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Is Christian Louboutin's $50 Nail Polish Worth It?

At $50 a bottle, it's the most expensive nail polish on offer from a major brand.

Earlier this week, Christian Louboutin announced that he was releasing an assortment of nail polish, the first products in his newly minted beauty line. While some assumed that red lipstick would be his first product, nail lacquer is actually perfectly aligned with Louboutin house lore. Early in his career, the designer famously grabbed some nail polish from an assistant and painted the sole of a shoe he was working on to make it more vibrant. And thus, his signature was born. 

At the nail polish launch today, a rep from Louboutin told me that the designer was "giving back to beauty what he had taken away from it." (Other categories will follow eventually, but the team was vague on details.) The full nail polish range, which launches August 31, will include 30 colors in three different categories: Pops, Nudes and Noirs. Right now, you can snag the line's signature shade, Rouge Louboutin (red, duh), online and at Saks for $50, making it the most expensive nail polish in the luxury market right now. 

The big question, though: Is it worth the $50 per bottle? That all depends on how much worth you put on nail polish and luxury name brands. The bottle is pretty striking. The Rouge Louboutin cap measures in at an impressive eight inches, the same length of the heel on the Louboutin Ballerina Ultima shoe, which was featured in a David Lynch collaboration. (The other caps are slightly shorter. And none of them are appropriate for stashing in a carry-on bag at the airport, unless you want to be detained in security, explaining to them that, no, your nail polish isn't a weapon.) 

Louboutin was inspired by calligraphy pens for the cap design -- he wants you to feel like an artist while you're manicuring. The manicurist at the event who did my nails told me that the cap felt a little top heavy at first, but she got used to it quickly. I tried it, and you have to hold it very close to the brush for the best control. The faceted bottle is heavy, so you could totally use it as a paperweight or objet d'art after you use up the polish. Oh, and the polish is good.

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The color is a perfect, dead-on match for the orangey-red Louboutin soles. You can definitely get away with one coat, so if you're a "classic red" type of lady, you could really stretch that $50 bottle into a lot of wears. Two coats looks shinier and more opaque. I can't yet speak to longevity, but I'll update this post in a few days to report back. If you're willing to splurge, my advice would be to choose a classic or favorite color that you know you'll wear a lot.

UPDATE:  It's now been five days since I got the manicure. It held up beautifully for four days, which is a pretty long time for me (my nails are short and thin -- nail polish is challenging), then started chipping in earnest on day five. However, I ran into a beauty editor colleague today whose nails are longer and stronger than mine, and hers still looked pretty perfect. Use this information how you will.