The MBA Bi-Monthly Is Almost Here!

2016_001So, here we are.  A new year, a new start, and a very  HAPPY NEW YEAR to all KITTYWITCHIN’ readers!

Forgive me if I’m sounding a little melancholy but 2015 was a hard year for so many of us, myself included. Add to that international events that saw the world so divided, and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who wasn’t glad to see the end of the old year, and welcome the new.

I’ve spoken many times on this blog about my own personal attitude to blogging, about it being about pleasure rather than commitment first and foremost, and that’s why you’ll see that I barely posted over the festive season.  I gave myself some much needed time off from life in general. This week I’ve had a week off work to just relax, re-focus and just BE. It’s done me the power of good, and whilst I can’t say that I feel re-invigorated (it’s a damp, dank January so far after all) I sure do feel rested.

So here’s the first blogpost of 2016.  I haven’t actually logged in world much at all during the festive period but I’m glad I did today because it’s been lovely to receive some gorgeous items to share with you that are part of the MESH BODY ADDICTS BI-MONTHLY event.  This dress is the first item I opened and as soon as I saw it I knew it would work perfectly with this hair that I blogged from ‘Winter Trend’ last month, ‘Miriam’ by EN VOGUE.

The dress, called ‘Audrey’, is from PPD (PINK PEARL DESIGNS) and it’s a nice take on an often-repeated Second Life wardrobe staple. The stud embellishment across the torso looks good, and it winds itself around to the back of the dress. I didn’t find any major fit mesh issues that couldn’t be corrected via HUDS, and the dress fits BELLEZA ‘Freya’ and ‘Isis’ along with Maitreya ‘Lara’ (worn here) as well as SLink. Because of the long sleeves and the shape of the dress it has a formal feel, and in my opinion it works particularly well when worn with updos and of course this beret style.

You’ll be able to purchase ‘Audrey’ from the MESH BODY ADDICTS BI-MONTHLY EVENT that opens on the 10th, and promises to be a corker. I’ll be sharing some more of the goodies that you’ll be able to buy from the event on these pages over the next few days, so watch this space!

 KITTY WEARS:

BODY: Maitreya ‘Lara’ V3.4

SKIN: Glam Affair – Katra – Polar – August NB

EYES: IKON Triumph Eyes – Dusk (ML)

EYEBROWS: Nar Mattaru ‘Power Brows’ (Pitch Black + brow highlight)

LASHES: Hush ‘Flirt’

LIPS: PXL ‘Sweet Lips’ v1.4

HAIRSTYLE: enVOGUE HAIR – Miriam WINTER TREND

DRESS: PPD ‘Audrey’ (Black) MESH BODY ADDICTS BI-MONTHLY

ACCESSORIES:

NECKLACE – ‘Cae’  – Choupette (Christmas present, lucky me!)

POSE by ADORKABLE POSES (No longer available, sorry)

 

 

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.

NEW YEAR, NEW KITTY!? (Not ruddy likely!)

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HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY READERS!

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic festive season with your family and loved ones.  I know I had an absolutely cracking time, but in between RL work and being with loved ones I found very little time to log-in (which is just as it should be!)   I’m making up for it now though with gusto, and busily compiling some blog posts for you all to enjoy. So let’s start as we mean to go on shall we?

Seeing as it’s a new year I thought I’d share my first semi-nude shot of the year with you all, LOL!  This is me sporting the latest mesh body to hit the grid, ‘Lara’ by MAITREYA. Now, I decided after the BELLEZA malarkey that I wasn’t going to buy any more mesh bodies because with all the DMCA nonsense I didn’t ‘t know if they would prove to be a sound investment. Spendin thousands of Lindens upon something for which you’d expect regular updates, only for the item to be DMCA’d and taken off-grid isn’t a good return on the money spent. Not that I’m tight but I’m not made of Lindens, and I like to be careful what I buy. (Of course you do Kitty, that’s why you have 56k of items in your inventory…PFFFT)

Fortunately BELLEZA returned back to the grid with their wonderful mesh body and a happy Kitty this did make, so when MAITREYA released Lara my initial thoughts were “Nah, I’ll give it a miss.” I already had two mesh bodies, SLINK and BELLEZA, so I didn’t need another one, right? WRONG.

