My holy grail blush, in the flesh. Er, cream.

As a beauty editor, I get a lot of samples of beauty products every year, and I don’t always get to try them right away. One such case was this Philosophy blush, which came across my desk while I was working at AOL StyleList — and stayed there for months until I finally had a moment to pick it up and try it.

Well, this blush, known as The Healthy Supernatural Cream Blush in “Lit from Within” became an instant favorite. The bright cool pink color melted onto my skin into the perkiest, most natural and perfect shade. I started wearing it every day. OK, well I am too lazy to wear makeup every day, but I did wear it every time I had an occasion to.

Eventually, I got to the bottom of the compact and emailed some friends in the biz to find out where I could get more of this limited-edition shade… only to find out it was totally, utterly, discontinued and off shelves. NO!

So the search began for a replacement, and I wasn’t alone. Looking to replace a beloved discontinued makeup item happens All. The. Time. And while you could try to find a straggler on eBay or a similar site, I realized there are a few other things you can do to get something fresh and new — and that finding a great dupe is easier than expected.

First, I browsed the drugstore shelves. There are a lot more powder blush options than cream, so it was tough to find a match. Maybelline had similar colors, but I was stuck on finding the same light, sheer cream formula.

Next, I turned to custom blend expert Maria Giella Poblocki of Giella Custom Blend Cosmetics. They specialize in matching discontinued shades, and Maria created a cream blush to match the last tiny bit I had left of mine in under 10 minutes.

Using different base formulas (a cream in my case) and finishes (such as subtle shimmer) and, of course, pigment (a touch more purple to cool it off? a touch more yellow to warm it up?) Maria tinkered with a test tube containing my blush-to-be, using this special machine to keep it heated for easy blending.

She poured the formula into a container to cool, and I left with a carbon copy of my Philosophy blush. Who wouldn’t love that? Here’s the finished product:

Finally, on my way out from the Giella counter at Henri Bendel, I passed an old favorite: Jouer. And guess what? Their new Peony Cheek Tint was the perfect shade! Check it out (note, it’s brighter in person):

In the end, I now have two dead-on dupes for my old favorite blush, and feel pretty satisfied that I can say goodbye in peace. So if you have a favorite product that was discontinued, don’t hesitate to bring it to an expert like Giella to match! You might even find another brand has a similar shade, just like I did.

p.s. If you had a product you loved that was discontinued, add it to our Facebook thread!