Showing posts with label Besame Cosmetics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Besame Cosmetics. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Here's a little morsel of good news: Besame Cosmetics Brightening Violet Powder ($22) is now available online from Sephora. I don't know why didn't pick the entire line (they really should), but this powder is so lovely and efficient, so it's a great start.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bésame Cosmetics- Brightening Violet Powder

Bésame Cosmetics are known for their retro chic. They offer a small(ish) selection of makeup products (I'm a huge fan of their red lipstick) of high quality and adorable packaging. I used to have an older version of their vanilla scented loose powder and liked it a lot for the soft texture and the heart-warming fragrance, so I was happy to see a new Bésame powder- the Brightening Violet one.

The small (6g) container has a built-in sifter and a cap that sits directly on top of it, securing the powder and preventing accidents even when you're on the go. It's a really nice touch that I appreciate greatly. The powder itself has a faint violet tint that doesn't create a real cast on skin but does brighten ever so slightly.

I expected the powder to be heavily scented-- something like the smell of Guerlain cosmetics on steroids. While Besame powders are fragranced,  it's a delicate floral scent that doesn't linger for too long. If you're sensitive to perfume in makeup or if you dislike the feel of retro cosmetics, this is probably not the product for you.

Touching the powder for the first time I thought it was a bit thick and talc-like, but there's no sign of that when you apply. The Brightening Violet Powder disappears into the skin without a trace. I apply with a brush, not a puff, because I prefer the lightest possible touch of powder. I'd also recommend (this is what I do) that if your main concern is hiding redness and your skin is generally dry, to only dust it over a concealer. This way you set the concealer, enjoy the brightening effect, but avoid adding to the problem.

Bottom Line: very nice.

Besame Cosmetics- Brightening Violet Powder ($22) is available from

Photo of Jean Harlow via Stirred, Straight Up With a Twist.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bésame Cosmetics Voluptuous Lip Colour Set (Red Velvet)

'Tis the season for red lipstick.

I was happily surprised to see that Bésame Cosmetics is back with beautiful new products. Bésame is a small California-based niche makeup company that launched a few years ago with quite a bit of blog hype- we all loved the vintage-inspired packaging, attention to details and superb product quality. Things seemed to have fizzled  in the last couple of years, the line was pulled out of Henri Bendel  and seemed to be forever on clearance online with no new products to liven things up.

However, things are looking up. The website has undergone a serious face-lift and there's finally something new to get excited about: Voluptuous Lip Colour Set. These lip kits feature three items: lipstick, lip liner and a small lip brush. As you can see, the packaging is as gorgeous as ever, with that Old Hollywood touch. These products would look more at home on an Art Deco vanity than in my modern makeup storage system, but a girl has to keep her lipsticks straight, after all. The sets come in three colors: Red Velvet (a true movie star red, on the warm side but not orange. It looks lighter on skin than in the tube, as you can see in the swatch), Rupture Rose (a soft pink) and Champagne (a shimmery beige). The last two seemed too light for me, so I only bought Red Velvet.

The lipstick is creamy, has more moisture than Besmae's Vintage Lipstick line and a satiny finish. It's not a matte, but isn't shiny either. It's a true grownup lipstick with full coverage, the kind you need to take extra care to apply it right, but when you do it rewards you with a flawless, elegant look. That's where the other items in the kit come into play. The retractable lip liner is a perfect match to the lipstick and provides the defining required when wearing red. The tip is thin enough to draw a very exact line and you can also use it under the lipstick for extra staining and a good hold. Not that the lipstick needs much help in this department- it was much longer lasting than I expected, surviving a snack and a drink.

The lip brush looks small and cutesy, but is actually wonderfully designed. It's the perfect size and the handle fits effortlessly between the thumb and index finger. The brush is dense, soft and grabs the right amount of color. Serious red lipsticks always look better when applied with a brush so I'm very happy that these kits provide such a good one. There's a small velvet pouch for the lipstick, but I prefer to keep the brush in it, for neatness sake.

Bottom line: Now I just need the perfect dress.

Bésame Cosmetics Voluptuous Lip Colour Set ($35) is available online from, which is where I bought mine, and at select retailers around the world (there's a store locator on the website).

All photos are mine.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This And That

Good Reads:

  • The new face, according to the NY Magazine. I don't know if I should run to find a plastic surgeon or just hide under my bed.
  • The nose doesn't forget, according to the NY Times. A scientific explanation to why smelling Colours by Benetton still makes me misty eyed.

