Best Discontinued Cosmetics
When beauty products are popular, sell well and win awards, companies stop manufacturing them because it can be good for business. But people still miss them.
Best Discontinued Cosmetics
There are few things as frustrating as finding a beauty product that works well for your skin or hair — or that "holy grail" cosmetic that perfectly matches your coloring and skin tone — only to discover the next time you go to buy your new favorite product, it’s been discontinued.
When a product is popular, sells well and wins beauty editor awards, it doesn’t seem to make sense that a company would stop manufacturing it. Beauty companies rely on getting more coverage than their competitors in magazines and online, so they need to be constantly introducing new products to create a buzz and attract new customers.
"The truth is," wrote Renee Jacques in Allure Magazine, "once a [product] isn’t in the store or online anymore, [90 percent of women] just move on." Making and launching new products helps beauty companies stay on top of fashion and pop culture trends. Sometimes, the issue is an ingredient that can no longer be used for legal reasons. It's banned or must be below a certain percentage, so products have to be reformulated or replaced.
Discontinued items may still be available for sale on sites such as Overstock.com or Discontinuedbeauty.com, allowing for limited hoarding. The website MakeUpAlley.com, where consumers share beauty advice, helps people find replacement products. For the truly inconsolable, Giella Makeup or Three Custom Color Specialists can create customized color-matched lipsticks, foundation or nail polish to match any shade.
And, remember, gone for now doesn’t have to mean gone for good. Consumers can use social media channels (Twitter is popular) to demand favorites be brought back. Beauty companies are listening and bringing back popular products due to customer pressure, often with new formulations to embrace more plant-based ethics or a wider range of color choices for a more diversified market.
Here are beauty products that were loved, iconic, discontinued, mourned by many and, in some cases, reintroduced.
Aveda Sap Moss Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner
Aveda’s Sap Moss shampoo and conditioner were part of the salon haircare company’s range for dry hair. The company discontinued the Sap Moss products over a decade ago, but customers who loved the brand still miss it.
According to Aveda, fans filled the company’s social media channels with requests to bring the line back ever since it was discontinued. As a result, in 2019, Aveda relaunched the Sap Moss Range.
The line, in keeping with a changing world, is now made with more plant-based ingredients, produced with 100 percent wind power and uses 60 percent recycled packaging.
What the Internet Thinks About Aveda Sap Moss Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner
Avon Clearskin Invigorating Cleansing Scrub
The Avon Company is famous for its direct sales model and low-priced beauty, household and personal care products delivered straight to a customer’s front door.
The company’s Clearskin Invigorating Cleansing Scrub, while designed for acne-prone skin, was also good for removing makeup, and customers loved its fresh menthol scent. Fans loved the product, leaving four- and five-star reviews on product review websites.
Now, it’s only available now on resale sites.
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Benefit Tinted Moisturizer You Rebel
Another one of beauty and cosmetic company Benefit’s most missed products is their Tinted Moisturizer You Rebel, which it stopped making in 2014.
Customers were still posting online about how much they loved this product in 2019.
But the only way to find You Rebel now is to track down any remaining stock on discontinued cosmetic sites.
What the Internet Thinks About Benefit Tinted Moisturiser You Rebel
Bliss Fabulous Skin-Reviving Rubberizing Mask
Rubberizing masks came out of the Korean beauty scene and are much loved for their spa-treatment-at-home feel. Mixed with water, this powdered product turns into a paste that dries on your face to create a peel-off mask.
Bliss made a skin-reviving version with seaweed that fans raved about online with four- and five-star reviews.
Despite the product’s popularity, Bliss stopped selling the mask, and it still ranks as a much-missed beauty product.
What the Internet Thinks About Bliss Fabulous Skin-Reviving Rubberizing Mask
The Body Shop Lightening Touch
In the 1990s, The Body Shop introduced a brightening under-eye treatment called Lightening Touch that rapidly became the company’s best-selling product.
It turned out that the light-diffusing particles essential to the product’s performance were produced by a company that tested on animals, which was against The Body Shop’s cruelty-free policy. The company discontinued the product, and fans stockpiled tubes of it.
