SKIN FAIR 2015 – Belleza ‘Tess’

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“How very lovable her face was to him. Yet there was nothing ethereal about it; all was real vitality, real warmth, real incarnation. And it was in her mouth that this culminated. Eyes almost as deep and speaking he had seen before, and cheeks perhaps as fair; brows as arched, a chin and throat almost as shapely; her mouth he had seen nothing to equal on the face of the earth.”  Thomas Hardy, Tess Of The D’Urbervilles

Ok so let’s get one thing out of the way. I love BELLEZA. I wear their skins often and have worn them with love and admiration for years now, and on the strength alone of their Skin Fair 2015 release, ‘Tess’, That’s NOT going to change anytime soon.

But why BELLEZA? As brands go, they’re practically legendary in the metaverse and are viewed as being at the very the pinnacle of their craft. You could say the reasons are down to a great marketing strategy, being worn by all the ‘right’ people and just plain luck, but that would be wrong, wrong WRONG. BELLEZA  have achieved their success through hard honest graft and most importantly of all creating the perfect product.

That’s not to say they don’t have their haters; BELLEZA skins, like GLAM AFFAIR, tend to be the equivalent of Second Life Marmite, either you love them or hate them. There’s already too much amateur dramatics in-world for me to develop this point further, suffice to say if you don’t like them, don’t wear them. Move along, there’s plenty of other places to go for skins should you so wish. I don’t know why there has to be so much vitriol spouted in their direction, but I do know that jealousy can be an all consuming mistress, and BELLEZA skins generate plenty of that..
So why do I like BELLEZA so much? Three reasons:

*Wearability. They’re perfect straight out of the box. You know that when you buy a BELLEZA skin you’re investing in quality, plain and simple.
*Durability: BELLEZA are practically timeless, and I can still rummage in my inventory and wear skins from a few years ago knowing that they will still be relevant today.
*Cosmetics: Great eyeshadow and lipstick ranges keep the skins looking fresh and tidy, and you really cannot go wrong with a BELLEZA gloss lip.

You know, I’ve heard people say that because they have an almost classic quality to the skins that they’re limited in the way that you can wear them, and that they don’t lend themselves well to more abstract looks. I’ve also heard it said that they’re totally ‘vanilla’ skins.  To those people I lift my middle finger and wave it with gay abandon whilst happily declaring ‘Poppycock’.

A skin is a base, pure and simple, and if the base you’re wearing is a quality one it can be left alone or embellished and enhanced and you’ll come out the other side looking like a bloody rock star either way should you so wish. I wear BELLEZA with piercings and tattoo layers and various enhancements all the time and look utterly splendid, even if I say so myself!
There are reasons for that of course but most important of all are the details, the enhancements, the little touches of light applied in the right places. THAT is why Belleza are successful because the work on display is pure avatar artistry of the highest level.
For example, faces. The nose on a BELLEZA  skin is always well defined and when worn over your facial shape sits perfectly. What do you mean you’ve never noticed that before? Yup, it does. You zoom in and out a lot on a skin and you’ll be surprised what you notice! They also create the best philtrum in Second Life. Now I know you’re reading this and thinking I’ve lost the plot, but hear me out. You know how I’ve often repeated in the past that age-old phrase, ‘..the eyebrows are the coathangers of the face..’, and that a good skin really needs them to be spot-on to be well balanced? Well you can extend it further, because what is also true is that if you bodge the shape and highlighting of the nose and most crucially of all the philtrum beneath it, then your mouth just won’t look right. It’s an area that needs highlighting and definition for your cupid’s bow to sit properly and for your lips to look inviting and chewable! If it’s flat and barely highlighted it can have a disasterous effect on the rest of the visage. I’ve mistakenly purchased and subsequently never worn skins that have made an absolute bodge of that area. BELLEZA  ALWAYS get it right.
Moving on of course I wear my Belleza skins with the Venus mesh body because, well, why wouldn’t I? The BELLEZA Venus HUD is actually one of my favourites to use, and the hands alone on this particular mesh body are worth the price because of the way that you can click a button to change their position and create pictures like this:

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Now, that is NOT a vanilla skin.

That’s a skin worn without the brow base (so I’ve added my own), along with a tattoo layer and lipstick to make a proper ‘Little-Miss Attitude’ look. (Is it me, or does she look like Thea from ‘Arrow’)

Does that even look remotely vanilla? NEWP. Let’s try something else:

RAW Tess

There’s not even a whisper of Picmonkey on the picture below:

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When you look at untouched photos like the past two (and even the ones I touched up previously in this post just had enhancements to lighting and filters, rather than actual physical attributes) is it not even blatantly obvious why BELLEZA are at the top of the skin tree? ‘Tess’ is plain gorgeous, adaptable and super-wearable. Another point that I want to include: even if you don’t have an awesome graphics card I’ve found that BELLEZA tend to look brilliant on screen. For the longest time I suffered with a card in my PC that was beyond pants, but still my BELLEZA skins looked the part. They just do, and so does ‘Tess’ to an absolute ‘T’.

