The first place to go to track down a much-missed favorite is the manufacturer:
Call the makeup brand’s customer-service department to ask about leftover inventory, upgraded formulas/names or comparable substitutes.
- Estée Lauder brands: You can find products discontinued in the last 24 months through the company’s Gone but Not Forgotten program; you can buy up to six pieces, depending on availability. Call 800-216-7173 to start your search.
- Almay, Revlon & Ultima II: You can find discontinued products at cosmeticsandmore..com and their affiliated retail outlets (in Arizona, New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina), or call 888-882-5629 to place an order.
- Lancôme, Molton Brown and Nars: These companies sell discontinued items on their sites—Lancome-usa.com, Moltonbrown.com, and Narscosmetics.com—until inventory runs dry. Some brand sites, including Benefitcosmetics.com, Clinique.com, Lancome-usa.com, and Prescriptives.com—feature online alerts, so customers have fair warning when discontinued goods are disappearing.
If the manufacturer is unable to track down an old fave, here are some other sites worth checking out:
- Discount.makeup.com: This subsidiary of Makeup.com sells discontinued beauty products from many brands, including Shiseido and Bare Escentuals.
- Beautyencounter.com: This site sells hard-to-find products from Max Factor, Neutrogena, Goldwell, Sebastian, KMS, and more.
- Vermontcountrystore.com: Its niche is hard-to-find items, and customer service will track down products for which they get a lot of requests, 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: The go-to place for celebrity makeup artists, Three Custom Color specialists can replicate the exact shade and texture of just about any color cosmetic product, including blush, eyeshadow, lipstick, concealer, and foundation. The company has an archive of 9,000 makeup shades dating back to the 1930s, and it will duplicate a hue if you send a dime-size sample.
Snag some more tips in the May issue of ShopSmart magazine!