Bésame Cosmetics is bringing vintage beauty back to life

Bésame Cosmetics is bringing vintage beauty back to life


Name: Bésame Cosmetics

Legal: Bésame Cosmetics Inc.

Location: Woodland Hills, CA

Founded: 2004

Founder(s): Gabriela Hernandez

Website: https://besamecosmetics.com/

Social Media Following: 90,471  Likes on Facebook, 10.5K Followers on Twitter, 198K Followers on Instagram

Reviews: 5 stars on Yelp, 99 reviews

INDUSTRY – Natural/Organic Beauty Products

Size: $532.43B (2018) (Source: Global Cosmetics Products Market-Analysis of Growth, Trends and Forecasts (2018-2023))
Projections: $805.61 billion by 2023


Bésame Cosmetics is a family-owned company that recreates and supplies vintage beauty products. The company specializes in recreating the cosmetics of the first half of the 20th century, selling vintage styles that may be difficult to find and have largely fallen out of circulation. Bésame claims its products carry the additional benefit of being cruelty-free and free of harmful chemicals, justifying prices in the low luxury range. Bésame Cosmetics aims at supplying niche products, both through mass distribution through Sephora and Nordstrom, and through elite branding with Hollywood and American celebrities.

The Product

Bésame aims at supplying consumers with luxury-style retro trends at a cost comparable to most Sephora-sold suppliers. Some of its most popular products include its vintage-style red lipsticks ($22), its retro mascaras ($25) and creme rouges ($18). Emphasis is placed on package design—Bésame’s iconic red-and-gold boxes products a luxury feel. Founder and CEO Gabriela Hernandez went to great lengths to reproduce products used in the 1920’s, ’30’s, ’40’s and ’50’s such as wand-less mascaras, and crème instead powdered rouge. Many products supplied by Bésame are niche items that are difficult to find; this focus helps it stand out in a competitive space. The company boasts products that are paraben-free and cruelty free, with high quality ingredients that justify pricing and luxury aspirations.

Origin and Founding Team

Gabriela Hernandez founded Bésame Cosmetics in 2004 in Burbank, California after five years of initial research into historic cosmetology. Hernandez states that she was inspired growing up in Argentina in the 1970s, where trends lagged decades behind the influence of the United States. Previously Hernandez had worked at companies such as McDonalds, Kodak, and the Alma Group, giving her experience in the business world to help with product placement and distribution. Hernandez founded the company with $1M of her own money, and the first year of sales generated a revenue of $40,000 chiefly online.

Performance and Trends

Bésame is a very visible company, with high social media following and press from its use amongst Hollywood actors and the celebrity crowd. Its products have been featured on such films as the 2012 Academy Award winner for best movie The Artist, TV show American Horror Story, Mad Men, and is used by Lady Gaga’s makeup artist. In addition Bésame has formed distribution partnerships with companies like Bloomingdale’s, Sephora, Nordstrom, and even Disney as part of a high-profile marketing campaign for their ‘Snow White Collection.’

Bésame has been distributing products globally: In 2012 Bésame increased distribution from 14 to 30 countries. Now that the distribution range has skyrocketed, with Bésame currently shipping to over 170 countries outside the U.S. This has occurred alongside an increasing interest in vintage style/fashion, causing Bésame to be timely as well. Some estimations value Bésame Cosmetic at around $17.2M.

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