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Upon Limited-Edition Beauty Products and Their Cult Following

This weekend break, I found myself in bed on a  Sunday  afternoon, loading Mariah Carey ’ s greatest hits from the early ‘ 90s. (It was cold AF, and I’m having post-holiday doldrums. Can you blame me? ) Besides, I’ m not really a Mariah groupie, but anybody can appreciate Mimi around Christmas time — NYE blunder or else. So can a lot of people, apparently, including M. A. Chemical., who recently launched the glitter- and butterfly-embossed, Mariah-helmed, limited-edition collection to a ton of fanfare. Seriously: The online release sold out within 24 hours , and just found every five lipsticks on eBay for almost $200 . When you missed that boat, NBD. M. A. Chemical. just announced a main collaboration with big-time beauty bloggers plus recently released a 15-piece collection with Caitlyn Jenner .   M. The. C., of course , is known for their capsule collections and celeb collabs, which are usually only released for weeks each time. (Mariah Carey’ s collection, for instance, is available for about 6 weeks total, meaning you have until January 26 to details up whatever’ s still in stock. ) Plus, for the first time ever, the brand brought back an entire collection final month due to popular demand. The M. A. C. Selena collection , adoring Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla, drew such a passionate plus voracious crowd of beauty shoppers last fall, that this brand re-released it in its entirety— a rarity, best case scenario, in the limited-edition world. (And good news if you’ lso are a Selena fan: Most of the products from the collaboration continue to be available on M. A. C. ’ s site. )   And although M. A. C. is the SAMT when it comes to blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em capsule collections— think Star Trek , designer Chris Chang , and Good Luck Trolls in 2016 alone— tons of other beauty brands have recently gotten within on the collaboration game. We’d argue it’s getting difficult to get a prominent line or company that hasn’t however partnered with an artist, celebrity, or designer on a selection of limited-edition beauty products yet.

Take luxe hair-care brand Shu Uemura , who has released products along with artistic, cool AF limited-edition packaging from the likes associated with Karl Lagerfeld and Japan artist Takashi Murakami . (An eyelash curler through the Murakami collab will cost you a cool $80 on eBay . Original retail price: 20 dollars. ) And then there’s Lancô me (whose limited-edition metallic liquid lipsticks and rose highlighter we’re currently dying over), who has previously and strategically teamed up along with fashion designers like Sonia Rykel as well as Jason Wu .   Wu also teamed up with skin-care line Caudalie to create a limited-edition iteration of— you guessed it— cult-favorite

. The lace-swathed bottle of face mist provides earned a spot on probably half of our own beauty editors’ desks, to be honest.

It’ s this kind of enthusiasm— from buyers, editors, plus consumers— hat’ s driving the world of limited-edition beauty products. Generally love it. “ The only thing that gets us to a store or even on a site is something that’ s new plus improved or new and different, ” Karen Young, owner of the marketing firm Y Group and a former marketing and advertising exec at companies like Esté e Lauder plus Lancô me, tells Allure . “ You feel the adrenaline rush. ” She even comes close these never-ending launches to Apple, which is notorious meant for debuting new devices every ten seconds and with absolutely no advance notice. (The same thing happens in the fashion world, FYI: Alexander Wang announced their collaboration with H& M in 2014 on a Saturday  at  midnight. )    But consider it: As soon as your upgrade finally kicks in and you can get hold of the latest iPhone (not to mention get a new cute AF case), the fruit’s announcing another, updated version. Exactly the same often goes for beauty products— the constant novelty, that development of near-instantaneous FOMO works. “ Customers like the ‘ trend’ aspect, ” a spokesperson for Lancô me personally tells Allure . “ This reflects how the consumer is more in tune with social networking makeup trends. ” Trends come and go— that is the entire concept of limited-edition anything. “ Limited-edition collections develop a sense of excitement and urgency that consumers really aren’ t able to get elsewhere, ” explains Megan Collins, a social media consultant at brand strategy and marketing and advertising firm Trendera . “ Today’ s consumers know they can pretty much get whichever they want, whenever they want. ” Companies have created a good on-demand market, with services like Netflix, Uber, plus Seamless. Limited-edition releases are the opposite— and that is what makes all of them extra appealing. “ For a consumer who otherwise doesn’ t feel the need to buy anything until the exact moment if they need it, these collections feel exciting and fresh, ” says Collins.   And it benefits the brands to produce these limited-edition beauty products, too— sort of, at least. It’ s i9000 essentially marketing versus finance, since limited-edition items do not get serious moneymakers for companies. Producing items is costly, especially if they’ re only going to be available for purchase for any month or two— since they won’ t be upon counters long enough to pull in a big profit. So monetarily, making limited-edition products is, as Young says, “ horrendously expensive. ” In order to drop surprise releases, these businesses usually build that extra expense into their budgets and eat the cost of production, because there’s a big payoff around the marketing side: new customers. Plus, media outlets usually protect these types of socially-media driven launches, like literally every version of Kylie Jenner’ ersus Lip Kits . (Openly and admittedly guilty because charged. You guys love ’em. ) This percussion up interest in the brand— and, incidentally, makes it really feel current and relevant. If you’ re a Selena superfan, odds are that you’ ll be on the peruse page seconds after the collection launches— whether or not you’ ve ever used M. A. C. products. (If a person haven’t, at the very, very least, please try a swipe associated with

. ) And that’ s exactly what brands are wishing.   Besides, a new, hard-to-get product (if not whole collection, like Nars’ t upcoming Charlotte Gainsbourg collection )— especially one particular that’s really only around for a hot minute— may boost a brand’ s desirability factor. “ Marketing experts frequently use scarcity as a promotional strategy, ” states consumer psychologist Vanessa Patrick-Ralhan. Not only does this strategy activate “ desirability”, she says, but that exclusive, limited edition status also gives consumers a reason to buy. It’ ersus a recipe for FOMO. Take a look in your makeup handbag: You probably have most of the basics you use daily, like foundation , that concealer you swear by (

, anyone? ), and mascara. Other products are less essential. Except if you’ re wearing a smoky eye every day of the 7 days, you don’ t technically need a third eye-shadow colour scheme. (And if you are, we stand corrected. ) So , in order to appeal to people who don’ t really need anything, a limited edition item creates a “ want” instead.

