Should brands bring back limited edition products?

Overall, yes, but it should be done carefully, and it should definitely not feel like a cash grab. I like when brands will add a previously-limited edition item into their permanent range *because* it was so popular vs. manufacturing more and selling it as another limited release.

— Christine
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Oh yes. There are so many very sought after products (and not just sought after because they’re LE) that are worthy of being made permanent or at the very least brought back so those who didn’t have a chance to get them (for whatever reason) now have a chance and those who did get them but are close to using them up can replenish (MAC Grand Entrance, Moth Brown and Jardin Aires as well as Guerlain Cruel Gardenia are just 4 products that pop immediately into my head!), I was really pleased when MAC made Goldbit eyeshadow permanent last year.

Honestly, I wish the concept of limited edition were much more limited. Release less stuff on a “permanent if it does well” basis (which I imagine all permanent stuff is anyway), and re-evaluate in 12 months. Four times a year, seasons, not every other week. The whole limited edition churn just plays on FOMO, and it puts me right off. And I’m disinclined to buy LE stuff, for fear of loving it and being unable to replace it.

Yes. It definitely gets the excitement going. But tbh and no offense but I hate when people say it shouldn’t be a “cash grab”. That’s literally what every release is. Companies are in the business of making money first and foremost. Lol rant done 🙂

I think the term “cash grab” is basically refering to how some companies will churn out a LE release that doesn’t feel very well-thought out or executed. It’s how I feel about the Too Faced Erika Jayne collection. It feels totally cheap and looking at the products, I don’t get the feeling that Erika Jayne curated that collection whatsoever. Nothing about it is unique, interesting, or innovative. They slapped her name, face, and catchphrases on it. That is a cash grab.

I’m not a fan of limited editions. If a limited edition product was a huge seller, then I think it should be made permanent. I don’t usually buy limiteds because I don’t use them out of fear of running out.

One thing MAC has done that I detest is doing a limited edition release of a popular permanent shade in a different formula. For example, I have a mini Matte version of Flat Out Fabulous (permanent version is Retro Matte) that I never use, even though I love it, because I’m so afraid of it running out. If MAC would release a full size permanent Matte version Flat Out Fabulous, it would become one of my most-used lipsticks.

Charlotte Tilbury does limited edition items a lot, and I felt it very gimmicky. Her brand does not have a big color range and the limited release could have been just added to the permanent lineup; but she kept releasing the new colors as a limited edition to cause an outage in order to promote her sell-out products. It gets a bit old after the craze with the Pillow Talk palette. She’s still doing it with the lipsticks, I wish she just added them as permanent because the colors are highly wearable and neutral.

I enjoy seeing what limited edition releases are coming out. It does seem like there’s way too much LE stuff being released all the time, to the point where brands can’t seem to come up with anything interesting at the time and they’re just trying to compete. But at the same time, it’s interesting to see what they come up with, if it’s innovative or if they’re just piggybacking/copying off of some other trend/brand. It’s interesting to see what does well and how long it stays available. I really like seeing brands rereleasing well-loved products from the past. I fell in love with the Smoke Sessions palette way after release, so hopefully someday I can indulge.

I think LEs are great, but they have to be special — even unique — before I get interested. If they sell well, repackage them a bit and make them permanent. Example: The design on Glowing Gardens was unique. It was so popular, Dior rolled it out with a different design in a permanent range of shades. That’s good marketing, and it didn’t hurt that the product is great. Maybe Dior will drop a LE someday with the old silver packaging and different design to make another unique product.

Definitely, as here are some items that are unique. Just to name a few: Chanel Empreinte du Désert, Chanel Camélia de Plumes Highlighter, Chanel Lumières Byzantines Highlighters palette (this is a work of art), Chanel Harmonie du Soir e/s palette, Chanel Ombres Tissées Beiges e/s palette, EL x Violette Poésie Lipstick.

My opinion is that brands should not make limited edition products in the first place, I personally don’t see their purpose. I’m not saying to have only permanent products, because in the end a company should update their product range (e.g. remove products that are obsolete / don’t bring enough cash flow, improve formulas), just not launch something purposely limited.

The brands can play around a lot with packaging, so they can launch the same product in a new packaging to fit a specific theme and season. So they can have their limited edition stuff (aka the packaging) to convince people to buy; and to be honest, many make-up lovers would pay a little more to sustain a cause, a theme or a person collaborating with the brand.

One can always find a dupe here for any color, but personally I dislike the culture of `limited edition` as a form of bad consumerism. Maybe it has the advantage of allowing a brand to test the marketability of a color or formula, but brands should be open about it. Rather than `buy now, it’s limited edition`, it would be better to see the attitude of `We’re launching a line of 5-10 shades to test the waters; if the consumers show interest in them we are making them permanent, if not we are discontinuing them`.

