Fifteen Years of Bésame Cosmetics: Three Famous Reds

In this post, we’ll go behind some of our most popular shades to learn about their history, how they’re made, and the best way to wear them.

1935 Cherry Red


Try Bésame Cherry Red 

If you’ve ever tried 1935 Cherry Red, then you know it’s a truly special color. When Gabriela was researching different lip colors from the 1930’s, she routinely came across this shade in various tubes, all from different manufacturers of the time. Since everyone seemed to be producing it, one can assume it was definitely a popular choice. And, it’s easy to see why; it has the unique ability to look flattering on a wide range of skin tones.


Cherry Red is one of our most pigmented lip colors, which makes it a versatile shade, with the ability to be used as a beautiful stain or opaque lip. A light application will produce a lighter, pinker shade, more suitable for daytime, whereas multiple coats create a deep, cherry hue. A heavy application of this shade was most likely worn to speakeasies and evening affairs.  


While the color does have an undeniable evening allure, it was challenging to recreate the shade in order to stay true to the depth of color. It had to strike a delicate balance of remaining bright, with the ability to product a deep impactful color. It’s this dimension that makes it one of our most popular colors year after year.

It’s interesting to look back onto what was popular in 1935 and see that it’s still in demand today. It only proves that a good color is timeless. It was good then, it’s probably still good now!


1941 Victory Red


Try Bésame Victory Red

One of our most popular reds, 1941 Victory Red has an interesting history. Commissioned by military forces, Elizabeth Arden created the shade, “Montezuma,” to match the accents and stripes of women’s uniforms. The lipstick was later sold to the public with the name, Victory Red.

In fact, the only reason the armed forces let production of the shade go into the public market, even commissioning companies to make it, was because they realized it was such a morale booster. The intense bright color was meant to cheer people up, and with shortages, it might have the only makeup a woman wore aside from powder, so it needed to make an impact. 

The main challenge in recreating this iconic wartime shade was finding a tube of it. This particular product was manufactured during WWII, a time of rations and shortages. The amount of product being manufactured was limited, and the women who were able to make the purchase were encouraged to use it until there was nothing left. So, needless to say, there weren’t a lot of remaining tubes lying around. It took Gabriela a whole year to locate a tube with enough product to recreate the original.


It was also no small feat to replicate the exact color because of its intense brightness. Many ingredients used 70 years ago are no longer approved by the FDA, so safely duplicating vintage pigments, while achieving the right color, depth, and undertone, proved challenging with modern resources. 

Despite this, Gabriela was able to perfectly match the color, and now we can all show our patriotism on our lips with the absolute perfect bright red shade.


1945 Red Velvet


Try Bésame Red Velvet

Gabriela’s collection contains a sizeable number of 1940’s reds, mostly because it was the most common color of the decade. One of our most sought-after shades is 1945 Red Velvet. It’s such a special color because, like Cherry Red, many skin tones look fantastic wearing it. Also, like Cherry Red, it was a color that kept popping up in Gabriela’s research, and it’s easy to see why. The color is classy, understated, yet impactful. It’s the perfect mid-toned red that’s neither too warm or cool and has the ability to look good with pink or yellow undertones. It’s essentially, the perfect happy medium red for anyone who is looking for an elegant everyday workhorse, or a color for special occasions. It’s no surprise that it’s many customer's first lip color purchase from Bésame. In fact, it’s been known to convert many a person who never thought they could pull off a red lip.


Though it is also a shade from the 1940’s, it’s very different from Victory Red. As the war came to a close, the world calmed down, and women were looking for more subdued, sophisticated shades as they settled back into everyday life.

Additionally, it’s Agent Carter’s red. So, if it’s good enough for Peggy, it’s definitely good enough for us! 

What shades of Besame Lip Color are you interested in learning about next?


  • Emily DeArdo

    My first red was Victory Red and I LOVE it! I definitely need to try Cherry Red and Red Velvet!

  • Samantha Pariga

    I love your products but I never have purchased anything from you. All because I dislike the smell of vanilla. Is there a possibility to make then with out vanilla??

  • Nohemi Villalva

    I agree with the first comment. I as well want to order 2 of your lipsticks that have been sold out for a while now and you do not address the question by stating when and if you’ll restock. I love your concept and makeup but customer service needs to also be a priority.

  • Linda Battaglia

    I would love to purchase each and everyone of your classic red lipsticks, but most are sold out. Searched on you FAQ’s but you don’t address the question as to when or if you are going to restock, you neither answer this question when asked by other people. So, what’s the deal, are you going to bring all red shades back?

  • Krystina Morrow

    Will the color Victory Red come back in stock?

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.