Rant & Rave: Limited Edition Launches

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Limited Edition Launches

I don’t like when anything sells out in a matter of hours; I just think it’s frustrating, and it seems unnecessary–I feel like it creates the illusion that you have to buy or else you’re missing out. I don’t mind that some products are limited edition to coincide with a season or trend, but I think more brands should bring back shades/formulas into their permanent ranges when they prove successful AND fill a need in their ranges. (I think limited edition formulas, though, are super annoying!)

— Christine

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Limited Edition always drives me crazy! For instance, the new shades of Jeffree Star summer liquid lippies were just announced yesterday and I already want to buy the bundle of 5 for $75. Do I need a yellow liquid lipstick? A pale pink/purple? OF COURSE NOT! Do I want it anyways because I know a lot of people wont have it? YUP! its a horrible game they play with consumers. You need to buy something simply because it will never be around again and you don’t know if you would need it one day.

I agree. Limited Edition items make sense when it’s an item riding a trend or a collaboration, etc, but I think companies should plan to have the item available for a while. I really dislike when the whip everyone into a fomo frenzy and create pressure to buy immediately. I would much rather take my time so I can read some reviews and just make a better decision! I also am so disappointed when the quality of an LE launch is lower than normal for a brand, it’s like they’re trying to pull a fast one and capitalize on everyone’s quick decision.

I agree with you on all points, Christine. And it can feel manipulative on the receiving end. Happily though, these days I can almost always find a permanent product to fill a need rather than having to go to a limited edition.

I completely agree with Christine. I was so frustrated with both the Violet Voss Holy Grail launch and the Sweet Peach launch from Too Faced. Ordering a few thousand palettes and hyping it on your Instagram/YouTube is really ridiculous. I was able to purchase the Violet Voss palette but vowed then and there to never buy anything from VV again and I have not nor will I. I didn’t even continue to try and get the Sweet Peach palette and guess what, I haven’t missed it! I have so many eye shadows that I would not be able to use them up in my life time. The shades that I like in the Violet Voss palette are pretty much in the ABH Modern Renaissance palette and I use it much more than the VV. I have purchased limited edition items from other lines and will continue to do so if the products are good. I won’t purchase something just because it is limited edition. The product must be a good product. I also wish that companies would listen to the consumer and release popular and effective products that are limited edition as permanent products. One last comment, when a particular shade or portion of the product is good I wish they would release that portion as a single.

I have to admit, I like a little bit of the hunt/chase, then the thrill of victory when I snag the highly coveted prize, and if it’s a great product, I treasure it even more, knowing it’s LE. But stuff that sells out within minutes or hours is super frustrating, then you see it on evilbay right away for triple the normal price (grrrr…..). I mean get it, brands need to launch LE items to boost sales, generate hype, and draw in new customers, but there should be a reasonable quantity and chance of buying it. And I agree, brands should make permanent those products that sell really well. Like that Dior Glowing Gardens Illuminating highlighters that launched this spring. I swear they made like 5,000 for like the 5M people who wanted it! It sold out within hours online and days in store, even before the store display was put up. The local SAs were so frustrated by the countless customers turned away that they were going to petition Dior to make it permanent.

Oh, how about websites that crash during LE launches because they are SO frickin’ overloaded?? Or just as you are about to check out, the product sells out?? Aarrrghhh!!

I hate the ‘must have’ hype that generally goes with limited edition launches, encouraging people to panic buy something they don’t necessarily want or need. The quality tends to be sacrificed as well. Unless it’s something REALLY worthwhile, I give Limited Editions a very wide berth.

I deeply, deeply dislike them. They don’t serve any purpose for us, the consumers. For the most part they only serve to create artificial demand, or to increase it to levels you wouldn’t see otherwise.

I’d like to say I avoid them as a principle, but truth is that most limited editions are not available in my part of the world. When they are they tend to be available only in selected locations – again, rarely near my home – and I’m not going to trek all over town for makeup just because a department store decided my part of town isn’t good enough for them.

Companies seem to have a misunderstanding of what it means to be limited edition. It should be items different or unique and not part of the permanent collection. Now it is nothing but repromotes and permanent items. Also I don’t like how quickly things sell out only to be found on Ebay for double the price. Bc of this I no longer buy limited edition. Only time I still buy limited edition is if it shows up in a CCO!

Before getting into make up half of my collection was comprised of MAC LE releases. And I know many have said some of these have been of inferior quality, but I somehow managed to evade the landmines because my LE cosmetics are some of my favourites (still trying to dupe many of them!!). I was motivated by special packaging mostly to justify the investment. It got me into the brand in general and I still continue to collect LE releases but am very cautious about the quality issue.

