Saturday, 27 November 2010

A Short History of Besame Cosmetics and Vintage Hair Lounge

With new Besame stock on display at Vintage Hair Lounge this week, it's about time we told the story of the influence these beautiful vintage inspired cosmetics have had on the development of the Vintage Hair Lounge brand and vision.

Tinks Reding introduces Besame
Back in 2007, when I (Sharon Holloway) was a fellow Hackney resident with tv and film make-up artist Tinks Reding we often shared our thoughts of the future, and over a drink one day Tinks enthused about developing a professional make-up store with a glamorous vintage feel. Besame, she told me, was the brand leader of vintage make-up products, and she'd seen it in the States and fallen in love with it. She was determined to bring it to the UK. I listened intently, went home, and googled the Besame website. I too fell in love with the brand, but no matter how hard I tried, including pacing up and down through Selfridges who were rumoured UK stockists, I couldn't find a single Besame product anywhere in London to actually look at.

Cassie Leedham develops the brand
The idea went on the back burner as I focussed my attention on developing and launching my historical film production company Archive TV , but a year later, when the idea for Vintage Hair Lounge returned to the planning table, it became obvious that Besame was going to play a central part of this new vision. Throughout the development process, Besame was able to provide a sense of timeless vintage style and product quality that we wanted to achieve across all our work, products and services, and many a mood board created with Vintage Hair Lounge brand designer Cassie Leedham from Good Show Studio reflected the Besame style, now incorporated into our own bigger picture. But I still hadn't seen a single Besame product and had no idea how to find a way to stock Besame in the salon.

Besame delights in Vintage Hair Lounge vision
If there's one thing I can't fault is the personal customer service of Fergus and Gabriela Hernandez, founder of Besame Cosmetics, because direct contact with them in the United States was very easy. An introduction through UK cosmetics buyer Stacia Prince, quickly led us to a personal contact with Fergus and Gabriela, and I was elated with their endorsement of Vintage Hair Lounge and approval of us as an authorised stockist of their amazing brand. It was one of the most exciting achievements along the way of the establishment of Vintage Hair Lounge.

Besame's outstanding performance
So I finally got to see and hold the products, and quickly began to try them out in professional and personal looks, and I can honestly say, you can't get better lipsticks or powders than these. Professionally I'd always been a fan of MAC, and I still rate MAC products highly, along with another favourite brand, Smashbox. But the quality of Besame, and the attention to detail of vintage shades, make for authentic make-ups with astonishingly good finishes for photographic and film outings.

Friends of Bettie Besame favourites
It's hard to pick out the real diamonds, but I'd say the best performers were Red Hot Red and Noir Red Classic Enchanting Lipsticks, Sweetheart Balm in Cherry, Socialite Brown Alluring Eye Shadow, Raspberry Rouge Boudoir Rouge and Medium Cashmere Powder Compacts. I wouldn't be without these in my professional kit, as time and time again they outshine any make-up competitor. But with Besame it isn't just about product performance, because the packaging is pure vintage luxury. And you won't have to scale the country's make-up-stores on the off-chance the products may be on sale as I did, because a large range of Besame products can be found at Vintage Hair Lounge to try out and buy.

Endless thanks to Tinks Reding for the Besame inspiration.

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