Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Echoes - Cadillacquer Review

Recently I decided to take advantage of all the lovely international indies that are being stocked at Femme Fatale Cosmetics - they've had this up and running for a little while, but I had something of a backlog just working through all the amazing Australian indies I wanted to try. But finally I got around to checking it out, and I'm SO glad I did. There is some freaking awesome stuff there, that is really difficult to get any other way - Happy Hands, HARE Polish, Smitten Polish...lots of lovelies I'd been meaning to track down, all there for my browsing pleasure!

Among all the brands I was familiar with, I came across one I'd never seen before that really jumped out at me. Echo from Swiss indie label Cadillacquer is a stunning dark blue glitter in a jelly base. It was very easy to apply, and if you're one of those patient people who can do thin, even layers of jelly polishes this would do well without any undies.

However, I am not patient so I did two layers over a dark blue Kleencolour. I had no problems getting enough glitter out, even for my seemingly insatisable glitterthirst.

A lot of blue glitters tend towards the lighter end of the scale, so I was delighted to find one so deliciously dark and vampy. I will definitely be going back to Femme Fatale for more from this brand.

Admittedly, I didn't just pick this polish because it's really pretty - I love buying things to show you all that will give me an excuse to tell a story. I imagine this polish was actually named after the character from Dollhouse, but despite being a drivelling Whedon fangirl I've never actually seen more than two episodes of it, so I can't really write much about her.

I love Eliza Dusku as well, but it still wasn't enough to
keep me on the Dollhouse train
However I do know quite a lot about Echo from Greek mythology, who was probably at least part of the inspiration for naming the Dollhouse character, since her story is all about reflections, unrequited love, and vanity. Her name comes from the Greek for "sound", and her story is the reason echo was adopted into the English language to mean a sound reflected back.

Not the most flattering painting ever, but the only one I could find of
Echo on her own.
If you've read any Greek mythology, you probably won't be surprised to hear that Echo's story starts with Zeus hitting on her - well, her friends at least. Seriously, that guy is like the sleaziest creeper you've ever squirmed away from - every bloody story with him in seems to revolve around him getting laid, or trying to get laid, and his wife Hera taking hideous revenge on whatever poor woman was caught up in Zeus's whirlwind of skeeze.

Echo is no exception to this - as far as I understand it, the story goes that Zeus would come down to earth and have a bit of a game of kiss chasey with all her nymph friends, but Echo would distract Hera with stories and dancing and being generally amusing. Once Hera realised Echo was trying to distract her from the bad behaviour going on in the background, she got righteously ticked off at Echo (not Zeus, or the other nymphs apparently) and took away her voice. After that, Echo could only speak by repeating back things other people had said to her, so she could never trick anyone with her voice again. Hera was a righteous bitch sometimes, but certainly creative, I'll give her that.

Sure, she looks nice here. But you wouldn't like Hera when she's mad.
Echo ends up wandering around the woods for a long while, because only being able to echo people's words back at them doesn't make you terribly popular. Just ask any six year old who thinks this is the funniest game in the world if you don't believe me. One day she was trailing around the woods all wan and ethereal, and she claps eyes on the most delightfully delicious man she's ever seen. Unfortunately, the man in question is Narcissus - yes, narcissism is named after him. He's THAT much of a douchebag. But Echo didn't care, she's all over that like a cat on a mouse. He was AWFULLY pretty.

I imagine Narcissus looking something like this.
In the version of the story told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, Echo hangs around until Narcissus notices her, and then has to wait for him to say something. Understandably, his first statement is, "Who's there?" Unfortunately Echo can only repeat back, "Who's there?" so this doesn't really move the conversation along very far. After a few more wildly unhelpful exchanges like, "Why are you running away?" Narcissus finally says, "Let's meet together!" which Echo happily echoes back and takes as a sign to run towards him with arms outstretched. This is probably coming on a bit strong, even in Greek mythology, and Narcissus legs it. Echo is heartbroken by his rejection, and in Ovid's version she simply pines away in the forest until she's just a voice drifting on the wind - hence our modern understanding of an echo.   Nemesis (goddess of revenge) hears about this and decides Narcissus needs a kick up the backside for being such a dickhead. She lures him to a pool where he falls in love with his own reflection, because he's just THAT pretty. In some versions of the story Echo isn't dead yet at this point, and hangs around echoing back the compliments Narcissus gives his reflection. In Ovid's version however, he just sits alone pining for his own reflection until he starves to death, and his body becomes narcissus flowers. Parthenius of Nicaea, wrote an earlier verson where Narcissus realises it's only a reflection and kills himseelf out of heartbreak that he can't be with himself, because he's just THAT pretty.

Something I hadn't read before though, is that there is another version of this story by Conon, where Echo is replaced entirely by a handsome male suitor, who kills himself on Narcissus's doorstep because Narcissus isn't into him. It's the poor suicidal spurned lover that calls for revenge in this version, but the end remains the same - Narcissus bent over a pool, starving to death because he just can't get over how damn handsome he is. 

What a complete ass.

And in the end, he gets to be a really pretty flower, and all Echo gets to be is a voice on the wind. Mythology is kind of depressing sometimes.

See how narcissi grow bent over? They also like to grow near the edge of water.
Mythology can also be pretty literal sometimes.
Anyway, this story has inspired some truly beautiful art over the years - paintings, poems, stories, you name it. People love a good tragedy. This painting by John William Waterhouse is one of my favourite interpretations - it's just called Echo and Narcissus, but I guess Waterhouse was too busy painting perfect flowing folds of cloth to come up with a more creative title.

And here's one of Narcissus on his own, like he bloody well should be. The lighting in this one just blows me away.

And now we can add this polish to the list of beautiful things to be inspired by what is, when you get right down to it, quite an awful story. Echo by Cadillacquer can be purchased in Australia from Femme Fatale Cosmetics, and in Europe direct from Cadillaquer.



  1. Amazing review and Echo looks awesome on you! You're totally right with the name :) I also have a polish called Dollhouse btw ;D

  2. Love how you've put classical art analysis into a nail polish review!~ <3

  3. I'm so impressed by your knowledge of mythology, and I love how you are able to paint such a vivid picture of the story. I'm sick with a cold right now and this has been a lovely distraction from feeling sick and sorry for myself.

    Love Jess xo


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