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Discontinued Cosmetics Buyer's Guide

We have all run into the frustration at one time or another of finding the perfect shampoo, conditioner, lipstick shade or foundation only to find out that we can no longer buy it after a few purchases. Manufacturers may discontinue a shade of blush, a line of shampoo or even your favorite body washes with no warning. Often these reasons may seem incomprehensible to you. Remember, discontinued cosmetics do not always mean that you cannot find a specific brand or shade of ladies makeup it impacts the guys too! Cosmetics include all sorts of products including women's makeup, body wash, powder, skin care lotions, nail polish (color and line), contact lenses, hair color and even hairsprays and hair gels.

So what happens when you discover that your favorite cosmetic product has been discontinued? What happens when you can no longer purchase it in your local stores? This might seem like a major issue, but there is no need for panic to set in. You do have options available to you.

First things first - Contact the manufacturer

This may seem like the most obvious answer to your problem. Your first step should be to contact the products manufacturer. Even if a manufacturer is no longer be distributing the product to local stores, they often have the product in stock. This product is often taking up much needed space. They are merely holding it there until they can sell it.

Purchasing your discontinued cosmetic product directly through the manufacturer could potentially save you money. In fact if you are willing to buy a large amount of discontinued cosmetic products you could save a lot of money in the process. Remember, there is nothing to be gained by them holding it in stock. The discontinued cosmetic products will simply sit there until they can find an outlet for them.

What happens if they do not have the item in stock?

If the manufacturer tells you that they no longer have a discontinued cosmetic product in stock, don't worry. Your next step is to ask them if they know any location where you may still purchase it. You might be surprised. Often the manufacturer will know where every last bottle or jar of your favorite discontinued cosmetic product is. Many stores will keep an inventory of discontinued cosmetic products until they have special sales.

In some instances, manufacturing divisions also maintain separate divisions for discontinued cosmetic products. This might be a warehouse or outlet where they stock their own discontinued cosmetic products. These may be online outlets, physical outlets or even a chain store. Anyplace they are likely to sell their discontinued cosmetic products is a possibility. Make sure that you inquire about the following:

  • In house stock available
  • Stores that may still have in stock
  • Stores they may have sold discontinued products to
  • Online outlets that may have the product
The manufacturer is always going to the first place you should start searching for discontinued cosmetic products. The added benefit of going to the manufacturer directly is you may find they know where to find discontinued cosmetic products. Additionally, if they have them in stock this is likely the way to get discontinued cosmetic products at the lowest cost.

They do not have the item in stock and they have no discontinued outlet

Even if the manufacturer cannot help you locate discontinued cosmetic products, hope is not lost. There are several options that you can pursue. Some of them may surprise you until you discover the wealth of choices that you have.

Test your search engine

Type in the name of the manufacturer along with the name of the product you are seeking in your favorite search engine. In some cases, you will find that there are websites such as Overstock, EBay or other similar auction sites that will carry discontinued cosmetic products.

Cosmetic Outlets

Check online (and offline) to see if you can identify any cosmetic outlets. Oftentimes, these outlets purchase discontinued cosmetic products and then sell them at significant discounts. You may find exactly what you are looking for.

Custom Made Options

For those who are looking for discontinued cosmetic products that are lipstick, foundation or eye shadow, you may be able to get a custom made product. In many cases, there are ways to have your favorite makeup reproduced to exactly the same specifications. Generally, these products will require a small sample of the discontinued cosmetic product to reproduce it. There are also options where companies have samples of products that can be reproduced. Do remember, this is going to be the most expensive way to access discontinued cosmetics.

Nothing is ever permanent

It is very frustrating to find exactly the right product and then lose it because the manufacturer has decided to continue it. This is probably even more frustrating when it is a favorite cosmetic product. Colors of lipstick, foundation formulas and even body lotions change over time as new formulas and compounds are introduced into the market.

Manufacturer's often will discontinue a product because of low sales, because they have found they can manufacturer a better product with different ingredients or a whole host of other reasons. If you do your research, you may be surprised how simple it is to find discontinued cosmetics.


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