Introducing 1941 Victory Red Classic Color Lipstick!

A Brief History of Victory Red Lipstick 


The glamour of gorgeous red lips lifts the spirit. Like all expressions of glamour, a classic red lip elevates the morale of the woman wearing the lipstick, as well as all who see her.  That’s why we are proud to introduce “Victory Red” to the Bésame collection, for Summer 2016.

The name references the Allied Victory in World War II. We painstakingly researched our red, based upon our collection of historical samples and lots of study. Our “Victory Red” is an absolutely faithful color-match to the original 1941 classic shade. 

During the war, the American military forces commissioned the first “Victory Red” lipstick to women in uniform. The clear, strong tone looked vibrant when worn with the standard-issue, olive-drab jacket and skirt. The caps worn by women in the armed forces often featured a brilliant red braid trim detail, and “Victory Red” also accentuated this band.


Women in the US military were not there to look pretty: they were there to serve their country. But it’s interesting to place personal grooming into the context of morale and performance. Just as our fighting men were expected to look sharp and always present a clean-cut and combat-ready appearance, women during wartime accepted beauty as their duty, to show America’s strength and spirit.

“Victory Red” lipstick was literally part of putting on a brave face. Civilian women on the home front also believed that looking their best was a patriotic duty, even when personal luxuries including toiletries were in short supply and often rationed.

“Beauty as Duty” became a confidence-building motto in the UK as well as in the USA, and  American brands and British brands – Ivory soap and Yardley, for example—encouraged women to look their best every day as a visible way to cheer the Allies on to Victory.  In the USA, various competing manufacturers of lipstick and other cosmetics provided their products at no charge to the women who worked in defense building plants, munitions factories and other industries which supported the war effort.

We never underestimate the power of a good red lipstick.


  • Megan Kenny

    AHHHH I’m so sorry I missed this limited edition. I’m a huge WWII historian fan and would have loved this. I just recently discovered this brand and can honestly say I can’t imagine purchasing another brand of lipstick now. I’m totally obsessed with Besame’ lipsticks and can’t wait to try other products.

  • Tina Paul

    Looks like a winner!!!! Looking forward to this new lipstick and a little more description would be helpful. Is it red with blue undertones or a warm red???? If it is your usual formula, it will be excellent!!!!

  • Katlinel

    When will this shade be added to your catalogue? The perfect red is elusive, since many are either too orange in tone or too dark so they appear more blackish red instead of clear flattering red like this shade.

  • Callie

    Amazing. I’m so proud and happy that you wonderful people have created this beautiful shade of lipstick. My grandfather and my uncles have served in the Air Force, and my grandmother’s and my wonderful mother are the most patriotic women I know. God bless you all and I cannot wait to wear it. God bless you all.

  • Amber

    I LOVE the vintage look. Especially 1940s. I love hearing my grandmother’s generation talk about it. I love books about the era. As a woman of the armed forces, I am so proud that Besame dedicated a lipstick to military and civilian women of yesteryear who helped win the war. I am so excited about this lipstick. Who cares about Kylie Lip Kits?! This is WAY better!!

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