SKIN FAIR 2014 – Marvellous in Meenakshi by Jalwa

Image

I got to wear my first ever Jalwa skin last year, ‘Coven’, and it’s been a firm favourite of mine ever since. Chandra Masala makes blinking fabulous skins, and her Skin Fair submissions this year are nothing short of fantastic. When I saw the line up I KNEW I had to get my sticky-kitty mitts on ‘Meenakshi’ in the Cardamon shade, and that is precisely what I did.

For a start I love the colour of this skin. It has a really earthy, warm tone making it ideal for all kinds of wear. I imagine it would fare well in role-play for some reason, it just has that exotic, spirited air about it. In fact I got a real vintage vibe from it when I was playing around with different looks. I don’t know why that is actually; perhaps it’s just me but whatever spurred that feeling on I used it to great effect when styling this look. But I digress, let me tell you about this skin.

‘Meenakshi’ has a stunning face. She’s incredibly beautiful, with striking eyebrows that are skilfully sculpted, almost as though they are hewn from stone. But even though these brows are high drama, they don’t detract from the look.  Instead they balance out the visage perfectly, complimenting the strong cheek shading and balancing out the perfectly rendered lips. When you try this skin on it’s worth increasing your lip size, even if it’s just a bit, just to get the full benefit of the scrumptious lips that Chandra has blessed ‘Meenakshi’ with. They really are a virtual sensation.

Onto the body and it’s just as elegant as the face, with details accentuated well and the suggestion of a blemish or two.  I really like the cleavage on this skin, and the fact that there is a mole on the breast to draw your attention to it. This is a skin that looks great naked by the way, intimate details are extremely well done with a neat ‘private area’, ahem. One thing I especially like about this skin is the generous use of highlight on areas like the thighs. This is the kind of skin that looks excellent when worn in beach-wear for example, and I think if you’re a virtual beach-bunny then you’ll find this a very rewarding wear. Set your windlight settings to sunset and  bask in Meenakshi’s warm, spicy glow. Utterly delicious.

So onto my snaps, which are a little bit 1970’s, hence my referring to them as vintage. I styled this skin in the fanatastic ISON suit that is available at this month’s Collabor88, and coupled with this fabulous ‘Harriet’ bob from Truth and rather ostentatious bow necklace from LARK came up with this rather funky look.  It’s further enhanced by some make-ups that I picked up at Skin Fair 2014 (and will be further writing about) from MADRID SOLO, my new make-up label of choice. I’m wearing an eyeshadow and lip-colour from the ‘Seductress’ range, along with my favourite MONS eyeliner.

Incidentally, Meenakshi comes replete with her own line of eyeshadow and lip options too.  They’re absolutely scrummy, and are featured to great effect on Sydd Sinister’s fantastic blog (Sydd is a ruddy fantastic blogger and if you’re new to her work check it out, she’s one of the most accomplished bloggers on the grid in my humble opinion. I’ve long been a fan:)

But as I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter what you wear on top, it’s the base that counts.

And in Meenakshi I’ve discovered an absolute winner.  A skin that’s versatile and ready to be styled in whatever way I fancy, and every time I wear it I KNOW I’ll look good.

Image

Can’t ask for more than that really can you?

CLICK HERE TO VISIT JALWA ON SKIN FAIR 1

GETTING THE BEST FROM SKIN FAIR 2014

Image

It only seems like five minutes since SKIN FAIR 2013. I had a blast at the fair last year, and encountered some terrific skins that I featured on the blog. It’s a fantastic opportunity to indulge in some of the work of your favourite skin designers, and a brilliant opportunity to discover new skin creators too.

After falling in love with the work of Izzie Button at last year’s event, along with Cupcakes and Step inSide too, so it’s exciting to ponder whose work will have the same effect on me this year. The event is going to be HUGE and promises some sensational work from designers old and new…and I can tell you already it’s going to be a CORKER of a year.

I’ve been wandering around SKIN FAIR for just over thirty minutes, and so far I have demoed TWO skins, and already they’ve eclipsed my feelings about last year. There has clearly been so much work, time and effort invested into the creations on display and trust me when I say this, so far everything I have encountered has been utterly sublime!

In fact if I’m honest it’s put the willies up me (not literally you understand, well not at this time of day anyway!) because normally I only expect to find a handful that I will enthuse over for the duration of the event. It seems this year that the bar has been lifted so high that you haven’t a hope in hell of jumping over it unless you fancy tickling God’s right eyebrow upon the descent!

So things to look out for; here are a few Kitty top- tips off the top of my head.  I’m not trying to teach anyone to suck eggs with these hints (I mean, that would be gross, does anyway suck eggs, seriously?!) But these are the guidelines that I always adhere to, with some new points to note thrown in for good measure.

For a start check out the legion of eyebrow options that are available this year. I’m not just talking colour, but shape. You can thank Cara Delevingne, Kim Kardashian and the ever-scary phenomenon that is the ‘Scouse Brow’ for bringing them back to the fore, but I’ve always used a good brow as my benchmark for a good skin. There’s something really disappointing about a beautifully shaded and embellished skin being let down by a squiggle or badly drawn brow, and it is reassuring to note that this year (so far of course) I haven’t encountered anything on the more feeble side of style.

Of course it goes without saying that you MUST demo a skin on your preferred shape, but pay close attention to the brows and zoom in and out and check from every angle that you’re happy with what you can see. My personal style favourite is a strong, arched brow which I find works really well with my quintessential eye-liner, (Kitty has to wear liner. It’s the law), but already my preferences have been challenged by two styles. Let me show you what I mean:

SKIN FAIR_001

Now this is a skin from YS & YS ( Your Skin and Your Shape) and the brow, as you can see, is a lovely blend of short, simple lines brought together to create the brow shapw, and it works so elegantly that I cannot help but have fallen totally in love with it. I’m not big on wearing skins with teeth really either, but again, this one is just so beautifully done that I’m sold! (Note I’m wearing my own liner in all these shots, they’re raw and basically taken in my skybox and uploaded onto the interwebz, so no jiggery pokery.  The awesome is just there, with no enhancements!)

SKIN FAIR_002

It’s a lovely skin isn’t it? Be sure to check it out when the show opens, the make-ups are rather fabulous, Monica makes a great juicy red lip! Skin is called ‘Simone’.Here’s another example of brows. This is a JALWA skin, called ‘Meenakashi’ in the Cardamon shade.

SKIN FAIR_003

As you can see this one is much bolder, but the much bolder, darker arch is softened by the graduation of tone at the beginning and the end of the brow.

It’s strong and stylised but works well because a deft touch has been used when drawing the brow in. I think it’s utterly delicious, and Chandra Masala‘s creations never disappoint.

Of course I have just mentioned the importance of Demos but seriously, I cannot drive home this message enough. DEMO DEMO DEMO! Take EVERYTHING off, demo in the nude. Don’t just look at the mush, check out the cleavage, the lady-garden, the bum. Knees and elbows are always difficult, are you satisfied with how they look? They need to be shaded well, not look as though you’ve been play-fighting in mud! Look out for seams. Are there any seams visible? Can you see any lines when you zoom in? Try different windlight settings. You need to know how you will look in different light-settings in different regions, so when you’ve found a skin you like go through ALL the windlights you know that you’ll use, and even try a few that you won’t. Lighting is so important and can really make or break your skin purchase.

Speaking of lighting CHECK OUT THE SHADING. Now I’m not just talking on detail areas like body creases, but the overall shading and highlighting on the skin. Does it look over-baked? I’ve tried many a fab skin only to be dismayed when I see that there a really harsh line between light and shade. This is really one of the points that elevates a good skin-maker into one of the best. You’re looking for authentic lighting on the skin, suggesting natural highlight and tone, not a heavy-handed attempt at blending.

A final point, this year will be all about appliers; not just for hands and feet but also mesh heads. When you decide to invest in a new skin make sure that you can find appliers for all your needs. For example, I can’t go back to wearing my built-in hands now, I’m too accustomed to my SLINK hands, so ensure that the skin you’ve choosing has akll the bases covered. Hand, feet appliers at a base level, moving into boob, bum, belly appliers if necessary. Another thing that REALLY sells a skin to me are the array of make-ups that are included. I love me some make-up on my avatar and I especially adore my liners. So far I’ve seen a number with great make-ups in the range so I think you’ll be satisfied, but again, DEMO IS YOUR FRIEND! (Another tip; when demoing eyeshadow try with more than one eye-colour, in case you decide to change)

For me this is really exciting time to be a Second Life avatar, with so much available to truly refine your appearance to make you completely individual. Whilst I’m sot sure that I would swap to a mesh head ( I love the way that Kitty looks) I must say that they impress me, especially in profile. Avatars never look right from the side do they? The mesh head changes that though, with stunning angles and shaping that make your avatar profile look totally authentic.

But whatever you decide to purchase at SKIN FAIR 2014 above all else make sure that you have an UTTERLY FANTASTIC TIME.

There has been so much organisation and effort put into this event that I hope it’s a well-deserved success for everyone involved. 

(I’ll be doing more posts abour SKIN FAIR 2014 in the coming days; but do a search on my blog and you can see my tips from last year, and assorted Skin Fair ramblings too!)

LOTD: An attack of the purples

Image

Still rocking this Jalwa skin, ‘Coven’ for Gothmas by Gaslight. I really, really do adore it, so I implore you Chandra, PLEASE can you make more versions of this?! I’m not asking for much, just a few different colours ( I can’t wear purple forever!!) and lips please, PLEASE?!

(I don’t want to beg, It’s embarrassing..but I am begging. The brows and eye-make up shape are JUST me, so please do more colours, pretty pretty please!!!!!!) 

Because I wanted a change on the lips I added a tattoo make-up layer in a purple shade, with teeth, just to shake things up a bit. I found this MODISH ‘Beforeulips’ in Goth at THE DRESSING ROOM FUSION, along with the excellent mesh-bra from MC MESH that I’m wearing underneath this VALENTINA E. wrap dress. Now, this dress is a little different in that the fit leaves the front quite exposed, indeed you could see my norks from some angles until I added the bra, but I love the fact that you can see this underwear, and I think it really enhances the look. I really have loved Valentina Evangelista’s releases this year, her work has been continually top-notch and I always check out her new releases as soon as I hear about them. Worn with this bra from Freya Olivieri makes for a very  sensual look. In fact this bra is a real find, it’s delicately detailed in a lace pattern with tiny pearl enhancements and a jewel to the centre. I do love nice lingerie!

Another addition from Gothmas by Gaslight is the jewellery that I am wearing in this shot.  I’m wearing the ECLECTICA ‘Catherine’ ring set and necklace.  This is a super pretty set, with texture change  cabochons that feature a Victorian-style rose motif. The whole set really adds an element of elegance to your outfit.  The rings of course are adjustable so you can fit them to your system hands or your SLink hands, should you so wish. ( I haven’t got any appliers yet for my Jalwa skin, hence me wearing my normal hands in this shot..*shudder*) Again, Tiffy Vella is one of those designers who never cuts corners with her work and every Eclectica release is a pleasure to behold; her inspiration stems from Art Deco and times past, and she incorporates these influences into her work beautifully.

I really do want to emphasise that you can wear Goth elements in your apparel without going full-on Bela Lugosi. Don’t be put off by the conventional idea that this style is  all black and mournful.  Well it is, but it’s the way that you wear an item and combine it with other pieces that really counts.  You will find some bloody amazing items under the Goth heading in-world that can be adapted to any look, something that I really hope Gothmas By Gaslight is proving!

I’ve always loved Goth styling and culture. In real life because I have long dark hair and a pale complexion I have dabbled more than a few times with the look, and it is one of my favourite fashion genres; but of course for it to be truly effective it has to be done well. And there are a lot of bloggers out there in the SL Metaverse who really DO know how to Goth.  (If you do a search in Google you’ll find some great blogs like THIS one, and THIS one, ooh and THIS one too!)  What I’m trying to say is that adding a few elements of this style to your look can really work sensationally, so why not give it a try?

Gothmas By Gaslight is the perfect place to start! 

Kitty wears…

Gothmas By Gaslight: Jalwa, M.V, Sakide and W&W

Image

More glorious Gothmas By Gaslight nicies to share with you today.

First up is this absolutely outstanding skin from Jalwa. It’s called ‘Coven’ (I’m bound to like it with a name like that aren’t I?) and it is absolutely divine. In fact, it is absolutely everything I need in a skin; gorgeous base tone, attentive detailing and scrummy, yummy make-up.  What I really love about this skin are the details: the eyeliner and brow-shape are striking and the lips are just astonishing; very moist, with a beautiful shape and detail. In fact this skin has made me hungry for more from Jalwa; I’ve visited the store and picked up a few demos to try. Oh, I must just point out something else I spotted on this skin that I really like; there’s a mole on the right bewb and it just looks really quirky and pretty (and REALLY draws attention to your norks in a good way!) Trust me on this, it’s well worth investing in! I don’t know much about Chandra Masala as a designer, but I do know that I am now incredibly keen to know a LOT more!I’m also wearing a beautiful dress and necklace from M.V. You can *just* see some of the frills that adorn the ‘Translate’ dress in-shot. This is a fabulous number, with more than a hint of dandy about it, featuring full length, fluted sleeves, a stylish corset and a skirt with a high front, making it an incredibly effective and dramatic dress indeed. It’s an inspired creation from Lokii Violet.  I’ve teamed it with another M.V release, ‘Aggy’s Necklace’ in tarnished silver, which  is a Gacha prize and is nothing short of exquisite.  It’s so pretty and very Gothique!  The red jewel makes it very festive, but of course you can wear it all year around. It’s a great piece, and there are a number of colours available including a very lovely rare.

ImageIn my next shot I’m wearing one of SAKIDE’s contributions to the GXG extravaganza, the ‘Silent Dress’. Now, this is a VERY flouncy little number which would suit many different kinds of role-play needs. It’s going to work extremely well for Goth-Lolita styling, and features a gorgeous bow to the rear, with a pattern to the front on the chest area. You can’t really go wrong with SAKIDE, it’s a label that I’ve really come to admire in 2013  and I always really enjoy Kinu Mayako’s releases. She  always goes that extra mile; for example on this dress a real stroke of genius is having the underskirt and bow HUD-driven, so you can change their colour and your look depending upon your mood. It’s a fabulous item, and you can also purchase it in white too. Check out this entry on Elysium Hyne’s Pinterest board for more details.

Last, but not least at all are these fantastic, sparkly red heels. Aren’t they divine?! These are so Dorothy-esque as to be ridiculous, but they’re utterly perfect and teamed with these black socks are very Gothtastic indeed! These stunning red shoes, called ‘Stardust’, have been lovingly made by Taydra Zsun, of WHIMS & WISHES fame.  They’re also the perfect match for this dress, but I can see them looking excellent layered with tights, a short skirt and jazzy jumper.They have a classic shape but it’s the glittery accents  that make them extra special, and super-seasonal too in this scarlet shade. (There are some matching mens boots available as well so the guys aren’t left out!)  I intend to get me some serious wearing out of these!

Gothmas By Gaslight is turning into a bit of a corker, don’t you think?

If you haven’t visited yet then you must; don’t forget that it’s split over two sims but both of them are packed to the rafters with awesome treats. Click HERE to visit the official blog.  Elysium Hynes has comprehensively covered the event, as per usual, on her Pinterest Boards, which I strongly suggest you check out. And don’t blame me if you drool all over your keyboard!