From influencer collaborations, co-branded partnerships, to seasonal collections, consumers are constantly bombarded with a slew of limited-edition releases. We’ve reached a saturation point in the market where we are being flooded with limited-edition beauty and fashion releases.
In today’s post, we’ll be discussing exploring why brands release so many limited edition products and the effects of these rapid-fire releases, as well as my top five limited-edition loves and purchase regrets.
What are Limited-Edition Products?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term Limited Edition refers to:
an issue of something collectible (such as books, prints, or medals) that is advertised to be limited to a relatively small number of copies
In the beauty and fashion community, limited-edition releases are often hyped releases that are done in collaboration with influencers, celebrities, and other brands, licensing deals with iconic movie and t.v. franchises, or seasonal, themed releases.
Why Do Brands Release Limited-Edition Products?
Brands release limited edition products because they usually sell themselves due to the scarcity hype that surrounds the release and the cyclical buying habits that it influences.
- Limited Edition Collaborations receive a ton of influencer and media coverage, especially when releases are done in conjunction with a large partner such as Disney or with a large influencer with a loyal fan base
- Limited Edition Collaborations encourage constant buying of new products because consumers need to act fast in order to buy a release before it sells out
- Limited Edition releases can allow a brand to test a new formula, line, or concept without the heavy investment required for a permanent brand extension (less risky)
- Consumer keep buying these releases! The demand for Limited Edition products is clearly still present despite the influx of releases
Unhealthy Side Effects of Limited-Edition Products
The constant churning out of limited-edition releases contributes to negative and potentially toxic mindsets and spending habits.
- Brands keep releasing the same or nearly identical products/shades in special packaging
- Limited Edition releases encourage excessive impulse spending and often rely on scarcity messaging to build hype
- Brands may use false scarcity tactics to convince a consumer they *need* to buy their new release (i.e. brands indicate a product is sold out… only to release more units days later)
- Limited Edition releases are often re-released by brands and eventually made permanent
- Limited Edition releases encourage wastefulness in the beauty community as these products tend to be quickly abandoned by influencers who fear using products their subscribers can no longer purchase
- Limited Edition releases can reduce a brand’s status in the market if discontinued collections are being sold through Off-Price or Outlet retailers
My Top 3 Favorite Limited-Edition Products
I love a lot of the Limited Edition products that I own and don’t feel the same guilt talking about them on my blog, as YouTubers often feel online, but I’ve narrowed down my list of favorites to the below Top 3 Favorites.
1 | Anastasia Beverly Hills – Master Palette by Mario
Is anyone surprised by this? Not only is the Master Palette by Mario my all-time favorite palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills, but this grungy neutral palette is STILL my most beloved eyeshadow palette… and I’m bitter that this isn’t permanent in the ABH line up. I nearly missed out on this bad boy, but thankfully Macy’s beauty department came through for me on this one. Check out my Pan That Palette challenge for more on this palette.
2 | Melt Cosmetics – Gemini Palette
The Melt Cosmetics Gemini Palette was an elusive limited edition palette that I originally missed out on purchasing. Fun fact: I am so obsessed with this color story that I duped this palette using single shadows from some dope indie beauty brands… but still purchased this the day that Melt Cosmetics started selling in Sephora and relaunched this palette. Can you tell that I love grungy, neutral eyeshadow?
Technically, this is a Limited Edition product that was re-released, BUT it stayed gone for so long that I decided to include this on my list. Check out this post for Gemini Palette dupes from dope indie beauty brands.
3 | MAC x Disney’s Aladdin Collection
Arguably the most divisive Limited Edition “love” on my list, the MAC Cosmetics Disney Collection is an effortlessly beautiful collection. Is it super unique or groundbreaking? No – but the intricate Aladdin-inspired packaging makes my heart swoon and the products I grabbed are perfect for easy everyday looks or effortless glam. Read my full review of the MAC x Disney’s Aladdin Collection here.
My Bottom 5 Limited-Edition Products I Regret Purchasing
1 | ColourPop x Disney Villains Collection
I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I’m feeling heartbroken to include the ColourPop Disney Villains Collection on this list of purchase regrets. Let me be clear: the quality of these products (minus the lip glosses) is wonderful. I just don’t feel inspired to use the lip and cheek products that I purchased. If I’m being honest with myself, the packaging is really what lead me to buy this collection – so I regret spending so much money on products that I don’t feel inspired to use with regularity. Read my review of the ColourPop x Disney Villains Collection here.
2 | Kat Von D – Serpentina Eyeshadow Palette
The Kat Von D Serpentina Eyeshadow Palette was a blip in the beauty scene. This palette got very little hype or love compared to the other limited edition releases on this list. Simply put, this palette was not cohesive and the colors muddied together on the eyes. I decluttered shortly after purchasing this.
3 | Too Faced – Peanut Butter and Jelly Eyeshadow Palette
I can still vividly remember staying up all night to order the Peanut Butter and Jelly Palette from the Too Faced Website on the day it was released. To this day, this release remains one of the cutest little palettes, but the color story inside didn’t inspire me. I ended up decluttering this palette.
Final Thoughts on Limited-Edition Releases
Although I feel overrun by Limited Edition releases, most of us (myself included) will continue to buy limited-edition releases that inspire us – whether we love the product itself, the packaging, or the collaborator working with the brand. However, it is important to be selective about what we pick up. Limited edition makeup should be more than just a collector’s piece we own. These should be products we love and feel inspired to use. Cosmetics do go bad, so why hold onto expired makeup?
As a whole, I wish brands moved towards permanent releases with Limited Edition packaging, similarly to what Melt Cosmetics did when they released their infamous Blueprint Eyeshadow Stack (check out my Blueprint Review). With Limited Edition packaging, die-hard brands fans can still feel like their purchasing something exclusive and casual fans will feel less pressure to buy something due to the scarcity marketing tactics being utilized.
If you love engaging in commentary regarding the beauty industry, please check out my Beau-Tea Talks series, where I’ve discussed Buying PR Packages and Celebrity & Influencer Cosmetics brands.
What are your thoughts on Limited Edition releases? Are you overwhelmed are there any that you’re looking forward to? Please let me know in the comments below.