These Are My Favorite Discontinued Beauty Products
When I was young, I had arguably questionable taste in makeup. In my defense, I started experimenting with makeup in the early 2000's, and the trendy looks of the moment did not help my choices one bit. Yet, despite all of the cake-y cream concealer choices and frosted eyeshadows (those were very, very bad), there were a few products that I would stand by today in terms of efficacy and overall aesthetics. The problem is, most of them—save for Lancomé's Juicy Tubes which are still the best—are no longer around.
There are many beauty junkies who devote hours to lamenting the loss of their favorite products to dreaded discontinuation. There are also oft-cited fan favorite products whose disappearances prompted public outcry, online petitions, and eventually—with some products—reinstatement. The story of John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves is a classic in the world of discontinued products. The spray was discontinued after its 90's heyday but then was mourned so publicly by its fans (mostly online) that John Frieda brought back the entire line due to customer demand (seriously, at some points the spray was going for literally hundreds of dollars on eBay).
Unfortunately for me, none of the lost products from my youth (and more recent days) have garnered much public support. They fall into two categories: products I miss mostly because of nostalgia and products I miss because they were amazing and I can't find an adequate replacement (as hard as I try!). Within both of these categories are products that I miss dearly, despite the fact that some of them are embarrassing.
Here's my list of nine discontinued beauty products that I miss every goddamn day. These aren't the famous discontinued beauty products going for hundreds of dollars on eBay, but darn it, I still think about them just the same.
This body shimmer came in three flavors with associated colors: Marshmallow, Honey, and Cocoa. I love, love, loved the Marshmallow flavor. It was the perfect shimmery powder (something Urban Decay has also perfected in their eyeshadows) and it smelled and tasted softly sweet, with gaudy purple packaging and a powder puff applicator that was a total teenage dream.
I didn't rock Honey as often (because I'm so pale I'm basically translucent), but the taste of that powder was also light and sweet in a perfect, not-too-overpowering way. Urban Decay discontinued the line slowly, pulling different flavors out of stores across the US and UK throughout 2013 and 2014.
I bought my last box in 2013, and I'm still hoarding the last of it until I can find a brand who makes something quite as good (please end my search with suggestions in the comments!). You can find it on eBay, and Urban Decay has a new version that has a similar shimmer, but alas, not a similar taste.
Clinique Cream Eyeshadow was discontinued somewhere between 2008 and 2009. I had recently gotten over my love of frosted eyeshadow, and this creamy, wet-to-dry eyeshadow with a hint of shine was the perfect hybrid that took me from terrible frosted chaos to muted shimmery eyes.
When I found out they didn't make it anymore I was distraught. They released an alternate formulation in the form of Lid Smoothies, but the formula was never thick enough for me and I missed my old wand applicator. If you want to grab the original, you can find still find them on eBay, where discontinued beauty product go to live on. Here's one in my formerly favorite color, Starlit.
Everyone loved Thermasilk, right? Their commercials were engrossing—models' wet hair turning into smooth, luxurious locks the second they turned on their blow dryers. It was magical and extremely convincing. Even though I didn't use hot tools as often when I was a teenager, I liked to think that my reliance on my straightener was made less egregious by using Thermasilk.
I wasn't just protecting my hair from the heat. Thermasilk was making the heat *good* for my hair. It was a miracle product (oh, and it smelled amazing too). You can still find it on eBay, but I have since switched to Shu Uemura Straight Forward Time Saving Blow Dry Oil as my product of choice for heat styling.
Good bye Thermasilk—you are missed.
I'm sort of a freak about the right powder. So many powders exist that make you look cake-y, wooden, or fake, and so many others exist that claim to be matte but are sliding off your face after an hour or two.
Maybelline Dream Matte Powder was neither of these things – which was remarkable given that it was the early 2000's, and a lot of makeup was markedly worse than it is today. When Maybelline got rid of it in 2014, they replaced it with a new Dream Wonder Powder which is good, but I find the formulation less matte and, as such, inferior to the original. Dream Matte Powder all the way!
Hear me out here; I know that Benefit still makes High Beam, their super popular liquid highlighter and I know that as its popularity would suggest, it's pretty awesome.
However, Moon Beam was one of the only golden-tinged highlighters I've ever used that worked on my pale skin. Usually, golden highlighters are formulated to be slightly on the darker side, with nude undertones that don't match with my porcelain skin. High Beam had none of those undertones, and it blended in perfectly while still imparting a rosy, sun-kissed glow. I'm still waiting for the day when I find a golden highlighter that works quite as well. Until then, off to Amazon.
Bonne Bell Flip Style Lip Gloss AKA "Flip Gloss"
This lip gloss with its mechanical flipping mechanism was my everything in high school. I had the glosses, the shimmers, the moisturizers, and the ones flavored like tropical fruit. I loved these little things.
They were so ergonomically pleasing, so fun to play with while you were sitting in class, and their moisturizing powers were nothing to sneeze at. Occasionally, disaster would strike and one would end up accidentally opened in the bottom of your backpack, but in general they were perfect. Nowadays, I have to settle for NARS lipstick as a similarly ergonomic substitute (their tops are magnetized so they snap back on when you open them), but I still miss the glossy shades of my flip glosses of yore.
Jessica Simpson Dessert Beauty
I could write an entire article about Jessica Simpson's Dessert Beauty Line (hint, hint Amber!). It was so gross and yet so perfect: actually edible, sweet beauty products with names like Belly Button Potion and Whipped Body Cream with Candy Sprinkles.
The names of all of the flavors were even more hilariously on point; Juicy, Creamy, Dreamy, and more. Jessica started the line in 2004 (there must have been something going on in the early aughts that made us all want to eat our beauty products on the reg). I won't deny that I immediately went to Sephora and tried all of the flavors I could. I ended up buying the Whipped Body Cream in Creamy—Creamy was hands down the best flavor – and then going crazy buying her Dessert Treats lip glosses when she released the youth-focused line later on.
Lots of people have lamented the loss of this line over the years and, in my opinion, it isn't because the products were particularly good (though the lip gloss wasn't bad). It's because they were so gimmicky and kitschy that they just made you happy (similarly to how trying Limited Edition Cotton Candy Oreos makes you happy).
Matrix Curl Life Body Shaping Foam
When I was in middle school, I used to wear my hair in a ponytail pretty much every other day of the week. I had thick wavy hair and, though I would occasionally take the time to straighten it, it took me ages and I didn't always have time to struggle through the style before school. Enter Matrix Curl Life Body Shaping Foam.
When I discovered this product I was finally able to do my hair in a (moderately) stylish way right after I jumped out of the shower. I would apply the foam to my hands and scrunch my still wet hair to distribute the foam throughout, paying special attention to my ends. Then I would let it air dry as I ate breakfast and headed to school. My hair would be that scrunchy-curly look that was totally popular back in the day. By the time they discontinued the product, I had (thankfully) moved on to different hair styles, but I still fondly look back on Matrix as the best product of its kind.
The last product on this list is a relatively recent loss. I was going to talk about an old favorite perfume from my high school days, Escada Island Kiss, but because Escada's current offerings still have notes that reflect Island Kiss, I decided to talk about a more lasting heartbreak.
Jo Malone has amazing scents pretty much always, but they recently discontinued a fan favorite scent, Vanilla and Anise, and people (myself included) lost it.
It was a truly original scent, and it's one of the only fragrances in which I've enjoyed the licorice scent. If you want to smell Anise in the best way possible, you can shell out hundreds to get your hands on some Jo Malone on Amazon or eBay.
What beauty products have been ripped from your devoted hands? How have you found the strength to go on?