July 11, 2016

In the Makeup World Limited Edition Becomes Less Meaningful

limited edition makeup

I think limited edition has become less meaningful in the makeup world in the last several years. I was discussing the Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow Palette earlier today and mentioned it being permanent but a few people said, “No, it’s limited edition!” and the only thing that crossed my mind upon hearing this was, “That doesn’t mean much!” I think this becomes particularly meaningful due to the fact there was great hype that surrounded the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Lipsticks and Gwen Stefani Palette which promoted very heavily as being available for a limited time yet all of the collection went on sale at 50% off (or even lower in some cases). Hey, I love a good sale but this also decreases the value of your limited edition product and also upsets fans who did pay full price for those items. I’m waiting on the Alice Through the Looking Glass Eyeshadow Palette to hit the $39 mark at some point!

Strangely enough, somehow, someway, the Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette proved to be the most elusive palette I’ve seen the last several years. It sold out so quickly and so many times from so many stores it truly boggled the mind. On that note, I will say, it’ll be making a return very shortly and along with possibly new blushes or highlighters that are somehow peach inspired as well. And again, we’re kind of in the same situation of limited edition having less and less meaning.

Offering limited edition makeup pieces and collections can be a tricky business. You don’t want to piss off the masses by making something available for too limited a time nor do you want to have fans missing out on something that’s available for a shorter period of time. It does create a good deal of disgruntlement when you put out a makeup release that sells out quickly and never returns. However, I also think this is a double-edged sword because offering the item for too long a period will have fans wondering how limited is limited? I know I’ve swooped in and grabbed a palette mighty fast when hearing it would be available for a limited only to become rather angry when it was around for a year or even two year’s after the release. Let’s face it sometimes we’re staying up until 2 AM to grab a palette and later realizing we wasted time doing so because it’s around for ever after.

One of the biggest offenses of anything limited edition would be sales. It’s awful to pay full price for something only to have it go on sale. But what’s even worst is a limited edition piece that goes on sale. That really decreases the value tremulously in my opinion!

The makeup world is ever evolving with plenty of new releases daily. It think it was Lisa Eldridge who expressed how excited she is about being part of the beauty world at the moment since it is at such a peak with many, many new innovations that pop up daily. It’s also a time where makeup and the beauty industry is more popular than every before! I love the constant revolving door of product releases but I must admit I wish that limited edition had as much meaning and impact as it should and once did.

Sadly, it becomes less and less meaningful and more, and more about a marketing ploy to get you to buy something quickly only to be crushingly disappointed later when it goes on sale for 50% off.

What’s your stance on the limited edition makeup world at the moment?

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Courtney

    I used to be obsessed with MAC Le collections and would be THAT girl at Nordstrom on launch day. I then noticed that I was only buying the items bc they were LE, not bc the colors were necessarily a must have. I then had stuff sitting around being unused. So I have since stopped buying MAC Le. Especially cause i see some of the stuff go onto the local CCO a few seasons later . I do love LE but definitely don’t go crazy for it anymore. I truly do think it’s a marketing ploy that sends a sense of urgency to consumers into overdrive to buy. Turns me way off to be quite honest.

    P.s. so glad you’re back ! But do hope you had a wonderful vacay! 🙂

    • Isabella Muse

      Courtney, I can totally relate. I used to be a huge MAC fan became disenchanted with the formula. I can also relate to buying into their collections due to the LE hype and later realizing, “Hey, I’ll never even use this shade WTH did I buy it?!” It was fabulous thanks for asking 🙂 good to be home too though yanno?

  • Jay

    I’m over it. Over it!!! Too Faced has lost me forever with their Sweet Peach drama. I wish I didn’t like the palette as much as I do lol. It’s the last thing I’ve purchased from the brand & I don’t plan to go back. Limited edition used to be reserved for special products that had a little more oomph, and warranted a little splurge. I’m too old for the games companies have been playing with super limited stock: “2PM Pacific restock everything will sell out in 3 minutes hurry up and buy!! Or take Sephora’s latest collab with Mara Hoffman…the products are a little pricey but they’re unique and beautiful. However, I’m not going to buy any because they’ll inevitably go on sale in a few weeks like every other “limited edition”, “special” collection Sephora releases.

