Rose. It’s warm and it has some yellow tones mixed in with the red to make it truly a milk chocolate colour. It looks a little bit more orange here than in real life.
Of course, like the other 3 lipsticks in this set, this has a stunning formula that is creamy and stays put. I’ve worn this on several days and it has always been flawless. It goes well with blue clothing for a nice warm pop of contrast. It’s a very nice brown that is classic and elegant, in the whole vein of Besame’s aesthetic, rather than the trashy 90s inspired browns we are seeing nowadays.
I would definitely buy this in the full size too when I’ve finished it, except it’s seriously hard to find outside of the Besame online store which doesn’t ship overseas…
This is a very beautiful set and sadly limited edition for the holidays, but I hope that I was able to give you an idea of the formula and the individual shades. All the shades are permanent because Besame doesn’t really do limited edition stuff, which I really do appreciate.
Other than these shades, I would like to try Carmine, which looks like a corally orange-red, and since Dusty Rose was so surprisingly dark on me, Portrait Pink (because I have 0 pink lipsticks.) I would also love to try their brightening powders, powder blushes and cream rouges. Basically, give me everything!!!
At $22 USD per lipstick, or GBP 15 ($27 SGD – minus VAT on Cultbeauty) they’re solidly mid-range. For such a beautiful formula in an array of beautiful shades, I think it’s a great deal. If buying on Cultbeauty, a GBP 50 order nets you free international shipping too.