A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior

by Paris B on · 16 comments

in Eyeshadow,FOTD,Makeup,New on shelves,Product Reviews

Reviewed by:
On August 25, 2014
Last modified:August 24, 2014


We’re seeing a slew of new eyeshadow palettes this Fall 2014, which isn’t always a bad thing if brands are upping their game and reformulating products for the better. One of them was Chanel, which I showed you last week. This week, it’s Dior with their newly reformulated 5 Couleurs eyeshadow palette.

There are 10 new permanent palettes and one limited edition piece, which I’m showing you today in 876 Trafalgar.

dior trafalgar eyeshadow A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior

Trafalgar taken in direct sunlight

Trafalgar is a limited edition palette and quite possibly, one of the more interesting colour combinations in the new Dior eyeshadow palette line up, thanks to that red shade smack in the middle. I must say it threw me for a loop. I’m not a terribly adventurous person when it comes to using colours like these on my eyes and I was quite concerned about looking like a rabid bunny. Or like I’d been shedding one too many buckets of tears.

Interestingly however, it turned out to be a pretty decent palette, once you get over the fear of colour, and I personally think this palette will look especially good on those of medium to dark skin tones just simply due to the depth of colour.

A quick note about this new formula.

The newly reformulated Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palettes are supposed to boast better, more vibrant colours and stronger pigment. I know of people who have complained about the sheer colours and hard texture of Dior eye palettes, but over the years, I can’t say I have a lot of complaints. I will admit that some of their quints don’t work (especially those from the Diorsnow collections) and some are better than others (notably from some of the limited edition Summer and Fall collections in the past) but I’ve always been able to work with them.

So to cut a long story short, I did not notice a marked improvement in colour, texture nor pigment. It seemed easier to swatch and blend and it seemed smoother (less gritty) and more pigmented, but I think it depends on the colours that you pick.

dior trafalgar case A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior

Left: New Case Right: Previous case

With new improvements on the inside come improvements on the outside as well. The new cases, while maintaining the signature deep blue case and silver name, now sports a sleeker, more compact silhouette. The silver trim now runs around the middle of the case, and it feels a little slimmer. Small cosmetic changes icon smile A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior

But I know what you’re thinking – Show us how Trafalgar looks already!

dior trafalgar swatch A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette – 876 Trafalgar swatched dry on skin with fingers

I swatched Trafalgar clockwise from top right and here are my descriptions of the colours and textures based on my observations:-

  • Shimmer Light Pink – Very sheer texture and very shimmery with little colour pay off. Best used as a highlighter shade for the inner corner and under the brow bone
  • Shimmer White – Similar texture to the light pink. Both are quite typical highlighter shades that are not terribly impressive.
  • Deep shimmer plum – A browned plum that is pigmented and swatches very easily and smoothly on skin. I like using this as the base shade on which to build the other colours as it provides depth and is easily blended.
  • Shimmer warm gold – A warmed golden shade that makes for a lovely lid colour when paired with the plum. It is smooth and pigmented although not a very strong colour. Beautiful worn alone as well.
  • Satin Burgundy – A warm burgundy red shade with satin texture that I find a little dry and not as smooth as the plum or the gold. Used with a brush, it blends well and applies easily.

I had a little trouble working with the burgundy shade at first. It is easy to pick up too much product because it is very pigmented and blends out quite easily. So unless you want to use it as a bold shade, I’d advise caution.

I’ve tried blending it in the crease, for an interesting pop of colour and it does work quite nicely. But I like it best used as a base in the outer corner of the lid and then blending the rest of the colours in. This way, it mutes the burgundy, while allowing for an interesting colour on lids. Here are 2 variations of how I’ve attempted this, both of which I wore to work.

dior trafalgar eye A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior

Plum on outer corner, Gold lid colour and lower lash line, Burgundy in the crease – could do wiht a little more blending.

dior trafalgar eyes A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior

Burgundy on outer corner, Plum to shade and on lower lash line, Gold as lid colour, Pink to blend and on brow bone.

And here’s one I did earlier icon razz A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior The finished product using the lower look in an overall face.

dior trafalgar fotd A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior dior trafalgar fotd2 A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior

Trafalgar is very much a Fall palette, thanks to the rich shades in it and it does bring to mind the changing leaves when autumn arrives. Rich golds, reds and browns dominate and I can imagine that many people would be able to create some very pretty looks with it.

I on the other hand, prefer keeping it muted. I skip the burgundy shade a lot of the time, preferring to just blend the Plum with the Gold for a very simple, work friendly look. I think it’s a nice palette, and not one I’d voluntarily pick but if you are a little adventurous, yet want something wearable, then Trafalgar is an interesting choice. I can’t say the textures are anything to shout about (they feel a little hard to the touch) but with a brush, it applies quite easily and blends flawlessly.

In a nutshell

Dior released a new formula for their eyeshadow quints for Fall 2014 and the limited edition colour is 876 Trafalgar. The central colour is a burgundy that can be rather daunting but blends well with the other colours in the palette for a rich finish and look. I find the 3 deeper colours have a better texture and are easier to blend and also more pigmented. The 2 lighter shades are sheer and wear best as a highlighter. Formula-wise, it’s hard for me to say, as I didn’t have a lot of problems with earlier Dior eyeshadow palettes. This one is nice, and definitely one of the better textures, with no glitter and no fall out. But I couldn’t tout it as a must have. It’s nice to have, but not a necessity.

