Being the generally optimistic person that I am, I want to believe that makeup options for women of color are becoming better and better. There are more and more upcoming boutique brands catering to our skin’s unique needs, and even the mainstream brands have expanded their color palettes over the years. Then you get news like this and it knocks the wind out of your optimistic sails.


Estee Lauder is closing their Prescriptives brand. Yes, Prescriptives, the brand that catered to the specific needs of customers of color, will soon shuffle off this mortal coil. My amiga Shannon, who blogs for Pierce Mattie PR, seems to think the brand can be saved.

I want to hold out hope for Prescriptives, but I think the stars have collided against it.

Brands like Bobbi Brown and MAC tend to steal the limelight as the go-to department store brands for women of color, and despite a range of excellent products that in some ways go beyond what those aforementioned brands offered, Prescriptives was never able to capture that elusive youth market that breathes eternal life into even the most classic brands. The price point factor, the unexciting packaging, the importance of the in-store experience for this particular brand, the focus on skincare and foundation versus hot hot new colors every month to dazzle the consumers… I think many factors came into play here.

But still, ain’t that a shame. Prescriptives isn’t the kind of makeup that jumps off the glossy magazine page or the computer screen and screams, “buy me.” It’s all about the in store experience, where the range of possibilities becomes instantly apparent. If ever there was a time to stock up on custom blended makeup, it’s now.

Before Prescriptives has gone completely, I will highlight my top favorites, the items you absolutely gotta get before they pack up those department store shelves for good.


1 — All Skins Mineral Makeup, SPF 15. My luck with mineral makeup has been hit or miss, but this $32 powder has saved me through many bad-skin days. The coverage is natural looking but buildable, and the range of colors absolutely cannot be beat. If you’ve got issues with hyperpigmentation, now is the time to trek out to your nearest department store and get your skin Colorprinted, so you know exactly what your shade is.

2 — Longwear Kohl Liner. When I know I’m gonna be somewhere all day under conditions where my makeup will be tested — outside at a concert, for example — I reach for my longwear liner. It’s waterproof, creamy, gives great color payoff, and when it sets it lasts for-ev-errrrrr. Plus it’s automatic so no sharpening required. $17.50, and absolutely no regrets. The blue kohl is a deep, delicious navy that makes brown eyes sparkle.

3 — False Eyelashes Plush Mascara. For $19.50, this is a teeny mascara tube. 0.35 oz of glam for $20 might be a fair price to pay for lashes like these. I don’t ever really wear fake lashes, so this is as close as I get to that kind of drama. Two coats and I’m ready to make an entrance.

4 — Good In Bed Skin Restoring Night Moisturizer. I sincerely believe that it’s never too early to start taking care of your skin. I regret not starting even earlier! Now I’m 30 and I keep a battalion of night creams near my bedside table. Prescriptives Good In Bed is among my very faves. Supremely moisturizing and luxe, it makes my skin feel velvety soft and look luminous. $65 – not cheap, but my bellas who use anti-aging creams shouldn’t sleep on this.

5 — the Making Faces Warm Kit. I used to be scared of the blush – but now I recognize its power. A little blush can go a long way in giving your face definition and adding radiance to your complexion. The Making Faces Warm kit comes with a deep, delicious brick-rust colored blush that makes my cheekbones go POW! Love it! $55 for a kit that includes the fresh to death mineral cheek color, a loose lighting powder, and an angled cheek brush for your make up pleasure.

Those are a few of my favorite things — I definitely plan to support Prescriptives in these dark days, and I am still holding out hope for some kind of comeback for the brand.

What are your thoughts on the closing of Prescriptives? Do you have any favorite Prescriptives products? Let a bella know!

