Beauty 911: What To Do When Your Favorite Product Gets Discontinued

Beauty 911: What To Do When Your Favorite Product Gets Discontinued

You know how people say you never really appreciate things until they’re gone? Well, if you stroll up to the cosmetic counter, request another tube of your signature lipstick, and receive word that your shade has been discontinued then you’ll know exactly how that phrase feels. Discontinuations are a sad tale. It happens all the time, and it could happen to you. If you do find out your longtime cosmetic confidant has been discontinued, don’t sit back and take it. Be proactive!

Keep reading to find out how to track down your long-lost beauty product BFF! 

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    PHOTO: Pinterest

    Search Online

    Your first stop on the search for your beloved discontinued product? The internet. Scour the discount clearing houses and you may just find what you’re looking for. Sites like,,, and often carry excess stock of products that have been discontinued recently.

    If you still come up empty handed, try one of the big guys: eBay or Amazon. Just be mindful of expiration dates and product consistency. Don’t buy anything if the formula looks lumpy or the liquid has separated.

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    PHOTO: Pinterest

    Ask Around

    Ask your friends. Seriously. If you really are in love with the product, one of your girlfriends tried it herself. If you’re lucky, she won’t be as attached to it, and will gladly hand over the coveted cosmetic. It also never hurts to make friends with your cosmetic counter sales associate. If they’ve been with the brand for a long time, they may have a personal stock of products that they don’t use. At the very least, a friendly sales person might have an old box of samples that can hold you over for a little bit.  

    If your take-to-the-streets approach fails, turn to the experts. Estee Lauder Companies’ Gone But Not Forgotten program could have the solution. Their team will search high and low for any product discontinued in the last 24 months from one of their 18 participating beauty brands (including Clinique, Bumble and bumble, and MAC). There’s no guarantee, but if their super sleuths find your favorites, you can purchase up to six products at a time.

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    PHOTO: Pinterest

    Get it Customized

    Even when you think all hope is lost, it’s not. As long as you save a small amount of the discontinued cosmetic, there are services that can recreate your missing makeup shades. Send the specialists at Three Custom Colors a dime-sized sample and they can recreate any color with the same texture and coverage as the original in about three weeks. Didn’t save the last of your discontinued shade? Check their archive. They have over 10,000 commonly requested replicas already logged in it.

    If it’s a lipstick you’re after, try Bite Beauty’s Lip Lab in Soho, New York. In just about seven minutes, a blending specialist will whip up the lip color of your dreams. They’ll get the shade and finish just right for under $50.

    If you need your discontinued face makeup to be brought back to life, try Prescriptives. One of their PX Beauty Geniuses will hop on a video chat and work with you to create your perfect, custom-blended foundation or powder.


    Has a discontinued product ever sent you into frantic search mode? Let us know what you did in the comments. 



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