Sell-Outs

Yesterday's post about the popularity of Boots's Protect and Perfect Serum got me to thinking about other beauty products that have been so popular that they sold out when they were first introduced. So here is a brief overview of some of the "must-have" products of the past decade that caused a run on the beauty counters.

Chanel Nail Polish in Vamp. The mid 1990s saw a trend for bright, pastel, and unusual nailpolish colors. Spearheaded by independent cosmetics lines like Urban Decay and Hard Candy, women were sporting talons in shades of blue, green, yellow, and anything in between. When Chanel introduced the nail polish color Vamp in 1995, it was a high-end version of the cheap Wet 'n Wild goth nail polish we all wore in college. A deep black-red, it was an immediate success. Chanel counters across the country couldn't keep it in stock. It spawned a matching lipstick. It was even mentioned by name in the short-lived television sitcom "High Society," an American knock-off of "Absolutely Fabulous" starring Jean Smart and Mary McDonnell as two highly successful but shallow fashionistas. "Vamp" has become one of those rare, iconic nail polish shades, right up there with Revlon's "Fire and Ice."

Dior Mascara Flash Highlights for Hair – Debuting in the spring of 1998, these were tubes of color in shades of blonde and copper, as well as unusual shades like blue, that gave instant highlights to the hair. They were like large tubes of mascara. The wand was like a large mascara wand that you applied to strands of hair in an attempt to recreate expensive salon highlighting. The lightest blonde shade was particularly popular and was frequently sold out.

Makeup Forever White Eyeliner Pencil – A trick of the trade for theatrical makeup artists and drag queens, white eyeliner pencil went "mainstream" in the mid-to-late 90s, after some fashion magazine or other used a white eyeliner pencil to line the lower inner rim of the eyes. This trend for lining the eyes in white led to other cosmetic companies creating white eyeliner pencils, but MUE was one of the few companies that made one before this trend. Consequently, it was sold out at many Makeup Forever counters.

Club Monaco Lipstick in Glaze – Monica Lewinsky's television interview with Barbara Walters in March 1999 was supposed to clear the air about her scandalous affair with then-President Bill Clinton. Who would have thought it would become more famous for the lipstick that she wore during the interview? ABC was besieged with inquiries, and soon Club Monaco stores were waitlisting their lipstick in"Glaze." The bronze eyeshadow, nude lipliner, and peachy blush that she also wore during the interview became best-sellers as well.

Stri-Vectin – This $159-a tube stretchmark cream became a worldwide phenomenon after it was discovered to be effective on wrinkles. It has spawned countless less-expensive imitations. The original frequently sells out in stores and online.

Being a beauty product addict, I am guilty of buying all of the above makeup products when they became popular. I admit, I even got on the waitlist for all of the Club Monaco makeup products that Monica Lewinsky wore, and I don't even like her! Such is the life of a hopeless beauty addict.

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