  • I tested the new Estee Lauder Sensuous three times so far. It's not interesting enough to me for an actual review, but I see why it has a mass appeal. It's not a typical Lauder and it's better done than most of the things you'd find in Macy's. I just can't get excited about a sugar-glazed wood. Maybe I'll try again when the parfum version comes out.
  • Lancome Magnifique- I smelled, I shrugged, I forgot. Anne Hathaway deserves better than this (seems to be the theme of her life lately).

Skin Care:
Speaking of Lancome, they have launched a new serum in the Secret de Vie range. The moisturizer is still my holy grail, so I might have to get it. I tried it at Saks today and it seemed nice. And despite what the SA told me, you can get it directly from Lancome. The Saks exclusivity was her excuse for the lack of samples. I'm getting seriously fed up with department stores and their employees. Thankfully, there's always online shopping.

  • Among all the new collections for fall, some older and worthy makeup items are going to the great makeup counter in the sky. Alison Raffaele is discontinuing a whole bunch of makeup products and brushes. If, like me, you're a fan of her soft glosses, this is the time to stock up and hoard. Too bad there's no special discount. Besame Cosmetics, on the other hand, offer all their discontinued items (labeled Au Revoir) at amazingly low prices. With the adorable packaging and exceptional quality, this is one good bargain. The website doesn't make it easier to find them, though, so you'll need to search each category.

  • At the total opposite end of the spectrum you'll find Giorgio Armani's fall makeup collection. The Python Palette is giving me a bad case of coveting. It's gorgeous, but is it $100 gorgeous?

Katie Holmes is bringing ugly back. Who would have thought we'd ever see the tight rolls making a comeback? And, yes, it does make your butt look bigger.

Images: Go Fug Yourself, stOOpidgErL

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bésame Cosmetics Waterproof Mascara

I've said this before, and it's worth repeating: There are so many great products on the market today, that a mediocre mascara is simply unacceptable.

I usually love the makeup from Besame Cosmetics, a small and semi-exclusive line, famous for elegant and vintage-inspired packaging, but something is going on there and it's not necessarily good. They are no longer sold at Henri Bendel, though there are quite a few more new locations. Most of the original products are being phased out and discontinued (I just stocked up on my favorite lip gloss in Berry Red), while new ones are replacing them.

This is the case of the new mascara. I liked the previous, non-waterpoof version and didn't have many issues with it, though I know that others have experience more racooning than is acceptable. I enjoyed the thick, very black and very glossy formula that added volume, curl and definition. The new waterproof mascara doesn't come close, as much as I'm concerned.

While it's easily removed and doesn't smudge or 'coon, it doesn't do much, either. In fact, I had to pile on layer after layer in order to see any results. I'm not looking for much lash drama, but I do want to see some action, and it just doesn't happen here. Do you remember beauty advice in old magazines telling us to powder our lashes between layers of mascara? The 70s are over, though, and I'm expecting more.

Besame Waterproof Mascara ($24) was sent to me as a freebie for review.

Photo of Joan Crawford and her lashes is for Tom. Just because.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Old School

Take a second and try to answer this:
How many mini tubes of Lancome's Defincils mascara do you have right now in several makeup bags, purses and emergency stashes?

I'm old enough to remember the days that Defincils was the default "good" mascara. It has pretty much set the standard for a hard-working, non-clumping lash defining product, giving just a bit of everything: length, volume and color, without being over-the-top. Which was probably the reason why in recent years bolder and sexier mascaras have taken center stage. Also, drugstore brands have improved so much that one doesn't necessarily have to buy an everyday mascara at the department stores.

I guess that this is why Defincils has become that mascara that you get in all those GWP deals, but never actually buy. You use it because it's there, but nobody gets excited about. However, this old standard has gotten an interesting face lift with Defincils Pro. Not of the formula, but of the brush. And the results are surprisingly good, reminding us why this mascara is still worthy of our drawer space.

The new brush is curved and lets you access the corners and shorter lashes easily. It's easy to apply and coats the lashes perfectly. The results are full and beautifully defined lashes. It holds a curl nicely, and is up to the usual Lancome standard of no smudging, no clumping and no smearing.