Yes. If it’s because the product is in demand or according to some overall strategy like the company has decided to establish or broaden its line of eyeshadow singles.

If an LE-to-permanent move even hints of manipulation, I’m turned off to the brand for a long time.

If you love creative beautiful packaging, just wait till you see “Boom Boom Bloom”. It will probably sell out in negative space-time 3 days before it’s even launched.

I feel like you, Christine, if the LE product is still sought after and you have the means to produce more, then why wouldn’t you? I also feel like truly sought after products should be considered for the permanent line. I have fallen to the bait of needing an LE product to the point that I have purchased off of Ebay at greatly distorted prices, just to have the product.
I am not a fan of poorly curated LE lines that seem like the brand just rushed to get the product out rather than having the product be of good quality, fill a hole in the marketplace or represent an icon.
As I have purchased more and more makeup and have used a lot of things/brands that I didn’t use to use, I have come to realize that brands don’t really have a handle on what the beauty lover wants. I do know that there is a lag time between when something takes off and when the brand can get it to market but it feels like they wait too long to make sure it is going to be a “big” deal and then they start and they rush the production. When you are going to do a collection based on someone who has passed away you have no need to rush it to market. It is just disrespectful. I know big brands think they have a handle on what is happening based off of their social media but I don’t think they really do.

Christine, you explained perfectly how I also feel about bringing back LE items that were super popular, but reintroducing them into their core permanent product range. I would love to see MAC Moth Brown and Jealousy Wakes e/s’s and Maria Moretti, Slay Ride and Nicki’s Nude all made permanent! Oh, and Tom Ford Sea dragon lipstick and Chanel Empriente du Desert quad, as well, please! I know there’s plenty more I could think of on top of these.

I see utility in LEs for packaging purposes, like Nars Erdem. Or the cool wavy thing they have going on now. Any LE colors that perform well could be introduced into the permanent line, not re-released as LE. The one item I really wanted from Nars is Rajasthan, and they’ve sort-of duped it but not exactly (finish was different in the Charlotte Gainsbourg set). Getting that duo in the permanent collection would be nice.

My word they should! And the brand should make sure that it’s not limited to one or two retailers either.
I would love to see the return of Tom Ford’s Emerald Lust palette and Chanel’s Empreinte Du Desert quad – which we never, ever received in Aus.

I say yes. Limited release can sometimes be a brand’s way of taking a risk with something to test the waters. I see no reason why they should be forced to make enough for everyone and take a big loss if it turned out to be a misstep — if there were no such thing as limited releases, I think there’d be a lot fewer risks taken. (Let’s see how often I can use the word “risk” in this response.)

Anyway, if a brand gives something a shot and it does better than expected, and people say they want it back, then making the item permanent seems like a reasonable response.

And yes, I understand that there’s such a thing as manipulative LE release schemes — I’m ignoring that aspect of LE entirely.

I think LE should be a “test” to see how popular something is and if it sells out in 4 nanoseconds, they ought to at least consider making it permanent or bringing it back occasionally. I don’t get anything out of the “competition” to snag something at a quarter of a second past midnight on the day it goes live or not get it at all. When something like that happens with an LE, the company ought to consider making more of them and re-releasing the new batch right away instead of leaving 99% of people who tried to get it end up disappointed. Some MAC stuff sells out early on the very day it’s released, which is ridiculous, as far as I’m concerned, and has definitely cooled me towards their marketing philosophy lately. Plus I don’t really need to see 20 LE issues every year from them. A seasonal LE (4 times a year) would be plenty, plus if they make enough of it so that if you want to buy something on payday a week or two after it’s released that you still stand a chance instead of seeing that “sold out” note. Companies like Revlon and L’oreal used to do this, releasing seasonal colors that looked so fresh and attractive and you could actually get them for a couple months instead of the current displays with two samples of each color and if those were sold out, you are out of luck. Or go on eBay and find them for 15 times the price. It’s just all out of balance lately, not much fun.

I think at least once. The first release is often so limited that by the time people get to know about it, or see it reviewed if that’s a decider for them, they may have a very hard time getting it. One or two more releases gives those who really want it a chance to grab it again, like ABH Amrezy highlight. It gives those who hesitated the first time and regret it a chance to jump at it and have it.

Of course, from a marketing perspective it makes a lot of sense, and also for customer retention and just to make us happy. If they have a product that is continually being asked for, they should at least once or once every so many years bring back one product. Make a lot of hype and let us rave and praise them for it. The only cost is publicity and maybe new packaging, but development cost is saved, so yes, go for it. 😉

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