Pretty Serious are one of my favourite indie polish brands to recommend when newcomers to indie polish ask me where to start. While the company itself is totally indie (Kaz, the owner, is also the sole full time employee) their polishes are professionally manufactured. This means they can't do quite as big a range of crazy glitters as some of the hand mixed indies, it does mean all their polishes are absolutely consistent, every single time. It also means Pretty Serious are able to keep 99 per cent of their range available at all times, which is a big plus for me. I hate hate HATE getting something amazing and wanting to put it up here to show you all, only to find it's sold out. But because of how Pretty Serious stock their inventory, I know I can pull out any of my (ever growing) stash and write it up, and if you like it you can go and get it too without drama.
Grimm Demise is one of a little mini collection that came out a little while ago called Seriously Random, which unlike their usual themed collections was a sampling of several really pretty polishes. I wore Purple Monkey Dishwasher from the same collection on my nails for my Catwoman cosplay, and absolutely loved it, so I went back and got Grimm Demise because it's basically a teal version of PMD. The formula of Grimm Demise, like all Pretty Serious polishes, is just perfect. Not too thick, not too thin, and it self levels beautifully - not to mention it's sparkly as FUCK.
|Three coats alone, full sunlight|
You don't need to wear anything under this for coverage, but I did find it veered a little too much on the green side for my taste when worn alone. A quick coat of teal underneath, however, makes the blue sparkles really pop out.
|Two coats over teal, full sunlight|
|Even under diffused lamp light, it's still JAM PACKED with sparkles|
So in short, do you need this polish? If you like teal, if you like sparkles, you would be an idiot to pass this up. Go get it right now.
Not only is this polish breathtakingly beautiful, since it's named after The Brothers Grimm, it's also the best excuse I've had for ages to relate some more folklore to you all. Let's talk fairytale forests, and the things that live in them!
|Image courtesy of Wikipedia|
One of my favourite denizens of the deep dark forests is the Huldra from Scandinavian folklore. In Norwegian folklore specifically the Huldra are part of a broader tradition of huldrefolket, or "hidden folk" - a rough equivalent of the faerie folk of England and Ireland. Huldrefolket are magical creatures who look almost human, and who often interact with humans, but who's motivations and origins are largely unknowable. I wasn't about to find any sources specifically stating this tradition of huldrefolket existed beyond Norweigan folklore, but considering how many Nordic cultures have Huldra stories it seems pretty likely it did. Depending on what region the story in question comes from, Huldra can also be known as Skogsra, Tallemaja, and Ulda. Depending on who you ask, Huldra can be helpful, mischievous, or downright deadly. But across all these versions there is one characteristic all versions of the Huldra have in common - they are almost always stunningly, enticingly beautiful. This is a stark contrast to the Slavic "witch in the woods" traditions, where the magical women of the woods are almost always ugly and/or deformed, but also have wisdom beyond that of mere mortals. The Huldra aren't particularly known for their wisdom, but there seems to be absolute consensus on how banging their bodies are.
In some stories the Huldra appear naked in front of hunters lost in the woods, and step slowly backwards into the trees, luring the hunter further and further in until he's lost the path. Then she turns around, and since her back half is shaped and textured exactly like a tree, she becomes invisible and the hunter never finds his way home again. I never felt particularly sorry for the hunters in this version of the story - I mean really, if you're going to follow a random naked chick into the woods so far you can't find your way back out again, then you probably weren't the brightest of sparks in the first place. Something else I also found inexplicable about this version of the Huldra was that they apparently had a back that looked like a tree, but also a cow's tail. I don't really see how a woman shaped back textured like a birch tree with a cow's tail hanging out of it would be such amazing camoflauge that you couldn't tell the Huldra from the rest of the trees, but I guess such is the nature of stories.
|"Huldra" by tobiee on Deviantart|
|Image courtesy of Wikipedia|
I find it particularly interesting that there were also male huldrefolket, who were known to lure away innocent young milk maids with a pretty face and presumably rock hard abs. It's an intriguing characteristic of Scandinavian and Nordic folklore that both good and evil characters quite often have an equivalent in either gender. While there is at least one "wicked woman in the woods" story in just about every culture, very few have a male counterpart: Yuki Onna from Japanese folklore, for example, is beautiful and often deadly just like the huldrefolket, but she is always female. I do have to wonder how much this is a reflection of, or contributed to the culture of relative gender equality in many Scandinavian countries. If you compare the way Japanese traditional culture views women, and how Scandinavian traditional cultures view gender relations, it's undeniable there is a big difference. Unfortunately it would take me several years of a dedicated sociology degree to work out how much is cause and how much is effect.
Archeology and Folklore (1999) Edited by Amy Gazin-Schwartz, Cornelius J.
Wikipedia - Huldra
Just one final note on the folklore half of this - during my research for this and similar posts, I've noticed a serious lack of actual, authentic folklore sources on the net. A lot of stories seem to just be the same version copied and pasted across a million site, with no sources or anything. Since I have a ton of paper books on the subject at home, I was considering putting up posts every now and then that are just recording the interesting versions of various stories I have at home. How many of you would be interested in reading that sort of thing?