A brand that I had high on my ‘to try’ list? Bésame Cosmetics. This US based brand does retro inspired makeup with products that are either shade dupes or inspired by shades that are reminiscent of that era. I had first heard of them through Emily Noel on Youtube as she loved their lipsticks. So I knew I wanted to try one. The brand is a little hard to find, even in the US, but I found the red from their limited edition Snow White collection on a recent trip to New York. I tried it and these are my thoughts.
Review: Bésame lipstick in Snow White Red
The Bésame lipsticks retail for around the €20 mark. That is similar to a MAC or Urban Decay lipstick. So not quite luxury, but more in the high end Sephora range. This is a cream lipstick formula with a satin finish and the shade I bought is now called Fairest Red. So you can still buy this, it just won’t be branded as ‘Snow White’s Red’, while mine is. The brand describes this as the red lipstick that is worn by Snow White in the Disney classic of the same name.
What does this lipstick have to offer?
Bésame lipsticks had intrigued me for a while as the idea of different shades inspired or recreated after shades that were popular in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s really appealed to me. It’s one of the things that I love about Lisa Eldridge’s lipstick line and it is what I like about this one. Fairest Red is recreated and branded as being a throwback to 1937. Many of their lipstick shades are different renditions of shades of red as reds were of course the first real shade that was popularized. I think the concept of these lipsticks is unique and truly what sold me on it.
What is the lipstick like?
Unfortunately for me, besides the stunning packaging and the idea behind the lipstick, I found this wasn’t what I was looking for in a lipstick. And in a way that is not the lipstick’s fault. Hear me out. I love my reds to be longlasting and matte. This is creamy and while longlasting for a cream it does still transfer and doesn’t stay put as well as I’d like. That said, the shade is lovely and the texture feels great on the lips. In terms of its retro vibe, even the formula is true to that because the kind of longlasting formulas we have now, just weren’t around back in the day. So I think this lipstick stays very true to its nature and that can only be applauded, it just isn’t for me.
However, the formula wasn’t my only issue with this lipstick. The bullet looks super sharply cut with that flat edge and I thought it would make for a quick and easy lipstick application, much like my Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks. Sadly, this did not. I found the shape of the bullet very finicky to use. It was great for creating a sharp lip line on a flat surface, but I struggled to get this to go on nicely around my cupid’s bow and in the corners of my mouth.
How does this lipstick swatch?
In terms of the color I have no complaints. This is such a stunning more unique red shade! It is vibrant but not too pink leaning and I feel still a bit more neutral and blue toned than many other reds in Bésame’s line. Since this is a satin formula, the light sheen this has is to be expected. Again, I prefer my reds to be matte simply because that looks more flattering, but the sheen on this is only there ever so slightly and I don’t find it too noticeable on the lips. In face, I feel that slight sheen is what makes this lipstick look very healthy and juicy on the lips.
What does this lipstick look like on?
As you can see this lipstick is absolutely gorgeous once applied. But to get it here is a painstakingly precise process that just isn’t worth it. In the close up you can see how I struggled to get this to look nice on my top lip: you can see some jagged edges here and there as the bullet just wouldn’t allow me to create a smooth, curve to my lips. I did the best I could, but my top lip is quite narrow and therefore always a bit troublesome in my lipstick application and this just didn’t go on smoothly along my top lip at all.
My final thoughts
It pains me to have to conclude that I will not be trying any other Bésame lipsticks any time soon. While I love the shade of Fairest Red, the cut of the bullet just makes this a nightmare to apply. Paired with a creamy formula that transfers and slides around, this just isn’t my favorite. I really wanted to love it and am happy that I finally got to try it. This is just a case of having really high expectations and then have those deflated like a punctured balloon. I have other lipsticks that retail for less or a similar price point that I like much better than this.
Would I recommend the Bésame lipstick in Fairest Red?
While this didn’t work for me, I can see that this product could be right for some people. If you like creamy formulas and don’t mind a bit of a transfer than you can still make this work. Perhaps if you have a different lipstick the bullet wouldn’t cause as many issues to try and get this on. So while this may not be my favorite lipstick of all time, perhaps it could be yours.