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Karla says:
September 23, 2009, 11:04 pm
I am right there with you, bella! False Eyelashes is my FAVORITE mascara (supported by Lash Builder, with Lash Envy in the number 2 spot) and I am so sad to see Px go. I never realized they were so friendly to a wide range of skintones though. You're right: when I think of darker foundations, I think of MAC. This revelation surprises me even more because what I had heard about Prescriptives' foundation was that it was accommodating to the very fair. Sounds like a lot of folks will be looking for a new foundation?
Ms. Fab says:
September 24, 2009, 12:43 am
I don't know what I'm going to do without my custom-blended concealer! I always went to the department store and got it hand-done, and it was always just raccoon eyes in photographs for me. Sob....
Renea says:
September 24, 2009, 12:44 am
For custom-blended and mineral make-up options, I've been using (and loving) Crush Groove cosmetics. Have you given it a review? Jenique Bell in Harlem is the owner...
nyc/caribbean ragazza says:
September 24, 2009, 6:15 am
Nooooooo! Why? Their foundation was the best. I have a hard time finding one for my skin tone and now this. Tears.
Melissa says:
September 24, 2009, 6:27 am
OH MY GOD! I've been using Prescriptives for 13 years!! What am I going to do? This sucks!
Bourgie, JD says:
September 24, 2009, 8:22 am
WOW. I did not know this. I love my Prescriptives bronzer! I've also used their foundations and custom blended products in the past. Hmm, does this mean there could be a big sale in the near future?
tlewis says:
September 24, 2009, 9:44 am
WOW! I can't believe it...I am sipping tea from my Prescriptives mug as I read this!! I was a counter manager while I was in grad school and consider working there one of the happiest times in my life! I LOVED Prescriptives. The products are outstanding and the color matching can't be beat. Although I have found other cosmetics over the years that suit me better than Prescriptives, I always appreciated the company for understanding the needs of people of color. I think if the rest of their line focused on this area as well and if they put more effort into advertising, they may not be going out of business now. Oh was a good run, they will be missed!
BK says:
September 24, 2009, 9:46 am
I thought this was a bad joke when I first heard it.. then it was reinforced through Shape Mag and now you :( ugh... Love the custom blended makeup and my signature summer fragrance Calyx..I have been wearing that since I was a teen!!! I'm definitely going to stock up and I'll try that mascara but I hope the Estee Lauder company stores will continue to sell the products once the line is discontinued until it is all gone..
curlybean says:
September 24, 2009, 11:22 am
ugh!! I LOVE Prescriptives...good think I just refilled my custom blended foundation & powder. And I'll stock up on my go mascara. Thanks for the tip on their night creme. Geez so disappointing!
No Nonsense says:
September 24, 2009, 12:26 pm
I was never a huge fan of Prescriptive. First of all the name was a turn off, reminded me too much of the word prescription which is synonymous with illness, and my face was perfectly fine! I bought their custom blend foundation in the early '90's and wasn't impressed then came MAC.... hello,Make-up Art Cosmetics; that's exactly what make-up is to me, an art form. Besides they did a much better job of capturing the market for those of us who are very trendy. Every season was new look, a new product, new color and their counter was always lively and popping. Who wants to buy make-up from people in white lab coats. R.I.P Px
Brown-eyed Girl says:
September 24, 2009, 1:50 pm
I'm very new to makeup, and have heard of Prescriptives, but I had no idea it was for women of color. The first time I went to the cosmetics section of my local department store to buy some blush (just three years ago), I bought from the Mac counter because the women at all of the other counters ignored me. The Mac saleswoman greeted me, helped me choose a color, sat me down, and showed me how to apply it. I'm going to check out Prescriptives before it's too late (unless the saleswomen at the Estee Lauder counter ignore me)!
KF519 says:
September 24, 2009, 2:54 pm
