I've been putting the Louboutin Rouge Nail Colour ($50 for 0.4 fl oz/13 ml) to the test for the past month on multiple occasions (tips and toes). The bottle is a remarkable work of art made with an extremely sturdy glass bottle and spike handle. My inbox was flooded months ago with e-mails about this polish from readers who had seen it in Europe before we received this in the US. I wasn't going to purchase one due to the price, but there was so much excitement from some of my readers and after seeing swatches I caved and ordered one. The Louboutin Rouge has sold out multiple times in stores and online. Some of the sites have restocked while others have this on back order. My local stores did not receive any of the polishes so if you're like me you might have to do a bit of research to track one down.
Louboutin Rouge is a deep rich red that matches the soles of the covetable Louboutin shoes exactly. I've found quite a few reds that come close or look pretty similar from arm's length, but nothing I've tried matches it exactly. The formula is very fluid with super opaque coverage. You do need two coats though. With my first few tries I found the brush to be a bit challenging to work with. It's a longer skinny brush which I found needed a bit of wiggling and angling to control. It is a softer brush which allows you to control it more. I'm used to the dense thick chiseled brushes that are goof-proof, so this one took a few tries but it does apply flawlessly on the nails. (I tend to be challenged when it comes to getting even application around the cuticles).
The bottles are very study and the design is amazing. The bottles have a unique multi-faceted shape. They stand up quite tall (approximately 8 inches tall). Each polish comes with the base encased in a box with a removable cap. There is a circular cut out on the top for the spike.
In terms of lasting power I've had phenomenal results. As mentioned in my hand and nail care essentials post, lasting power of a nail lacquer will depend on your nail care, length, daily or weekly activities. Shorter nails will have less contact with hard surfaces (such as keyboards if you type a lot). Also the angle in which you hold your fingers will also determine how much contact the tips have with any given surface.
(the second bottle is a gift I purchased for a friend)
In testing the Louboutin Rouge nail polish, I found without any base or top coat, the nail polish had significant tip wear and chipping on the third day. By itself I found the polish looked amazing but lasting power wasn't so great by itself, however I do believe this is the case with most polishes I've tried. Louboutin does have a Manicure Care Kit with a base and top coat available but I haven't tested it (not sure if I want to splurge on this). I tested the polish with a few other brands of base/top coat. I really liked it with the Creative Nail Design Sticky Base Coat and Formula X Top Coat. With this combination I was able to get 7 Days of polish wear, no chipping and tip wear didn't start to appear very slightly until Day 6 on a few fingers.
Swatches with two coats of Louboutin Rouge and the Formula X Top Coat:
Christian Louboutin book (one of my coffee table must-haves)
I tried to photograph some comparisons but I found the reds very difficult to capture accurately on camera. I have two very close dupes which have a slight difference in real life. I'll add descriptions as a substitute to help you gauge the difference. I recommend googling reviews to see what others have compared as well.
- Guerlain Rouge D'Enfer 121 is almost identical in undertone, intensity and pigment, the Guerlain has a more of an orange undertone though
- Dior Captain is brighter with a jelly finish, it's almost orange-looking next to all the other reds
- Chanel Enthusiast (d/c) is 2-3 shades lighter and clearly more orange (although it looks close in the photo)
- Rescue Beauty Lounge Gondoliere is brighter, more orange, more transparent
- Chanel Pirate is deeper and has a lot more blue/cool tones
- Chanel Rouge Rubis is pretty close but slightly lighter in color, the Chanel also has a sheerer finish
- Chanel Dragon is darker and has more brown
One last photo:
Updated 9/14/2014: Ingredients from bottom of the box label
I'm really pleased with the quality, color and lasting power. I've accumulated several Louboutin nail polishes so far (Lady Twist swatched here, some nudes and pops coming soon) and the colors I've tested so far are really lovely. The pigment is excellent and smooth. Before I tried the Louboutin Rouge I was worried I wouldn't like it, but so many of my readers put me at complete ease - I've received so many emails and comments from others who have splurged and absolutely adore theirs.
I didn't want to spend $50 per bottle and I didn't want to fall in love but I have. I don't know that I can say these were worth every penny, these are more of a splurge than a necessity, even for the die-hard nail polish collector. The price is extremely high for a nail polish but it is something specially created by a luxury designer. These are a luxurious splurge, but I'm very pleased.
Due to the popularity of this color, you might need to wait a bit to find one since it has been selling very quickly. I bought mine from Saks (which still has it online right now). It's also available on Christian Louboutin, and on backorder at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Sephora.
Did you purchase any of the Louboutin nail colors? Which ones?