    • Isabella Muse

      I couldn’t agree more, “limited edition” just has absolutely no meaning anymore! For me, it also meant a bit of a splurge but also nothing that sold out super fast but it still had value and appreciated over time. Now everything is a flash in the pan!

    • Diana

      I’m pretty over the LE drama that seems to be the theme with cosmetic companies this year, Sweet Peach included. The hype and the super limited stock isn’t worth the hassle trying to check out with websites crashing and your cart getting jacked, especially when the restock is at a certain time, and hey, I have to work and be an adult! I don’t mind LE if it’s something I will have time to debate about whether I want to purchase or read reviews to see if it’s something that will perform well. As much as I wanted Sweet Peach, I’m not paying a stupid amount on eBay for it, and I just found out that Silk Naturals did up a dupe set of mineral eyeshadows for the palette that I will likely buy instead.

  • Kim

    I only spend my money on something because I genuinely want that product, LE or not. If I miss out on something I wanted because it sold out too fast, I don’t sweat it. There will always be something new coming along soon enough I will want that I can spend my money on instead. If something I bought for full price goes on sale down the road, oh well. I purchased what I wanted when I wanted to for a price I was willing to pay at the time. I’m not going to lose sleep over someone else getting a better deal later on. We need to get over this “fear of missing out” mentality that marketers are counting on when they release something as LE. I cut that out of my decision making. I refuse to buy something just because someone figured out that slapping the word “limited” on it would create a buying frenzy regardless of how appealing the product would be otherwise. I just make carefully considered, individual purchasing decisions regardless of the games that company’s marketing departments are trying to play. At the end of the day “Limited Edition” is a marketing gimmick. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • Isabella Muse

      you have a fantastic mentality Kim! I wish I could be more like you! I tend to get whipped up into a foam when I hear LE!

    • yelena

      I am right there with you. I refuse to stay up at all hours of the day to attempt to buy something that will be sold out before I can click the checkout button. also I usually wanna see it in store before I purchase and a lot of these LE’s are online exclusives or available online before they get to the store which means I’m shopping blindly, and I don’t like to do that. I don’t mind paying full price for something I love and if it later goes on sale i’ll just pick one up as a gift for my mom or sis knowing that its actually worth it. so that doesn’t bother me.

  • Susan

    I agree with everything you said! I feel like LE is become a marketing ploy to hype up a product and pressure people to buy it without having time to analyze reviews and the true value of a product. After all, people want what they can’t/don’t have.

  • Susan

    Limited Edition meant more in pre-internet days (yeah, I’m old) when you had to physically go to a store to get something. Now, with 2 million LE-starved women all trying to click “Add to Cart” at the same time, a generous run of an LE product is sold out in lightning speed.

    What’s the solution? No idea. But I would recommend buying something not for whether it’s limited edition or long-term, but for one simple reason: do you love it for what it is? If so, try to get it. If you don’t, move on.

    Now, do I follow that logic all the time? By no means. When I saw the Sweet Peach Palette actually in stock at an out-of-town Ulta, I was so shocked that I stared at the display for a bit and then decided to buy one **just because it was so damn hard to find.** Fortunately it’s become one of my favorite palettes this summer. But my purchasing decision was dumb for the “rarity” reasoning.

  • Rachel R.

    I agree with everything you said here. I think LE has gone from “special” to “gimmicky.” Though I’d rather have an item I was able to get go on sale later (UD Gwen Stefani), than not be able to get it at all due to over-hype and small quantities released (Too Faced Sweet Peach).

