Bésame Cosmetics founder Gabriela Hernandez has helped many period films on their quest for historically accurate on-camera vanity displays. And for the Oscar-winning movie The Artist, the former graphic designer and photographer hopped on board with costume and set designers to recreate silent-film star Peppy’s 1927 dressing room makeup collection—Bésame’s products even made an on-screen cameo! The film won five Academy Awards this past February including Best Costume Design, and her gilded packaging got a black-and-white spotlight on the silver screen. "The prop master from the film originally came to us, and we shared a lot of historical research about what women would have displayed on their counter tops," revealed Gabriela.
While The Artist is one of the makeup company’s largest film collaborations and Hollywood's current must-see, Bésame Cosmetics has worked with designers and artists for years, creating historically authentic beauty sets for TV and film including Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, and Project Runway. "I'm glad the love for vintage is back," says Gabriela, referring to the resurgence of old-Hollywood and pin-up styles. "The film industry enables us to honor the authentic design vocabulary of traditional beauty packaging," explains the founder, who has a background in photography and graphic design. Bésame's range of lipstick, blush, pencil, and powder takes inspiration from design elements popular in early-to-mid 20th century, and details from art deco, art nouveau, and advertising aesthetic mark the modern makeup with a distinct timeless feel. Gabriela, who also authored Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup, was captivated by beauty rituals at a young age, watching her grandmother work magic at the vanity. Today, her company aims to elevate the status of vintage-style makeup as more than just novelty. "We make beautiful products, yes, but they are relevant, wearable, and special. The texture, the application, the ritual—it’s art."
And how museum-worthy is the gold-plated packaging! We absolutely love everything from the line, but Crimson Rouge Tint is our new fave—can you spot the prototype in the movie still above? This lip and cheek stain takes its influences from the '30s, with a gold floral motif set atop a scarlet, nickel-plated tin. The universally flattering rouge revamps a traditional greasepaint formula with lighter waxes and botanical extracts, and the concentrated cream is actually designed to look most natural when layered on top of moisturizer and underneath foundation or powder (that's a Hollywood secret, try it with your cream blush!).
Do the gorgeously designed metal vintage compacts make you smile, or do you prefer the easily disposable tools of contemporary cosmetics? Let us know in the comments below.