This article is going to read a lot like a love letter to Besame Cosmetics, and for good reason; they are one of the best cosmetics brands to be launched in the last twenty years. Owner and creator Gabriela Hernandez began Besame as a nod to the beauty of her grandmothers and mothers’ times. Each of their products is formulated with history and intrigue in mind and is made with pride in the United States. Lipsticks, blushes, and perfumes, are named after years past with shades corresponding to the biggest trends and fashions of that year. Their packaging is vintage without being chintzy, and their products stand up far beyond the novelty. In short; they are a brand that makes makeup an experience again, a ritual.
The first product I tried from Besame was their Vanilla Brightening powder ($22), its a delicately scented pale yellow powder with the power to dull redness and brighten up even the darkest of under eye circles. The packaging is darling, with Besame scrawled across the front in a delicate and decorative script. The powder puff inside is similarly emblazoned and is reminiscent of the days when women would flock to the restroom in packs to “powder their noses”.
Their 1920 Black Cake Mascara ($25) is truly a marvel. Enrobed in wax paper and set in a beautifully-designed tin lies a little square of black cake magic. Cake mascara was one of the first forms of the cosmetic and was especially popular during the 1920s. Underneath the unforgiving heat of studio lights, cake mascara could be depended on to hold up without smudging or running – and this revival is no different. This mascara survived the gym, yoga, and running errands afterward – all while keeping my lashes soft and a to-die-for jet black. To say I didn’t feel like a glamorous old-Hollywood goddess when I caught my reflection in the rear-view mirror would be a lie. To use, you introduce a drop of water to the cake and gently rub using an applicator until it creates a paste that can be swiped across lashes for inky-black lengths, as an eyeliner for the perfect cat-eye, or brows that would make Greta Garbo green with jealousy. The joy of this little beauty ritual is absolutely intoxicating.
When I opened the box, I wasn’t just opening a little package of makeup; I was opening history, mystery, and more than a little magic. Each swipe transforms and empowers as a nod to every woman who has come before us and has completed the same ritual. As each of Besame’s boxes is inscribed: “get ready to be admired”.
Purchase Besame products directly through their website at besamecosmetics.com or at your nearest Sephora.