Rant & Rave: Limited Edition Products

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Limited Edition Products

I don’t mind them as long as they make enough stock to last a week or so. I can even live with a few days, but I think that people should have the ability to think on it for more than half of a second!

— Christine

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I think it’s a good way to test the market, see what people want and will buy, but I hate it when companies make so few that they sell out in literally minutes. I also hate the growing “you can only buy this product if you use our app” trend.

I used to love the trill of the chase. Calling sephora right when it opened to put one on hold, the adventure of “I HAVE to pick it up today!” But now I’m so over it. I’ve got the money now to buy what I want when I want, vs being a college student and waiting 3 months for that ONE product I had my eye on. Maybe that’s why it was so much fun, because shopping was such a big deal. I want to just, buy things when I want them and not have to deal with missing the product or waiting too long. I agree that about a week is a great time to have a product in stock for if they must make it SO limited edition. Last thing I had trouble with was the moschino x Sephora bear eyeshadow palette. Such a hassle. Did finally get it on a random restock tho.

I do like to see LE products being released seasonally, especially if they have a different, unique packaging and offer shades that are particularly appropriate for that time of year.

But I think the pace of release for LE products has gotten completely out of hand in the beauty industry. Most brands now have new releases every month or even more frequently. It feels like everyone is trying to come up with as much new, LE stuff as possible, at the expense of quality or well thought-out designs. The artificial scarcity created by brands who only release very limited quantities of their LE products, only to have a “restock” a couple weeks later, borders on dishonesty.

I think the tide is turning though. I hear more and more people say that the “newness” frenzy in the beauty industry is just too much, and I read more and more negative comments about new launches being too frequent. I can’t wait for brands to find a better, less frantic way of keeping the buzz going.

What I dislike is the manufactured frenzy to get these products, something that is totally artificial and engineered by the companies making the products. Sorry, but I don’t care how nice a product is (and they’re not always that nice, but you know what I mean) – I refuse to spend all sorts of time waiting to “strike” and get a product online during the few minutes it’s available. Nope – I’d rather spend that time doing something meaningful like donating blood or helping at the youth drop in center. I want to be able to get hold of the product and get it in-store so I can see how it works for me. My other complaint is the packaging – sometimes, LE packaging is pretty nice but often, it’s cheap and childish looking (Venomous Villains comes to mind most strongly – I’m actually a bit embarrassed to take some of those items out to use in public).

I don’t think there’s anything I love anymore about LE products. Usually the quality isn’t there, and brands are banking on creating hype and FOMO by releasing limited batches or using terms like “ultra limited” to part you from your hard-earned cash.

Cute packaging isn’t enough anymore to get me to fork over my money. Especially if enough stock is made that you end up discounting the LE product weeks later in an effort to move it.

I don’t mind that things are LE… I get that it can create a lot of excitement. However, when there isn’t enough time to see any reviews, I get very suspicious that brands are trying to whip people into a FOMO frenzy when the product itself lacks quality. But you won’t find out until you’ve spent your money! Boo.

I don’t mind them as long as they stay on the shelf for enough time that I can see a review on this blog.
I don’t care for embossing. In fact, those beautiful embossings prevents me from using the product because I am afraid of dusting away those beautiful patterns.

I try to avoid them more and more because they are huge unablers for products I don’t really need or want on long term.

I love and respect brand having enough stock to allow customers to shop at least a month after the release date!

That’s right. A month. Less than that is pretty ridiculous. I was kinda pissed that MAC’s Snow Ball lipsticks, the individuals sold out so fast. I did get the 12 pack, and it’s beautiful, but it’s 12 minis of their permanent collection. Same with the other little gift sets. These single shades were not repeated anywhere else in their collection.

Luckily, I finally found a dupe from Makeup Revolution…even the packaging looks the same. I normally hate that about MR, that they dupe better stuff, but in this case I’m glad. I would have bought the higher end item if it was available for more than 10 minutes, but it wasn’t.

