Dior – #751 ‘Marilyn’ Grand Bal Collection Holiday 2012 (swatches, comparison & review)


Dior’s Grand Bal Holiday 2012 Collection is sophisticated, visually beautiful, and full nostalgic old-world appeal. The packaging is some of the most luxe I’ve seen in a while, and the colours to be found in this collection are all eminently wearable and elegant. From the 4 nail varnishes offered, the only two that I felt were right for me, were #901 Diva (previously reviewed here) and this sexy red siren, #751 Marilyn. Then, there’s this adorable round bottle …

*All swatches are with base and top coats

Dior #751 Marilyn

beautiful packaging – inside & out

name clearly embossed on the unique gold box


#751 Marilyn – one of the truest red shades available, running neither too warm or cool-toned, but falling perfectly in between. With the unique round bottle shape and colour bringing to mind Snow White’s red apple, this vibrant hue was a pleasant surprise on many levels, starting with an absolutely STELLAR formula. Bearing an almost jelly-like quality in its slight translucency, it paradoxically manages to still give great coverage with the 1st coat, probably due to the excellent pigmentation. Almost a candy-apple red, I would say that ‘Marilyn’ might be a touch more blue-based, but still comes across as warm-leaning. Filled with exceptionally finely ground pink/magenta shimmer (only just visible to the naked eye), it also applies in a completely self-levelling manner and leaves behind an insanely glossy finish. BONUS: non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2

in sunlight


shaded light

with flash


When I was recently on the search for a specific red colour, I came upon Dior’s #999 ‘Rouge Altesse/Red Royalty’ (review pending), and my first thought was that ‘Marilyn’ seemed to be a close match. I was both right and wrong; while the two seem to be in the same colour family, there are still differences between them, although in all honesty those differences are rather negligible at best. How they compared (note that 2 coats were applied):

index and ring fingers: #999 Red Royalty – a touch more orange based which makes it slightly warmer-toned, bearing a thicker running formula. Similar gloss and high level of pigmentation, but not as vibrant (a degree or 2 deeper in colour), with that well-known Dior “secret shimmer” – not readily apparent (unless seen in direct sunlight or with flash) for added depth. Non-staining as well.

NOTE: the brushes of all the lacquers in the holiday collection are not of the new chiselled paddle brush variety, but more like the older format, and with a significantly thinner and shorter wand – this does not affect application at all, however.

middle and pinkie fingers: #901 Marilyn

sampling of the two brushes

in sunlight

shaded light

with flash

#901 Diva & #751 Marilyn


Final thoughts: This colour is THE red shade I’ve been looking for, and finding it in a brand I trust and love, especially in a formula as amazing as this, makes this an excellent purchase in my opinion. Of course, I would have loved to have found this shade a week earlier when I wanted to wear it for my nephew’s wedding, but the collection hadn’t yet been released. Even though ‘Red Royalty’ is a near duplicate, I found the formula of ‘Marilyn’ easier to work with and I love how the shimmer manages to be present, but in an understated way. Then there’s the whole Marilyn Monroe association for me – a woman who happens to be one of my idols – how can I possibly resist this beauty after all that?

Retailing for CAD $26.00, I picked mine up at The Bay department store (Canada).

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