Prescriptives was the first department store makeup I ever bought. Haven't used in it in years now but still sad to hear they're leaving. :(
Shaun says:
September 24, 2009, 3:20 pm
I'm sad!!! My mom bought us Prescriptives facial cleanser and moisturizer in our teens, which really helped with my acne-prone skin. I've been using the foundation and the Magic powder for the longest! They were my first...
flygyrl72 says:
September 24, 2009, 3:39 pm
Aww man! I love Prescriptives. As a brown skinned bella, I could always depend on them to have the right shades for my pressed powder, foundation & concealer . Not that I use that stuff that often. And they used to have a gloss shade called "Voodoo". The.Best.Shade.EVER. I've never been able to find a plum anything like it since. I'm going to try to go buy some concealer before they're totally phased out...
TeeBee says:
September 24, 2009, 7:20 pm
Shux! I am an avid Prescriptives user. I use their foundation only when I go out and want a more dramatic face, but I use their bronzer each day I go to work. This is sad. MAC is too "costumey" for me and their lipgloss is way too sticky. Does anyone have any alternative suggestions that might be similar to Prescriptives? Clinique, maybe? Bobbi Brown?
Silverivy says:
September 24, 2009, 8:25 pm
I'm really sorry to see Prescriptives go. Even when I couldn't find a foundation to match my skin tone from the companies that catered to Black women, I was able to find one at Prescriptives. Now I have to start looking for a new one.
Roslyn Holcomb says:
September 25, 2009, 1:07 am
Their photochrome foundation is the best in the universe. They stopped making it for a while and I found a stash on ebay. Yes, I spent over a hundred dollars on foundation. They've started making it again, so I need to lay in a stockpile before they go. I love Prescriptives like damn and whoa. Never care for Mac. Too trendy and costumey. I love a natural look to my makeup and Px is so there. Bummmmmeerrrr!!!!
CH says:
September 25, 2009, 8:51 am
Wow. I've never been a big makeup girl, but this makes me sad to see all these women who depended on it and now it's just going to be gone? No way, man. That totally sucks. :(
Brandi says:
September 25, 2009, 9:57 am
I was reading along, feeling slightly disappointed that I never had my skin Colorprinted at Px when I saw the packaging for #4. Then it hit me. OMG, that means my Instant Gratification will also cease to exist. If I wasn't at work, I'd be crying! Instant Gratification is a fabu peel and microderm product in one package. It's the business. Oh man. I better go and stock up. Even my pores are crying.
Nappyco says:
September 25, 2009, 10:27 am
No more Camouflage Cream :( I am a Dark Yellow Orange and no other makeup line cares about that fact.
b. says:
September 25, 2009, 1:06 pm
Hawt damn, Nappyco. I'm blown away...just looked at your site. (Sorry to "hijack" but I had to say something.) May all the power of heaven guide your light and talent.
tp says:
September 25, 2009, 1:46 pm
NO NO NO! Say it isn't soo! I have always used prescriptives since I was 16! It is the only one that matches me. Every now and again I try something new that would end up under my sink un-used until I'd eventually throw it away. This is the worst news I've heard. Prescriptives make makes you look flawless like you don't have on any makeup. Virtual skin + camo cream concealor is a god-send. My own mother doesn't know when I have it on.
Atiyah says:
September 25, 2009, 2:06 pm
I should visit them for the perfect red lipstick before they are gone. I always wanted to try them but like Brown-eyed Girl I tend to get ignored at make up counters.
Los Angelista says:
September 25, 2009, 4:38 pm
This is AWFUL! They did the makeup for my entire wedding and everybody looked FAB. That mascara is the bombdizzle. I hope the brand can be saved.
Monica says:
September 25, 2009, 7:23 pm
How long does liquid foundation last? I'm going to have buy two or three bottles of Virtual Skin in Real Chestnut. As a dark brown bella with pink undertone, this was the perfect foundation for me. I could wear make-up and not look like I had on make-up. It was a flawless match.
Patrice says:
September 25, 2009, 11:16 pm
Prescriptives was one of my first "adult" makeup purchases. I used to wear this orange-y red matte lipstick that just made my face "pop". I'll miss them. I'm still not giving in to the MAC monster-yet.
