“I want to make a mark of what I am and who I was in the world…
I want to contribute something worthwhile through this line and inspire young women to follow their dreams.”
Gabriela Hernandez, founder of Bésame Cosmetics Inc., has brought artistry and romance back to the cosmetics industry. She has created a line infused with a romantic sensibility that is rich in historical details. Her inspiration for it all was sparked by a combination of her background in art and design, a love for feminine detail, and fond memories of her glamorous grandmother.
Today, we are excited to honor Gabriela as a Women Making History and share her story with you.
Immigrating to the United States from Buenos Aires, Argentina at the age of 12, she taught herself English and attended school in New York. After finishing high school in Los Angeles, she realized her true passion for art, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from the prestigious Art Center in Pasadena, California.
Gabriela’s professional career includes photography, art direction, fine art painting and design commissions. Also an accomplished make-up artist and cosmetic historian, Gabriela’s perspective is truly unique.
Launched in September 2004, Bésame Cosmetics was a culmination of Gabriela’s passion for design and her desire to create an original cosmetic with details and formulas that make women feel glamorous and unique. Gabriela created Bésame to become a company that reaches beyond the product, one with solid morals, which acts as a strong role model for young women.
Lifetime TV visited Gabriela at the Los Angeles home she shares with her husband, 16 year old son and 7 year old daughter age 7 and interviewed her for their Real Women series. View this video along with others from Gabriela’s video blog, covering inspiration, mascara and more, by visiting the Bésame Video Library.
Bésame is committed to creating truly unique artful cosmetics, hand crafted to empower women to feel feminine, elegant, and glamorous. Besame is dedicated to creating responsible luxurious products that enhance beauty and improve well-being.
M.I.S.S.: What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
I find all women in business and public service inspirational. I admire women who dream and make those dreams come true in any field that interests them.
M.I.S.S.: You have a background in art and design, how did you get involved in the cosmetics industry?
I was asked by a client to design cosmetic packaging for several brands and became familiar with the process of production. It was challenging and I enjoyed the creative process of designing very feminine products for women. I was able to use this experience to design my line.
M.I.S.S.: Why did you decide to start with lipstick?
The lipstick was the most iconic product of the era and I could make beautiful colors reproduced from the antiques I had collected in my travels.
M.I.S.S.: You employ tried and true processes and authenticity is a big part of your branding. Why is this important to you? Do you feel like you are keeping the lost art of lipstick alive?
It is important to me because I treat my products as I do artwork. I want to make things that I am proud of and that would make women feel special. The way we produce our items is also important, since we still hand pour our lipsticks and hand press our powders. We produce the quality, the feel and the craftsmanship of the past.
M.I.S.S.: The line has expanded to include lip glaze, lip and eye pencils, rouge, eye shadow and powder compacts. Do you have any plans to expand the line? A fragrance perhaps?
Yes. We are working on many new products as we speak. Our Souffle Foundation is returning, as well as a new balm and rouges. We are considering fragrance in the future.
M.I.S.S.: One of my favorite things about Bésame is the packaging and the vintage feel of the products – it has a very “lady like” vibe to it. Are your customers receptive to the vintage feel? Is it important to you to convey that “lady like” vibe with your products?
I am glad that I am communicating this with my designs. I do want to create a “lady” ambiance with my products. The way the products look contributes to the way the make you feel when you use them.
M.I.S.S.: What’s your favorite Bésame product that you’ve created?
The lipsticks hold special meaning for me, since they started this journey into cosmetics, but all my products are special since I work on them personally for months to years before they are ready to be released.
M.I.S.S.: Who do you want to work with?
I would really enjoy working with other designers, specially fashion designers. Any creative collaborations would be interesting since co-creating is a great leaning experience for me. Anything that lets me grow as a creative would be wonderful.
M.I.S.S.: What part of creating cosmetics is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?
The most challenging is working on the formulas. There is a give and take in chemistry. You never get all you want, it is trial and error and compromise between efficacy, wearability and safety. I have learned patience from this process and have come to enjoy it. What I dislike the most is paperwork.
M.I.S.S.: Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career in the beauty industry?
Like any business, it has good and bad points. You should like the field enough to overlook the bad and relish in the good. Life is too short to waste it doing something you hate just for money.
Thanks so much, Gabriela!
For more information on Gabriela and Bésame products, please visit: www.besamecosmetics.com
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