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Besame Cosmetics Classic Color -1920 Lipstick

Editors Reviews



Re Buy

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First Impressions

Besame’s collection of lipsticks are the perfect representation of old Hollywood glam and decades past. They’ve coined a shade for every era - a rich noir for the 1930′s, cool berry for post-war 1945, and so on. Leading the pack is a classic red rouge aptly named Besame Red (BR). Far darker then its picture on the website, Besame Red is a “true red with a cooler, blue-toned base.” It’s a shade I imagine silver screen starlets like Mae West or Carole Lombard would wear, as they wait at the top of some mansion’s grand staircase draped in a gorgeous gown, cigarette holder in hand.

The lipstick’s metallic gold tubing, embellished with red flowers, is wonderfully vintage but it’s the smell that draws me in. Is that…cake frosting?! Good gosh it smells like dessert! Before actually trying this shade I swatched it on the back of my hand. To my delight not only did the swatch stay in place most of the day - more on that later - the fragrance lasted just as long. I will admit to a hankering for cupcakes after all was said and done, but it was so worth it.

Red lipsticks are a tricky beast in that they can bleed (more so than other shades) and are particularly difficult to get an even coat, nevermind the task of finding a red that actually works for your skin type. Besame took this into account with an incredibly thorough lipstick application guide and a wide range of reds. Honestly, I was feeling especially lazy the first day I tried this and skipped a handful of the recommended steps. Its blue-red color is versatile enough to stand alone or be layered in with other shades for an overall look, and fairly universal.

The formula is creamy and quite comfortable, though a tad heavy on the lips, thanks to squalene, vitamin C and aloe. My lips are incredibly dry (and it’s been hot as a mother) so I opted for a little balm beforehand, but those without dry lips could potentially skip that step. It’s the perfect semi-matte - smooth, flat color with reduced transfer. Best of all, it’s wickedly pigmented and lasts the majority of the day without any major patchiness. A stain was quite visible on my lips the following day.

Overall this is a winner with the perfect dose of modern vintage.

What We Love

  • Wickedly pigmented
  • Smells like cake frosting
  • Enriched with extracts and oils for protection and comfort
  • Leaves a stain on the lips
  • Fairly long-wearing
  • Creamy, smooth formula
  • Cruelty-free

Not So Much

  • Best applied with a brush making on-the-go touchups difficult
  • Shape of the tube makes application tricky
  • Lots of bleeding around the edges, not uncommon for reds


A modern take on vintage lipstick shades and appeal. Besame's lipsticks are creamy, smooth, super pigmented, and smell delicious...literally!

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