Category Archives: make-up products in tv shows

Ratched S01 Promo

In a promotional video for the tv show, Mildred Ratched (Sarah Paulson) puts on her make-up.

The lipstick she wears is Debutante sheer lip colour by Bèsame Cosmetics.

Her blush is one of the most famous products by the American brand – the cream rouge in a beautiful red tin decorated with golden chrysanthemums.

Ratched S01E01 (Pilot)

Dolly’s red lipstick is by Bèsame Cosmetics, possibly in Red Hot Red.

The mirror she uses to apply the lipstick is from another Bèsame product – the Mermaid Lagoon shell compact from the Peter Pan collection released in November 2018.

Thanks to Jenny for the compact id.

Murder, She Wrote S02E12 (Murder by Appointment Only)

While in New York, Mrs. Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) is caught in a complex murder mystery featuring an unknown lipstick, a former student of hers (Elizabeth, the victim), her shady past and her fiancé, co-owner of Lila Lee, a door-to-door cosmetic company. Always willing to help with the investigation, Jessica and the local lieutenant Varick (Herb Edelman) discuss a jewel-studded lipstick case found on the crime scene, the lipstick in it and the one used to vandalise a portrait of the victim in her apartment.

The lipstick Varick is holding is pale pink, definitely not the bright orange-based red on the portrait.

Norman Amberson (Robert Culp), Elizabeth’s fiancé, confirms Jessica’s observation: the lipstick in the jewel case is Midnight Pink [1].

Later in the episode, Jessica’s nephew Grady (Michael Horton) finds a lipstick in the Lila Lee sales kit.

He thinks he’s found the one, but Jessica disagrees. The shade is not the same. “It’s a little bit too pink”, she says, and we, lipstick lovers, are furiously nodding because we know what she means.

This shade is Tangerine Glow. Still not right. But while checking the complete list of Lila Lee lipstick shades, Jessica finds a code number is missing.

She pretends to be a Lila Lee saleswoman whose customers want the lipstick with the missing code and pays a visit to Mr. Hillsdale (Fred Ponzlov), the chemist who created it.

Hillsdale’s reply sounds like a death toll: that colour has been discontinued. Lila Lee Amberson didn’t like how it looked on the rim of a white cup.

That perfect shade, “not too orangey, not too pink”, was called Tangerine Twist [2].

Here lies the solution of the mystery. The discontinued lipstick was used at a photoshoot, confiscated by Lila Lee Amberson (remember that she hated it) and passed to her brother, Elizabeth’s fiancé. At this point the murderer’s identity is clear, right?

[1] Maybelline did a bright pink lipstick with the same name. Maybe this episode served as source of inspiration.

[2] Jafra did a frost orange lipstick with the same name.

I May Destroy You S01E12 (Ego Death)

One of the first places we are introduced to in this show is Ego Death, a London bar with a prophetical name. It’s the place where the protagonist, Arabella, and her best friend Terry (Weruche Opia) often return to in an attempt to exorcise it as a negative symbol and find closure to the traumatic event the show opens with.

In this scene, Terry is retouching her make-up by applying a MAC lipstick in a nude shade.

Hollywood E04 (Screen Tests)

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Rock Hudson (Jake Picking) is another actor who’s getting ready to audition for a role in the upcoming film Peg. On his dressing table there are several beauty items: some of them are by Bésame Cosmetics product, but there are vintage pieces too.

There are a long-hair finishing powder brush and a lipstick by Bésame.

The large pink tin with white cap is Albolene cleansing cream. The picture above refers to the unscented version. I couldn’t find any visual evidence that the scented version is the pink one, but it could be a good guess, since this product still comes in scented and unscented versions.

Hollywood E04 (Screen Tests)

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Claire (Samara Weaving) and Camille (Laura Harrier) are getting ready to audition for the part of Peg Entwistle, the British actress who committed suicide in 1932 by jumping from the “H” on the Hollywoodland sign. On their dressing tables Bésame Cosmetics products can be seen.

On the far right side of the table the golden cap of a lipstick is visible. Probably it’s American Beauty, the cool, berry-red shade with magenta undertones that Claire wears all through the show.

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On the right side of Camille’s table there’s a red round box containing Bésame crimson cream rouge, that can be used on lips and cheeks.

Hollywood E02 (Hooray for Hollywood: Part 2)

hollywood_e02_bornunicornLucille Reimann (Monica Lee Gradischek) works in the casting department at Ace Studios. Camille Washington, a promising black actress, candidates herself for a role in an upcoming film, but Lucille refuses her by saying it’s a role for a white actress.

besamered_bornunicornThe red lipstick Lucille is wearing is by Bésame Cosmetics.

Hollywood E01 (Hooray for Hollywood)

hollywood_e01_bornunicorn (3)Avis Amberg (Patti LuPone) is a former silent movie actress who has left her glory days behind but she’s still at the centre of the public life in Hollywood: her husband *is* one of the most important movie studios in town, as she explains to young Frank Castello, the aspiring actor she’s having a rendez-vous with.

hollywood_e01_bornunicorn (1)hollywood_e01_bornunicorn (4)Avis is all about Old Hollywood glamour, as shown by the elegant black lace lingerie and the satin robe with feathered accents she’s wearing. But make-up has its part, too.

besamecosmetics_victoryredlipstick_bornunicornThe lipstick she’s wearing is by Bésame Cosmetics [1]: the shade is Victory Red, deep red with a neutral base, inspired to Montezuma Red and Victory Red, two popular shades created by Elizabeth Arden in 1941.


TEAR SHEET. Connie Ford Victory Red Lipstick advertisement.Those were the years of WWII and Arden was asked to make a lipstick for women who served in the U.S. army; the success of Montezuma Red brought to Victory Red [2], which could be worn by all those who wanted to show their patriotism in those dark times.

[1] After extensively appearing in American Horror Story: Freakshow and Feud, it was only natural to see Bésame Cosmetics featured in Hollywood, too, for an extra touch of authenticity.

[2] The face of Victory Red was Constance Ford, who would later become a famous movie and TV show actress.