It's gonna get sappy up in here.
Some people think that all of this beauty shit is frivolous, and you know what? That’s fine. Let the haters keep on hating, because we know the truth.
Yes, makeup and nail polish and lipstick are just for fun, but some products end up becoming part of our daily routine just as much as putting in contacts or brushing your teeth. So what do you do when one of your favorite products suddenly disappears from the shelves? Some things are irreplaceable!
I’m possessive, I love my products and you can’t take that away from me! More so, I can hold a damn grudge. Every time I go shopping for a product to fill the void of one that has long been discontinued, I find myself constantly stomping around, seething, thinking to myself “If they only still sold X Product, I would not be in this predicament.”
There are some things that I’ll take any excuse to replace: shoes, accessories, boyfriends. Bring on the new-news! But do not mess with my beauty products. No ma'am.
This is a story of love and loss. Here are some of the things that I fell in love with, only to discover that they left me cold and alone.
JOHN VARVATOS ROCK VOLUME ONE
The year was 2009. I was 21, living in Los Angeles, working for MTV, and spending what little free time I had at concerts, at the bar, or at the beach. I had already been wearing the classic John Varvatos cologne since I was like 17 (still am).
Varvatos is known for being very rock and roll, from his own personal style, to his line, to his ad campaigns featuring rockstars like Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop and Cheap Trick (hometown whattup!). John gets it right every time, and Rock Volume One was no exception. The fragrance OOZED sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Some of the more prominent notes included coffee, rose absolute, vanilla and tobacco. It translated to some amalgamation of coffee, cigarettes and whiskey. It. Was. Perfect.
And it was GONE. Little did I know that it was released in very limited quantities. I was planning on buying it within a few weeks after I discovered it, but as soon as it hit counters, it was swiped off of them, and I was left scouring every department store from Santa Monica to Silver Lake.
TO THIS VERY DAY, I still long for a bottle of Rock Volume One.
You know, for all of the talk I’ve done about lotions lately, one would forget that I am vehemently opposed to regular cream lotions. But does anyone remember a certain lotion from, oh, say…Victoria’s Secret? I do.
I distinctly remember the first time I put this on because 1.) I wasn’t hammered and 2.) It was the first time I used a lotion that didn’t feel so…lotion-y. It didn’t leave me feeling SUPPLE. I was in my friend’s dorm room, whining about how my hands were dry because I was a stupid boy and wasn’t moisturizing, and she handed me a tube of this. I didn’t bat an eye at the fact that it was from Victoria’s Secret because, why would I?
As I reluctantly rubbed it in, the strangest thing happened. It just…disappeared. It wasn’t that it soaked in quickly to my extra-dry hands, or that any residual wetness just evaporated, like gel moisturizers do. No. It really felt like it turned from lotion to powder in my hands, and before I even realized it, my hands were moisturized without being sticky. I was dumbfounded, slack jawed at my discovery.
It has long since been removed from the shelves and replaced with brighter, more colorful beauty products. I’m sure they are all lovely, but nothing could take the place of Dream Angels Velvet Luxe Lotion. You never forget your first. (NOT.)
How about another fragrance? Beyond Paradise for Men by Estée Lauder.
Released in 2003, this fragrance has a women’s counterpart that is still available today. The men’s version is not. I can’t say that I’m surprised, because the men’s version of Beyond Paradise read very feminine to many critics (but really what IS gender when it comes to fragrance? Eh, another time).
It was actually so light and fresh and…I’m dancing around the word “feminine” here, because I want to give it the credit it deserves, but… Let’s just say I’m surprised that they didn’t just release one version of Beyond Paradise and market it as unisex, CK One style.
Cut to me at age 16, on a cruise ship, smuggling Coronas in the cargo pockets of my khaki Hollister shorts and listening to a then unreleased demo of “Screwed” by Paris Hilton on repeat on my 2nd generation iPod (JUDGE IT, JUDGE IT ALL). It was then that I was in my Beyond Paradise golden age.
With notes of citrus, white floral, amber, and red berries, it was so fresh, SO summer, so airy and delightful. If I think really hard, I can still smell it. But I can’t actually smell it anymore because it is gone baby gone.
THE MOST RECENT CULPRIT:
Forever Sunshine by Bath and Body Works
I mentioned in my last article that I keep my distance from Bath and Body works because their in-store visuals just give me such sensory overload. But we’ve all got our favorite B&BW products, or at least, I HAD mine.
Forever Sunshine’s bottle informed you that it was a mix of apricot, tangerine, gardenia, and peonies. Having just typed that out, I realize that I wouldn’t necessarily be crazy about that description, but stay with me. To me, it smelled like pineapple and taffy and warm, summer air (I also just realized that this is the second article on a row that I listed the Bath and Body Works description and then replaced it with my own.)
It was perfect for the middle of summer, and it wasn’t too in your face to wear through the winter, when you needed to be reminded of summer! And it didn’t compete with the perfume you were wearing, very important.
Last June, I crossed the threshold of Bath and Body Works, grabbed a bottle, and basked in front of the Forever Sunshine display, letting it bestow its healing light upon me.
“You better buy that while you still can,” A sales girl said, flashing an evil grin.
“OH AND WHY IS THAT?!?” I abrasively responded.
“Well,” she began, her sneer getting bigger as she spoke, “We just discontinued it. It will be off our shelves by the end of the month.”
By the time she had gotten the sentence out of her mouth, I noticed that her tongue had forked like that of a snake and, staring at me from behind her eyes, was Lucifer himself. The walls began to crumble in slow motion around me. I grabbed five bottles and made a run for the checkout.
I have now been hiding it under my sink and using it only in small doses in warm weather, my heart breaking every time I squeeze more lotion out of the bottle, knowing that it is bringing my nearer to losing it forever.
EDIT: Upon further investigation, it seems that Forever Sunshine is available online again! I swear it had been made unavailable soon after they yanked it from the shelves, and it’s definitely still long gone from the stores. I’m buying more while I still can. You should too.
UGH. NOW I AM SO FORLORN AND EMOTIONAL, MISSING ALL OF MY VERY FAVORITE LOTIONS AND FRAGRANCES. This is almost as bad as when the Harry Potter franchise ended, don’t EVEN.
The point is, we all have products that are gone for good and we’ll never really find a replacement for. I know damn well that you guys are totally ride or die for the products that you love, and never forget when a product is taken from you.
What products are you just not the same without? How do you deal when a something you love gets discontinued? Do you try to replicate it, or move on to something new altogether? I’m not asking these questions to stimulate the comments section, I’m genuinely curious, that’s half the reason I wrote this article. So LAY IT ON ME.
Tynan is hoarding beauty products on Twitter @TynanBuck