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Finding discontinued beauty products

There is nothing better than finding that perfect shade of lipstick, or a perfume you cannot live with out. But, sadly, many of our favorite products eventually get phased out. ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, sent over some great tips for finding your favorite discontinued beauty products.

Start with the source …
ShopSmart says the first place to start is to go the manufacturer. They give the following contact information:
  • Call 800-216-7173 to reach Estée Lauder brands. They have discontinued products from the last 24 months through the company’s Gone but Not Forgotten program. They limit six pieces per person.
  • Call 888-882-5629 to reach Almay, Revlon & Ultima II. They have discontinued products at cosmeticsandmore.com and their affiliated retail outlets in Arizona, New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina.
  • Lancôme, Molton Brown and Nars only sell discontinued items on their sites until they are out of inventory.
  • Benefitcosmetics.com, Clinique.com, Lancome-usa.com, and Prescriptives.com feature online alerts, so customers are fully warned the products are discontinued.

Second-party searches …
If it doesn't work out with a manufacturer there still is hope!
  • Discount.makeup.com sells discontinued products from many high-end brands, including Shiseido and Bare Escentuals.
  • Beautyencounter.com features hard-to-find products from Max Factor, Neutrogena, Goldwell, Sebastian, KMS, and more.
  • Vermontcountrystore.com has a customer service department that will search for high-demand products even if the site doesn’t carry them. When an item is no longer manufactured and demand is sufficient, the site buys an original formula and reproduces.
  • Threecustom.com has specialists that can replicate just about any color cosmetic product, including blush, eyeshadow, lipstick, concealer, and foundation. The company has a collection of 9,000 makeup shades dating back to the 1930s.

Contact other make-up lovers …
  • Makeupalley.com: You can find comprehensive information on tons of products, including discontinued ones, at this social community. They even have a Swap Board where you can negotiate trades.
  • The Fragrance Foundation is the source for details on nearly every perfume that has ever existed. Go to fragrancefoundation.org and click on Fragrance Directory.

Thanks so much to our friends at ShopSmart for all the above information they provided us. For more on this topic, and other great stories, check out the May 2009 edition of ShopSmart.

Safety Alert: Your instinct might be to hoard when you find an old beauty favorite but remember that many cosmetics go bad fast once opened. Unopened beauty products and fragrances can last for several years if they are stored properly (in a dark, cool place). The exception is products with an expiration date, such as some acne products and sunscreens, as these have ingredients that might be compromised over time.


“Finding discontinued beauty products”