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.

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.


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  • LIsa

    I know someone who just graduated and is in the service and plan to give this to her. I also plan to buy a couple more as gifts for friends and myself, of course! I LOVE BESAME!

  • Rachel Rodgers

    I love that you all have finally come out with a true wartime shade. This is a true gift to WWII reenactors worldwide. One issue though; VE Day was not 50 years ago as your email says.

  • Megan R

    I love the pin, the packaging, and the color. I can’t wait for this to go on sale!!

  • Emily J B

    I work on a military base as a hair & makeup artist. I will be buying a few of these as gifts for my favorite clients, and of course one for me!!!! So excited for this historic color!

  • Nkki

    This is awesome! I can hardly wait to buy mine!!!

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