Rant: I just don’t do LEs — I don’t like pressure to try to get to a store in a really narrow time frame reasons including how much I travel, it’s not realistic; I don’t like how often hype seems manipulative; so many times it seems that a brand cannot manage the demand it’s created so customers go without or deal with difficult fulfillment or customer service issues; I’ve don’t want to fall in love with something only for it to be no longer available. My make up collection is enough that I can skip LEs.
Rave: for me: I’m mildly but only intellectually interested to see how an issue’s demand affects future product directions.

I’m fine with a brand putting out an LE holiday collection, doing a few well-curated LE collabs, and/or having a few LE products + a few permanent products for their seasonal releases, as long as they’re the same quality as the permanent line and are available for at least a week (but preferably for 1-2 months).

I hate it when brands pump out LE products super often, make them lower quality than permanent products, rely on big-name collabs and hype to push people into buying sub-standard products before they can see swatches/reviews, and only have enough to last an hour.

I hate the pressure around LE items, and the fact that how long they’ll be around for is a complete mystery. For instance, I would love to get the Pat McGrath Decadence palette, but at that price point (nearly $200CAD with tax) I don’t want to feel pressured to buy it immediately. Can I save up for it a little first? Do I have time to get a couple paycheques together? I have no idea! At the same time, I really don’t want to miss out on it, so I do feel pressured into buying it before it’s too late.

Everything you wrote above, Christine: a big YES. These brands need to make enough product to give people more than just one hot minute to hit pay before it sells out!
Another gripe of mine is that I feel like some brands churn LE collections out at such a fast and furious pace, that it is very difficult for anyone to keep up with! ColourPop, MAC, Too Faced, and sometimes even UD are some of the worst offenders.
Then, of course, there have been many a time where the quality on the LE products is not up to par with the brand’s permanent line-up. THAT leads to extreme disappointment, as well as many giving up on a brand if that happens to be their first foray into said brand!
*Rant over*

The “Rave”? The chase! The fun shades! The packaging! The build up of excitement!

I hate when companies hype something up with the LE tag and then release it as a permanent thing later on. I’m talking to you Too Faced.

So agree. I fell hard for a few WetnWild highlighters that Precious Petals & Queen of my Canopy they sure build it up a hype and I do like them but to find out later actually presently they are all available on the website but it was a crazy challenge to find them at drugstore. I won’t fall for it again. Lesson learned.

I try to avoid LE products because what if I actually love it and want to purchase it again? That’s incredibly frustrating too. I think Nars does good LE products as collaborations that are available for the season. I have time to buy a back up if I want to and the collection seems to have some rationale behind it other than just being limited edition.

YES. 100% this. When MAC came out with the naughty nautical collection however many years ago, I found my #1 favourite eyeshadow. It is the perfect colour for me, and to this day I am searching for a dupe. I found a Benefit dupe, but it was also LE and no longer available.

Rave: I like an LE product if it is special, better quality and in the shades/colours that I would wear.

Rant: Really dislike it if it is difficult to get, only available at certain retailers (who don’t ship internationally) and sells out in minutes. If it is popular it should be made part of the brand’s permanent line.

I used to be all about the LE Mac collections. I would show up right when the counter opened on release day, play with things and drop waaaaaay too much money. As I have gotten older, I have gotten pickier over what I buy and *slightly* more responsible with my money. I cannot justify pretty packaging or one time purchases when there are great products out there that are just as good and available all the time

Le can be fun.. the excitement the adventure. But I’m pretty busy and if not keeping up with it, like Mac x Robert Morris realizing how good it is and too late to get it is a bummer.

Once I did get a dud Becca light chaser highlight gold with a pink shift. Yuck not a fan $30 wasted.

I tend not to buy much le stuff.