Pros: Deeper shades have a rich colour and are easy to apply and blend on skin, No fall out, Long lasting on lids, Not overly shimmery nor glittery

Cons: The middle Burgundy shade can be hard to wear for anyone not used to it, The 2 light colours are very sheer, Pricey

Who will like this: Anyone who loves rich colours and is brave to play with the burgundy shade for eyes

dior trafalgar eyeshadow2 A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior

Trafalgar taken in natural light in the shade

I think Trafalgar is an interesting palette, but I think also that it’ll appeal most to those who are already familiar with using eyeshadow. I’m not sure it is a true representation of the reformulation because the texture still feels hard to the touch, and the 2 light shades are still very sheer, which has been the case all this while. The 3 deeper colours do have  a better, smoother texture, I’d agree but I’ve already noticed this improvement in the most recent palettes coming out since a year or two ago. Perhaps this is just standardizing it.

Were you drawn to Trafalgar as an eyeshadow palette? Did you test the new Dior palettes yet?

I haven’t tested the other palettes, but I feel that this is pretty much just Dior coming out with a fresh revamp of colours for their iconic quints. If you’re after something interesting, Trafalgar is it. Otherwise I’d do Cuir Cannage for something neutral or Jardin for some colour. The other shades did nothing for my imagination icon smile A punchy burgundy in the Trafalgar Square that is also an eyeshadow quint from Dior

Paris B

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow palette in 876 Trafalgar Price: RM225 Availability: Dior counters Limited Edition: Yes, Fall 2014

Disclosure: Featured product is a press sample for consideration. Our commitment is to honesty and fairness. For posting guidelines please read the disclaimer.

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[ 16 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Applegal August 25, 2014 at 8:45 am

Looks good! You’re so brave, I wouldn’t have brought myself to do this, lest I look like I had a bruised eye!


Paris B
September 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Aww thank you Applegal :) I was very worried too and this was take #5. You should have see the first attempt! LOL!


kel August 25, 2014 at 10:16 am

I’ve been contemplating between this & the chanel. Played with both at the counter (s).and found the chanel quint to have better colour payoff. But im afraid that the chanel colours are a bit too shimmeery and will “drop-off” & I really like the burgundy but as u mention i found the dior slightly ‘dry’..ahhhhh…decisions decisions..


Paris B
September 1, 2014 at 5:12 pm

I would tend to agree with you about the Chanel colours looking like they have better colour pay off, Kel. I find the Chanel quads more consistent in terms of colour pay off, while the Dior one, as you can see, is good for 3 of the colours but not so for 2 of them. As for the Chanel shimmer, there’s no fall out so you can rest easy! :D Hard to pick I know, but I’m going to gently nudge you in the direction of the Chanel unless you want punchier palettes because the Chanel ones are quite safe ;)


August 25, 2014 at 11:20 am

I think you pulled off the look pretty well, Paris. I wanted to pick this up because of the 3 more pigmented shades, especially the red burgundy, but after swatching it at the counter, the 2 sheer lighter shades are really underwhelming. I have my eyes on Jardin though – all 5 are buttery and pigmented, and they’re all beautiful colours that I lack. That said, I might still cave for Trafalgar :-P
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Paris B
September 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Thank you Lily :) 2 duds out of 5 is quite a big percentage I’d agree and they don’t really serve much purpose, so I do question Dior’s formulation of this palette. The only thing Trafalgar really has going for it is the unique burgundy shade, but then most of us could find a similar shade in a single, I’m sure ;) Jardin does look pretty based on your swatches! I’m having a newfound interest in green shadow so that looks like a good one to pick up :)


Ting August 25, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Oh wow… Love your version of burgundy smoky eyes! :D I got scared by the middle red shade at first!! :s I remembered Tracy from Beauty Reflections did a post on how to wear red eyeshadows and I have been really tempted to try. :D


Paris B
September 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Thanks Ting! I was scared too, to even attempt a look, but whew! Turned out well, or as well as it managed to turn out haha! :D Tracy rocks at wearing these bold shades. I sometimes wonder if these palettes and colours weren’t made for Caucasian skintones!


Philippe August 25, 2014 at 7:50 pm

I’d never use it but Dior sure does launch intense looking colors.
Makes me want to run off with the pallet and use it for coloring a drawing, makeup art :D
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Paris B
September 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm

You know, there’s someone out there who uses expired makeup to draw/be artistic so you aren’t too far off the mark! ;)


Lana August 25, 2014 at 8:35 pm

The brown, gold plum shades are so pretty! I could definitely do a lot with this palette
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Paris B
September 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm

I can imagine you could! I’ve seen some of your work on your blog and you’re infinitely more artistic than I ever could be – eyeing this one then, Lana? :)


gio August 26, 2014 at 12:45 am

What a beautiful palette! I love that pop of red, and you pull it off so well!
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Paris B
September 1, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Thank you Gio! Coming from you, who are so adventurous with eye colour, it’s praise indeed :)


lisa August 26, 2014 at 11:24 pm

I really like how it looks on you. Very edgy and ‘fresh’. But i am one of those who hates Dior eye shadows. I always seems to have a problem with the colours. Always seems like it doesn’t go well with my skin tone or something. Something is lacking and yet i can’t pinpoint it. Not sure if the new formulation will draw me back to Dior….perhaps i should just go and check them out.


Paris B
September 1, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Thank you Lisa, I was surprised at how easy it was to work :) I get you about hating Dior shadows. I know a lot of people who do because their texture does take some getting used to. Maybe they’re lacking some depth of colour that you prefer? If you ask me, I find that the new palettes are still similar in shade and tone to their previous collections, but there appears to be a little more depth of colour. Still, worth checking out if only for novelty’s sake ;)


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