Christian Louboutin Scarabee Nail Lacquers Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Christian Louboutin Scarabee Nail Lacquer
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.

Scarabee I

LELimited Edition. $50.00.
B+
B+
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
89%
Total

Scarabee II

LELimited Edition. $50.00.
B
B
7.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
83%
Total

Scarabee III

LELimited Edition. $50.00.
A-
A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

Christian Louboutin Scarabee Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee I Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee II Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer

Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer
Christian Louboutin Scarabee III Nail Lacquer

94 Comments

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A Avatar

Still not enough to justify the price (imo at least) but it’s nice to see more unique shades instead of the same shades we’ve all seen a billion times before and not at that great quality. I love duochromes and Scarabee I interests me in particular as I don’t think I have anything like it. Hope to see a more affordable good quality dupe of it sometime.

xamyx Avatar

Sally Hansen did a full line a couple of years ago, and you may still be able to find some lurking about on eBay or Amazon. Periodically, they still do 1-2 in a collection. L’Orรฉal has a couple of duochrome polishes, but I don’t know if any are actually “dupes”. Finally, Sinful Colors has several duochrome polishes, and although sheer, you may get a similar effect if used as a topcoat. Oh, try Revlon, as well!

Deborah Avatar

Sephora Formula X in Grandiose is almost an exact dupe for Scarabee 1. I have Scarabee 1 on my hands and Grandiose on my toes and it is hard to tell the difference. Scarabee 1 is a wee bit lighter.

BeauBlooms Avatar

The collector in me wants all 3. I don’t like any of the colors in the regular line enough to spend $50 a pop, but the gold packaging and the duo chrome in glass are really speaking to me. They will be beautiful to display. To buy or not to buy….

Wednesday Avatar

I dunno why these polishes get my goat (get it?). But they do. I have an irrational hatred for them. As a reformed polish junkie, I feel this effect has been done by many ages ago and plenty have been better at it. Hmpf. Also, I’m tall (5’10”..kick ass 6′ and over with heels), can be really gangly and a complete and utter klutz at times so I fear the damage I could do to myself with one of these bottles. They could easily take out an eye.

Elle Avatar

I feel your reviews are not really fair. If a 50 dollars polish is bubbly, then how can it have 4/5 for application and B as the final grade? For that price tag, I expect it to have absolutely no flaws, never get thicker and last 2 weeks on the nails without a single chip.

Mariella Avatar

I understand that, Christine, and you’ve said this in past but I think that for most of us, price is a factor – we DO (and I think, should or have a right to) expect “better” when something has such a high price tag on it and the price isn’t justified by performance, application, general overall quality. I realize that in a blog, it must be hard to qualify “value for price” – for some people, $50 for a nail polish might just be chump change while for others, even $20 is too pricey but I agree that at a ridiculous $50 for a bottle of nail polish, many people really would expect “more” and “better” as partial justifications for the price tag.

Christine Avatar

I think that it should be perfect for the price tag – because there’s no reason why there was a skimping in terms of using a quality formula, ingredients, etc. but in theory, if it applied perfectly and lasted well without chipping, that’s kind of the big things you’d expect from a good polish. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with an individual wanting it to be revolutionary to justify $50 or better than whatever else they’re happy with (this is true for ANY product, because if you love a $5 lipstick formula, then of course you’d want a $25 one to be better to you in whatever ways that matter to you), but I don’t think it’s my place to put subjective judgments like that. Some people have trouble with polish lasting more than a few days on them! I can get polish to last two weeks with minor tip wear without a base coat!

Al Avatar

Never stop doing what your doing, Christine ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it should be left up to us readers to determine whether or not a product is worth the price/cost.

Katherine T. Avatar

These are overpriced, but the bottle is very beautiful and elegant, love the Egyptian scarab theme. I can see the duo chrome in #1. #2 looks like blue polish, wish it would show the purple duo chrome you get in the bottle, and I don’t see it at all with #3 but it’s probably hard to capture on camera

Lisa Avatar

Me too! And for the record, I like that price is not a factor in the ratings. Ultimately it comes down to value, something that price is only one part of, and that’s very subjective.

A Avatar

Seconding that! I like that a product from say, Revlon is judged as strictly as a product from Tom Ford – makes it easier for me to judge.

Tiffanie Avatar

Ooooh! I wish there were more dupes for Scarabee! It’s such a pretty color, but I can’t see myself paying that much for nail polish…or could I…lol!

Ariane Avatar

There absolutely are many, many excellent indie duo- and multichrome polishes out there. But a few suggestions from non-indie brands:

Ludurana, probably best known -for- their multichromes:
Fascinante: shifting through warmer golds and pinks, hitting a hint of crimson.
Reluz: A very intense shift through purple, warm blues and copper.

Hits’ Mari Moon collection.
Trend: Very reminiscent of Chanel’s Peridot. A cool, intense gold/green shift.

Dance Legend: Sully, Knight and Boo.
Sully’s probably the closest I have to the cooler blue you see in Louboutin’s Scarabee II.
Knight’s a warm golden-amber that shifts towards warmer golds and darker greens.
Boo’s a pretty peachy pink that shifts through golds.

I’m certain there’s a dozen I’m neglecting. Duochromes really were everywhere about two years ago. While the brands I’ve listed aren’t US-based, they’re readily available over here – and so many indie US lines have at least a few similar colors now.

