How to Get a Lipstick Color That Is Discontinued

Losing a beloved lipstick shade hurts, but you can find it.

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You know the one, the lipstick that changed your life. The lipstick that perked up your whole face, that got daylong strings of compliments, that made you feel ... complete. Like so many other things, you took it for granted. You assumed that it would always be there at the makeup counter, just waiting for you. Then -- horrors -- you go to renew your stash and that oh-so-imperious makeup counter woman casually and cold-heartedly announces that your shade has been discontinued. Don't panic! There are ways, my dear, to get what you need.


Do your homework. Before you go searching for that long-lost shade, gather all the information you can from your last tube. It's much easier to search if you know the manufacturer, the name of the line it was issued in and the shade name or number. For example: Yves Saint Laurent, Rouge Pur Couture, No. 17. Sometimes, on a well-used tube the shade name will wear off the bottom, but you can usually make out the corresponding number.


Know where to look. Your first stop will be the manufacturer's website. For example, MAC cosmetics and Estee Lauder have tabs on their websites where you can search for discontinued shades. For items that are long out of date, grab the customer service phone number or email contact and inquire about the shade you're seeking. There may be limits on how many you can buy or you may end up paying more than the original price. Hey, let's be real, some concessions must be made for beauty.


If you have no luck with the manufacturer, search websites like eBay and Amazon. If you're in the mood for hunting, scour the beauty sections of discount stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, you may get lucky.


If you're fortunate enough to have your original tube with even a small amount of color left in it, there are websites that will custom match the color for you. Check out Three Custom Color or Buy Me Beauty for instructions on mailing them a sample. Hint: Busy girls can save both time and money by buying in multiples, usually three or more tubes.

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