I do think it would be nice if a “season-related” LE collection or product would actually be available in the season it is meant for! Dior’s LE highlighters for Spring sold out in the dead of winter. Their beautiful autumn eyeshadow 5-pan a few years back was gone long before summer was over. And I agree – I think these LE releases do create an urgency among consumers (a totally artificial urgency) – “If I don’t get it now, what will become of me???”. Another thing – I do like to see products “in store”. I prefer checking products out for myself so if an LE product or collection is “online only”, it’s a no go for me and I’m sure I’m not alone. That is simply a slap in the face to those of us who prefer to shop in person. It really does cause me to reconsider if I will buy from that brand in future. What I really need to do is to write to them when this happens (a pen and paper letter with a stamp!) to tell them this!

Rave: They often have greats colors and special packaging. They can be really fun when done right.

Rant: Lately, LE are becoming more and more about creating buzz and false scarcity. They’re more about limited quantities than limited time. They’re becoming more about elitism, money, and FOMO than letting people get something they’ll love. I’m tired of websites crashing, and products being sold out while I’m still shopping.

Often, the quality is not as good as with permanent products. It’s frustrating to find a color and/or formula you love, and never be able to get it again. Don’t even get me started on the scalping and reselling!

I love the hype and the creativity that goes for into a company’s limited edition release. However, more often than not I would like some more planning ahead of a release. For example, release times. Some of us work during the days, and if we want it bad enough, we can be sure to plan our breaks around the release and give us a better chance of getting the product we’ve been excited about for months.

Or brands that announce a release date, then release early without warning, so by the time you realize it, it’s gone? I noticed this has happened a number of times. Or they release it on time, everyone pounces, but the website is so overloaded, you have no chance of getting in, much less buying?

I loathe LE launches. For the most part I ignore them. If they’re at the counter when I have a chance to drop by and try them in person I’ll buy them if they’re right for me. Otherwise, I refuse to hurry up and purchase something because it’s LE and might be gone in a flash. I also wish more LE products would be reintroduced into the permanent line.

I’m beginning to suspect that the brands that constantly sell out (not just limited edition), do it purposely to create hype and excitement and more of a want for the products. Jeffree Star, Jouer, Glossier, etc…. like by now you know your customer base so why can’t you keep your crap in stock…. I think they do it on purpose.

Rave: Sometimes something comes along like Chanel Empriente du Desert or UD Spectrum palette that has AMAZING colors PLUS quality! Or a lipstick like MAC’s Heroine that revolutionizes the mainstream color choices available.
Rant: FOMO!!!! That horrible pit in your stomach feeling when you really want a LE product that proves HIGHLY elusive and seems impossible to get ahold of! ?

Personally I’m so done with the companies that try to “”scare”” you, for the lack of a better word, into hunting down their products. “It’s not just limited edition, it’s super limited edition! Make sure you’re ready 24/7 because we don’t know when it’ll be released!” The first few times staying up or getting up early for a product it was fun in a way lol, but not anymore imo. Especially combined with the super popular tactic of making sure that the product sells out within 10 minutes so they can fake having underestimated the demand. “We had no idea how many people wanted this!” like yeaaah pretty sure you had a better estimate than the amount available. I totally get why companies do this from a marketing point of view, heck it’s pretty smart, but it’s just unnecessarily frustrating as a consumer. If anything I don’t even feel like trying anymore with certain brands that keep pulling this.

1. LE Holiday sets can be subpar in quality.
2. LE sets throughout the year – I haven’t noticed anything too off with quality issues, but I hate the fomo anxiety I sometimes get. If something is really popular I think it should be included into their permanent line.

2. Raves:
1. Packaging, especially the Holiday releases.
2. The Holiday and seasonal LE sets can be worth looking forward to.
3. It seems like some companies are now extending limited edition time frames as well as quantities and restocking. Burberry, Tom Ford, Chanel, and even MAC are still carrying some things from their Holiday sets and before.

Mostly they’re just frustrating for me. ColourPop has been riding the “ultra limited” trend recently with the metallic lips and the nonsense that was Churro. TF Sweet Peach was another big one. They seem to sell out and there’s not really a point to it all.

Seriously. The first batch of Churro sold out in one. fricking. minute. I thought it must be something amazing, so I clicked over to look at it when the second batch went up… it’s just a mottled light golden brown highlighter. What is the big deal?