J.Adia says:
September 26, 2009, 12:25 am
How do I love thee? I first met warm ginger in 1999 and found my match. In 2002, I thought I'd try to be NW45, but it was too heavy, too orangey, and couldn't withstand the florida humidity. So I returned to warm ginger and we were friends until 2008 when I met All skins Level 5. Then Liquid Minerals came into my life. Px, you have always given me a smooth finish and warm glow. What is I going to do without you? Who can I run to? I just finished grienving Aloof, a beautiful plum lipstick that was taken away too soon in 2002. Who is going to cover my blemishes? Who is going to moisturize my situation? Who...
tp says:
September 26, 2009, 7:22 am
@ NappyCo I'm a Yellow/orange Dark too! I love my camo cream. I feel your pain! All other make up line have too much orange or red undertones. When your foundation matches you don't have to be a makeup artist with it to look great. Now that I have 2 small kids pulling me in every direction. I really appreciate it.
Tha Connoisseur says:
September 26, 2009, 11:37 pm
Wooow - I had no idea! I used to be a huge fan of their All Clean cleanser and Immediate Glow toner. I am going to try the mascara, since it seems to be a favorite here. *sigh* You know how I feel about Lancome's mascara :) Farewell Prescriptives, sorry to see you go!
Say It Isn't So says:
September 27, 2009, 9:49 pm
I can't believe it... i finally have a foundation that is perfect for my skin... Something's got to give... What can we do to protest this????
Tesia at says:
September 28, 2009, 11:48 am
Oh no!!! I used to work for Prescriptives years ago, and that's when I fell in love with their foundation and skin care. Virtual skin is the best for natural looking make up (I sound like a commercial I know, but it's true!!!!). Bummer, thanks Afrobella for keeping me in the loop.
Lynette says:
September 28, 2009, 9:58 pm
I was devastated when I heard the news that Estee Lauder had decided to cease production of the Presriptives line. I was fortunate enough to win a custom blended foundation and powder a few months ago and I was hooked. Since they keep the formula on file- I need to get back to the counter and see if they can blend another bottle for me. I get the impression that Estee Lauder didn't put much effort into this line and wish that they had chosen to sell it instead of shutting it down. Soo sad.
jadia says:
September 30, 2009, 2:05 pm
this is the dullest training ever....but I spoke to one of the px sales associates. she said she is hoping another company buys the brand. also, ltheir jobs are not in jeopardy, the MA will be absorbed into other Lauder brands. so there is some good news. now that I am no longer in a panick, I have to decide what I will stock up on. ...back to the training.
Jordan says:
October 5, 2009, 10:55 pm
UGh! You are kidding. I didn't hear about this anywhere! I love their line - the mineral makeup FINALLY stopped my breakouts and I've used their fragrance - Calyx, since high school actually. I agree with theo ther poster, this sucks. ~ Jordan at Best Skin Care for Me
Shanali says:
October 13, 2009, 2:01 pm
I've used the Custom Blend powder, foundation and concealer (as well as Intensive Rebuilding Moisturizer and a host of other Prescriptive stuff) for years. I'm a redhead with very fair skin, freckles, and a ruddy undertone. Try finding a foundation that doesn't make me too pink, too yellow, or too brown. Well, Custom Blend changed all that. It's pricey but so worth it. I look warm, soft and natural. I'm just so mad the line is being dropped. I already emailed their PR department but didn't get much love.
NN says:
October 30, 2009, 3:26 pm
This is the only makeup that I was planning to stay with for difficult to find something that you can settle on, ...dont know what to do.... is there another comparable brand to Prescriptives?.. Thanks
daffodil1209 says:
November 1, 2009, 3:18 am
I'm like Shanali - a redhead with very blue/red undertones. I sympathize with anyone who can't find a good foundation color - whatever color it might be! It's the only foundation that doesn't look yellowy on my skin. And I've fallen in love with the Redness Relief gel, too. That plus the custom-blend foundation has made me a Prescriptives girl for 17 years! Very, very sad.
Carla says:
