We all know the bittersweet nostalgia that comes with thoughts of beloved foods from childhood. But what feeling conveys — truly conveys — the feeling we get about recently discontinued products, like favorite cosmetics and toiletries?
Lately, manufacturers have stopped making multiple of my tried and true products. Oh, cruel companies! I’m a creature of habit. You’re rocking my world and NOT in a good way. I’m getting older and now, item by item, you’re taking away important products in my daily regime deployed to make me look good (or at least kid myself into thinking I look good).
First, it was my body wash. Next, it was my shampoo. Then, my lip liner. Now, it’s my cleansing grains. What next? Is no part of my hygiene and beauty routine sacred?
Has this happened to you? Do you have favorite products? Ones you love and have used for years, that suddenly are no longer available? It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
For me, the problem of disappearing products started a few years back. But recently, the trend has accelerated at an alarming rate. Here’s just a brief catalog.
First, posh-named Crabtree and Evelyn threw cold bathwater at me, discontinuing my beloved Jojoba Body Wash. Not only did I love that Jojoba smell, but I used to get happy just saying its name. Jo-jo-ba. Such a jo-jo-jolly sound. Like laughter! But I stopped laughing when I could no longer buy it.
First, I searched in stores. (Remember going into stores?) Then, I couldn’t find it on the Crabtree website, which made me crabby. Then, I located it — for a whopping $42.99 — on Amazon. (Oh, Amazon, really? $42.99)
Still, like Elizabeth Warren, I persisted. Finally, I found my Jojoba for $27.99 plus $7.95 plus expedited shipping NEW! on eBay. A “comparative bargain.” But I’ll pass. I may be a needy creature of habit but I’m not THAT needy.
Shampoo Shopping Woes
Recently I tried ordering Aveeno Nourish+Soothe Shampoo. Each winter, I turn to this shampoo when my scalp gets sensitive and dry. This winter, to my itchy dismay, I discovered, Aveeno no longer makes this gentle shampoo. In its place, Aveeno offers a trendy array of fancy-schmancy scalp shampoos. To these, I cry boo-hoo and say no way!
Undaunted, I conducted yet another Internet search. Sure enough, I quickly found my man, I mean shampoo, but ooh and ouch! The price! You’d think I was shopping for liquid gold! But desperate is as desperate does. So, I held my nose — AND my wallet — and ordered one bottle. Then, I sent Handsome Hubby an email, suggesting he stock up on the stuff as an early (expensive) holiday gift.
Lip Liner Woes
Next up, on my tale of want and woe: For more years than I’ve been married, I’ve been (mostly) faithful to one company, one type of lip liner, and one color: Lancôme Le Lipstique Portelle. It’s pricey, but I love the texture and this particular color. Kind of a tawny rose with a slight brown cast. Not too bold. Yet, not bland. Sure, I’ve flirted with reds and scarlets occasionally through the decades. I’ve dabbled with a pink or a mauve in my day. And yes, I’ve dallied with cheaper brands. But I always come back to Lancôme Le Lipstique Portelle.
But now, after 30+ years, Lancôme has said “good-bye” to me or more accurately, Portelle. I know it’s not personal, but it hurts.
The company isn’t ending the entire line of Le Lipstique lipliner. Just my beloved Portelle. Fortunately, I caught wind of the Portelle cutoff early and went on a buying spree. While Nordstrom didn’t have any, Macy’s had four. Sephora had six. I snagged another four from a couple of other shops. And a girlfriend, knowing of my manic search, located a few more. So, now, I’m set for at least a decade, maybe even life.
Discontinued Products: Crisis Number Three
Just this week I tried ordering my favorite Laura Mercier facial cleansing grains and — you guessed it — Laura has cut me off at the knees, although I guess technically speaking at the neck
Unfortunately, I learned too late about the end of production. So, I must hunt for a new cleansing grain. I once used an Aveeno product, but since the Nourish+Soothe shampoo disappointment, I’m wary. As the saying goes: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Am I ready to trust my heart, soul, and body parts to Aveeno yet again?
And, of course, it’s not just toiletries and cosmetics that have disappeared from my life or even beloved childhood processed food. Favored clothing brands and makers of comfortable shoes have gone bankrupt. Avia walking shoes are no more. You can still find them online but it’s a challenge. It’s maddening and makes my achy insoles — and heart — ache.
Men and Manufacturers
Do you know what all this sighing and moaning about long-lost products feel like? The crying and wailing I did about guys in my youth! From heartbreaks to household gripes! Is this what getting old means? From “I’ve grown accustomed to her/his face” to I’ve grown accustomed to that product line? Oh, my!
This love-it-only-to-lose-it problem now happens with such alarming frequency that I’ve developed a new shopping strategy: I buy items in bulk — and no, I’m not talking about pandemic toilet paper hoarding. I’m talking about preferred products, clothes and shoes. If I find a comfortable pair of shoes, I buy two or three pairs of the same shoe — in the same (or maybe if I’m living wild, different) color(s). If I find comfortable pants, ditto. A flattering lipstick shade that stays put and doesn’t run like a mongoose, well, put me down for an order of three or four ASAP!