I made the FATAL mistake of demoing Lara. (I blame Magenta De Vinna AKA Skittles for this, because I asked on Plurk if I should give it a go because clearly I can’t think for myself, and Skittles told me that it was definitely worth a demo.) The rest is history. Readers, this body is bloody divine. I zoomed over to a sandbox, opened the box and fell in love.

So what are my thoughts on this bod? It’s very different to SLINK and BELLEZA in that, well to my eyes at least, it’s more ‘lifted’ around the bewbs and bum areas, but not in an exaggerated Nicki Minaj-on-acid manner. It feels youthful and zesty and vibrant and is VERY easy to wear. To me, SLINK feels like the classic mesh body that anyone can wear, BELLEZA feels more modern in some ways,  but this one feels, well, fizzy and vibrant, if you get my drift? Indeed, this is the first mesh body I’ve tried where I’ve managed to get a really good skin match out of the box without wearing one of the designated skins. Seaming issues to the neck in this body have been minimal for me, and after a few minor corrections I can’t see a join at all. I have had problems with my BELLEZA body and my SLINK body with the neck area, but the MAITREYA body has pretty much worked straight out of the box, which has made it a real blessing in my opinion. The whole package feels less ‘fussy’ in a lot of ways; although the HUD doesn’t have the panache of say the Belleza HUD, it’s effective and easy to use. I think the alphas are the most

The whole package feels less ‘fussy’ in a lot of ways; although the HUD doesn’t have the panache of say the Belleza HUD, it’s easy to use. I think the alphas are the most effective thus far too; I’ve found fitting my clothing around this to be the easiest of all the bodies that I wear.  I’ve had issues in the past where I’ve had to change my shape to get the best fit, I haven’t with this and my outfits look grand.

As far as changes go I’d like to see more hand positions included and more nail polish colours too in the basic HUD, but apart from that I really don’t see what other improvements will need to be made, other than enhancements over time.  The HUD needs work I think, even when resized it’s quite intrusive on the screen so if that could be reduced to a tiny icon by the click of a button that would prove useful. It also lacks ‘Oomph’ as far as HUDS go, it could do with prettying up a bit, but that is a cosmetic change that has absolutely no impact on the quality of this body at all.  Of course I ended up buying it, and guys I haven’t taken it off since I got it! 

If you’re into mesh bodies then you definitely need this one in your collection, and if you’ve never tried them before why not give the DEMO a try? The results are really

The results are really fantastic, as I hope my photographs demonstrate..

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I mean just LOOK at my bum, look at the hands…GAH!!! Amazeballs aren’t they? I absolutely LOVE it! There’s plenty of blogger buzz about this release too. I particularly liked Berry’s blog post about this body, which compares it with others on the market (except Belleza), and you can read it here.

Check out the MAITREYA ‘Lara’ body by clicking HERE to visit the Mainstore  The body costs L$2750 (That’s about £5.25), and for the product I think that’s an incredibly fair price.

Have you tried the Maitreya ‘Lara’ body yet?

What do you think?

Let us know in the comments below!

Kitty and The Drax Files

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(Sounds like a band doesn’t it?) I’m a huge fan of Draxtor Despres’s Work, as regular readers will well be aware, so imagine what a treat it was for me when he asked me to appear on the 50th episode of the Drax Files with Drax, Jo Yardley and Tracy Redangel. It’s well worth a listen!

Recording was great fun and we had LOTS to talk about. We were mainly discussing the DMCA process, in particular the situation with Belleza. It certainly stirred our passions as you will hear; with us all condemning the individuals who maliciously brought about the action. Incidentally, I’m delighted to say that Belleza have placed the Venus Mesh Body back on sale again, and rightly so! HUZZAH!

Click here to be impressed by the banter and to laugh at Kitty’s accent..