Kylee Avatar

I….really love Scarabee I, and unless someone hunts down some dupes that are softer (for lack of a better word…those Nubar dupes are quite bold) I may have to snag it. It’s something that I could easily wear often that fits my “business casual but mostly to me that means no outrageous/neon nail polish or UD Electric palette” grad school dress code. I was hoping I wouldn’t love it as much as I do, but it seems so versatile. I could dupe II and am fine with Chanel Peridot as close enough for III, but…man, I have some gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and only one is spoken for (when I run out of my Guerlain powder!).

Rah Avatar

These are really cool and if I owned them I would totally put them on display. I saw them in store and couldnt believe how large they were! That being said, I don’t do my nails often enough to make me want to drop that kind of dough.

Nancy T Avatar

Pretty shades. VERY dupable ( more than one may think!). But c’mon, $50 bucks for NAIL POLISH?!? Just insane, unless it were laced with some 14k gold or powdered gems, I won’t be falling for Louboutin’s gimmicks! Color Club and Nubar have these covered, so did Sally Hanson and China Glaze. So yes, this has put a giant bug in my bonnet!!!

Rachel R. Avatar

I’m glad these got decent grades for the people collecting these. They are very pretty shades, and of course the bottles are exquisite. Not for me, though.

Rachel R. Avatar

The price is more prohibitive than anything for me, but I can only imagine they’re hard to store with that huge topper of theirs.

Cat Avatar

I feel like these shades are not earth shattering these days– check out indie polish makers like I Love Nail Polish for dupes (I can’t name any off the top of my head but I’m sure they are out there). Personally, the only reason I would pick these up is for the packaging (I love the bottles) and the name Louboutin; it’s a lot cheaper than a pair of his shoes! It’s shame they don’t perform better; I definitely feel like they should be given the price point!

Christine Avatar

I don’t think they are either, Cat! It’s a bummer that CL didn’t pull out some more unique duochrome shades, though from what I understand, it’s a material thing so there aren’t actually as many combos as a result (like how every line has the green-red duochrome eyeshadow).

Kat Avatar

I love the look of Scarabee I (the color+the effect together is so unique!), but I can’t justify the $$$. There’s a Sephora that has the whole display of CL nail lacquers so I’ve swatched them, and I really didn’t like the formula. Maybe because they’re testers, but I found them very thick and gloopy.

Also I second wwendy, I would 100% kill myself on the bottle. I even get nervous walking by the display. I’m really really good at hurting myself on random everyday objects, imagine a huge spike on my dresser!

Alice Avatar

Sally Hansen did a Lustre Shine collection with very similar colors, I don’t know if there was a name for the collection but these were the colors: Firefly, Plume, Scarab, Copperhead, and Lava. They have a similar color shift concept, formula is decent.

Marissa Avatar

the colors look absolutely gorgeous, original and the packaging is on point but i don’t have the funds to spend that much in a nail lacquer… i prefer spending those fifty in a goddamned tom ford lipstick imo ha ha ha

Cat Avatar

When the original Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour was released, I thought $50 was outrageous for a nail polish. However, I told myself, “It’s a limited edition, it’s based on his shoes, it’s for collectors.” I had no idea that he planned to release many other $50 polishes. Now, when I see them, I roll my eyes. And when I look at those bottles… egads! They look like weapons! I’d kill myself if I had a bunch of those polishes sitting around! Can you imagine my obituary? “Cat died from nail polish. She was fatally impaled by the sleek, designer bottle of a $50 Louboutin Nail Colour. Her nails, however, looked magnificent!”

Cat Avatar

My husband and I were discussing how one would store such a bottle and we agreed they would need to be displayed on top of something, as you’ve done. Thank goodness you don’t live in Kansas, right? Can you imagine those bottles flying through the air at 72mph during a tornado? ๐Ÿ˜‰ (As I’m writing this, a song from the Wicked soundtrack came on! LOL)

Shelley Avatar

I have Scarabee I and I just used it for the first time on my hard gel nails. Holy cow, this goldish pinkish shimmery gorgeousness. $50 for a nail polish is nothing to laugh at but the formula and color are beautiful and I’ll be using this one quite a bit. I used Seche Vite base coat and top coat and didn’t get any bubbling. Thank you so much for the review! My husband did think the bottle looks frighteningly weapon-like but it’s so gorgeous sitting on the side table in my bedroom next to my perfume bottles. I don’t have any other CL polishes and don’t know if I will but for me this one is worth it.

Shelley Avatar

I got Scarabee II. Someone said something about the gold packaging, don’t get it for that, it’s just gold colored card board, not even as nice as the original packaging for the red. As a collector I don’t always purchase for uniqueness of color, at this point I don’t know if there can be. I have more bottles than I can count. I got the original red thinking it was an omage to the Louboutin shoe and would be the only one. I was disappointed when all those other bottles came out. I never even opened the red (I have zillions of reds) it just sits on my vanity looking pretty and now this one can sit next to it. It looks “peacocky” in the bottle. If wine collectors can buy a thousand dollar bottle and never open it, I can do the same with my $50 bucks.

Maureen A. Avatar

My son picked up Scarabee I for me while in Manhattan this week, at Saks5th. I also have the original red. I don’t understand why people find this price for a Louboutin product so crazy. Chanel lipsticks are like $40, face powder over $50 and mascara for about $35 or so………what’s the difference. A nail polish will last your years, where as another beauty product, under a year. Nail Polish is an accessory to me, like earrings or a necklace. Taken care of, a good nail polish will last you quite awhile and accessorize many different occasions and outfits.

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