Thursday, January 22, 2015

Graceful Griffons - Powder Perfect review

Second in my ongoing series about the Powder Perfect Mysterium Magnum series is this burgundy beauty, Griffon.

This polish features a deep, metallic burgundy base that reminds me a bit of OCC Black Dahlia metallic lip tar. The base is filled with a generous dose of holographic dust, as well some beautiful green flakies that are sadly a bit camera shy.

Two easy coats are all you need of this for total coverage, and I had no issues with the glitter leaving a gritty texture, as sometimes happens. You'd think the green would perhaps clash with the burgundy, but these unlikely elements actually come together really nicely.

The inspiration for this polish, the Griffon, is also a combination of unlikely elements. There have been depiction of griffons (or griffins, or gryphons) in art as far back as 3000BC, but they're most prominent in Ancient Greek mythology. Because they're used by so many different groups across history, there are lots of different visual interpretations, but generally a griffin is made up of a lion's hindquarters, an eagle's talons, wings, and head, and sometimes a horse or a lion's ears.

Check this dude out! Regal as all get out.
Herodotus describes a group of griffins that guarded vast hoards of gold, that apparently the Scythians would raid regularly. You should remember when thinking about this that Herodotus is also considered a serious primary source for a lot of Greek and Roman history - but I guess you take what you can get when there are so few sources around.

"Minneteppich KGM" by Anonymous - Own work User:FA2010 2009. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
As well as being very popular subjects in medieval art like the tapestry above, griffons were also a huge deal in the art of medieval heraldry. I'm sure you've all seen a coat of arms before, but you might not know every aspect of a coat of arms created under the classical European rules of heraldry has a very specific, official terminology, placement, and meaning.

Diagram from
The choice of what "supporter" (the figure that held up the shield in your coat of arms) was an important part of medieval family marketing - very often people wanted something that symbolised strength, bravery, skill in battle, all that good stuff. Because a griffon is part eagle and part lion, it was thought to symbolise boldness and courage, and the eagle head denoted intelligence and military acumen.

This is a heraldic griffin passant
(passant means walking toward dexter (the viewer's left), with the right forepaw
raised and all others on the ground. I told you heraldry was srs bsns.)

This beautiful polish is available from Powder Perfect now, and more pretty pictures of griffons, griffins, and gryphons are available all over the internet. 

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