A brand new mascara comes from Besame Cosmetics. It's no secret that I adore many of their products (their lip glaze is still a favorite, and I hope for more colors), and the new mascara is worthy of their makeup line. From the beautiful packaging to the rich black of the mascara itself, the tube sings of old school glamor. Unlike the Defincils Pro and many other modern mascaras, the brush here is thick, wide and barely tapers at the tip. It's harder to control and reach the corner and finer lashes, so I wasn't expecting the beautiful result I saw after just one coat. My lashes looked instantly fuller and bolder, with just a bit of extra length.

There was no clumping or dotting, it holds a curl just fine (though it actually curls enough by itself, so the Shu wasn't really necessary) and stays for hours. However, there are two drwbacks: First, rubbing your eyes by accident may result in a serious case of raccoon eyes. Second: The color is so rich and the formula so thick that it takes quite a bit of grease- elbow and product, to get it off. Almay oil-free eye makeup remover pads barely touch this mascara, so I had to revert to the oily ones, which did an excellent job removing it. Lancome Bi-Facil also works, but it takes more effort and several cotton pads to take it all off.

Friday, December 29, 2006

My Favorite Things for 2006

2006 has been full of beauty discoveries. Of course, I also started my blogging journey this year, which made the experience more interesting. My experiments with color and scent have an audience now, witnessing both Holy Grail discoveries, as well as what happens when I don't wash my hair for four days (in the name of science) or when I try on a fragrance that turns my stomach just before having one mojito too many.

Without further ado, here's my list of Favorite Things for 2006 (in no particular order):

1. Secret de Vie by Lancome

The magic orb holds a cream that is officially targeting an audience older than me (you'll find it on their site under solutions for wrinkles and dermo-creases). I'll go out on a limb here and say that it probably doesn't erase wrinkles. However, it's an amazing active cream that really restores and nourishes the skin. It promises instant, visible results and in the case of my 30-something skin it is delivering just that. I've been using it since early fall, from the first sign that my skin gave about being unhappy with the change of weather. That first sign was also the last, because SdV has done wonders. No redness, flakiness or any other kind of irritation. It feels great, smells wonderfully, doesn't clog pores and actually seems to be helping with healing if the occasional breakout appears. It costs a pretty penny and is well worth it.
My original post about SdV is here.

2. Besame Cosmetics makeup in general and lip glaze in particular

Pretty is as pretty does, and in the case of this small and relatively unknown California-based company, it's not just the gorgeous, retro-glam packaging of the products. Inside the gold and red vials, tubes and compacts there is some serious beauty and exceptional quality. The latest product that was launched is the lip glaze, which for me takes the cake. The combination of pretty colors, delicious smell, impressive staying power and, most important, pampering and soothing my sensitive lips, is the best one I came across so far. It can only improve if it came in more colors.
My reviews of Besame products are here.

3. Shea Butter and Dead Sea Salt Scrub from Maryam's Soap Nook

The fact that a body scrub is even on my list of favorites should be telling. After all, this is "just" the stuff that you rub on your body to remove dead skin flakes and wash it away. Some scrubs are better than others, some smell really nice, but how much notice do you really take of them? This product makes a big difference in the way my skin looks and feels. It does the work and then some. The salt is packed into a rich cream of shea butter and several oils. The result is that my skin is not only smoother but also softer and never dry. It's a homespun product in a humble packaging that is far superior to the expensive stuff that's sold in fancy stores and spas.
The original review is here.

4. Gris Clair by Serge Lutens

It took me a while (and a change in weather) to fall in love with this scent, and I still like it much better on my husband than on myself, so I'm listing it as my favorite men fragrance for 2006. What's in it? Mostly lavender with a touch of iris, smoke sweetened with maybe a hint of vanilla. It's understated and sophisticated in its quiet way, and the somewhat earthy drydown is heartbreakingly beautiful. Or, is it handsome? The only problem is the staying power, or lack of it. It's lovely, but gone too soon.

5. Urban Decay eye shadow primer potion

It's my most recent discovery and it makes a lot of difference in the way my eye makeup behaves. I'm not entirely sure that it was only launched in 2006, but since primers of all kinds have become a mainstream essential this year, I'll regard it as such. An extra 30 seconds of applying makeup resulting in eye shadows that not only last and last (and last), but also look brighter and better.
Here's my original review.

