Inside the creation of the dreamy Bésame Cosmetics Sleeping Beauty collection
Bésame Cosmetics has been bringing their unique vintage spin to the world of Disney for a few years. The company has brought us iconic lines for Snow White, Mickey Mouse, and Peter Pan’s Mermaid Lagoon. They’ve also ventured into other Disney properties and created items for Marvel’s Agent Carter and Avengers: Infinity War. Now they’ve continued with the Disney magic and released a new collection in honor of the 60th anniversary of the release of classic film Sleeping Beauty. (Disclosure: Bésame links in this article are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we may earn a commission.)
The Sleeping Beauty: 1959 collection features gorgeous colors and unique product designs. The dreamy line has everything from an eye shadow palette to lipsticks. To find out more, we reached out to Bésame founder Gabriela Hernandez who told us an in email interview how the collection was created, what they might have in store in the future, and more.
You've worked with Disney on a number of collections now. Did the idea for creating a Sleeping Beauty collection come up in conversation with them or did the idea come about another way?
We work with Disney on an ongoing basis, so depending on their plans and ours, we see what projects would be good to tackle together. For Sleeping Beauty, it was her anniversary year and I find the artwork in the film so compelling that I wanted to work on a collection for her. She is also one of the first princesses for Disney, so there was a lot of historical pieces available to get inspiration for new pieces.
What appealed to you about creating a Sleeping Beauty line?
I always start with the history and what to bring back. What truly inspires me is vintage artwork from these films, development pieces. I reference any marketing artwork I can find from storybooks, coloring books, and toys. And finally I visit the Animation Archive to review background paintings, cels, and most importantly the ink and paint colors from the original films to create the color palette for the collections. The palette of colors in this film is very flattering and so very ‘50s that is was easy to make items that would work well on a variety of skin tones.
How long have you been working on the collection?
I have been working on this collection for about 18 months. Sometimes it takes longer to find the right sources for the materials I use and also restoring some of the original art is a time consuming process.
What was your process like for deciding on the colors to include and what products (blush, lipstick, etc.) would work best for them? Did your process for creating this line differ in any way from how you created the other Disney collections?
I begin with characters and animation with historical materials available or with items I can find from the year it was made. The type of animation and also the characters would need to lend themselves to beauty, so it’s not disconnected from a look our customers would enjoy. There needs to be a style that can be translated into a makeup look. I also want to make sure the color palette of the film contains flattering colors!
The colors we made for lipsticks and shadows are the ones found in the inks of the original film. Aurora’s lip color is the color used on the cel in the original animation. The same goes for Maleficent. So for me, when I look at the original ink palette I have to determine if it is wearable as makeup so that the looks you can create will be pretty and functional. I always think of how it will look on the people who purchase this, especially when I am adapting a style from an animated female character. When there is a human character involved, the products need to work in real life use. It is a bit different than doing a fantasy collection where you are reproducing a prop, like in the case of the Infinity Stones for Marvel.
Did this line present any unique challenges compared to the previous Disney lines?
So many things, but I would have to say the most time consuming aspect was all the metal casting and molding done for this collection. It was challenging to design, 3D render, and mold the mirror and the locket pieces. Also the plating and enamel finish on the mirror took several months to achieve. The artwork of this film is so stylized. [Artist] Eyvind Earle is so iconic and everything about that film was inspired by his hand, so I really wanted to include his original art in the collection without making an actual print. I reproduced the original painting from the background of the forest scene inside the blush palette. I used several techniques to make it look more dimensional like embossing and layering for the final look. I loved the natural Aurora, free spirited and carefree in the forest, dancing with the animals. That side of her is what I wanted to explore with the makeup looks we created. Simple and pretty, not overly made-up. I wanted to get away from the very proper and regal Aurora that you see usually portrayed in most renditions of her.
What are you most excited about in the line? Do you have a favorite product or is there one that you're most looking forward for people to try?
I am very excited about the mirror, since it is a piece that is functional as well as decorative and can stay with you even after all the makeup items are used up. Also, the book holder is a piece I have not done before and I wanted to bring you a piece of the castle to have at home. It is decorated with the same patterns as the castle’s cups and dishes, with a purple velvet top to display your book like in the original film.
Do you have any more Disney releases coming this year that you can tease for our readers? Will you be returning to the Marvel universe for any lines in the future?
We will have some smaller very special collections next year, and a larger one for the following year. As for Marvel, who knows, maybe in the future our paths will cross again.
Would you have any interest in venturing into the a galaxy far, far away and creating a Star Wars collection with Disney?
I have not been approached to do anything in that galaxy, so I can’t say. If it is the right fit, and I think our customers would be open to it, we will certainly consider it.
Anything else about this collection that I didn’t touch on that you want to mention?
I think this collection has been our most popular to date with Disney. Sleeping Beauty fans are quite devoted to her and their warm reception is what has made this collection so successful. People always ask if we will remake items when they sell out and unfortunately these are limited time and production products so when they are gone, they will not be made again. Sleeping Beauty will be available until December, while supplies last.
You can find the entire Sleeping Beauty collection available now on Bésame’s website.
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