Thursday, March 24, 2016

For "Limited Edition" read "Dumb"

I don't know whether you've noticed this, but cosmetics companies want your money, and they're constantly coming up with new ways to get you to pry your wallet open.

I'm not going into the "product disguised as charity" or "awareness-increasing" pink-colored folderol that comes at us every October, except to say that I'll believe a company is doing some real good when they're donating their money, rather than mine.

No, today's rant is on the WTF practice of repackaging an old product anew, then promoting it as a limited edition. Not a limited edition product, limited edition packaging. Pause for a second and think how silly that is.

Milking the cash cow

These days, it seems every company has a cash cow--a product that is so amazingly profitable that they keep expanding the line to increase sales. With Urban Decay, it's the Naked line; with Too Faced, it's the Chocolate Bar/edible eye shadow palette. High end department store lines don't tend to branch out endlessly. Skincare can get iteration after iteration—look at the proliferation of products that started with the original Creme de la Mer. But stuff that is matched to your skintone--how can you keep coming up with innumerable ways to buy the same Porcelain Princess foundation/powder/concealer? It's impossible.

Or it was impossible, until Yves St. Laurent decided to keep expanding and repackaging their best known product.

Touche Eclat

I remember the original Touche Eclat ("touch of radiance") because I read about it when I was in England. An English magazine--either Tatler or Harpers & Queen had printed an article where heads of makeup companies were asked which rival company's product they wished their company had invented. I can't remember who, but one person said that he wished his company had invented Touche Eclat.

The original Touche Eclat was the first product packaged in a click pen. It came in only one shade. It's now available in twelve shades, and reportedly, a Touche Eclat is sold every 10 seconds. At $42 each, that is a hell of a cash cow. It's not surprising that YSL has broadened the product line to include Touche Eclat foundation, primer, foundation brush, blur perfecter, and neutralizer.

Commence the Stupid

YSL has also decided to package the Touche Eclat in a variety of different designs. Apparently, this has been going on for a while, commencing, I believe, with the 20th anniversary of the product in 2012. First there was the 20th anniversary packaging, followed by beaded, leopard, polka dot veiling,

stripes ... and more recently:

Kiss and Love, for the 2015 holidays

and Slogans for this spring. If you're curious, you can see them all here.

No need to sleep


I am not a morning person
Neither am I.

All lights on me.
Ceci n'est pas un pipe. Thanks and a tip of the hat to René Magritte.

I enjoy a cute slogan on a coffee cup or cell phone case. But I can do without motivational speeches from my fucking concealer Luminous Touch.

Also, can you imagine the decision-making process? Which of the twelve shades and three slogans is more me? And just imagine if the one I decide upon is out of stock. The HEARTBREAK.

I'm left wondering what exactly is the point? Is there actually any practical purpose, or is this just a money grab in disguise as frivolity?

I suppose a new design arriving in stores would serve to remind you that your Touche Eclat is old, and you might want to give serious thought to acquiring a fresh one. Other than that, it's a puzzlement.

Also, I'm trying really hard not to imagine a beauty product junkie gloating like Gollum over her collection of limited edition Touche Eclats, but the vision will popping into my head. 


  1. I don't care what they say but the formula has chAnged from the 90's. People just keep buying out of habit like their brand of toothpaste or detergent. Having said that by terry isn't quite the same either even though she devised the gist of the recipe. I now use cc compact to replace it all.

    1. Thank you--I was drawing a massive blank trying to remember the name of the makeup artist who came up with the idea!

      My undereye circles sneer at Touche Eclat. I bought it when it first came out, then switched to the Revlon clone, then pretty much gave up and searched for an undereye concealer with more coverage.

      I'm a huge fan of light reflectors, but they're in *everything* these days. My moisturizer has them, so does my primer, and I'd be amazed if my foundations didn't. Don't get me wrong, I think they're great, but they're not enough for my circles.

  2. I think the point is just this: It's cute. It looks cute pulling it out of your bag and it looks super cute being completely useless as concealer.

    1. I have a soft spot for the black lace with pindots. It would look so seductive as I pulled it slllllloooooowwwwllly out of my makeup bag, clicked it a few times, and dabbed a bit of completely useless concealer onto my undereye circles. I mean, come on--what could be sexier than that?

      Seriously, I bet Dita von Teese owns one.

  3. I finally succumbed to buying the famous Touche Elcat pen late last year ... what a waste of money that was for me .... I really do not think it does much and I had the "common" one!
    My god - packaging sure sells products these days but you could put bloody big fat diamonds on one and I would not buy it again - once bitten twice shy here!


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xxx, Poppy.