The Body Shop eventually brought Lightening Touch back into their makeup range, in four different shades, as concealers. However, reactions to the reformulated product are mixed.
What the Internet Thinks About The Body Shop Lightening Touch
The Body Shop Perfume Oils
In the 1990s, every Body Shop had a perfume bar where customers could sample oils, such as Dewberry, Vanilla or White Musk — the three most popular.
The perfume bars are long gone. Oils were replaced with sprays, and then phased out. The company kept White Musk oil in their range as the scent is a perennial favorite and still a best seller, but the others are only a memory.
You can find bottles of original Body Shop perfume oils on eBay, but they will cost you hundreds of dollars (and the oils are long out of date).
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Chanel Double Perfection Fluide Matte Foundation
Chanel’s Double Perfection Fluide Foundation may be one of the most missed luxury beauty products, according to the cosmetics review site MakeupAlley.
Many customers on the site posted that they had used the matte foundation for oily skin for years and loved it.
Chanel first reformulated the product and then discontinued it for good in 2008.
What the Internet Thinks About Chanel Double Perfection Fluide Matte Foundation
Chanel Vamp Nail Polish
In 1994, Chanel launched a new color of nail polish — a combination of red and black — called Vamp. Women lined up around the block to buy the new color, which sold out the day it was launched, and earned the company over $1 million in the first year alone.
The $15 polish had waiting lists of six to 12 months. Vamp polish is still considered the best-selling Chanel product of all time. And then Chanel discontinued it.
The company relaunched Vamp polish in 2003, but as a different shade, and these days Vamp knock-offs are said to be closer in color to the original.
What the Internet Thinks About Chanel Vamp Nail Polish
Clinique Acne Solutions Body Treatment Spray
Clinique’s Acne Solutions Body Treatment Spray was popular with many prone to acne, according to reviews on MakeupAlley. While there are many treatments and creams available for facial acne, there aren’t many for body acne, which shows up on chests and backs.
Clinique discontinued the spray, despite its popularity, and even the beauty editor at Vogue Magazine couldn’t find out why.
Loyal customers switched to another Clinique product instead: their Acne Solutions All-Over Clearing Treatment, which sold out due to high demand.
What the Internet Thinks About Clinique Acne Solutions Body Treatment Spray
Clinique City Stick Makeup Foundation
Clinique’s City Stick was a foundation that came in a handy tube, perfect for touch-ups on the go and at work.
Ironically, while the stick was sold as base makeup, many fans actually used it as a concealer.
Clinique decided to keep concealers in tubes and foundations in a bottle, as the company discontinued the foundation stick despite its popularity.
What the Internet Thinks About Clinique City Stick Makeup Foundation
Cover Girl Wetslicks AmazeMint Lip Gloss
Cover Girl’s Wetslick Lip Gloss was made with peppermint oil to tingle lips and freshen breath. Key selling points were that the gloss wasn’t goopy and didn’t stick to hair.
Fans loved the color range and the fact that the product was moisturizing and long-lasting.
Despite being chosen as an Allure Magazine’s Editors Favorite Pick in 2008, Cover Girl discontinued the product.
What the Internet Thinks About Cover Girl Wetslicks AmazeMint Lip Gloss
Fresh Supernova Mascara
Fresh stopped making fan-favorite Supernova Mascara in 2013 as the company was doing away with their entire cosmetics line.
For once, customers didn’t have to wonder why a company discontinued their favorite product. Fans raved about the volumizing, thickening, clump-free mascara and mourned its loss.
Fresh currently makes a skincare range, but their only cosmetic products are lipsticks. As mascaras have a short shelf life for hygiene reasons (six months), buyers have had to look to other brands for a similar product.
What the Internet Thinks About Fresh Supernova Mascara
Many millennials fondly remember first wearing GAP perfumes as kids in the 1990s and 2000s, and many were still using them when GAP discontinued their scents in 2014.
Bearing such classic names as Grass, Heaven, Om and Dream, GAP scents were often the first ones that teens and tweens ever tried back then.
While bottles still can be found on eBay for hundreds of dollars, fragrance experts say that scents only last three to five years, so any of the perfumes would now be out of date.