  • Lorraine. E.R

    L.E is a total turnoff for me . Especially with a lot of brands that hype their new stuff on social media to get people in a frenzy and then things sell out within hours, to me that’s completely ridiculous. I don’t have the kind of income where I always have $ laying around to purchase things in small windows and I don’t appreciate feeling pressured to make a snap judgment whether I want the product or not and have to then put big effort into getting it. I want to take my time & see reviews too!

  • Briana

    I feel like limited edition stuff isn’t the reason to buy. For example, after seeing Tarte’s online blowup when Swamp Queen was released (through the comments on instagram) I realized that people go crazy just to have things. I’ll admit, I used to be like that too, but now that I have SO MUCH already, when I walk into Sephora I don’t just buy to buy, I wait to see what I really want. I thought I wanted the Sweet Peach, but after seeing how crazy it’s going to be to get my hands on it, I feel like it’s just not worth it for all the hassle.

  • Nikki

    Limited edition to me means if I wait long enough it’ll go on sale! I was looking for a colorful eyeshadow palette and saw the Urban Decay spectrum palette at Sephora marked down to $39. I sat on the fence about it for a couple weeks and lo and behold it got marked down again to $29! I’ve got my eye on that new Tarte lip and cheek palette but since it’s limited edition I’ll just wait til it goes on sale.

  • Kimberly

    I try to think about LE products like this: if it’s truly unique, sure, I’m in (KVD MI Vida Loca). But if it has a bunch of shades I already own (UD Gwen Stefani) , no thanks, not worth it. Having said that, l DID buy a red Mac lipstick that I don’t wear simply because it had Rocky Horror packaging 🙂

    • Isabella Muse

      haha who can resist RHPS right!? Are you terribly excited or incredibly scared of the remake!!? The promo images look bogus!

      • Kimberly

        I’ll give it a chance, but there’s absolutely no way it’ll be better than the original. Kinda wish “they” would come up with their own ideas and stop messing with the classics.

      • Carrie

        I’m on the fence about the remake. I totally missed out on the Mac collection. It’s the one I really wis I got a chance to buy some of.

  • Jennifer

    Ugh. I was a victim of the UD Gwen Stefani palettes. I love the eye palette and paid full price. I didn’t buy it because it was LE, but because I really liked the shades. Weeks later, it was much cheaper. And the lipsticks ended up not only going on sale but not being limited either. They are now part of the new UD Vice launch just in different packaging (and a few dollars less). I also got burned on the Vice Reloaded palette. I am also waiting on the Through the Looking Glass palette and the the latest Vice palette. Learned my lesson and if I miss out, I miss out. I am tired of being burned by UD which is a shame because I do love their products.

    • Isabella Muse

      I loved it too! I thought it was a great selection of shades! I didn’t pay for mine, I was given a press sample but I still felt kind bad they axed the price after a very short time. Such a shame! I’m waiting on the Through the Looking Glass Palette as well, I predict it’ll be $39 bucks by the end of Summer!

  • Susan

    This is an interesting discussion! Kim above mentioned the FOMO mentality (fear of missing out), which marketers absolutely do exploit.

    I read another way to think of this in a book about emotional eating — lose “The Last Supper” mentality; that is, thinking you have to eat _______ because you will nevereverever come across it again. This is destructive reasoning, because you will either (a) indeed find it again, or (b) you will find something else just as good or better.

    I can certainly apply this to luxury purchases such as makeup!

  • Iris

    I’ve purchased a few LE items at full price, such as a Charlotte Olympia x Mac lipstick. Some I was on the fence about I waited around on. Surprisingly, they went on sale like the Hello Kitty x Sephora palette.

    I’d still buy an item at full price if it just came out, I really like it, and find it a fair price, but I won’t chase an item to buy it on eBay or the like.

  • Agona

    I think companies should have their permanent line be a baseline and LE to introduce seasonal trends. It gives you a chance to try out something trendy but no big deal if you miss it because the permanent line doesn’t have any “holes” in their offerings.

