Doesn't virtually every woman on the planet want to look like Marilyn Monroe? To be frank, if I looked 1/10th like her I'd consider myself a very lucky girl. And yes, I realise she did have some cosmetic surgery and I'm not suggesting we all go around chopping our noses up, but hey, each to their own and I can appreciate a masterpiece of a face when I see one.
What I'm getting at is if I'm told Marilyn wore it, I've probably handed over my money before I've found out what 'it' actually is. In this case, it's clever marketing as while Besame claim this was 'Marilyn's 'favourite' what they actually mean is 'this is a shade we created that copies as closely as possible what she wore during Some Like It Hot'. Besame themselves are a modern company so weren't around when Marilyn was, but they do strive to make genuine reproduction products, which is probably why everyone on the vintage scene loves them.
That and the packaging. Oh, the packaging! Even if you have no interest in lipstick whatsoever you'd find it hard not to be drawn to these glamorous gold bullets. They also come in little red velvet cases. I honestly didn't know whether to wear it or frame it and I genuinely felt a little teary when I realised I'd ruined the corner of the lipstick itself. Then I got a grip and realised it's a lipstick. (And ok, maybe the dismay was partly to do with the price, which I've touched on below.)
Anyway, this is Marilyn's shade because it's bright, bold and has warm undertones, unlike most of Besame's other reds which seem to be bluer. However, despite the fact it supposedly has orange in it, on me it applies as quite a neutral red that is a lot richer/deeper than most of my others, so I think it might well work on those that have more pink in their skin than me too.
I could go on at length about this lovely little lipstick but let's make things shorter with my usual bullet points. I do enjoy a bullet point.
- One swipe of colour and you're done - it is super pigmented
- It's pretty hard-wearing, only minor touch-ups are needed throughout the day
- It doesn't feather or bleed
- The texture for a semi-matte is very good, I'm barely aware I've got it on and it doesn't remotely dry my lips out (a rare, rare day in lipstick wearing indeed!)
- As it's a semi-matte, it's got that slight sheen that is flattering on most people, without being remotely glossy. I think semi-mattes might be my favourite...
- The packaging, of course - not just for prettiness, but also sturdiness; the lid snaps securely into place and you know there's no way it's getting knocked off in your bag
- These lipsticks ain't cheap - it took me two years of lusting to own this one and even then it was a gift! It feels quite hard to justify the risk if you can only order these online without testing first
- You don't get a lot of lipstick for your money - these are fairly small; I've deliberately shown me with the lipstick above so you get the idea
- I realise the square shape of the bullet is probably historically authentic, but I just can't get on with it; without a lip brush I'd be wearing this over most of my chin as well as my lips, I find it that hard to get precise
- Anything your lips touch will be wearing it too - spouses be warned
The beauty (even with the ruined corner)! Has anyone else tried lipsticks in Besame's range? I'm eyeing up Carmine and Tango Red next... so in another two years I might own one of those too :D
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