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Throwback Smackdown: Discontinued Beauty Products & What to Use Instead

Throwback Smackdown: Discontinued Beauty Products & What to Use Instead

By Amalah

Hi Amy,

I’m sure you’re still settling into the new house, and would love to have an easy beauty question lobbed your way. Throwback to the old days.

I’ve been using Sue Devitt’s triple seaweed foundation ever since you recommended it several years ago. You know where this is going–it’s been discontinued. Now even the Amazon third party sellers who have stocked it for the last year or two are out of the shade I use.

Can you recommend something even better before I reach the bottom of my last jar?


Things really ARE settling down here at Yellow House Central — we’ve been here just over three weeks and we’ve made excellent unpacking progress, the kids are all enjoying their new schools, we even found some babysitters (shout-out to SitterCity!), and my husband isn’t spending multiple hours every night yelling at Verizon.

But it’s still proving to be difficult to sit down and focus on my laptop screen for hours at a time when I’m so aware of ALL THE THINGS left to do. Rooms need painted, final stray boxes need dealt with, storage room needs to be search for a few things that still haven’t turned up in any logical place…not to mention my regular to-list for maintaining some semblance of order in a household of five human and two pets. (You want clean pants, children? Really? But I just spent all day looking up “MINECRAFT BEDROOM IDEAS” and vacuuming up stray Cheerios on your behalf. Find something semi-clean from the hamper, I’m wiped.)

ANYWAY. At one point, during the past three weeks, I also went down an Internet wormhole in search of  the Sue Devitt foundation. Because no, I haven’t found anything better. I miss it SO MUCH. It really was an amazing product, and alas, like so many other amazing products (Philosophy Hope in a Bottle!), is no more. I’d pour one out for it, IF I COULD STILL FIND IT. (No, I would not pour one out. I would hoard it like Gollum.)

And I’m all for stockpiling discontinued products…to a point. I don’t generally follow the brand’s recommended expiration dates to the letter, but at this stage of the game the Sue Devitt line has been discontinued for SO LONG that it’s doubtful even the unopened stray inventory still floating around out there is any good. So even if you FOUND your shade on eBay or Amazon, the product is more and more likely to arrive separated or smelling “off.” (If you note product reviews from the third-party sellers, you’ll notice that the reviews have shifted over time from “OH THANK HEAVENS I FOUND IT!!” to “Yeah I knew it was a risk buying a discontinued product but it arrived gross and separated and basically unusable.”) I also noticed that a LOT of the Sue Devitt products out there — particularly on eBay — are clearly fakes/imposters, if you look closely at the packaging and logo.

So I exited my wormhole without purchasing anything. (Couldn’t find my shade, either. Tanami sisters unite?)

I’ve tried a couple other foundations that I do like quite a bit: NARS, Bobbi Brown and MAC all make really nice, full-coverage foundations that I can wear without breaking out or feeling like I’m wearing heavy clown makeup that’s slowing seeping into my face lines. Bonus points for having super helpful employees at various department store counters who will help you pick the correct shade and formula for your skin, and if you’re nice (and buy something or two) they will also do your makeup really fancy and send you home with a bunch of free samples. Whenever I’m left to my own devices at foundation-picking, I never seem to walk away with the right shade or the right coverage amount. So I’ll spend more money at a counter to get it right the first time, and ensure that I’m not cluttering up my makeup drawer with a bunch of cheaper but useless bottles.

But the key with those brands is “full coverage.” The Sue Devitt was a lovely middle ground between a true “full coverage” foundation and something along the lines of a tinted moisturizer. So on MOST days, I skip the full-coverage product (currently MAC) and use an oil-free tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier. I feel like the shades of the Laura Mercier line remind me of the Sue Devitt palette the most, and the tinted moisturizer has a similar texture to the triple seaweed.

HOWEVER, it does NOT mimic the coverage. I’m 37 years old, so there is no way I can use a tinted moisturizer as a stand-alone product. I actually layer it over a “regular” moisturizer (Enzymion from LUSH, for combo skin), and sometimes add in a primer in-between. I touch up imperfections and dark spots with the Laura Mercier Undercover Pot. Then I use the tinted moisturizer and follow up with blush or bronzer. LASTLY, I use Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser on my t-zone, just before applying my final translucent powder. The Baby Skin product is TECHNICALLY a primer, but I found that it works much, much better as a finishing product on my pores. It’s not going to heal or treat anything, but it provides excellent camo on visible pores for an EXCELLENT price. (Compare it to Dr. Brandt Pores no More or Benefit PoreFessional.)

Oh! And while the jury is still out for me personally, just because I’m still kind of obsessed about hearing about new/different products: I recently purchased Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream. IT’S MADE OF SNAIL MUCUS, PEOPLE. That should probably tell you exactly how much wine I’d had when I found it on Amazon Prime. To be fair, I’d been reading rave reviews about Korean snail gel products being some holy grail magic bullet of skincare all over the place, and while I’m typically wary of anything that promises to be Everything to Everybody, the price was right in that “eh, what the hell” sweet spot so I bought some. It’s been about two weeks and while my 37-year-old face hasn’t fallen off and regrown back as a 27-year-old face, I can attest that the fine lines around my eyes look  a bit better and my very deeply congested pores are definitely (slowly) starting to improve. (Note that the improvement started out with some mild break-outs as all the crud worked itself out, but it doesn’t seem like the gel cream is causing any additional problems. I think I just had to suffer through some early skin detox.) No, the gel isn’t slimy or smelly or snail-y. It really reminds me of any run-of-the-mill primer type product, although definitely less drying. It promised to also correct dark spots and hyperpigmentation but I’ve seen zero improvements there so far.

Hit it, ladies. What are you using? And loving? Or hating? Let’s have a #ThrowbackSmackdown because it’s almost fall and we all need to make Serious Life Decisions about lipstick and nail polish shades too.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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