I’ve been a fan of ColourPop for a while, but this recent rash of super limited edition releases is really turning me off from them, esp. since they launch in the middle of the work day.

Ugh. I hate the frenzy and the behavior it can inspire in me, so I just ignore LE launches from most brands. The only exception is urban decay–they seem to do a great job ensuring enough product to meet demand–provided you are willing to wait.

LE means no buyerino.

If I like it enough to re-up it a year after purchase, I want it to actually be available when the time comes. There’s a significant amount of UD shadows that I’d buy a full-size of if they were permanent, but I will never touch a LE palette. All that does is push me to look for some (indie) dupes.

It is annoying to me too! I have never quite understood why there are LE products to begin with unless the company is putting out a collection to wait to see which ones sell the best, then add best sellers to Permanent line. It makes sense from a business stand point but I can’t remember the last time I purchased anything LE. If I did, it was unknowingly. I was going to try one of the Milani Metallics but now I won’t because it is LE. (Of course a Permanent can be withdrawn at any time.)

ColourPop just did a super limited highlighter that was handmade tie-dye. First round was sold out in one minute of launch. The employees of ColourPop and fans begged for another shot at it. The second batch last a lot longer… 4 to 6 hours before being sold out again. I don’t see them making a third batch. These flash sales are what’s annoying. Why make them sold limited that not everybody can get it. At the very least it should be available for at least two weeks. Pre-order them if they have to. That way those people who are waiting for the next paycheck can have a chance.

Rave: sometimes the products are amazing – different colours and great finishes that are better than average. Like Dior’s Bonne Etoile from the past.
Rant: Difficult to obtain (especially if you are relying on international shipping -which is very expensive), sell out really quickly and the products are not put out into the permanent range.

LE nonsense was why I gave up on MAC for a while. Having to sit up after midnight, waiting for that 5 minute interval in which you MIGHT grab a certain color? It was insane, and you could see the competitiveness in forums – people creating private groups to share the news of when something appeared on the website, people panic-buying multiples they would never use and amassing giant hoards while those who were even a few minutes late couldn’t buy one. I’m really happy that such a large number of brands are now offering atypical colors and finishes, because that was really the only thing MAC had to offer (besides its name and the occasional cool packaging). I’m sure the Bangin’ Brilliant collection was a response to this pressure – if Urban Decay, NYX, Bite, ColourPop, Maybelline, etc. weren’t making a broad rainbow of colors, MAC would still be dangling shades like Dreampot and Deep Rooted in front of us on that LE string.

I don’t mind when colours are limited edition, especially when they are trend driven. But limited edition formulas are so annoying, MAC is so bad with this.

I avoid LE from companies that seem to want to treat me like a rat in a lab experiment on deprivation — to hell with ’em. Like Christine, I understand the seasonal thing (or maybe timed with a movie release, etc.), but those types of releases rarely interest me enough to bother with them. I do go for some limited releases from indie companies that I know have smaller inventories and batches, so they have a good reason to run out, and I forgive them if they do, but I’m still not getting up at 1:00 AM to be first in line for something. I love makeup, but it’s just not that important to me.

Oh, and the other reason I try to stick to indies is that I’ve never bought a limited release item from an indie company that was any different quality than their regular line.

I tend not fall into the mass hysteria that limited editions sometime bring. I personally do not like stress and frustration of waiting for limited editions to be released and basically fighting other customers for makeup items. Some brands do limited editions well and make enough available for everyone to get. Others, not so much, (sweet peach anyone?). Like temptalia has mentioned, I do not like limited edition formulas and colors however, I’m all for limited edition packaging. I personally would prefer limited edition packaging for permanent colors. I unfortunately missed the PB&J palette because of lack of finances so I’m currently waiting and checking ULTA for restock almost every day. I wish though they didn’t make it exclusive to ULTA. Whats the point in that? But I guess I should be grateful that they decide to make it somewhat permanent. But I digress.

Rave – I love LE items during the holidays. The assortment of colors/products all bundled together in an appealing package makes purchasing fun. (Too much fun, sometimes!!)

Rant – As others have mentioned, there’s a BIG difference (in my mind) between LE and limited quantity. I am not going to inconvenience myself in order to get a product. Because I hate being disappointed with a product and do extensive research before purchasing (with only three exceptions I can think of), a lot of LE’s are unavailable by the time it would take me to make an informed decision. Therefore, I usually don’t even bother with LE’s.

I won’t do it. I simply refuse to give in to LE hype. There are enough options out there to fill ANY LE offering with dupes that are close enough it one HAS to have a certain tint or color.

