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What to Do When Your Favorite Makeup Has Been Discontinued

Never be disappointed by discontinued makeup again.
What to Do When Your Favorite Makeup Has Been Discontinued
Image via Brian Hagiwara/Stockbyte
Image via Brian Hagiwara/Stockbyte

Whether it’s our favorite restaurant, a TV show we are addicted to or the one perfect red lipstick we ever had in our lives, we hate when our loves get cancelled, discontinued, or just disappear. When it comes to our beauty products though, some of our most heavily-relied upon products can vanish from stock without a word – and leave us devastated – and not sure what to do next in terms of our beauty routine. In case you’re still in a state of shock over the loss of some of your favorite products, we’ve pulled together some steps for you to follow along your road to recovery.

Make Sure It’s Truly Gone:
“I start by contacting the consultant that I purchased the products from, to see if it is in fact discontinued and they potentially have any overstock that one could purchase,” says Petrina Keller, a Virginia-based hair stylist and salon owner.

Be Proactive:
Like those old telephone commercials, never be afraid to reach out and call someone. Contact the company and let them know how much you love the product and how much you would like to see it on the shelves again; some companies will bring back a product if there’s enough consumer concern.

Do Your Research:
“It’s happened to me on many an occasion, so what I do is take to the web,” says makeup artist and founder of emerging brand FemBot cosmetics  Melanie Harris.  Resources like eBay can be lifesavers. “For instance I was using a remarkable product from Vichy named Reti-C, I couldn’t live without it. They discontinued it for a newer version but I loved my old one so I took to eBay and found some!” Harris bought as many as she could once she found it.

MORE: The Cutest Cosmetics Bags for Spring

There’s lots of other places where you can potentially hit cosmetic gold. Scour your cosmetic outlets, off-price retailers, dollar stores, flea markets and garage sales. Sites like,, and can be your savior as well. Just make sure to keep an eye on expiration date and product consistency. Don’t buy lipsticks or foundations that look too clumpy or as if the liquid has been separated, for instance, and never buy a product that’s previously been used.

Find a Shade That’s Similar to The One That’s Your Current Favorite:
If it’s your favorite, chances are you already have a similar product in your beauty bag.  If the shade is just a bit off, maybe a bit dark or doesn’t have enough shimmer or glow to it, try mixing it with your favorite illuminator.

Recreate the Magic:
For example, Prescriptives offers Custom Blend Foundation via live video chat which a lot of women do when their favorite products and colors are discontinued.

Another great option is Three Custom Color Specialists for the discontinued cosmetics/custom blending that they do, suggests Shannon Smyth of A Girl’s Gotta Spa!. Their archive of products (which is heavy on lipsticks) dates back to the 1930s and once you make an order, the item will be catalogued for future purchases. There’s over 10,000 products in that archive, so do your cosmetic-loving sisters around the world a favor and if you have the sad scoop your shade is soon to be leaving this world, you can send them in a dime-size sample and they will recreate it for you. It’s like makeup magic!

Change With the Times:
For everything, there is a season. Take this “breakup” as an opportunity to try something new. You never know if it won’t be your next great love!

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