    I also don’t understand LE formulas–unless they’re testing the market and will reintroduce best-sellers as permanent. For example, I loved tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea eyeshadow formula and I don’t know if they’ll ever make more!

  • Jeanine McAuliffe

    After the manny and violet voss palettes, I swore of LE for awhile! It’s just so frustrating when you try and try and can’t get it or you see people buying just to resell at double the cost. For me that’s a cardinal sin if you’re a makeup lover you NEVER make money off another makeup lover but hey that’s is just my humble opinion!

  • Janessa

    For me, it totally depends on the brand and packaging. I do feel burned about the Gwen UD eye palette. I bought it for full price, used it 2x and haven’t touched it since. Then saw it at Sephora over the weekend for $25. I was all about getting the TF Peach palette and ended up with 2, but I use the heck out of that palette so I can justify the ‘need’ to have it. I almost never go for MAC LE collections unless they have a real nostalgic value (Rocky horror, love the Malificent lip collection from last year) but totally pass other than that.

    That said… Colourpop seems to be the new Big Bad Wolf of the LE makeup world. I got in on the “Churro” action when they released the 2nd batch on a Saturday… but the colour is sooo much darker than every swatch I had seen. It’s so dark I can’t wear it as a highlighter at all. I’ll use it as an eye shadow instead. So now I’m kicking myself in the butt for falling victim to needing that damn highlighter that’s honestly almost like a light shimmery bronzer.. I feel like companies are hyping up products so much that we all look like the wildebeast’s from Lion King stampeding over each other to try to get the latest and greatest LE item, and it’s just going to push loyal customers away. I don’t see myself going for anything else LE from CP unless it’s their anniversary birthday shadows (I have both of them, and use them). I’ll still go hard on anything LE from TF though… I already know I’m going to go after the Sweet Peach Bronzer/blush/whatever it is thats coming out… because I’m a makeup wildebeast at heart 🙁

  • Benni

    I usually can’t seem to figure out which items will sell out in minutes, and which ones will hang around and go on sale. I guess I just try to only buy LE items I’m really interested in and are OK with the price tag.

    But, I did want to ask…did you hear something about Too Faced and more peachy products? Sounds a bit like it in your post, but was wondering if that was just a hunch, or if you’ve heard something.

  • genevieve

    Limited Edition means that if you live in a country far away (like Australia) you miss out. I remember trying really hard to get the Tom Ford Emerald Lust palette, that was LE, but to no avail. Tom Ford would have achieved more sales if they had made this palette more available to everyone.
    LE use to mean a superior product, but that is not the case anymore.
    I agree with everything you and the readers above have said.

  • Judy

    This reminds me of the Wet N Wild Limited Edition Highlighters that just came back in stock a few days ago. People were extremely pissed off that they sold out again and that the server was lagging really really badly. Luckily for me, I bought mine in the first launch and bought a few back ups during the recent launch (before the server went down!) because I love them so much.

    The only limited edition that I think I will regret (just because it is arriving this Thursday) is the Anastasia Moonchild Highlighter palette. I saw some youtube reviews and realize that I am not going to really use it because the colors are so bright and the youtubers made some really good points. I only bought it because of the excitement and it being limited edition. But it was the name and how gorgeous the palette was that sold me in .=/

  • EliCaroline

    It feels like companies come out with LE every other month. There’s this LE palette, or that one. Or there’s a collaboration with so-and-so. There’s just too much all within a short period of time and it make LE feel less special.

  • Vanessa


    Yes I am getting frustrated and hopeless with Urban Decay marking their prices so much lower after so many people purchase their products at full price. Lucky for those people who get it at the lowest price, they are smart to wait! But girls like me, who get it as soon as it comes out, thinking it will sell out and never come back in stock, burns our wallets badly. It is not fair to us what Urban Decay has been doing to their eyeshadow palettes lately.