As you probably know, Le Métier de Beauté recently released a few exclusive kaleidoscopes to celebrate their debut at Saks Fifth Avenue. Out of the three, I purchased the saks.com exclusive On the Coast.
You all already know I am a die-hard fan of the company. I've heard three people in the past weekend telling me that I cover Le Métier de Beauté too much on Messy Wands, and I defend my choice of doing so because frankly, I can't help it. The quality of the eye and lip products (and skincare! but we haven't had this conversation) are simply fantastic, and I haven't had anyone contradict me on that front before. And well, if something is working well, why try to fix it?
That said, as a consumer I sometimes get peeved about the abundant exclusives that the company doles out. (If this sentiment triggers comments, I hope everyone will be level-headed and respectful about it. What I hope to facilitate is a discussion, not finger pointing.) It's perfectly understandable to want to celebrate a debut, or a once-a-year event, or anything justified at all, really, but as someone who owns perhaps two-thirds of the kaleidoscopes they've created (this is not factual. I don't actually know how many kaleidoscopes they've made), the exclusives usually make me feel a little sore. I would purchase it thinking it looks amazing, only to get it and find out why I thought so: there are usually a few dupes of existing colors I already own in those new exclusives. If this was a one-time mishap, I wouldn't think much of it. But I've had this happen to me on four different occasions by now.
I know the logical next step is to be level-headed about exclusives, maybe wait a little for swatches, but it's difficult with these things, knowing how limited in amount they are. I mean, On the Coast was sold out in mere hours after it went online! As a fangirl, I would have hated missing out on Smoldering Embarkment and Antiquité Poupee (to this day I get emails from readers asking if I know of a way to get one), both of which were produced in limited quantities, and the latter was sold out a day after it reached counters. I don't blame the company for the tiny amount. Sometimes I forget that Le Métier de Beauté is an independent company and relatively new to the beauty market. But if budget was really the issue, why make so many exclusives in so many spots?
I have to bite my own tongue for saying that, because I realize some of my favorites are exclusives curated by Dustin for Bergdorf's (full disclosure: I purchased and fell in love with Smoldering Embarkment even before I met him). Though in my defense, in the past his exclusives are released in conjunction with the year-end holiday season. I also realize that many people won't have my problem encountering dupes, since they don't own something like 18 eye kits and counting. It's just that the company has set the bar at an utmost high regarding quality and creativity, and I just wish it were applied to every single one of its creations. I also understand that the company maintains that it's the interaction between the color that counts, and even if some colors are dupes the layered result might be different. But I'll just put it this way: hypothetically, would you prefer getting three exclusive kaleidoscopes containing some dupes, or just one with never-before-seen shades?
Clockwise: On the Coast (1st and 2nd shade), Cherry Blossom (1st shade), Splendid Frost (1st shade)
L-R: On the Coast (3rd shade), Devotion (first shade - it looks darker irl), Capitol (3rd shade)
*I don't have an exact dupe for the third shade of On the Coast.
In the end, I know it's a marketing strategy on the company's part, one that I can't fault if I look at it from the business end of things, since it seems to work extremely well. As a consumer, however, I wish for quality over quantity (and by this, I mean less kaleidoscopes that end up looking same-ish and more experimentations with color – the eyeshadows in every kaleidoscope are on par with their usual excellent formula). It pains me that every time the company releases an exclusive collection they receive so much flak and backlash from loving customers because they weren't able to get their hands on the kaleidoscope. Then after all that, I receive the kaleidoscope only to be disappointed with it because I already own the exact same colors. It's the kind of thing that slowly whittles away your love for a brand, and I hope this does not persist with the one company that made me want to start a blog in the first place.