She’s so beautiful that Thomas Hardy wrote a book about her 😉 , and she is a great addition to the BELLEZA collection. I love her.

Kitty is wearing Tess in medium tone with NO BROWS and in various make-ups available at SKIN FAIR 2015.  (Kitty’s added her own favourite brows because she’s awkward like that..)

Tess is available exclusively at The Skin Fair.  You’ll find her on Skin Fair sim 2, CLICK HERE to try and get in! Tess has 10 makeup selections to choose from in 7 skin tones (fair, pale, medium, sun kissed, tan, deep tan and mocha) all included with the individual makeup purchase. PLUS; cleavage layers, hair base, matte/gloss lips and more!  You’ll find BELLEZA at booth 17, Sim 2, but if you can’t get in you can try the Tess demos in the  -Belleza- group inworld – just check the group notice history.

I SUPPORT BELLEZA

Real life has been hectic for the past few days (Annual Christmas Party. Free bar. That’s all you need to know!) so I’ve not actually logged in much this week, but boy oh boy when I did I was HORRIFIED to learn that someone has filed a DMCA against BELLEZA.

I mean, seriously? Belleza?

Yup, someone has decided to cry foul over their mesh body. Come on!  Anyone with half a brain knows how long their ‘Venus’ mesh body was in development, and it’s still very much a work in progress being constantly tweaked, twiddled and refined with a number of updates already sent out to existing owners.

But it gets worse;  not only does the team have to deal with the DMCA but according to a recently published press release on the official blog it would seem that the Belleza crew have been bullied something rotten recently, and that is completely infuriating to me. It sounds like a proper campaign against them. Why does this happen? We’re all ADULTS behind our bloody keyboards aren’t we? Can we not just approach our virtual lives with the common sense that we carry with us in our real lives, is that too much to ask? The amount of griefing that has been occurring at their sim is ridiculous too, and something I have not encountered in-world for many years. (I mean come on, griefing is still a thing? Oh, do f*ck off you tiresome trolls!)

I sometimes wear a mesh body, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes it’s SLink Physique, other times it is Belleza Venus. I love the fact that I am able to pick and choose from two equally scrumptious products, and why shouldn’t I? They’re both great and have offered me yet another level to my Second Life adventures, and I adore them equally for it.

The same goes for the skins that I choose to wear. Some days I want to wear Belleza, other days it’s Nar Mattaru. Sometimes I’ll wear a different skin completely, like my recent discovery from LUMAE. It doesn’t matter, it’s about what makes me feel good on the day I wear it, and over the years that has consistently been BELLEZA.  Do a search on this blog, and see how many times that brand  is mentioned. (No, I’m not on their blogger-list either, I’m just a fan!)  As much as I love all the skins I wear, and I am completely in awe of some of the newer and upcoming skin designers across the grid, I often revert back to my old faithful Belleza skins.

That’s why I’m so very sad that this DMCA has been filed, because it upsets me to think of all the hard work that has gone into establishing Bellezza over the years.  They don’t deserve to have their sales impacted because of this. 

The repercussions from an incident like this are far-reaching. In-world jealousy and envy have once again  resulted in suffering and although I’m sure that Tricky Boucher, Shyla Diggs and Felicity Blumenthal are going to be more than happy to face their accusers head-on it’s clearly something that they just shouldn’t have to endure.

Incidentally, I have no knowledge of who has raised this DMCA. In some ways I’d like to know who it is, because if I did, and they’re a content creator or store owner that I know and love, I would never purchase anything from them ever again. But in other ways I don’t want to know; what if they’re a Plurk friend for example? Or someone I really admire in Second Life? Perish the thought:(

Like many bloggers across the grid I wanted to do something to show my support for Belleza, so I trotted off to Uber and treated myself to the newly released ‘Eva’ skin (makeup 6/medium tone).  After grabbing my mesh body, I zoomed into a sandbox and took this snap. I think I look bloody gorgeous and THAT is mainly because of the skin and body that I am wearing, and will keep wearing as long as my arse looks south.

I’m PROUD to wear Belleza skins.

Here’s hoping all this bloody DMCA nonsense will blow over with minimal harm done to what is one of the most well-loved brands in Second Life. 

I’m Your Venus…

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(Note, ALL these shots are raw from Second Life. Click for a larger and closer look.)

So the waiting is over, and the Belleza Venus mesh body has hit the grid and is already a huge success.  Not really a surprise, it’s been much anticipated over the past few weeks.  When the Slink Physique was released there was a huge rush to own what was seen as something of a revolution in-world, and it’s been the same for this release; which is why the beautiful new Belleza main store is jam-packed with punters all eager to try it out.
I braved the crowds and got a demo to test. I own many Belleza skins, so the idea of a bespoke Belleza mesh body is an exciting prospect. But has it been worth the wait, and the considerable hype?