6. Lorac Snake Charmer palette

This seems to be the year of palettes, especially the limited edition ones. People were doing crazy things to score Bobbi Brown's Chocolate palette (so much hype over brown eye shadow, albeit pretty), Chanel charged an arm, a leg and your firstborn for their Coromandels compact that looks like a work of art, but isn't the most practical thing ever. The Snake Charmer palette is the one I reach for most often. The blush gives a healthy glow (though it requires a very light hand, as it's quite bright and very pigmented) that I love when wearing warm colors. The four eye shadows also pack a lot of color and quite a bit of non-glittery shimmer. The colors are neutral but they give a beautiful evening look. They never flaked or creased on me, even before I started using a primer underneath them, and their texture is excellent and easy to apply.
Here's what I wrote about this palette months ago.

7. Niche Perfumes

Yes, I know that this is sort of a cop out. But, my main fragrance discovery this year has been the world beyond Calvin, Ralph and even Cartier. I don't think I can pick just one scent or even one perfume house. I wish I'd have discovered Serge Lutens a few months before I did, when I was in Paris and could have picked a bell jar or two (or three). In the mean time, I'm falling in love with every (export line) Serge I manage to come across, as well with the creations from L' Artisan, Andy Tauer, Regina Harris, Bond no. 9, Mazzolari (a post coming soon. There's more to them than Alessandro), Lea St. Barth, Sage Machado, Keiko Mecheri and many others. But most notable this year was the nearly religious experience I had at the JAR boutique of Bergdorf. You don't look at fragrance the same way after you smell and try on these unique scents.

8. Tom Ford Black Orchid

Back to the world of mainstream (albeit luxury) perfumes. I know that some bloggers were disappointed with this one, as they expected something very edgy. I didn't have many expectations, as I've always been a bit suspicious of Ford, who is more than a little misogynistic. It took me a few tries to really learn to appreciate this scent, to make it mine and to enjoy it as much as I do now. It's not a Serge Lutens, but it's almost Lutenic (did I just coin a phrase?) in the experience and complexity. I love its elegance and Old World charm. It might not be the mystery lady in a black cape, vanishing into the night. But it is a black dress (not necessarily a little one) and silk stockings scent. How many of those are created these days?
More can be found here.

9. Dallas blush/bronzer by Benefit

This was the color that made my summer. A plummish bronze or a brownish plum was the best and easiest fake tan I came across. It takes a much lighter hand in the winter, but it still works beautifully.
Here's my first rave about it.

10. Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion

Another recent discovery that has become an important part of my routine. It can be used in several ways, but to me it works best as a super moisturizing but completely non-greasy hand cream. It's the one I keep on my desk and use while typing, without leaving any sticky residue in my wake.
Here's my original post.

Worth mentioning are my perennial favorites. Most of those I've been using for years and still reach for them on a nearly daily basis. Here they are.

Please visit my fellow bloggers who are also taking part in this end of the year tradition and listing their own favorites:

  • Afrobella

  • All About The Pretty

  • Aromascope

  • Beauty Addict

  • Beauty Blogging Junkie

  • Beauty by Nadine

  • Beautiful Makeup Search & Beauty Blog

  • Beauty Hatchery

  • Beauty Jones

  • Blogdorf Goodman

  • Bois de Jasmin

  • BonBons in the Bath

  • Brain Trapped in Girl's Body

  • Capital Hill Barbie

  • C'est Chic

  • Coquette

  • Crazy Jay Blue

  • eBeautyDaily

  • Girl's Handbook

  • Hautemommastuff

  • Koneko's *Mostly* Beauty Diary!

  • Legerdenez

  • Makeup Bag

  • Monkeyposh

  • My Muse

  • No one knows why the wolf laughs

  • Now Smell This

  • Perfume Smellin' Things

  • Peppermint Patty's Perfume Posse

  • Platinum Blonde Life

  • Product Girl

  • Scentzilla!

  • She'll Be Feverish After So Much Thinking

  • Slap of the Day

  • The Customer Is Always Right

  • The Daily Obsession

  • The Great She Elephant

  • The Life of a Ladybug

  • Urbane Girl

  • Victoria's Own

  • A special thank you to Annie from Blogdorf Goodman who organized this project.
    Happy New Year!

    Wednesday, December 20, 2006

    The One with the Gloss

    Before I start talking about all the glosses I've tried lately, the winner of last week's giveaway (two gorgeous but blonde-friendly glosses from Besame Cosmetics) is Allie. I'll need your mailing address.

