The second I saw that Christian Louboutin was going to create a beauty line, I was all over that. All over that. I knew it was going to be exuberantly expensive, to the point of sheer ridiculousness. But, as someone who considers herself almost a connoisseur of luxury beauty (to the extent that a student on a...flexible, let's say...budget who lives nowhere near a Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom can be considered one), I knew I'd have to get something. I had no idea what the line was even going to consist of, but I knew I just had to have it.
Enter Rouge Louboutin. A classic Louboutin-sole red nail polish in an 8-inch bottle that's simultaneously an objet d'art and a lethal weapon for whatever unplanned lobotomy finds its way into your day.
I got myself on the Sephora notification list ASAP when I saw this, unsure about whether I would feel comfortable spending $50 on a nail polish. My brain said no but my heart said It will be at least 4 years until you can afford a pair of Louboutin shoes, self, so what's a $50 nail polish in the grand scheme of things until then? This will be worth spending two weeks eating nothing but cereal. I got the email a short time later. I bought it immediately. It was sold out by the end of the day.
First things first, the bottle. It really is unbelievable. The glass itself is very, very solid...no worries about shattering this sucker. It wouldn't be right to ignore how gorgeous this bottle is, because that's part of the appeal. It's something I keep out instead of with the rest of my polish, partially because it won't fit but mostly because it's just beautiful and awesome to look at. The brush itself isn't, in my opinion, nearly as unwieldy as it looks. My fingers fit right into the little groove around the base of the handle, and I had no trouble using it whatsoever.
The formula is a dream to apply. It's smooth, patent-shiny, and is opaque in one coat. I use two coats anyways, but I'm an overachiever. One is enough.
A caveat: Nail polish has a very difficult time lasting 24 hours on me. Doesn't matter whether I've got a base coat/top coat/whatever. Cheap or drugstore polish usually chips well before 24 hours, high-end might last a little longer if I'm not flailing my hands into things or whatever I do that makes nail polish and I frenemies. Essie lasts ~16 hours before I have tip wear or have a chunk or two missing, Chanel gets ~24-36 hours before the same tip/half-nail-chunk problems. And when I'm talking chipping, I'm talking at least a third of the polish coming off at once. It gets pretty unpresentable pretty quickly.
I did not have to change this nail polish for five days. 5 days. 120 hours. I got very very minor tip wear around day 3, but I didn't lose enough to make me want to change it until day 5 (and even then, the amount that had chipped off was substantially less than what I normally get after a day and a half of high-end polishes, and only on one or two fingers instead of seven or eight). I know Christine over at Temptalia had the opposite luck that I did; she experienced shorter wear than usual, and nail polish is certainly a product that wears differently on different people. But on me, there was no denying it. It's the best nail polish I've ever used. Ever. Hands-down. Nothing has ever worn so well on me. It's a real, true A+ product for me.
Will it be for everybody else? Probably not. It's definitely a dupeable color. I know that's a stupid amount to spend on nail polish, of all things, and lord knows I could never judge anyone for being like, "NOPE, you crazy," because that's also true. I've been known to make bad life decisions for the sake of beauty products, and nobody ever should follow my lead. But do I regret it? No way. It's not only the product (which is phenomenal), but the vibe of the whole thing, with the heavy gradient glass bottle and 8-inch-long spiked handle. It's luxury. That's the point. It's over-the-top, grandiose, and I love that shit. I live for it.
Bottle size comparison with Chanel (both are 0.4oz product)
I'm boring, you know? I go to school and do science all day and then work/gym and if I'm feeling fancy I'll make something in my breakfast sandwich maker for dinner or thaw some chicken and...do something with chicken. Nothing about that is glam. But that's why I love makeup, and prestige/luxury makeup in particular. It's the experience, the packaging, the colors, the textures. Rouge Louboutin is the epitome of that. If it came in a crappy plastic bottle or even something basic or boring? I'd be pissed. But if you're going to sell a $50 nail polish, you'd better crank it up to eleven, and I think that's exactly what they did.
It's sold out I think everywhere at this point, but 30 new shades (!!!!!) are coming in September. There are 10 neons, 10 dark and vampy shades, and 10 neutrals. I sure don't have the funds to buy them all and my heart is broken and devastated over it, but let's just say I'm on that email notification list for when they come in because I need at least one more. It'll be a little Sophie's Choice when I have to pick, but we all have to make sacrifices.