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As a former beauty editor and someone who will happily film her makeup and skincare routines for Instagram Stories, people love to ask me what my desert island makeup product is — that one tube of lipstick or dark-circle-forgiving concealer so treasured that I’d wear it and only it for the rest of my life. For me, that’s Besame Cosmetics Brown Cake Mascara.
But I don’t use it as a mascara — I use it as a brow pigment.
Smearing mascara on your eyebrows sounds a lot more Groucho Marx than Cara Delevingne, but the thing that makes Besame’s mascara different is the fact that it’s a cake mascara, so instead of coming in a tube, it’s packaged like a mini bar of soap tucked inside a small metal container. In lieu of a bushy wand is a teeny brush that almost looks like a mini toothbrush; it has packed bristles, which means it picks up loads of pigment and distributes it evenly.
The process for using it as a brow product is the exact same as how you’d use it as a mascara, only you swipe it on your brows instead of your lashes. First, I wet the mini brush with a splash of water and then swirl it around the cake to pick up the shade. Then, using tiny upward strokes, I brush the pigment over my brows. Since it uses water to transform from a solid to a liquid, the pigment is thinner — sort of like watercolor paint. It’s insanely buildable and brushes on natural-looking, and since it’s not that thick, it dries without making your brows super stiff.
Really, Besame’s Cake Mascara is a three-for-one — a mascara, a brow filler, and, in a pinch, a liquid liner. For a vintage product, that makes it surprisingly modern.