Plus, an item that’ s available for a certain window associated with time— and only to those who manage to click fast enough— carries a certain cache. Take Pat McGrath Labs, which usually typically debuts a product once and is gone forever. Simply 1000 units of her first product, a precious metal pigment aptly named Precious metal 001 , were released. It was so good that we had been holding our collective breath for her second launch, Phantom 002 . Her 3rd, a highlighter called Epidermis Fetish 003 , was gone within an hour. Through the time Emma Stone wore McGrath’ s Lust 004 lip package appeared on Saturday Night Live, it was a goner. (Unfortunately, they’re long gone yet again. ) So , once MetalMorphosis 005 folded around, people were prepared— and so was McGrath, with more stock than she’d allotted for with her previous 4 drops: A week after the initial launch, the glitter-pigment sets were back on the shelves. But the moral of the tale: Buy this now or fork over $200 for any factory-sealed version on eBay.

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It’s that one-time-only deal that holds gravitas with the beauty junkies— especially when there’s gorgeous packaging, brand new shades, or simply beautiful product involved. Megan, a publicist from Jacksonville, FL has been collecting limited-edition items considering that 2014. Her all-time favorite limited-edition beauty product is the particular Nars Correct Pencil Set from the brand’ s Summer 2015 selection, which featured three lip pencils— one of which was the limited-edition color— housed in an artful box. “ The particular lip pencil is my all-time favorite cosmetic, because it comes in so many different colors and finishes, ” she informs Allure . It’ s the genius move on the brand’ s part, since merging a bestselling product with new packaging checks away from both the “ need” and “ want” boxes.   But in certain cases, Megan won’ t even use, let alone test, her limited-edition makeup buys. “ We tend not to use products that were an one-time release or even if I could only get my hands on one [of the item], ” says Megan. “ Or I just use them on very special occasions, like New Year’ s Event or a close friend’ s wedding. ” Otherwise, individuals products are off-limits. It’ s like a prize or even collectible item you can show off to your friends (or your own Instagram followers, or both). And it’ s infectious. “ Part of the reason I got into it was from reading through Lisa Eldridge ‘s  book Face Paint , ” says Megan. “ She shows a lot of her classic and limited-edition collections in the book, and it made me believe more about saving pieces that were truly special. ”   Not everyone feels the same way (or is as fingers off) as Megan is about limited-edition products— especially from your retailer’s perspective. “ At Esté e Lauder, [then CEO] Leonard Lauder thought discontinuing products had been insulting to the customer, ” Young says. “ If we do a holiday collection [at ELC] with glittery colours, I still had to put them in the regular lineup regarding long enough to make sure I wasn’ t disappointing customers. ” If it wasn’ t selling by June, she can then pull it off the shelves.   After all, exactly what worse way to build brand loyalty— and keep devoted clients coming back to the counter— than to pull your newest, many buzz-worthy products off the shelves? Members of Reddit’ h Makeup Rehab sub-reddit zeroed in on this in a recent thread , in which supporters voiced their frustrations over the constant stream (and following disappearance) of limited-edition products. If you make enough of the clamor, brands have been known to add super-popular products for their permanent lines— or at least reinstate them for a certain amount of your time, as M. A. C. did with the Selena selection. Lancô me, for instance, featured an eyeshadow palette inside a Fall 2014 collection that was so popular that they kept this. (It’ s Olive Amour, if you’ re thinking, and contains the prettiest green shadow we’ ve actually seen. It also happens to be sold out on Neiman Marcus at moments of publish. ) And Too Faced, of course , basically pennyless the Internet with their Sweet Peach collection . So much so the brand issued an official email apology, which you can read here .

But that’ s i9000 far from a solution. Brands may even end up worse for the use. “ Limited-edition releases inherently limit your consumer bottom, ” says Collins. “ And limited edition- only brands also don’ big t offer newcomers a chance to have a good interaction with them, considering that, more likely than not, all of the super-fans are beating them to the strike and buying up all the product. ”   Limited-edition haters, like those who feel frustrated or resentful over getting left out in the cold, are still in the minority, and the recognition of anything new and novel says volumes in regards to the lack of brand loyalty these days. Today’ s buyers are more likely to hunt down a cool palette they saw on Instagram ( this one from BH Makeup comes to mind) than stick with a single make-up company purchase after purchase. “ Having social funds is knowing and owning what’ s hot prior to everyone else, so people are constantly looking to ensure they have the newest and greatest to cement their status to their supporters, ” explains Collins. “ We see this each and every level, from high school students to beauty bloggers. ” Manufacturers consistently selling hot-ticket products, like Pat McGrath Labs and Kylie’ s Lip Kits, are few and far between, therefore the extinction of brand loyalty among shoppers. However, you can’ t blame them— or the brands. The world can be moving faster than ever— and limited-edition collections are simply the latest way to keep up.


Learn some makeup tricks with among Pat McGrath’s limited-edition glitter lip kit:

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