    I'll start with the ones that didn't impress me. I'm very fond of many Benefit products, but their VIP six pack (three double-ended wands) was a disappointment. First, the colors are not exactly in my range. They are all very pale and will not flatter someone who isn't quite fair. So, right from the start it was clear that this limited edition set and I weren't meant to be. On top of that, the texture was as sticky as Juicy Tubes, but with less pigment and less staying power. Definitely a no-go for me.

    I had a much better luck at the Chanel counter. I tried two lip products. One was their Rouge Double Intensite, which has a liquid lipstick on one end and a sheer gloss on the other. It's a long-wearing formula, which really delivers. The color stays on for hours and requires some serious scrubbing action to remove. The problem was that the only color that I liked, Sandstone was out of stock (though I see that Saks online still has it).
    What I ended up buying was a(nother) glossimer, this time in the very festive color, Force. The color swatch online looks quite purple, but in reality it's a burgundy shimmer, with a more red than plum undertones. It packs lots of color and looks fabulous as an evening gloss. When mixed with a Summer Plum glossimer it is toned down considerably and looks lovely during the day. The texture is, as always, very pleasant. All the glitter doesn't make it gritty, and it has a reasonable staying power for a gloss.

    I saved the best for last. Just as I thought, Besame Cosmetics do make lovely lip glazes in colors that I can wear. The two that I got to try are Red Berry and Chocolate. The texture is perfect. Not too sticky, it covers the lips with a beautiful shine that feels very comfortable. Furthermore, it actually nourishes the lips. The glaze contains vitamins A, C, E, and anti-oxidant green tea extract, anti-aging marine collagen to maintain lip shape and fullness, aloe vera, macadamia nut extract and sweet almond oil that protect and heal the lips. And it works. After wearing these glazes all day long (I reapply every few hours or as needed), my lips feel the way I'd expect them to be following a day of using only the richest balms. I can't think of any other gloss in my impressive collection that feels this good. I love my Chanels, Alison Raffaele, Dior Kiss, Urban Decay and others. But Besame's product is simply better. I wish they came in many more colors.

    Speaking of which: The Red Berry looks quite frightening in the tube. It's a very bright red, almost watermelon like. I wouldn't have tried it in a regular lipstick, but in a sheer glaze it's perfect. It adds just enough lively color and lots of shine. My lips are naturally dark, so the pigment in the glaze doesn't overpower them. It just gives a pretty pick-me-up color that is very much appreciated in the winter.I can't promise that it would be as wearable for someone who is significantly more pale than me. But for someone of my coloring, this is a great daytime gloss (and it can be layered with a red lipstick for a bold look).

    The Chocolate glaze isn't as dark as what you see in the color swatch on the website. It's actually a pearly milk chocolate color, with maybe a touch of mauve in it. It's pretty, though on my lips it's a bit pale by itself. However, layered on top of Besame's dark chocolate lipstick the result is warm and rich, and it gives the matte lipstick a healthy boost.

    The glazes have a luxurious vanilla scent. I highly recommend their sample offer. For $1.50 each you can try any color and product that seems interesting. Since the easiest way to buy the products is online (unless you can get to Henry Bendel in NYC or one of the few other stores that sell them), this is an excellent way to get acquainted with this line.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    Giveaway: Last week's winner and a new one!

    The winner in the Maryam's Soap Nook body butter giveaway is Eva. Please email me (address is on this page, on the right) your address so I can send it.

    My enchantment with Besame Cosmetics is well documented. I love their quality and the packaging. The products look very retro glam and all of them deliver exceptionally. Their latest product is the lip glaze. It's a gloss that contains vitamins, marine collagen, almond oil, green tea and aloe. The formula promises to deliver shine, moisture and comfort.

    The two glazes I received look gorgeous, but I can't test them, because the colors are way too light for me. One is Cotton Candy, the other is Shimmer Peach. Both would look lovely on someone who has very fair skin. The pink is a cool color, the peach is quite warm and very shimmery.

    Leave a comment if you want to be in the draw.

