Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breaking News: Estée Lauder Cos. to Shutter Prescriptives Brand

From WWD:

Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. said Thursday it will shut down wholesale distribution of its 30-year-old Prescriptives brand by Jan. 31. Products will continue to be available through the brand’s Web site for consumers needing replenishment, until supplies run out.
Without elaboration, the company stated: “A core component of the Estée Lauder Companies’ corporate strategy is to evaluate, and where possible, turn around underperforming brands with the goal of improving return on investment. After a thorough analysis of the Prescriptives brand, management concluded that the brand’s long-term business model is no longer viable given the current market environment. We believe that the difficult decision relating to Prescriptives will allow us to redirect our resources to key strategic imperatives where we see the highest growth potential,”

I think Prescriptives has always had an identity problem. The products were nice and solid, but the image was lacking in personality. Not fabulous enough to attract new customers and not cheap enough to fly off the shelves. They lacked sex appeal and/or glamour, and I guess in this economy you got to have some kind of hype.

Are you a Prescriptives user? Are you surprised?

Info and quotes:


  1. I can see why people have abandoned Prescriptives. Their color system has completely broken down and become confusing. Thirty years ago (yes, I'm that old), I wore Prescriptives. I was what the line referred to as a red/orange and, no matter what the season, I was always able to find a foundation that blended seemlessly with my skin tone. Well, last week I was browsing and thought I'd take a look at Prescriptives. I haven't worn the brand in well over twenty years, so the SA typed me and said I was still a R/O. But then, she couldn't find a single foundation in the R/O category that worked with my skin tone! So much for color typing. The SA was confused and I bet a lot of customers were, too. I'll just stick with my beloved Armani.

  2. I used to wear Prescriptives too, but, like Eileen, I couldn't make the color system work for me. I started as a blue-red, and then a different rep got a hold of me and told me I was one of the oranges! OK, company, what am I?

    My makeup rep friends tell me that it hasn't "sold" in years. They were surprised that their company continued to devote the counter space to it. So, I have to say...I'm not at all surprised.

  3. Hmmm...does this mean the ax for Calyx?

  4. I wore Perscriptives in the 80's when I started getting serious about cosmetics. I am a Yellow/Orange, and for years and years I was convinced I could only wear orangish blush and brick red lipstick.

    When I found out this was not the case, I was irked with both myself and Perscriptives. I regretted all the beautiful non-orange colours that I was missing out on needlessly, and never bought Pescriptives again!


  5. estee lauder owns about 28 companies. i work for aveda and they are own by EL. i am completely shocked that prescriptives is going out of business. there are alot of ppl who are losing their jobs. i also now how much ppl hate their beauty products being messed with, much less discontinued. if ppl think they can't find there colors elsewhere i recommend to always check with makeup counters because estee lauder is still coming out with new products in all our their famliy of brands. will show you all their brands.

  6. yes calyx will be axed.

  7. I'm quite sad to hear the news. My sister and I both loved their skincare products. While they do have boring packaging and are quite expensive (on a student budget), Prescriptives worked well for me.

  8. I quite enjoy the All Skins mineral foundation. I actually got a new thing of it the other day. I was going to re-buy Level 1 Cool but the SA wanted to try another color. I walked out with Level 1 Warm Medium. No wonder I've been so pasty...

    Anyway, I'll miss this foundation. BM is so-so. I just found this product one purchase ago. Guess it's back to research. I'd like to try the new Clinique Superbalanced mineral make up, but the SA's at my local Clinique are THE WORST.

    I do think they have a brand image problem but their products are good (I love their liners and glosses and foundation!). They needed a really snazzy marketing team to rebrand them from the bottom up. Their stuff is packaged pretty sleekly - I could see them going the whole "make up from the future" route.


  9. I work for PX and I am so shocked and sad. No one saw it coming and you think because you work for an EL co, you are safe....just goes to show you about the ecomomy!! I am advising my good faithful clients to stock up now...........OMG! no more super line preventor!!!!!

  10. I worked for Prescriptives for years and I am completely heartbroken over this! This is definitely not due to the "quality" of the line, because their skin care is top notch, and their foundations can match anyone. All I can say now is if you are a Prescriptives wearer, don't go to Clinique! Clinique sucks. And the research behind their products is outdated. I guess Laura Mercier will be my new line now.

  11. I have been wearing Calix forever and I am really sad to think that it will not be available anymore..but I must say that I am not surprised as PRescriptives has always been so difficult to get hold of!

  12. The last thing I will do is look at other Estee Lauder companies to replace my beloved Prescriptive makeup and skincare. It's a shame that Estee Lauder didn't want to spend the extra effort on this line. Prescriptive products were the best of all the Lauder companies. Guess they were too expensive to make and Estee Lauder wanted more profit. Hope they lose a lot of customers with their ignorance.

  13. wow... I just found out that Prescriptives is being shut down. I used to wear nothing but! and as another poster mentioned, their skin care WAS top notch - until they changed the formula for their Line Preventor... that made me go searching for another brand, and I am still searching after what? 5 years? I do like their liquid mineral foundation... and as their email just said, I better stock up. sad sad sad.

  14. I first visited a Prescriptives counter when I was 13 years old. Although I wore barely any makeup for a few years, what I did use was from Prescriptives. Since then, I've occasionally ventured to try another brand, but I keep coming back to the one that works.

    Maybe now is a good time to give up makeup. I'll keep buying from the Prescriptives site as long as I can, but if it goes away, I'll probably just stop using makeup. (My boyfriend prefers me without, anyway.) One thing is certain: I won't be buying any other Estee Lauder brands from here on out.

    Way to alienate your most profitable customers, Estee Lauder.

  15. Oh, and according to the Prescriptives website, they will continue to sell Calyx at department store perfume counters.


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