I’m not a fan of limited edition primers or setting powders (who wants to fall in love with an everyday staple item only to never be able to buy it again)? Other than that, the more creative and unique limited edition products are, the more excited I’ll get over them. And, the quality has to be up to par!

For example, Kat Von D’s limited edition products (usually) tend to be so creative and inspired, so the collecting aspect is more appealing and I don’t want them to just mimic everyday permanent items. On the opposite end, I fell in love with Urban Decay’s Fuel lipstick, but it’s so basic it’s become a holy grail and while I’m sure I could find dupes, I’m bummed it’s limited edition.

The biggest downside is that if I really fall in love with a limited edition item, I’ll never wait for the VIB sale because I’m too scared it’ll sell out! And they always have them in stock by then, too, so I could’ve saved a few bucks!

I agree with you, Christine, on the being available for like a week or so. One thing I didn’t realize about LE products prior to getting sick is just how ableist they can be. For some products you have to stay up until the wee hours of the morning refreshing your internet, which many of us dealing with illness and disability just can’t do as it has a massive detriment on our health. And the “going to the store” option is also in many cases either not available at all, dependent on other people’s schedules for them to take us there, or dependent on if our own bodies are going to co-operate that day, which makes it impossible to plan, and yet another of the MANY, CONSTANT reminders you get if you’re dealing with disability or illness that society doesn’t want you there.

I’ve had some friends dealing with similar health and/or disability issues have to opt to stay out of the beauty world entirely because it makes them feel so bad about themselves that they’ve either hurt themselves (in one case, and thankfully she was okay) or gotten close enough to it (two of them, one I had to talk down at about 2 am) to know to stay out of that area of our society. And they shouldn’t have to make that choice. Parts of our society shouldn’t make people who are differently abled feel the need to get out entirely to stay safe.

And yes, that’s a bit of a rant, but the LE aspect of the beauty community is the tallest spire in it’s ableist tower so it comes up with many of us beauty types who are dealing with health and/or disability issues, and I feel like it’s important for me to put out there as part of my effort to use the crap I’ve had to go through to make people a bit more aware of what living a differently-abled life entails.

I like having access to colours that are not commonly available. I love a good neutral as much as the next girl but brands tend to be more daring with the LE lines. For example UD’s Full Spectrum or Kat Von D’s Saint and Sinner palette.

The main thing I dislike about limited edition products is finding a product you really like and then not being able to repurchase it. A recentish example of this would be UD’s Calavera eyeshadow from the Full Spectrum palette. I adore this colour and formula and there is no yellow exactly like it on the market and I can’t replace it.

If something sells out in 23 seconds, I wish companies would make it part of their permanent collection. Yes, if you manage to score one you’re special — until the next LE comes along and then all bets are off.
If it’s pretty and lots of people want it, keep making it, duh.

I’m inclined to rant rather than rave. If a product is that good and special to be LE it probably should be made permanent to please the customers. Or at least made available at least once a year as a re-promote if popular. Mostly I feel “played” by the companies who strictly limit the quantities making it practically impossible to purchase without jumping through incredible hoops.

Only one opinion, there’s nothing “limited” (special) about them other than, a marketing ploy to see if the product will work and if it does, you can bet it’ll come back. 😉

They are not my favorites. They an be fun for special fandoms and packaging. Mostly, though, I can’t be bothered with them any more. It seems like they come out one after another now, instead of being an occasional special thing. They often sell out in a hot second and most people can’t get them ever. It’s just as annoying when a LE collection sells out, then is brought back two weeks later, sells out, and this cycle repeats a few times (looking at you, Too Faced!). It really ticks me off when a brand brings out something LE, then a couple weeks later “suddenly” decides to make it permanent. It seems contrived and suspect. Overall, I’m tired of being played by the whole LE system.

I never buy limited edition makeup because if I really like the product I will have no way to get more. Also, what I hate is the mark up of the prices that sometimes are only for a gimmicky packaging that will not improve the product performance and longevity.

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