Monday, July 27, 2009

Purchase - Besame Red Velvet - Reformulated Lipstick. Will this give Besame an edge in a tight market?

Some of you may have read about my love for Besame cosmetics HERE. I was anxious and excited about the re-formulation and release of the Besame Voluptuous Lip Colour Set. I pre-ordered the set in early June and on July 2nd I received the new set. Now it’s July 27th. Why have I waited so long to write a review? Well it certainly wasn’t because I had tons of other things to write about, Darthypie and Mr. Sith to take care of, or Taupe eye shadow to buy. Nope. The reason why is because I have been trying to give this new lipstick set a chance to live up to the holy grail standard that is the original version of Besame Red Velvet lipstick.
Yes. That’s the truth. This newly formulated lipstick is a shadow of its former self. That’s not to say it’s bad. Actually I think this new formulation will have a broader appeal to the average consumer. I am not an average consumer, as I think you have all figured out by now.
Let’s take a look at the differences shall we?
Size: The new Red Velvet is about 2 times the size of the old one. That’s nice. I know some people had a problem with the small older size and felt that it was too expensive for such a tiny amount. This larger size will appeal to the main stream consumer.
Shape: The new shape is reminiscent of 1950’s / 1960’s style. The pointed bullet tip. Gone is the sharp edge of the old style which could be used to line the lips as well as fill in the lips. That’s fine. It makes applying from the tube easier I guess.

Finish: The new finish is a satin finish. Compared to the old version it’s practically “glossy” but in reality, the new finish is far less matte than the old version
Formula: The new version is far more moisturizing. The actual formula of the old versus the new is lost on me as I don’t have the old ingredient list, but I know that have changed it. I just can’t say exactly what ingredients they changed.
Color: OK. Wait. We are talking about Red Velvet versus Red Velvet Elvira, How can the color be different? Well, my sweet little voice in my head that is not the result of a severe psychosis or mental illness, the colors are different. The new Red Velvet is sheerer. A tad less deep and overall more blue than the old version. The old version is far more pigmented and much deeper red than the new version.

Application: The old version of Red Velvet begged for, almost required application via a lip brush. Application straight from the tube almost made the lipstick too thick and cakey. This new version, which comes with a lip brush, still applies nicely with a lip brush but can be applied straight from the tube with a very nice finish.
So why the in depth analysis of one silly red lipstick you ask? Well, first of all there is no such thing as a silly red lipstick. Second of all, quit interrupting me, I’m getting there but you keep jumping the gun. Jeesh! The new formulation of Besame Red Velvet will have a much broader appeal to consumers, is more user friendly and the finish is more modern. That’s great. I would love to see a niche cosmetics brand like Besame thrive and survive in this poor economy. The customer service is exceptional, the product is unique and the look & feel is quite luxurious. However, I really liked the high maintenance application of the old tube. I loved the small and unique packaging, and I loved the fact that the little itty bitty lipstick lasts so long because I used a brush to apply rather than piling it on straight from the tube.
Oh but that new “reformulated price tag” is not so nice. $35 will get you, according to the website:
* A pigment rich Voluptuous Lip Colour lipstick encased in a high gloss enamel tube
* A velvety travel sleeve for the lipstick
* A matching automatic lip pencil
* A hand crafted lipstick brush ergonomically designed to fit perfectly between your thumb and forefinger for a precise application.
* A detailed lipstick application guide
Bleh. Sorry but that’s just not worth it.
The lip liner is not one you can sharpen on your own. It’s a twist up liner. I prefer to use a pencil liner that I can sharpen to a fine point. That’s just me.

The lip brush is not retractable. There is no case for it and in fact in the directions that come with the lipstick don’t even allude to the possibility that you might want to take it with you. Besame still lives in the fantasy land that all women only apply their cosmetics at a vanity and don’t need to do touch ups. Sorry Besame. I end up applying my lipstick in my car, at my desk using a small hand held mirror, or standing in a bathroom leaning over a sink. (Glamorous ain’t it?) The lip brush is nice, but useless unless I figure out a way to carry it with me I’ll be using my retractable lip brush.
The detailed application guide is nice but it’s not anything you probably don’t already know.
Velvet case? OK. That’s nice. But if that’s one of the main selling points, there is a problem.
Do you need this? Probably Not. If you adore red lipstick and are a freak about having all the good ones and you have extra cash lying around, I guess you can go for it, But in the end it’s just an average red lipstick. Sorry, but Besame lost their “edge” when they took the edge on their reformulated lipstick. It's a bit sad really. because Besame was known for unique looking cosmetic packaging, unique products and a unique ideal behind makeup. It almost seems that the newly reformulated lipsticks bend to the peer pressure to "fit in" with the mainstream. Granted, I know that is how one makes money, by appealing to a broader customer base, but part of me wished that the broader customer base was more accepting of the original Besame line.
Here is Besame Red Velvet applied as indicated in the detailed application guide. Pretty, but nothing to rave about.


  1. You know, I actually still want to try the new Besame lipstick. I know it won't be anything like the old ones, which I have and love (I have Portrait Pink, Champagne, and the brown one whose name escapes me at the moment). I just wish they would have also released new glosses too! I was obsessed with the Besame glosses!

  2. I think they should have included a thin black velvet ribbon with all of the other stuff. That waym you can loop the brush on the velvet ribbon and hang it from your neck like a quizzing glass of old.

    I love the old packaging. The new just looks like any old lipstick. Oh well.

  3. I was really grateful to read this article as I was just about to put in an order for Red Velvet. It was my favourite shade of their reds too. Extra special effort to hunt down the original package items! Thanks again for saving me the money!


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