Christian Louboutin Scarabee Nail Lacquer
For summer/fall, there are three new, limited edition duochrome shades of Christian Louboutin Nail Lacquer ($50.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.). I was impressed by the strength of the duochrome; I felt like I could see it at all times, no matter the type of lighting or angle of my nails–sometimes I feel like you have to hunt for the duochrome because it is so subtle, but with these three, it was noticeable. I was, however, less impressed by the application on the first two, which had visible brush strokes due to the more metallic finish and II dried down to a satin finish (where is that “super-glossy” finish that mimics the “effect of 20 layers of traditional lacquer”?) with a little bubbling (which I don’t get often). All three shades were fairly opaque after two coats and dried down faster than average. I tested II for wear, and it lasted for seven days with minor tip wear but no chipping, which is average for me.
I haven’t reviewed as much polish in recent years so I don’t have as many specific dupes for you myself, but I know that most major polish brands have covered duochrome territory and like with eyeshadow, a lot of brands release the same type of duochromes, like Sally Hansen, Essie, MAC, Nubar, and of course, if you go indie, you have even more options; when I looked, Nubar and Color Club were two that seemed to have their duochromes readily available (that I could tell).
Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer ($50.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a rosy copper that shifts to golden yellow gold. It was opaque after two coats, and the duochrome was strong and noticeable under most conditions–no squinting to find it. It had some visible brush strokes even after it dried down, and it dried down to a glossy finish and didn’t need a top coat for shine. Nubar Sun Gold (P, $8.00) is darker. I think Nubar Stardust is a likely dupe for this shade as well, while Nubar Sun Gold is going to be darker and much more orange-based. See comparison swatches/ compare dupes side-by-side.
Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer ($50.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a subdued, teal-ish blue that shifts to a cooler, bluish-violet with fine, pearly shimmer. This shade self-leveled for the most part and didn’t have noticeable brush strokes, but I had bubbling with this one, so I’d have to wear a base coat with it to help minimize that (I normally don’t get bubbling and don’t need to use a base coat for wear). It also dried to more of duller finish. MAC Submerged (LE, $16.00) is lighter. Chanel Bel-Argus (667) (LE, $27.00) is more shimmery, lighter, brighter. China Glaze Deviantly Daring (LE, $7.50) is darker, warmer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.
Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer ($50.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a brilliant, medium-dark gold with warm, copper-orange tones that shifts to a warmer, chartreuse-y green. It was fully opaque after two coats (and almost opaque after just one), and it has a few visible brush strokes but a lot of them disappeared as it dried down to a glossy finish. The duochrome effect is strong and noticeable in low light, bright light, and you can see the shift around the edges even staring at it straight on. MAC Neptune (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery. Revlon Rose Gold (LE, $8.49) is more shimmery, lighter. MAC Ascension (LE, $16.00) is less pigmented, cooler. Chanel Peridot (LE, $27.00) is warmer. China Glaze Rare & Radiant (LE, $7.50) is darker, warmer. Color Club Editorial (P, ) is warmer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.