I spotted a preview of Dior's Holiday Minaudiere from British Beauty Blogger back in July and have been dreaming about the holiday collection ever since then. The clutch-like compact they designed this year is beautiful! Kari from Fab Over Forty showed us the Saks grey version earlier last week and as soon as I saw it I ran to my Nordstrom to check out the pink version. I put it aside as a pre-sale item for an event but picked up a few other things from their holiday collection that they had in stock (hence the title "round one").
What I picked up: Pink Stiletto #234 Addict Lip Gloss, Endless Shine #529 Quint, Timeless Gold #226 Nail Polish & Czarina Gold #916 Nail Polish
Endless Shine Quint - This one comes in the Iridescent formula and all shades have a high level of frost, much like Earth Reflection, Goldfever, Crush Glow, Ready to Glow etc. The colors are highly pigmented and smooth making them easy to blend. This quint seems better suited for spring or summer but is still neutral enough to pull off year round. It's beautiful and much more wearable than the quints from the past few seasons (Misty Mauve, Crush Glow and Ready to Glow). I rarely wear all five shades at one time - there's simply not enough space on my eyelids to fit all the colors. They do layer and blend together beautifully. Do I think it's a must-have? Dior quints have beautiful pigmentation and complex colors that you can't easily find elsewhere. However I think you can definitely find similar shades in other lines. I personally could not find any dupes - the closest quad I could find was Chanel's Shimmering Dunes which is significantly less frosty and still different among all the colors.
In direct sunlight:
*Updated* better swatches than my original ones:
Chanel Shimmering Dunes versus Dior Endless Shine:
*Update* Comparisons to a few other quints so you can see how different Endless Shine is:
Pink Stiletto Lip Gloss - This is one of those colors that made my jaw drop. It's a gorgeous light warm pink with gold flecks. Very sheer but just absolutely stunning in the tube. I couldn't find anything similar - it's like a pink version of Bobbi Brown's Rose Gold Gloss but with gold flecks added. Simply stunning. From the photos you may think it resembles MAC's Nymphette - but it's very different. This is one you have to see in person to really see how beautiful it is. I haven't noticed much of a difference between the original addict reflect gloss and the new formula except the packaging/tube size. These are still smooth with a high gloss finish. Lasting power is not the best.
Timeless Gold & Czarina Gold Nail Polishes - I was pleasantly surprised by both shades. There were no testers at the counter yet because they didn't receive their display but I knew I had to have them both. Timeless Gold has a similar finish to Silver Pearl from last spring. High frost, rich pigment, almost foiled-like finish but has a non-streaky finish. Czarina Gold is a black-gold with a somewhat sheer formula. You will need 3 thin coats for a full finish but it's also stunning. When I first pulled my other black-golds I thought "oh no, I've wasted another $20-something on a color I already have dupes of." I will say from arm's length it looks similar to D&G Stromboli and MAC Seriously Hip, but the Czarina Gold is the best in my opinion because the base has the slightest hint of plum-brown which prevents it from looking greenish as some black-golds can look.
Left: Timeless Gold
Right: Czarina Gold
Right: Czarina Gold
Another interesting detail I noticed - Dior has changed the brush this season to have a wider/flatter tip that is slightly chiseled and tapered. See below how it compares to the old version and also Chanel's brush tip. I can't say I like one over the other, although this new chiseled tip is very unique and had me ooohing and aaahing as I was swatching the colors.
Comparison shades: I could not find a dupe for Dior Timeless Gold, although Chanel Kaleidoscope is strikingly similar. The differences are that the Dior is less streaky but it lacks that greenish/olive tinge that the Chanel has.
Czarina Gold comparisons: What you see in the bottles is slightly deceiving, scroll down for the swatches to see what I mean.
The collection is absolutely stunning. When I went to the counter they didn't have the display unit up but my sales associate pulled everything for me to see. They didn't have the Five Golds Quint for sale (although the tester is to die for) and the other gloss was way too glittery for my taste. I was surprised there wasn't anything for the cheeks this season but was happy for my wallet. I passed on all their "sets" (minaudiere excluded) because I felt like the full sized individual items were better suited for my coloring.