The other thing I always wonder…why would a company trying to create false demand, and make a quick buck, care about quality in the same way you would with a permanent line? With permanent products, you have people coming back time and again, year after year sometimes, and the quality better be longstanding. For LE, it’s a flash in the pan, then gone. Maybe that’s unfair, but trying to make a quick hit never says quality and care to me.

To me, there are only a few instances where Limited Edition really makes sense:

-Trendy colors that probably aren’t going to sell well when the trend is done. Like it makes sense to me that Kale and Squid Ink are LE colors from Bite Beauty. Dark green and blue lipsticks are not a staple of most peoples’ wardrobes.
-Promotional movie tie-ins or other “collectible” lines. Not a huge fan of these but I get why companies do them.
-Holiday-specific stuff. It wouldn’t make sense to stock a red and green glitter nail polish year-round.

I’m also not adverse to the idea of Limited Edition palettes in the sense that they’re around for a few months then replaced with a new one based on the new season’s trends… as long as there’s enough produced to meet reasonable demands.

I don’t understand the point of LE formulas. Most of the time, LE items are subpar quality comparatively to the permanent line (tarte holiday sets, which both packaging and formula–which are randomly made in China when the permanent line isn’t, which is my theory on why they’re subpar). But then there are times when they’re fantastic: Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea palette. Why make a LE formula at all? Unless, as others said, to test the market to see how well it does before making it a permanent addition. Which would be awesome, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. I refuse to buy tarte anymore without seeing a Temptalia review first.

I bought a Jane Iredale LE palette recently and the packaging was subpar compared to their permanent line, although the formula was the same, which makes more sense to me that the packaging would suffer rather than the formula. Luckily, my HG, BE Ready, is consistently fantastic in quality, LE or not.

Nothing is more irritating than Limited Editions. I can understand if PACKAGING was a limited edition. Maybe a metal (refillable, please) compact or a brush with unique designs, but product? No thank you. My rationale on this is simple, if you find a LE Item, and you LOVE IT.. use it to the pan, then its gone. What do you do? I fell in LOVE with MAC’s My Paradise blush (Surf Baby) and have not found anything that wears on me like that did. The other issue I have is when a LE product sells well, (Light Flush, I think?) people begged for it to be re-released, however denied! We saw Stereo Rose again, and people said “its not the same”. We saw other MSF’s that were re-promoted again and again, but the stuff that sold out in no time? nope! The mass hysteria, never mind the price gouging on ebay, its ridiculous.

If it’s trendy, great, make it LE. But if it’s not? Like the shades in that Tarte Metallic line, or the Peach Palette from TF? No. Don’t you dare. Now, I fully expect that the Peach Palette is going to be back in the fall as a permanent product, esp given other items are being developed around it. But I hate the hype buildup that goes for months around that stuff, only have that stuff sell out in minutes because there seems to be some stock limitation on it.

I think it is fine to have Limited Editions. How would they do business otherwise? If they have a lot palettes for sale still it might be harder to convince consumers to buy something.
I also think LE is ‘fun’ – you see something new, it is exciting.

I do think creating scarcity is annoying and a little bit different. Look at the Too Faced peach palette. So hypes, so hard to get – I can’t wait for reviews, or think if I really need it. That makes me annoyed, and NOT buy something.

To me, having seasonal, limited editions – basically rotating by season or maybe 3 times a year is fine. But give me all of summer to buy your summer palette.

And I think of course that if a formula or palette is really loved, a company should consider bringing it back or adding it to their permanent lineup.

I always seem to miss out on LE Editions. It doesn’t matter when I go to the store or stalk a website online. When I miss out though, I just come here Christine, and look at the dupes that you post. At least that way, I am getting something that is almost identical to what I am looking for. I am so glad you do this for us. I have often found myself in love with the dupe, and I get a sort of satisfaction, and far less disappointment. Thanks again Christine!

I always seem to find myself more interested in the LE items that are not highly sought after. It’s made it a bit easier to find them and get them when my budget is right, not right when they launch.

LE palettes are another matter. I picked up the Smashbox Cherry Smoke palette and the original release of the Tarte Rainforest After Dark palette in August 2014 because both were oh so pretty. But by December that year I had barely used either palette and felt guilty for wasting money every time I looked at them. That really helped me start to hold off on LE palettes.

Although, I have been lucky and been able to score a couple LE palettes that I missed upon original release, such as the Marc Jacobs Style Eye-con No. 7 in 210 The Siren and KDV Ladybird, when I scoured the companies’ websites. Yay for not overpaying!

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