What the Internet Thinks About GAP Perfumes
Giorgio Armani Designer Shaping Cream Foundation
When this fluid light-to-medium cover foundation was discontinued, Kim Kardashian West (and many others) took to Twitter to tell the Giorgio Armani company that she wasn’t happy about their decision.
The Giorgio Armani company replaced the product with a tinted cream called Crema Nuda.
What the Internet Thinks About Giorgio Armani Designer Shaping Cream Foundation
Helene Curtis Thermasilk Shampoo Plus Conditioner
Helene Curtis was a small beauty company, founded in 1927, that consistently created innovative, best-selling body and hair care products.
The company created the first non-toxic perm for salons and in 1977 had the top-selling shampoo brand in America (Suave).
In 1998, Helene Curtis introduced a new range for hair — Thermasilk — that contained heat-activated ingredients to work when hair was heated with a blow dryer.
Fans loved how the shampoo plus conditioner combination left their hair silky soft and still raved about the product years after it was discontinued.
What the Internet Thinks About Helene Curtis Thermasilk Shampoo Plus Conditioner
John Frieda Beach Blonde Ocean Waves Spray
The Beach Blonde Ocean Waves Spray was a styling product for hair that used sea salt to add waves and volume. The company stopped making the entire Beach Blonde range in 2007 because of low sales.
The iconic spray was so popular that fans simply wouldn’t accept its demise, even starting a petition to persuade the company to bring it back. The loss of the popular spray even merited a mention in The New York Times and was still being mourned by customers in 2014.
The company finally reintroduced the spray in 2015 under a slightly different name and with a new formulation.
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MAC Cosmetics Dressmaker, Dressmaker Lipstick
The cosmetics company MAC (Make-up Art Cosmetics) is known for making limited edition colors that are only available for a short time. Dressmaker, Dressmaker — a shade of peach — launched in 2011 and was loved by many for its universally flattering color. The site She Knows went so far as to call it a "holy-grail shade."
MAC has been known to bring back popular discontinued products, such as a selection of lipsticks and eyeshadows from the 1990s. They even have asked customers to vote on favorite products they want to see again.
But Dressmaker, Dressmaker remains discontinued.
What the Internet Thinks About MAC Cosmetics Dressmaker, Dressmaker Lipstick
MAC Cosmetics Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Lipstick
In 2010, MAC Cosmetics paired up with rapper and beauty and fashion trendsetter Nicki Minaj to launch a special edition lipstick called Pink Friday. The lipstick was named after Minaj’s debut album.
Pink Friday went on sale every Friday between Thanksgiving and Christmas, selling out within minutes each week.
MAC brought the color back for additional Friday launches in 2011, but has no plans to add the color to its ongoing range.
What the Internet Thinks About MAC Cosmetics Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Lipstick
Maybelline Lash Stylist Mascara
Maybelline’s waterproof Lash Stylist Mascara came with a built-in comb, instead of a brush, and fans raved about how the formula didn’t clump and gave their lashes volume and lift.
Despite the product’s popularity and five-star reviews, Maybelline discontinued it in 2009, leaving customers to search for a replacement.
What the Internet Thinks About Maybelline Lash Stylist Mascara
Maybelline New York Flash Clean Express Makeup Removing Lotion
Maybelline New York discontinued its popular Flash Clean Express Makeup Removing Lotion, despite winning a Best of Beauty Award from Allure Magazine in 2014.
Fans loved that the product was gentle on eyes but strong enough to dissolve away any kind of makeup.
Maybelline’s current Expert Eyes Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover only has an overall two-and-a-half star rating on its website, so this may be one product that the company will consider bringing back.
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Sunday Riley Cashmere SPF 30+ Advanced Sun Defense
Sunday Riley’s popular sunscreen gave lightweight sun protection for the face, for all skin types, and had a lightweight matte finish and silky feel that fans loved.
Beauty editors loved it, too, calling it a "cult favorite" despite the product’s high price ($125).
The company’s reasons for discontinuing the product are unclear, and the Sunday Riley range currently doesn’t include a sunscreen.
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