Saturday, 15 March 2014

Vintage Lipstick : Think Pink!

Raven Brookes for Bésame Cosmetics. Photo Scott Chalmers
Pink to make the boys wink - a saying encapsulated in the imagery of endless 1950s cosmetics advertising campaigns, showing glamorous women catching the eye of handsome men with their amazing new beauty products. We have now become a great deal more sophisticated about the meaning of make-up in women's lives, and any cosmetic advertisement that explicitly connected "how to catch a man" with wearing a particular cosmetic product would probably get short shrift nowadays from the Advertising Standards Authority. So just as women are now better positioned to negotiate their own beauty and glamour, despite the onslaught of cosmetic advertising, pink is a fantastic authentic colour for completing a stylish vintage look, day or night.

Catching the girls young to think about men's
makeup preferences (1947)

Pink really came into it's heyday as a lip colour in the mid to late 1950s and as the decade transitioned into the 1960s, pinks got paler and suited the new decade's preference for ever stronger eye make-up balanced with a nude, or lightly frosted lip look.

Vintage inspired make-up brand Bésame Cosmetics re-launched a fantastic bright pink lip colour in 2013, Exotic Pink, which screams 1950s and is a wonderfully glamorous alternative to the vintage reproduction red colours they are already highly acclaimed for. Notwithstanding the wide range of red colours from Bésame that are matched perfectly to the authentic fashions of different eras, not every woman feels at home in red lipstick, so now's the time to explore a little further and Think Pink!

Matching lips and nails, a 1950s obsession

With the wedding season about to start in the spring, the appeal of a vintage look for the bride is irresistible. Compatible long wearing lipstick is therefore worth some time to research. A bride wants to look and feel glamorous but also glow as a natural beauty. The elegance of the 1930s is a perfect starting place for 21st century vintage bridal looks, and here Bésame triumphs again with a stunning Portrait Pink colour that is easy to wear, immensely flattering and has a perfect vintage authentic tone that will complement any classic vintage look from the 1930s onwards. We've also found it works great for 1960s looks, and is the perfect everyday lipstick for contemporary settings too. One for the make-up bag, without a doubt!!
Raven Brookes for Bésame Cosmetics. Photo Scott Chalmers

Lucille Ball wearing a very similar tone to Dusty Rose
Another versatile colour is Dusty Rose, with a soft mauve hue which gives a richness to the pink without "retro" brightness, and can be used for wedding looks, daywear or for alternative 1950s and 1960s looks. The colour has been a revelation to us at Vintage Hair Lounge, as it takes on the perfect finish to a whole host of different vintage looks. For example, it will read as a deep pink when combined or overlaid on a Portrait Pink base, or read much more raspberry when used directly onto the lips. The perfect "red" for when you don't actually want to wear "red"!

It's always worth trying out lipsticks with the assistance of a make-up professional, to make sure the application and coverage is pitched perfectly, and the tone is right for your complexion, which is precisely why the same lip colour won't necessarily suit everyone, and a little bit of blending the correct tones goes a long way to getting the look you want right.

Shay-Anne Aboud for Bésame Cosmetics. Photo Scott Chalmers
And so the 1960s, where paler pinks with frosted finishes take the cosmetics industry by storm! 
A pink lipstick frenzy from the sixties!

Get the pink right for a 1960s look and all that work on getting the eye makeup right and the hair right will be worth it! A little bird at Bésame tells us that some special edition 1960s colours may well be on the way for the autumn, but for now your key swinging pinks will be Portrait Pink, Dusty Rose and Debutante Pink. This frosted looking pink is more sheer than the semi-matte formulas of many of the Bésame lip colours, but is a knockout on the authenticity stakes.

Our recent photoshoot for the Bésame Classic Color Lipstick Collection threw up a stand-out image when model Raven Brookes posed in the colour, evoking sixties nostalgia of Mary Quant and Christine Keeler, it really changed her whole persona. Who knew, it would be Debutante Pink that our alternative goth model was going to blossom in! We were right chuffed and no mistake! Never mind the boys winking, we were ALL winking!!

Raven Brookes for Bésame Cosmetics. Photo Scott Chalmers
If you have a favourite vintage pink colour that you can't find anywhere, do drop us a line at Bésame Europe at and we'll investigate. You never know, it may well make it to the Bésame Classic Color Lipstick Collection.

