Tips on scoring popular limited edition makeup before it sells out

I Need This Unicorn

Beauty junkies know how it is: You need that unicorn!

Today’s post is inspired by a product that was actually named “Unicorn” for me.

Some websites can handle the traffic but sell out fast, some websites just plain crash! If a company announces a limited edition product and it launches at a specific day and time, you know the website is going to have so much traffic, it will break! Most companies have no idea how many people will be on the website and aren’t prepared for the traffic. Customers take to the company’s social media to complain. But the people in charge of the social media, aren’t the same people who are working on the website. Plus it’s a waste of time, you could be refreshing your browser!

Other times, like with MAC, you have no idea what time the collection launches, all you have is a date and a planned day of being a zombie.

Here are my tips on how to score the items you want for items that will sell out in minutes.


Obviously typing in your information is a huge time waster. So make an account and have all your info already in their system.

Have your credit card info stored

I don’t usually recommend this since it’s a good way to get your info stolen… and also way too easy for you to impulse buy! However, many a shopper has lost out on something because they had to type out their credit card info. But if you intend on making a purchase anyway, typing in the credit card info before will save you the heartache. Delete the stored info after you have made your purchase. Just to safeguard yourself against a potential website hacker.

If you plan on paying through PayPal, first see if the website accepts it! If they do, be signed into PayPal beforehand! You may want to do that a few minutes before the launch.

Make a list

So you don’t forget what you want!

Look up any discount codes

Put it on your list, big and bold! So you see it when you double check your list vs your cart. Have it copied so you can paste it in.

Get rid of distractions

Get all the things that need to be done out of the way! No distractions! You are on a mission here! There are no bathroom breaks in refresh-a-thon! Lock your kids up in a cage if you have to. *

* Obviously, I’m joking!  

This unfortunately does not work for people who are work at the time. You will need a friend who understands the addiction (and has time) and owe them a favor!

Be early!

What happened when I got out of bed and brushed my teeth? My item sold out. I should have gotten up earlier. (Story of my entire life.)

Be ready to refresh at least an hour earlier than the set launch time!

Sometimes they surprise you and launch the collection earlier. Do a search on the site to see if the products have already been added to the site. If they are up early, don’t alert anyone yet, you could be shooting yourself in the foot! Get your items first!

Be signed in on every browser you have

In case one browser isn’t working, another one might. Make sure your account is logged in. When the website is slow, it takes ages to sign in, sometimes it might not even sign you in, even if your info is correct. (From my personal experience!)


We all know this. Just keep refreshing if it’s “Coming Soon”, won’t add to the cart, or has trouble loading. But sometimes it’s better to let it keep loading, unless it’s been forever, then hit that refresh!

Open multiple tabs

Keep a page open for each product you want. This is especially helpful if adding a product to your cart keeps erroring out. Just keep doing it until it finally adds. But check your cart to see if you added it 10 times when you wanted one. Whoops!

Use the Search Bar

If you can’t find something or click on the damn product to add it to your cart. Try searching for them item on the site and it might work that way.

Example: I could not for the life of me add Jouer’s “Fairy” to my cart. It kept adding “Watermelon” because that was the default the page was set to. I did a search for “fairy” and was able to add it to the my cart that way.

Quick Shop

If there is a quick shop- it might be faster to add an item that way. Or if the product page errors out, the pop up feature might work.

Example: Urban Decay’s Vice LTD. No one could add it to their cart from the product page, but they could on Quick Shop!

Make multiple orders If you have to… if shipping is free

If there isn’t a shipping restriction, and the website is being super slow. You might want to make a smaller orders just in case the thing that actually made it into your cart sells out.

But I wouldn’t recommend this if you can get free shipping if you do manage to get all of your items. Saving money is better in my opinion!

Check out the brand’s social media

Check the brand’s social media pages for people complaining and possibly helpful updates from the brand itself. (You’re not the only one not getting their loot! You’re all on the same boat!) If someone posts that they got their stuff, find out how they managed to do it! If they’re nice, they’ll give you their tips! Or at least tell you if they bought it on their phone, what browser they used or if they used PayPal.

If someone was able to make a purchase, you are too! This is hope! Keep trying!

Don’t stop refreshing the product page to go complain about stuff they can’t help you with. The social media people are not the people on the website trying to get the servers running. How are they supposed to help when it’s not their job? They most likely aren’t trained to fix the website, and it’s probably in a different building in a different state.

Do contact the customer service is there is an issue. For example, if they won’t let you select your shipping choice, you got double charged, etc. If there are any usability issues on the website, you might want to point out how it could be better. But do it politely! The social media team is more likely to relay the message to the web team if your comment is constructive. Rather than, “Stupid (!&@@%^!&*()!#!”

Also other shoppers may have tips and work around on how to get the item into your cart! Look for those helpful comments in the flood of comments like, “I’ll never buy from you again!”

You can also check pages like Trendmood, or Specktra for other people posting tips.

Check the store app

For example, Nordstrom’s app might have the item before their actual website does.

If you need to buy it through your computer rather than your phone, you can add it to your cart or to your wishlist. This is if you need to use EBates, though I think there’s an app for that too. (Not sure how it works since I haven’t done it on my phone.)

Unknown launch time

This happens with Mac Cosmetics! The collections could launch at 12am, 2:34am, 4:16am, 6am, 7:02 am…. We don’t know!

But I do know that I’ve pulled many all-nighters. You could wake up every hour and refresh the site. It depends on how popular the collection is if it sells out in minutes or not. Sometimes I’ve wasted my nights because they stuff doesn’t even sell out right away.

This will not work for people with work or school! You just have to decide if it’s important enough for you. Sometimes getting on the website at 7am is fine. But in the case of the Osbourne collection. Being there at 4am, got you the loot.

MAC collections will also release on department store websites a few days to a week after, and also in MAC stores and counters a week after. So you probably don’t have to torture yourself with sleep deprivation.


Disclaimer: What would this be sponsored by? Shopaholics Enablers Anonymous? There’s a referral link to Ebates. You don’t have to click on it, but you’ll be helping my shopping addiction if you do.

Share on: |Facebook|Twitter|Pinterest
T a g s