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How do I get Discontinued Nail Polish?

By Mandi R. Hall
Updated May 21, 2024
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Discontinued nail polish can be found through numerous outlets. Whether online or in stores, your favorite nail polish colors may still be found even after the company no longer makes them. Some cosmetic manufacturers sell certain colors seasonally or in intervals. Furthermore, limited-time sellers quickly become hard to find. You might have to look beyond the local drug store and scour online shopping sites or quiz employees at your favorite salon, but finding discontinued nail polish may not be as difficult as you’d think.

Just like makeup, nail polish and related products are discontinued if they aren’t big sellers. Occasionally, the marketing campaign for a polish will be tweaked or the nail polish color could be slightly changed. If that doesn’t work, the discontinued nail polish will likely go on sale or on clearance. When something goes on a final sale, the price is often reduced dramatically.

Because the idea of nail polish never goes out of style, there are people who will swoop in and buy out a store’s inventory of discontinued nail polish. Sometimes, this person will keep the polish for herself. More likely, she will sell it online.

Acrylic nail polish, nail enamel, and similar products are sold at a variety of retail venues. Corner drug stores carry nail polish, as do grocery stores and department stores. Specialty beauty shops and cosmetic boutiques also sell nail polish. While many salons may not advertise their sales, most day spas and nail salons will sell their nail polish, though it is usually more expensive than at retail outlets.

Occasionally, employees at specialty shops will know the inside scoop on discontinued nail polish. Many beauty suppliers deal directly with nail polish companies, so the managers or employees may know whether something is being discontinued. If you notice the store has been running low on your favorite nail polish, it never hurts to ask about it. If it’s about to become a discontinued nail polish, you could stock up right away.

Large drug stores and department stores sell more nail lacquer brands than small beauty shops. Often, the majority of these brands sell for a lower price. The disadvantage of shopping for nail polish here is that the employees of such large chains rarely know anything about the nail polish, and the products typically aren’t as good. Cheaper polishes are known to thin and chip far sooner than the somewhat pricier competitors.

After you’ve called or perused all of the local stores and salons looking for your favorite discontinued nail polish, try looking online. Many people with large inventories of discontinued cosmetics sell their products on online shopping sites. The discontinued polish may even be cheaper than what it cost in the store. Be wary of discontinued nail polish lookalikes, though. These products will likely be cheap imitations sold as an identical color.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Heavanet — On Sep 01, 2014

@ocelot60- Your tip reminds me of a time when my favorite nail polish was discontinued. I looked every time I was in any store that sold nail polish. Then one day I was in a discount store, and found it! I bought every bottle they had in stock.

Discount stores get everything from items that are slightly damaged to those that are discontinued. That is why they are good places to search for your favorite nail polish that the company no longer makes.

By Ocelot60 — On Aug 31, 2014

I have found that many retail stores toss a variety of discontinued makeup items in bins, and put them in various places throughout the isles. These are not always obvious to customers who are looking for hard-to-find colors or brands.

A good tip to follow if you are looking for a favorite nail polish that has been discontinued is to look in the clearance section of your favorite store. Sometimes a variety of products end up in these isles, so you might have to do some searching.

Some stores also place discontinued items on bottom shelves, or in a small sale section at the end of various isles. Though it may take time, if you know where to look you might just find that nail polish that you thought you would have to do without.

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