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Why fork out $900 for a pair of Christian Louboutins when you can whip up your own red-soled kicks with a $3 tester pot of paint? That’s the question many savvy—and cash-strapped—Brits have arrived at, according to a U.K. home-improvement retailer. Not only have sales of Duracoat’s “Flame” and “Show Stopper” increased by 40 percent compared with the year before, claims Homebase, but the uptick is the result of women cribbing the French shoemaker’s signature red soles. Will the mini-movement make its way across the Atlantic? Lowe’s and Home Depot, you have been warned.

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RED OR DEAD?

Peter Rooney, manager at the Homebase store in Acton, London, said sales of the paint have “rocketed.” “Many people tend to look at magazines to get the right paint color for walls and furniture, but we’ve noticed significant numbers of girls color-matching tester pots to pictures of designer shoes in fashion magazines,” he told the Telegraph.”They have also asked staff for tips on how to paint on leather or rubber.”

In 1992, Louboutin painted the bottom of a pair of shoes with an assistant’s nail polish to give them more “energy.”

Recreating the Louboutin look is ridiculously easy: Louboutin famously came up with the idea in 1992 when he painted the bottom of a pair of shoes with an assistant’s nail polish to give them more “energy.” Before he knew it, flashing a red sole became the identifier of the rarified elite, so much so that the designer has fought tooth and nail to protect his trademark.

For would-be do-it-yourselfers, Homebase senior paint buyer Richard Johnson offers the following tip: “The tester pots would have enough paint to cover the sole of an average-sized shoe, but we would advise people to ensure they do apply it properly so it can achieve a really good visual effect.” YouTube is also a treasure trove of ways to achieve the coveted look for less.

[Via Daily Mail]