    Tuesday, October 31, 2006


    Once I got my skin to calm down and settle with the miracle of Secret de Vie, I could start testing something less active. I'm still using Vie at night, so it can perform its magic while I'm asleep. But, Besame Cosmetic's Delightful Rose moisturizer is a decent winter lotion. It's very moisturizing while absorbing quickly and leaving the skin soft and comfortable. It's just a little heavy, which makes it an ideal product for me during the cold months, but probably too much for humid summer days. Still, it isn't greasy and so far ( a week of daily use), I haven't had any breakouts.

    The lotion has a wonderful rose smell. I'm mostly over skin care products in medical looking packages and no fragrance, so I'm loving the luxury feel that one gets from this kind of products. Like everything made by Besame, the tube and its box are pretty and very retro. Placing the lotion next to the lipstick and powder, it looks like something that belongs on a dresser of a movie star from a bygone era.

    **Edit: After using it for a while longer, it looks like this lotion is, indeed, too heavy on my pores and is causing the occasional break out. I checked and double checked to make sure that it was the only part in my skin care routine that can be responsible for it, and sadly it is so.

    Saturday, October 07, 2006

    No longer annoyed. Just glowing

    My feud with Lancome is over. After two un-answered emails I used the "contact us" form on their web site, and that did the trick. I got a quick reply, an apology and today: a small package containing the promised gift and some extras.

    It's good to be back on good terms with the company that provides quite a few of my staples. Not to mention my recent discovery.

    Saks' beauty event (that is still going on until Monday) has provided me with several interesting things to try (what I bought was a YSL gloss and a bottle of my beloved Bond no.9 New Haarlem which I've been wearing non stop. By now, though, the good people at Bond have already got the site problem fixed and this scent can finally be purchased there).

    Among the samples in the bag I received was Lancome's Secret de Vie. I put it aside to be tested at a later date. However, the change in weather has made my skin very unhappy. My trusted Mario Badescu has all of a sudden stopped being effective, and the delightful tube of Besame Cosmetics' Delightful Rose moisturizer wasn't cutting it either, except for smelling very very good. This is one I'll have to retest later, when my skin isn't screaming bloody murder.

    So I picked up the little tin of Vie, not expecting much and without even looking that up online. I applied it at night and it felt great. I could tell that something was working. The next morning I could hardly believe my eyes. Something indeed worked. The dry patches were gone and my skin looked happy, well-rested and full of life. I was definitely not expecting such dramatic results. I'm not sure what it does or how, but all of a sudden my skin is exacly the way I would have wanted it to be. And it glows.

    So I went online to find out more, and holly diamond and platinum batman! This cream costs $225 for 1.7oz. Apparently, it is worth it, but am I already at that age that you spend this much on a face cream?

    Friday, August 18, 2006

    Playing With Color

    The wonderful Besame Cosmetics have something new to offer: First, their lip glazes would be available to ship on August 25th. Second, in the mean time they are letting us play with their products online. Their Look Creator allows you to choose a model (five different skin tones) and either see what they're offering as daytime or evening looks (I wasn't too thrilled with most of these looks), or create your own custom look. Play with shadows, rouge and lip colors and make the model beautiful. It's a lot of fun and also inspiring. Once you're done, I highly recommend purchasing samples. Everything I tried was beyond fabulous (and, thank you to Maria, who sent me the perfect colors for a non-blonde).

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Not That Anyone Has Asked, But...

    The bloggers that were featured in August's Allure were asked for their list of ten favorite products. Apparently, some of those lists were slightly altered (read this post by the Beauty Addict), but they did get to name their absolute favorites. So I've been trying to compile mine. It's not as easy it seems. I'm sort of cheating, as in certain places I picked a whole product range. But, it's my list so I make the rules...

    1. Leave-in conditioners. There are several on the market and I alternate between a few. It doesn't really matter which one I use, as long as my hair gets its moisture fix. My favorites are Aveda Elixir and Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch.

    2. Body washes and creams from L'Occitane. I love everything that they make, in every fragrance and line. The shea butter products are wonderful in winter, mimosa is a dreamy summer scent and I also adore the Honey Harvest line. Their web site is horrible, though. You need to know exactly what you're looking for, otherwise you'll miss most of the products. So I highly recommend a trip to their nearest store.

    3. Bliss Sole Train set. Everything one needs for feet (except for polish). The Diamancel Buffer is amazing (they also sell it on, and their lotions and potions are wonderful. I only wish it all smelled like Rosy Toes. What's better than having your feet smell like roses?