First impressions? Well, it’s a beautiful body, no doubt about that.  The shape of the body itself is very good indeed;  there’s a lovely swooping arch to the spine that makes your bum look pert, and the breast shape is  simply fabulous. In fact, the boobies are a real selling point for me; they look perky and nommable.  There’s a push-up option too but I’m not sure how often I’ll use it, the regular ones look great! In the interests of science (Yay! Science!) I  played with the sliders and the mesh shape seems to accommodate changes  very well indeed. This is a good thing, because when it comes to clothes slight adjustments had to be made to ensure a good fit. The ability to select various body parts to ‘alpha-out’ is  very useful, but a few improvements do need to be made.  I found a couple of areas around the inner thigh that just wouldn’t go alpha despite my changing my shape slightly, but I’m sure such issues can be addressed in future updates, of which I am sure there will be many.

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The main attraction with this mesh body,  for me at least, are the inbuilt hands and feet. Rather than rooting through your inventory to find the right hand shape or foot style  you can select  from a number of options via HUD, and change via a quick click. It’s like magic. The hands are especially beautifully sculpted, and the ability to change hand position and foot shape via a simple HUD click is worth the price alone. This is a huge selling point for the Venus body, and the results are fantastic.  The fast HUD driven  changes will be particularly coveted by bloggers, who can choose the perfect hand position for their shot with just a quick click. The feet look good too: flat, mid or high, but in my opinion they aren’t quite as special as the SLink fee, which  in my opinion are ever-so-slightly more detailed. That said the advantage here is that you don’t have to fork out for individual foot styles. There are some manicure and pedicure colours built into the HUD to allow for styling changes, but in my opinion it wouldn’t hurt to add a few more colours. There wasn’t a green polish for a start… (yes, I do wear green nail polish in real life on occasion, LOL) but I am sure that like SLink  more appliers will soon become available. ( To be honest I’m messing about a little here, the included nail colours are more than acceptable:)

If you have a huge SLink manicure, pedicure and shoe collection then you’ll want to be able to continue to use your purchases and to accommodate this there’s a Belleza  Venus Body included without hands and feet so that you can continue to use your SLink appendages.  You know initially  I didn’t know how I felt about that; on the one hand it’s great to be able to continue to use SLink assets with this body, but isn’t it a wee bit on the cheeky side too? That said, doesn’t the fact that such an option is even included recognise the fact that SLink Physique set the bar pretty high to begin with? I don’t do SL politics, but I can say that BOTH of these mesh bodies are pretty darn fabulous and equally worth owning, and I certainly don’t think that sales for SLink will be seriously impacted by the release of Venus. In fact, if anything the release of the Belleza Venus Mesh Body will encourage further developments in mesh body technology, a prospect I certainly relish!

In short then the Belleza Venus gets a thumbs up from me.  The HUD is fantastic, the hands and feet awesome and the one-click change is a brilliant idea.  The boobs have great shape, as does the body itself.  If you’re thinking of splashing out the cost is L$3995 (That’s about £12.50 GBP) but you do get a lot for your money so I actually do think that this is a very fair price indeed. This is a list of what you’ll get:

  • 8 Original Belleza Skintones
  •  16 Skintone Presets
  •  8 Skin Applier Save Slots
  •  Tattoo, Underwear and Clothing Layer
  • Extensive Alpha System
  •  Natural or Push-Up Breast Options
  • 16 Hand pose options for each hand built into HUD with simple 1-click change
  • 3 Nail Lengths – Short, Medium & Long
  • 20 Finger & Toenail Polish Presets
  • 4 Feet Options: Flat, Medium, High, and JustDesign built into HUD with simple 1-click change

That’s a lot isn’t it?

If you’re considering buying  I highly recommend that you demo Venus first, and by that I don’t just mean try it on in a sandbox. Wear different outfits, play with the sliders, add different hairstyles and most of all MOVE ABOUT….

PicMonkey CollageSeriously, stick on some tunes in your virtual abode, and using your favourite dancing animation throw some shapes.  That’s exactly what I did above. Observe  how the mesh body moves, and how the clothes move with it.  Try the different feet shapes and hand shapes; see if you will be able to live your Second Life in this body successfully.  If you’re happy, zoom on over to Belleza to purchase one.

Oh and if you’re wondering? I haven’t actually bought one…yet. I’ve heard that there’s a curvy one on the way (although it already accommodates curves very well)  and I need to see that before I make any purchasing decisions…watch this space!

Last but not least, this release has gotten a LOT of blogger coverage.  I particularly liked this post on the ‘Miss3chevious’ blog which really shows how curvy and svelte the body can look, this one from Bitchzilla and this excellent video tutorial from Vixie.  The amazing Kaelyn Alecto provides fantastic coverage on her beautiful blog ( I have serious blog envy whenever I visit!) and Grazia and Lucie‘s posts also prove how amazing Venus looks when worn in a voluptuous and buxom style too.

Have you got a Venus Mesh Body yet? If so what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!