The origin story behind Christian Louboutin’s red-soled shoes is well known at this point if you pay any attention to fashion, but in case you need to catch up: The designer wanted to add a colorful touch to one of his early designs, so he grabbed some red nail polish and painted the sole himself.* That’s it. Just a spontaneous decision that resulted in sales totaling $135 million in recent years.
A mere $625 will buy you a pair of Simple 70 Pumps, in a safe, conservative nude patent. But $1,295 gets you the Bille et Boule 100 PVC & Glitter Pumps. Yes, PVC. The same material that drain pipes are made of. Dreamy.
Now, a little more than two decades later, everything comes full circle with the launch of Rouge Louboutin, a collection of nail polishes that went on sale in Christian Louboutin boutiques and Saks Fifth Avenue’s NYC flagship earlier this week. (It will be available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and a handful of Sephora locations in August, according to WWD.) The polishes, which include Noirs, Pops, and Nudes, cost $50. Each.
I’ll let you marinate on that for a second.
In the world of prestige beauty (industry speak for products sold at department/speciality stores), that price point is pretty shocking. Equally luxe brands like Tom Ford ($32), YSL ($27), and Chanel ($27), are by no means “affordable.”
But to charge $50 for nail polish--even if it’s formulated with “the highest percentage of pigment in the industry” and housed in a box that takes 22 weeks to make--seems to me like a perfectly manicured middle finger to the sky, and perhaps a complete departure from reason. I guess the recession is officially behind us?
I ask you, dear xoVain reader, is $50 for nail polish (or $1,295 for plastic shoes) crazy only to me? What do I know, clearly I have no problem dropping a lot of cheddar on candles. But how much is too much to spend on a beauty product? What is worth it to you?
Tell me all about your beauty spending habits, or whatever else is on your mind right now, in the comments.
* I have heard rumors that you can get Louboutins with light blue soles for your wedding, as your “something blue.”