    4. Mario Badescu's seaweed night cream. I've talked about it before and can't say enough good things about this product. They sell the entire line in Nordstrom, and I also recommend taking their consultation online, because in a few weeks you will receive an envelope full of samples of products recommended for you. That's how I became a fan of their products.

    5. Lancome eye liners. If I had to choose only one eye makeup product, it would have been eye liner, and if I had to narrow it to one brand it would be Lancome. The pencils and liquid in a pen are all beautiful, durable and easy to use.

    6. Chanel Vitalumier foundation. I haven't succumbed to the mineral trend. I like the silky feeling of a liquid foundation and the fool-proof application. Vitalumier is semi-sheer. You get more coverage if you use more product. It blends well with my skin and has a lovely, natural finish. My color of choice is beige, and it's the best match for my skin out of the many products I've ever tried.

    7. Dallas by Benefit. It's a blush and a bronzer. It gives my skin the perfect natural-looking glow and I have no idea what I used before discovering it. Well, I do know, but now I can't picture myself without it.

    8. Besame Cosmetics Enchanting Lipstick in Chocolate Kiss. I've already declared it as my holy grail lip color. The more I use this reddish brown lipstick, the more I love it. It's very pigmented, the texture is perfect and the color is neutral enough to be wearable for either day or night, but still bold enough to be noticed and make a difference in my look.

    9. O.P.I Start to Finish base & top coat. I've tried so many nail products. From the ubiquitous drugstore products to the top notch Lippman Collection. This is the best I've found. It's a 2-in-1 product that gives outstanding results. It makes applying polish a breeze and the manicure lasts for well over a week.

    10. Perfume. My mother has taught me that you should never leave the house without putting on some perfume. I also wear it at home. It makes everything prettier and finishes off the look. I don't think that it really matters what anyone is using, as long as it's something they love and feel good wearing. I'm always looking for new ones, not as a holy grail thing, just building my fragrance wardrobe.

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    Besame Cosmetics

    After 20 years of wearing makeup and trying on anything under the sun, I'm a bit hard to impress. My makeup drawers are full of everything from Chanel and Dior to several well-chosen drugstore products. Every once in a while I discover something new and good, or find a color that is great for me. But finding a new line and feeling completely enamored doesn't happen every day.

    It's a very wonderful thing when it does.

    Besame Cosmetics. Write this name down. I tested three wonderful products, and in this process found something that comes close to the perfect lipstick. That's not an everyday occurrence. I'll get to it in a second.

    But first I have to say a few words about the packaging. The red-embossed gold is beautiful. It has an Old World feel to it, very elegant, out of another era. It makes you feel instantly glamorous, which is just what a beauty product ought to be.

    The translucent powder is silky and comfortable. I rarely use powder and would normally avoid loose powder due to extreme klutziness, but the puff that comes with this powder has proven to be foolproof, and the powder did wonders in keeping my face and makeup intact in the crazy weather we've been having here lately.

    The second product I tried was the Boudoir Rouge. What a delicious name! This blush/bronzer comes in a beautiful compact, equipped with a puff. I haven't used any blush or bronzer since discovering Benefit's Dallas a few months ago, but this rouge in Sun Kissed is just as wonderful. The web site describes it as a peach shade, but it's not very peachy on my. More of a healthy bronzed pink, pretty much what a nice tan would look on my skin. It's easy to apply and has a great lasting power. I'm not retiring my Dallas, but will just have to face a tough choice every morning.

    I saved the best for last. I'm talking about the lipstick in Chocolate Kiss. It has a smooth, creamy texture and a matte finish.Very pigmented, comfortable and pleasant on the lips and very long lasting without any of the dryness that usually accompanies matte, long-wearing lip color. This is a perfect lipstick. And this color, Chocolate Kiss, is exactly right for me. They describe it as a milk chocolate brown, but it is reddish and warm enough and not too dark. I wear it during the day and add a clear gloss for night. According to the web site, they'll soon have a line of lip glazes. I can't wait for that.

    The only drawback I see is the limited availability. Besame Cosmetics is sold at Henri Bendel in NYC and in four other locations nationwide. I'm lucky to have a store nearby in Bergen County, but for anyone living in a Besame-less location, I'd recommend trying the sampling offer. You can buy them for $1.50 each, so it's easy to try and figure out what colors would work.

    The products reviewed here were sent free of charge by the company.