7 MAJOR Beauty Launches That Nearly Broke The Internet

Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images.
You could argue that the term “breaking the internet” has become so overused, it’s lost all meaning. After all, the internet is a very complex series of interconnected tubes, and a new lipstick or naked celebrity is not going to break it — but that doesn’t mean an epic beauty launch can’t still put a dent in the public conscious.
That's what happens when a brand garners enough buzz on social media: When a product drops, it does, in fact, crash websites and clog up phone lines. Hundreds of thousands of units are sold, tens of millions of dollars are grossed, and you get to brag that you were one of the few people to get your hands on Too Faced’s Papa Don’t Peach blush before it became part of the brand’s permanent collection.
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We can’t say in good faith that any of these launches really and truly broke the internet. This is not Y2K all over again. But maybe — just maybe! — they succeeded in putting a hairline fracture in the World Wide Web, if only for a blip in time.
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KKW Beauty

It was only a matter of time before Kim Kardashian West came out with her own makeup line. (No, Khroma Beauty does not count.) The mogul didn’t give her fans much time to prepare for the big reveal, either: She announced the launch on June 13, and the products became available at 9 a.m. on June 21. The contouring sticks sold out in under three hours, and reportedly generated over $14 million in revenue in that first day.
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Too Faced

Two words: Sweet Peach. The brand’s millions of fans flipped over the peach-toned, peach-scented limited-edition products as soon as they launched — and even before. “When the Sweet Peach palette originally launched in March, 40k customers logged on to toofaced.com at midnight and crashed our site and phone lines," a representative from the brand told Refinery29 at the time.
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Kylie Cosmetics

One day our grandchildren will ask, “Where were you when Kylie Jenner’s first Lip Kits launched?” Okay, maybe not, but it was a drop that was heard all around the beauty world. Not only did the young entrepreneur’s first foray into makeup sell out in under a minute, it also crashed the Kylie Cosmetics website completely. Of course everyone knew that the Lip Kits were going to be a big deal, but perhaps they didn’t realize just how big.
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Jaclyn Hill x BECCA Cosmetics

Beauty vlogger Jaclyn Hill teamed up with the brand behind the cult-favorite Shimmering Skin Perfectors, to mind-boggling results. The limited-edition iteration of the highlighting powder Champagne Pop was reported to have sold 25,000 units within its first 20 minutes on Sephora's website.
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Pat McGrath

A veteran makeup artist who’s worked with every big-name celebrity and fashion designer you can think of, Pat McGrath is an icon in the industry. That's why none of her fans were surprised when the race to purchase McGrath’s limited-edition Skin Fetish 003 highlighter kit was so spectacular, it sent her website into overdrive. At one point, Pat herself took to Twitter to apologize for the mayhem.
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ColourPop

The brand probably couldn’t have predicted the enormous popularity of its Churro highlighter when it combined three of its best-selling highlighter shades into one tie-dyed piece of eye candy. The product ended up being so highly coveted by fans of the brand, it sold out completely in a single minute.
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The Ordinary

One of the several skin-care brands under the Deciem umbrella (which was recently purchased by Estée Lauder), The Ordinary has a massive, borderline cult-like following on social media, so its first cosmetics venture was guaranteed to be a hit. That became even more clear when the yet-to-be-released foundations racked up a 25,000-person waitlist — even the brand was shocked by the response. An Instagram caption begged fans to “please be gentle” of the website, given the traffic increase, and they later released an emotional apology for the wait after 250,000 units were sold in a week.
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