my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


Bésame: The Elegance of A "New" Look

It's easy to forget there once was a time of stricter style ... when a woman wore a hat and gloves simply to go shopping. When grooming meant carefully applied cosmetics and seamed hosiery smoothed over sleek calves.

I remember the scent of my mother's dressing table when I was about six, that off-limits altar with her lipsticks and rouges and powders. The look produced at that table certainly wasn't aimed at "natural." It was the artistry of attraction, a concerted effort to send a sexual message.

Bésame Cosmetics draws its appeal from that, and earlier eras. Its retro packaging and color selections are a determined pull back to the time when women unabashedly worked their looks.

*whisper* I like it. It feels very different, very new.

I've tried their loose powder, boudoir rouge and lipstick ... wonderful quality, and although the colors and textures are much different than I'm used to -- more matte, more velvet-y, a bit more intense color -- it's a nice, nice look. More finished, more polished.

And I love looking at the products, with their vintage goldtone and enamel cases, decorated with red chrysanthemums and tucked into red velvet pouches.

The scent? Well, until I can get hold of Bésame's new Rose Balance moisturizing lotion, I'm going with Frederic Malle's Lipstick Rose. Its violet/rose is the perfect fragrance complement to the era, and to these lovely cosmetics.

Many thanks to Bésame for their elegant products. If you'd like to see their full range, visit

Silk shantung "Bar" suit jacket, spring/summer 1947
Christian Dior Haute Couture (French, founded 1947)
Gift of Mrs. John Chambers Hughes,1958
Wool Skirt, executed in 1969 from a 1947 design
by Christian Dior;
Gift of Christian Dior, 1969;
exhibit of the Metropolitan Museum of New York


Blogger Doug said...

D0 any of their styles hearken back to Benjamin Franklin, by any chance?

3:50 PM

Blogger Annieytown said...

I have been very curious about Besame. I remember Chattykathy going nuts over their beautiful compacts and the texture of their lipsticks. I love when cosmetic companies create lovely packaging for their products. That little added flair takes you back to a time when a woman whipped out a compact and it looked like a little piece of art.
This was a great review M!!!!

3:57 PM

Blogger mireille said...

Annie, thanks so much! Doug, do you remember what happened to Ben Franklin when he flew kites during storms? xoxo

4:07 PM

Blogger katiedid said...

GAH! Freaking great. I've been pondering over and over whether or not to order some of their items for the past year or so, and now... Now I have to. Crap. You evil bastard, you! :P

6:06 PM

Blogger mireille said...

*preen* katie called me an evil bastard! *preen* xoxoxo

6:07 PM

Blogger Logophile said...

ok, I do love make up.
Matte is marvelous, velvety mmmm
Mr. Logo will be so pleased I've found this, heh heh heh
Thanks, Mirielle.

8:08 AM

Blogger greeneyes said...

Oh, their packaging is so pretty! And that Red Velvet lipstick is gorgeous.

9:06 AM

Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

I love to look at old magazines at flea markets. The ones with the old "dressy" styles that women on those pages cooked meals in. My Mama didn't dress like that. But I love looking at the pix now.

4:17 AM

Blogger Alanna said...

When my "city" mother married my "small town" father, she adjusted pretty quickly, though with a sense of style and verve still several steps up from other women her age. But when her mother came to visit, and insisted on wearing gloves and stole when going "into town" (for groceries, a stop at the dime store, whatever ...), Nana created quite a sensation. She'd have LOVED Besame!

PS Thanks for visiting Kitchen Parade earlier today. I seem to be full of little stories at the moment!

10:41 AM


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