November 4, 2009, 2:22 am
Heard of the withdrawal! Sad... I've been using their Good to Bed moisturizer with excellent skin softening results! Where do I get a similar one now?
jp says:
December 27, 2009, 12:23 am
devastated. finding the right foundation can be a traumatic and expensive experience. Prescriptives helped me find my makeup way. Have used them for over 10 years and would have been a life long customer. Trendy products cannot beat that. Just spent over £100 stockpiling my favourites.
Nicholle says:
January 1, 2010, 11:45 am
Very disappointed with the Estee Lauder company. Prescriptives is the best makeup line around. Just stocked up on the Mineral foundation in Level 5 Warm, the Immediate Glow toner and the Fresh Foaming Cleanser. I do not like MAC Studiofix in NW45 because it's too orange and heavy. Clinique sucks and Bobbi Brown is too yellow. However, I do love Fashion Fair. Prescriptives and Fashion Fair are the only two cosmetics lines that look good on my skin. I contacted the Lauder company via email, and they actually responded!! So sorry to see PX go. It was the first high end makeup I ever bought.
Loves Prescriptives says:
February 2, 2010, 2:18 am
I do am extremely disappointed and down right angry at Estee Lauder for shutting down this perfect line. Too bad all the attention went to Clinique and Estee Lauder. Prescriptive products are so superior to any of the other Lauder brands. Estee Lauder marketing department should be ashamed of themselves for ignoring Prescriptives and letting it slip away. Estee Lauder has lost many long time customers with this decision.
Nappyco says:
August 15, 2010, 10:14 pm
Thanks B. I just saw this reply about a year later.
lafeenoire says:
October 1, 2010, 8:19 am
Whaaaat! Where can I get a Voodoo prescriptives blush now!! Everytime I find something that suits me I guarantee within less than 6 months its discontinued! Winds me right up! I have to buy at least 3 of everything i find that suits in the event of never seeing it again!:-( Bare Minerals is good powder tho and thats my most recent find..I literally only ever use powder a blush and a sheer gloss and you wouldnt think it too much to ask to leave my 3 products be!! Grrrr :-(
nyra says:
February 1, 2011, 8:42 am
A year later and i'm still missing the Prescriptives foundation stick, warm ginger, the best thing that I bought, the thing was that I would use it as a lipstick, bc it had be colour for asian skin and the matte finish of the foundation was the greastest. Want you to come back.
Nicholle says:
December 13, 2011, 10:29 am
To all the ladies who love and miss Prescriptives, they are only selling the bestsellers online at their website I can still get my beloved Mineral makeup in Level 5 Warm, Yay!! They do not have every color available. Let's just say that they do not have colors for the darker skinned black woman. All of the shades only go up to Level 5, not to Level 6, which is for darker skinned black women. The Virtual Matte pressed powder is the only product that goes up to Level 6. Another great alternative is Black Opal cosmetics. I have been using that too, and I love their foundation, powder, and lipstick and the lip gloss. Go to It's affordable, high quality makeup without the high price tag.
nicoledtice says:
May 4, 2013, 2:12 pm
What better way to care for your skin and hair than with products so pure they’re practically edible? When Anita suffered a harsh reaction from using a so-called ‘safe’ synthetic hair lotion, she set out on a mission to create her own line of natural hair and skin care products. Since its launch in 2005, self-proclaimed ‘ingredient junkie’ Anita Grant has created environmentally-conscious cosmetics for her eponymous brand. mineral makeup for dark skin
marcie says:
October 27, 2014, 7:06 pm
I don't care what anyone says...Clinique is horrible. It contains mineral oil, which acts as a barrier on your skin so you're not actually getting any of the moisture from the product. Its important to LOOK at the ingreidents on the label and see if you understand any of them. If you like Clinique, but want to avoid the mineral oil - go for the Made from Earth Vitamin Firming Serum or the Made from Earth Vitamin C Moisturizer. . .better results than clinique and no harmful chemicals


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