Dior Les Rouges – Trafalgar, Gruau and Icone Swatches

by Laura on July 8, 2011

Dior Trafalgar

Dior Trafalgar

Dior recently released a limited edition set of three red polishes, each inspired by the history of the House of Dior.  They’re classic, bold shades that are a step above the usual reds.  Swatches coming up!

I chose to start with Trafalgar, apparently named for Dior’s practice of sending out bright red designs in the middle of his shows, called the “Coup de Trafalgar” effect.  It’s described as a poppy red, and is saturated and very vibrant.  In person it seems slightly more orange than in my pictures.

The Dior brush is wide but tapered, and the formula on these was nice enough.  Trafalgar was the easiest to apply for me, and took only two coats for creamy, full opacity.  This shade is a classic bright red with complex tones and is very flattering.  It’s a bit brighter than other red cremes I have, but it doesn’t dip into “summer bright” territory, either–it’s not orangey or pinkish.  It’s fairly warm, and less blue based than a lot of red cremes.

Dior Trafalgar

Dior Trafalgar

 

Dior Trafalgar

Dior Trafalgar

 

Next is Gruau.  This one is named after painter Rene Gruau, famous for a 1947 illustration of a red Dior dress.  The label for this one has a funny squiggly thing that you can also see on the Dior website, but I’m not sure why-I’m kind of guessing that they had to pay someone (like maybe Gruau’s estate) to use his name, and reference his famous illustration?  I was really hoping the squiggle would show up right on the front of the bottle, too, but no such luck, it’s just on the label.

This color is described as a powerful red, and it’s darker on me than I was expecting from other swatches.  It’s a brownish, kind of brick-like red, muted but the tones are still clear.  The formula on this one didn’t work as well for me; it took three coats and felt a little runny.  I really liked how deep and dramatic this one seemed, while still keeping its true red character.  I don’t have any other red that manages to be this saturated and dark without turning a bit vampy or blackened.

Dior Gruau

Dior Gruau

 

Dior Gruau

Dior Gruau

 

Finally, the last in the trio is Icone.  This polish is described as a pearly red-brown that was inspired by a Dior polish from 1955.  I love it!  How neat is it that this brings to life a polish from over fifty years ago?  I also liked this color best out of the three, although it also took me three coats for opacity.  The shimmer looks very evident in the bottle but doesn’t come out as much on the nail as it seemed it would.  It’s definitely noticeable though, and the color is a rich, burgundy brown with pinkish-red shimmer peeking out in the sunlight.  It’s so pretty and velvety.  When I look at this on my nails, the finish and the color together makes me think of fall.  It’s a sophisticated and dramatic red.

Dior Icone

Dior Icone

 

 

Dior Icone

Dior Icone

 

These polishes were only available on the Dior website for like a day before they said they were unavailable.  It’s unclear whether they will be back in stock on the website at any point.  It seems that these polishes will only be available through the Dior website and certain boutiques.  I understand that some people are having luck calling the Dior boutique in Las Vegas and having polishes sent from there, but I’m not sure if that boutique received the Les Rouges collection.

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