Bésame Cosmetics, including all the lipstick colours can be purchased from Vintage Hair Lounge at many of our events and you can buy online at For further advice on any of the Bésame Cosmetics products we are always happy to answer your calls or emails and provide the expertise you are after.

Vintage Hair Lounge,, 023 8070 1383

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Vintage Hair Lounge launch Bésame Cosmetics Europe

Raven Brookes by Scott Chalmers

Bésame Cosmetics have a brand new European Distributor and it's Vintage Hair Lounge Creative Director, Sharon Holloway in the form of a new sister company, VHL Distribution.

The task of taking on the distribution of the bespoke vintage cosmetics brand across the diversity of countries and cultures of Europe has only proved to be an irresistible challenge, following Sharon's recent award win for Best Make-up at Reklamefilmpreis, the German Advertising Film Awards, in Frankfurt in November 2013.

"The nomination for Best Makeup for my underwater makeup work on the commercial Herbaria - FEARS, was reason enough to fly to Frankfurt to join in the ceremony, it being such an honour to receive recognition from the industry in another country," says Sharon. "The response when I won was so overwhelming that I realised how exciting it could be to make ever closer ties and networks with our European partners. The opportunity to include Bésame Cosmetics in the process was perfect timing and I'm thrilled to be able to take the brand into new markets and attract new interest in the beautiful and high performing products that Bésame have already established a great reputation for."

Raven Brookes and Shay-Anne Aboud by Scott Chalmers
There is a growing awareness of the versatility of the brand within and beyond the vintage scene, and Vintage Hair Lounge has been heavily involved in the promotion of the products within all of the work that it does. The dozens of vintage events that their salon "pop-up" features at across the UK throughout the year, provide numerous opportunities for the public to try out products face to face, building a strong "word of mouth" experience. For those already familiar with the brand, as well as the loyal customers which Vintage Hair Lounge have created, their new online store, the Vintage Hair Lounge Emporium, will prove to be a first stop for those looking for their favourite Bésame items as well as a reliable resource for new additions to the brand as soon as they are launched.

For the past two years, Bésame Cosmetics have sponsored the Vintage Hair Lounge salon at Goodwood Revival, and thereby been provided with the chance to showcase the product range to a vast international audience of vintage enthusiasts.

Miss Deadly Red at the Bésame display at Vintage Hair Lounge at Goodwood Revival
by Scott Chalmers
In the past few days, Bésame Cosmetics have also featured at IMATS Los Angeles (International Makeup Artist Trade Show) meeting the professional makeup artist industry and launching new pro-palette versions of the product range.

For Sharon, the development of the brand in the pro-artist industry is inevitable, and one of the key priorities for the new Bésame Cosmetics Europe strategy.

"I've spent several years now using the products in film and photographic shoots, and they out perform many other high quality products on the market, especially the Classic Color lipsticks which stay put, don't bleed and are comfortable to wear all day. For vintage work, the reproduction colours capture the different eras perfectly, but even for non-vintage work, the finish and staying power of the lipsticks means they are always my first choice in professional work."

The first task for the team was to create an image collection of the whole Classic Color Lipstick range, featuring fashion/gothic/alternative models Raven Brookes and Shay-Anne Aboud, whose look and style represents a different emphasis for a brand so well known for celebrating the golden era of Hollywood icons.

"Europe has a more complicated relationship with its twentieth century history than the United States and United Kingdom,"  Sharon admits. "Although the vintage scene is growing across Europe, it will develop in more unusual ways, taking inspiration and influences from different vibes and different sub-cultures, and we can't assume that everyone sees vintage only as a celebration of 1940s wartime or 1950s Hollywood. That sensitivity is crucial in building a brand based on inclusivity, and Raven and Shay-Anne represent an alternative kind of "vintage" look, one reaching out to a sophisticated and classic cool vibe that has an even wider appeal to a greater diversity of women who have long been waiting for the cosmetics industry to reflect back their own reality and aspirations. Our new images are not there to replace, they are there to inspire in new ways."

Some arresting images have already been released, but the forthcoming collection, photographed by Scott Chalmers, with design, hair and makeup by Vintage Hair Lounge is due for launch by early March. The behind the scenes film of the shoot, Can't Live Without Bésame Cosmetics can now be viewed online.

Press, PR and stockist enquiries - please contact VHL Distribution Limited,, +44 (0) 23 8070 1383
Retail purchases - please visit the Vintage Hair Lounge Emporium