We’ve all been there. A beloved product that we use faithfully for years and years is one day yanked from the shelves never to be seen again. When this has happened to me, I’ve felt frustrated and betrayed. Sometimes being a dedicated customer can feel very thankless.
This is why I rarely buy limited editions- I don’t want to get hooked on something that I can’t replenish. I have also ceased purchasing from companies that discontinue fabulous items too regularly (Lancome, I mean you!) It’s like going back to a commitment phobic boyfriend only to be burned over and over again.
WHAT’S A GIRL TO DO?
If your favorite product has been discontinued there are a few things you can do.
- Buy up as much as you can on line before all stock disappears forever. Try Amazon and Ebay- but just make sure it’s in a sealed package. Once you’ve got your supply, keep in a cool, dry place, or possibly the refrigerator to keep any oils in the product from turning over time.
- Write to the company and tell them how devastated you are and why you want them to keep your product on the shelf. Posting to a company’s facebook page will usually get you in to conversation with someone more quickly than a phone call or email will do.
- Some companies, like Covergirl allow you to vote to bring a product back, so make sure to cast your vote! If your brand doesn’t have this option, you might want to suggest it to them. I’m currently doing this with L’Oreal. (And if you want to help me out, please vote to bring back LipSlicks!! (To vote for multiple colors, just refresh your browser) http://www.covergirl.com/beauty-products/discontinued-products/lipslicks-lipgloss)
- Have it replicated. Since discontinued favorites are so common, some companies are filling a niche for disenfranchised consumers by offering replica services. You send in whatever last little cherished bit you have left in your tubes or compacts and they will copy it for you (and return your original). I believe they also keep your formula on file for re-orders. I haven’t done this yet, so I don’t know how close the matches are, but it’s worth a shot! You can try Giella or Three Custom Color for replicating all different types of cosmetics. You can also try Bite Lip Lab and make your own custom color that might be even more perfect for you than the one you’re missing.
I suffered two big blows in the discontinued department in the last year or so. The first was my number one drug store secret of all time—
1. COVERGIRL LIPSLICKS. These tinted lip balms were absolute genius (yes, “sheer” genius). The colors were flattering and natural looking, the consistency was rich. They felt so good that I often put them on for the sensation alone. To top it off, they were mildly scented with an innocuous, classic kind of “lipstick” scent…the kind that made you feel that little twinkle of being “put together”. Then there was the way they looked. First of all they had great colors- Hipster had that perfect plumped plum, flushed lip color with a subtle glossy finish, Daring was similar but somewhat deeper, adding just a little more drama with it’s extra dash of red, Bronze Goddess was wear-it-all-summer-long, sun-kissed, natural-beauty, girl-next-door perfection, and even the Clear had a subtle shimmer through that created the most amazing, glowy, natural, smooth, diffused, full pout. The finish on these bad boys was spectacularly flattering.
Then they got yanked. To make it worse, they were replaced by a junky product called “Smoochies” marketed to, it would seem, 12 year olds. Smoochies come in flimsier containers and the colors are all named in cringe worthy “text speak” like “Luv U” and “Text Me”. They are lip glosses for little girls who are most likely buying and wearing make-up for the first time. They are lip glosses that I would be mortified to use as a grown woman. The consistency is also much thinner. Basically they feel, smell, taste and look…CHEAP. Covergirl dealt it’s loyal followers a big hit below the belt with this one.
Help me out and vote to bring it back so that you too can enjoy its wonders! http://www.covergirl.com/beauty-products/discontinued-products/lipslicks-lipgloss
2. L’Oreal Healthy Look semi-permanent hair color. I’m a hair color dabbler. I have premature gray and I have mixed feelings about it. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I want my hair Brown! Brown! Brown! I’m also pretty low maintenance. I don’t want to be dependent on a salon or someone else’s taste level as to what a beautiful brown really is (I have my own very strong opinions about this, thank you very much). I also don’t want to to struggle with roots or have to grow my hair out (with roots!) or deal with arduous alterations in the event of a permanent hair-coloring disaster. So, I use semi-permanent color that fades away over time. With these you have no major root issues and the color mellows and washes out gradually over the course of a month or so, thus preventing any embarrassingly unnatural look. They are also a lot gentler on your hair. (I will write more about semi-permanent vs. permanent box colors in another post)
The problem is that only a very few companies make semi-permanent hair color. I tried Clairol Natural Instincts and no matter which light brown to dark blonde color I tried, I always ended up with black hair that faded to a brassy orange. (Ironically their “Brass Free Brunettes” line made my hair the brassiest and most orange!) There are some glosses, but they never quite last and have very limited selection. And then there was L’Oreal Healthy Look. Healthy Look had good browns! There were no dramatic aberrations between promised color and actual color and it faded beautifully. And now it’s gone!! Can you imagine how many women have just been deprived of a product that they were desperately dependent on? I wrote to L’Oreal and they said it just wasn’t selling well enough. I asked them to consider that they could repackage or hone their colors, or make their coloring system easier to understand (it’s not very easy to understand and I was often very confused). They could also just manufacture in lower quantities, right? Well, they yanked it and with NO WARNING WHATSOEVER. It’s cruel, L’Oreal. Just plain cruel.
I will now begin the painstaking process of developing my own color with Redken professional colors. Hopefully I can figure it out before my ebay stock of Healthy Look runs out! Here’s hopin’…