Fashion & Beauty

Makeup Lost and Found

May 21, 2019

Tags: ,


A UNIVERSITY professor was nearing the end of his transition from male to female. In his enthusiasm about becoming a woman, he asked a friend of his to tell him all the things she loved about being a woman. Not one to mince words, she responded: “Don’t get attached to any particular makeup item. As soon as you do, the company will discontinue it.”

We can relate. Managing Editor Nancy McKeon is still pining for Agnes B.’s L’Embelliseur Abricot /Apricot Complexion Enhancer that worked magic on her face and her sister’s, despite their different coloring.  LittleBird Stephanie Cavanaugh is mourning the loss of L’Occitane’s Honeysuckle and Linden scented solid perfume, while Pittsburgh poet and painter Judith Robinson sorely misses Laura Mercier’s Rose Petal Blush. Chanel stopped making its Cristalle lipstick eons ago, but every now and then I still look for it. Although it hasn’t been discontinued—in fact, the company brought it back several years ago—La Mer’s Reparative Tint in my favorite shade (light medium) disappears during winter when I need it most.  The notation says “out of stock,” but when I call and ask when it will be back again, the representative invariably gives me a vague answer. Note to self: Buy several when available.


Maybelline’s discontinued Strawberry Ice lipstick was found on eBay for $23.99. La Mer’s Reparative Tint ($95) is frustratingly unavailable in winter. Estee Lauder’s Pure Gloss Lipstick #15 Cherry Ice ($22.99) was also found on eBay.

It sounds silly but when you find a product that brightens up your face or boosts your confidence, it feels like a personal rebuke when it vanishes. Not that you should be surprised. According to a MAC makeup artist, brands typically discontinue products to make space for buzzy trends and new technologies.

One recourse is to write to the company and urge it to bring back your beloved. A storm of requests on social media platforms has been known to move companies to reinstate a product. Failing that, scour some discount clearing houses on the web.

Sites that often carry excess stock of recently discontinued products include BuyMeBeauty, with major brands like L’Oreal, Revlon, Maybelline and Elizabeth Arden; Overstock Cosmetics offers products from big labels like Covergirl and Revlon, as well as smaller ones, such as Becca and Smashbox. Discontinued Beauty, founded by a salon owner, has the most inventory in phased-out hair products from Aveda, Bumble & Bumble, Davines and Method. Also, it pays to try eBay or Amazon (we found two lost lipsticks). But read the fine print and make sure the product is new, as advertised. Don’t buy anything that looks lumpy or in which the liquid has separated.

Estée Lauder’s Gone But Not Forgotten program works a little differently. You can’t just click and order. You first must send an e-mail to customer service ( and then their team will “search high and low for a discontinued product, and if we find it, you may purchase up to six pieces depending upon availability.”Aramis, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, Clinique, Darphin, DKNY Fragrances, Donna Karan Cosmetics, Estée Lauder, Glamglow, Jo Malone London, Lab Series, La Mer, MAC, Michael Kors Beauty, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger Toiletries and Tom Ford Beauty all participate.

If you happen to have saved a small sample (the size and thickness of a dime) of your discontinued blush, lipstick, concealer, powder, eyeliner or eye shadow, Three Custom Color Specialists can recreate your favorite shade, and they’ll keep the custom recipe in their files.  If you haven’t a jot left, you can search their archive of 15,000 discontinued shades dating back to the 1930s. You enter the brand name and color you’re looking for and if it appears in the results box, that means they have matched that shade previously for another customer, and the formula is on file. Caveat: Color can change slightly from batch to batch, so the sample they have might differ from the color you want.


—Janet Kelly


MyLittleBird often includes links to products we write about. Our editorial choices are made independently; nonetheless, a purchase made through such a link can sometimes result in MyLittleBird receiving a commission on the sale, whether through a retailer, an online store or






11 thoughts on “Makeup Lost and Found

  1. Dolores says:

    Glamglow supermattify—where can I get this discontinued product?

  2. Hello- I sure hope you can help me, I bought from Belk a few months back this foundation, after using the Estee Lauder stay in place for years, I decided to try this one. Well, Belk no longer carries it and when I find it on Ebay or Amazon they want $75.00 & up for it. Could you please help me in getting this item, I really like it and very disappointed that I can no longer find it in the store.


    I found where I had placed orders for it from Belk it was $25.80 a few months back, they do not have any inventory in stores close by, I have tried.

    I’d really love to get atleast 5 of these if possible.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Have you tried Estée Lauder’s Gone But Not Forgotten program? You first must send an e-mail to them ( and then their team will search for any product discontinued in the last 24 months from one of its 18 participating beauty brands. No guarantees, but if they find it, you may purchase up to six pieces depending upon availability.

  3. I really like reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  4. kayli Davidsoon says:

    Laura mercier tinted moisturizer illuminating golden radiance was discontinued and hoping to find someone who may have one Thank you,

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Hi, Kayli,
      I just looked and found it on eBay!

  5. Estee Lauder Futurist makeup: I have been using Estee Lauder products for 50 years. Have received compliments on the fact that I didn’t have wrinkles. Since you discontinued Futurist I am beginning to develop wrinkles. My shade (color) is 2N1 Blonde 13. I have enough makeup for a color match. Please help me get my loved makeup. I don’t understand why you discontinued Futurist when you still sell Fresh Air and Country Mist, which I used throughout the years from the time I was 25 years old. Please help.

    Gloria Tackett

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Hi, Gloria,
      I know how frustrating that is! Have you tried Estée Lauder’s Gone But Not Forgotten program
      Also, because you have some of the make up left, go to Three Custom and see if they can whip you up some more.

  6. Nice that Little Bird Janet is such a good investigative reporter!

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      With help and advice from a trusty friend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *