SEVEN DAYS OF DENIM CHALLENGE:DAY 7

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Seven days of denim challenge turned into a bit of a ruddy farce really due to RL issues, BUT I’ve still enjoyed posting these denim-centric updates and I really do hope I’ve given you some styling inspiration.

If anything I’ve been surprised at how much quality mesh denim there is out there on the grid, and that’s really good to see. It’s one of those fabrics that if it isn’t done right it looks terrible, and you can see that reflected very adequately in some Marketplace stores, I’m sorry to say. Fact is, it’s a difficult texture to apply, and to make it look fully authentic you have to pay special attention to the creasing and the shading, especially if you’re going for a vintage denim look.  This is why denim pieces can often be pretty expensive, but you really do get what you pay for.  I think I’ve possibly saved the best entry to last…

The jeans that I’m wearing were pretty expensive in SL terms, costing a very steep L$345.  That is a LOT of dosh for me to shell out on one item, but they’re totally worth it, let me explain why.

They’re from MON TISSU, a brand that I don’t purchase often ( because of the cost- it’s very much an investment brand for me!), BUT when I do splash out in the store I know that the item(s) I am buying will be cherished rather than slung into a hidden corner of my inventory, never to be seen again.

Why? Well, just look at these jeans: they are PERFECT.  Zoom in and you’ll see embossed buttons, realistic contrast stitching and creasing so brilliantly executed that you will want to leap into your computer screen, snatch them off your avatar and wear them to death.  I know I always get mighty enthusiastic about the items I share with you on these pages but in all seriousness there are some designers in Second Life that just nail it, and Anouk Spot is indeed one of them.  Even the fact that I’m wearing the distressed version of these jeans doesn’t detract from their quality or the way that they look; it would have been so easy to have been slap-dash in the application of the distressed look because it’s not supposed to be perfect after all, but it’s been done with great care.  I couldn’t love these jeans more if I tried.

To finish the look I added this fabulous unbuttoned shirt and vest combo, and went for a pin-up feel by adding one of the newer releases from TRUTH.  I don’t normally wear big hair, as you all know I’m a bob girl, but this style is irresistibly and looks amazing when worn.  In fact, when I was testing the demos I noted that the black version of this hair gave an exceptionally Amy Winehouse feel, which can only be a good thing if you ask me. (Indeed, I’ve been listening to ‘Back To Black’ while I wrote this entry! That album is always amazing, how I miss her..)

To finish my look I went to THE DRESSING ROOM FUSION and invested in the latest MONS septum ring release. MONS seem to have found their niche with these epic facial piercings that they’ve been churning out recently and I’ve become a huge fan.  Of course, I’m also wearing my favourite eyeliner, also by MONS, but my base skin is NAR MATTARU ‘Maya’ which I just adore.  The brows on this skin are absolutely perfect for this look, and this ‘Pin-Up Girl’ make up is simply outstanding.  I added a tattoo layer also from NAR MATTARU called ‘Ov Khaos’ to give this style an edgy look and finally threw on this utterly delicious, texture change bangle available from TDR.  It’s from Izzie Button who has really come into her own in 2014, not just with her sensational skin-work but also proving her talents when it comes to being an exceptional mesh designer.

I could quite happily look like this all the time in Second Life. What’s been your favourite look during this challenge?

Kitty Wears: 

 TRUTH ‘Grande’ (with bangs) Gingers

NAR MATTARU ‘Maya’ (Tone 03) Makeup ‘Pin Up Girl’
MONS Makeups- Black eyeliner series 8
NAR MATTARU ‘Ov Khaos’ Tattoo (normal)
IKON Ardent Eyes ‘Pewter’ (ML)
HUSH Lashes ‘Flirt’
CHEERNO Human Ears (Tragus) (THE MENS DEPT)

TEE*FY ‘Laura’ Unbuttoned Knotted Shirt
MON TISSU Harlow’s Cuffed Jeans (Distressed)
SLINK Female (AvEnhance) Hands (Casual)
SLINK Female (AvEnhance) feet (Flat M)

IZZIES Aarya Bracelet (THE DRESSING ROOM FUSION)
MONS Mesh Septum ring (style 15) Black (THE DRESSING ROOM FUSION)

GETTING THE BEST FROM SKIN FAIR 2014

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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!)

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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.

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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!)

Look Of The Day: Young And Beautiful

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Second Life has been a bit of a bellyache for me recently, and that’s putting it mildly.

Rezzing has been problematic with even simple surface textures taking near impossible lengths of time to load. I can’t bear it when it doesn’t play nice; is anyone else experiencing issues at the moment or is it just me? Quite frankly it’s put me into a funk of gargantuan proportions, hence my lack of updates recently. I can’t blog without pictures, so I need Second Life to be good to me.

I was also struggling to get into events too, especially Collabor88, and I *needed* to get into that one because rumour had it that it was exceptionally good.  Fortunately Second Life decided to be much more responsive earlier and allowed me to go in-world, and I managed to TP into the event.

I’m happy to confirm that it is indeed an incredibly good round (with just a few exceptions that I thought looked out of place) and with the theme being ‘Razzle Dazzle’ we were pretty much guaranteed something very special indeed. There’s a great range of clothing, but also exceptional hair, furniture and buildings too. I was especially impressed by how many designers had included ornate, decorative touches into their work and really gone the extra mile when it came to colour and finish. It’s incredibly satisfying to see and to shop at!

I have a number of fabulous items from the event to share with you.  It’s impossible to pick just one item so I won’t include them all in one post, but feature a few different looks over the next few blog entries.  I’ll be mixing C88 items with other bits and bobs found in my inventory.

First of all, IZZIE BUTTON continues to go from strength to strength where her skin-work is concerned, because her entries for this round are just utterly sublime. 2013 really has been a year of discovery in Second Life for me, and she is definitely one of the designers that I have fallen in love with this year. Her offering for Collabor88 is the ‘Kaelyn 20’s skin, which is available in 4 different make-up options. It’s the whole package, courteously including appliers for slink hands and feet, as well as a choice of light or dark brow options and even eyeliner too. I tend to wear a light tan/medium skin tone but was more than happy to swap for this divinely pale number, and I soon snapped up the entire range. (At L$188 per skin, it would be rude not to!)

My second choice from C88 is the glorious drop-waist frock from TRES BLAH.  It’s in almost my absolute favourite colour; which is a sort of plum/burgundy shade.  (I adore it, and I’d say that about 75% of my real life wardrobe features variations on this colour, the rest is of course black!) so I was thrilled to see so many items at the event sporting this hue. Anyway, back to the dress, which is of course mesh (to be brutally honest reader I would struggle to purchase anything that wasn’t these days) and features a drop waist, a short double-tier lace skirt as well as a delicate pattern to the main body. It’s a modern take on the quintessential flapper style and is available in six colours at L$188 a pop.  I did wonder if it would be a little too girly for me, but nope, it worked perfectly for me with a pair of much-loved patterned lace cut-out leggings  from LARK and my ever-present ILO boots.  I don’t think I’ve stopped wearing ILO boots since the last round of The Arcade finished. I didn’t even win them all, but by gum the ones I did win I am wearing to bloody death!)

To finish my look, and what really makes it for me, has to be this style fromMONSO. It’s called ‘Yong’ and is a unisex style.   I’ve never worn MONSO hair before, but I now consider myself a convert, having snapped up both of the styles that were available from this brand at C88. I made sure I purchased both styles in the custom packs so that I could have lots of wear out of the shades that were included.  I didn’t mind forking out L$288 for each pack either because they contain a great selection of shades and come with a great hud that makes colour and size change an absolute doddle. I did note that the style is materials ready, but alas I fear that makes little difference on my screen due to a graphics card that has sadly seen better days. No matter, materials or not the hair looks stunning and really helped to bring this look together.

To finish I dusted down my trusty Tegryn Scarf in Olive from THEOSOPHY that was gathering dust in  corner and there you have it, a casual, yet very tidy take on the Razzle Dazzle theme courtesy of this fantastic Collabor88 round!

What have you enjoyed about this round of C88? Care to share? Feel free to divulge all in the comments below!

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Kitty wears:

Shape – Kitty’s Own.

Skin – Kaelyn 20’s Skin by Izzies (C88)

Hair – Yong by Monso (C88)

Eyes –         by Ikon

Lashes –      by Hush

Dress – Drop Waist Dress by Tres Blah (C88)

Leggings –    by Lark

Boots –        By Ilo

Scarf – Tegryn Scarf in Olive by Theosophy

The Lesser-Spotted Domestic Kitty Goddess…

I bloody hate chores I do. 
Hands that do dishes are not as soft as my chops, contrary to popular belief!

BUT it must be said that some of the LOVE DONNA FLORA goodies are making the washing of plates and scraping of dishes a much better experience all round.

Have you been yet? I popped by again earlier to pick up a few more treats and to see how the event was going, and I’m delighted to say that even though it’s been running a few days there were plenty of people shopping which was very satisfying to witness indeed. So let me tell you about what I am wearing. 

EVEN FLOW have a number of items for sale at the event, and for my look I am rocking their tee and jeans combo. I haven’t worn jeans in ages, preferring to stick to tights and short skirts and boots (I’ve been going through a punk phase)but these jeans are so pretty with their delicate surface pattern, rose waistband fabric and pocket detail as well as excellent creasing around the knee, that I couldn’t resist slipping them on. These are very wearable jeans and I think I will be sporting them often!

You’ll also spy my glorious FLAIR manicure. Again, this is available from the LOVE DONNA FLORA event, and it features plain colour accentuated with a daisy motif and white tip. Very stylish and looks great with both casual and dressier outfits, and it didn’t chip when I was scrubbing the remainder of Jez’s legendary lasagne off the dish, which was nice…This is a nice, smart casual look, and I added some LVLE pumps in grey, as well as my trusty friendship bracelets and hair from WASABI PILLS. My skin is from the ever delectable IZZIE’S.

Jeans

A quick change, and I was ready for a night out. My dress is also from EVEN FLOW. This is the ‘Evolution’ dress and it’s just sumptuous, I absolutely adore this ‘grape-berry’ tone and it fits like a dream. I teamed it with lace leggings from LARK and there you have it, day to night outfit perfection all whilst helping a fabulous cause.
(Again, I’m sporting the excellent LVLE mesh pumps (to fit Slink feet) but this time in a purple shade. (They’re deceptively simple looking creations, but do not let that fool you, they’ve been carefully crafted, textured and are extremely effective, an essential purchase to quickly enhance any outfit!))

dress 3

Also at LOVE DONNA FLORA are a number of pose sets from some really great creators. You can never have enough poses in my opinion, and they’re all worthy of your Lindens. The poses in theses two images are from ELEPHANTE, part of their ‘Trust Me’ set and very lovely they are too.

Here’s a link to the Seraphim Gallery for a run-down of the gorgeousness available at the event, and here’s your TP.

Off you trot now and buy lots of lovely things for this awesome cause! (I’ll be featuring more items tomorrow)