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!

Gearing up for SLink Physique..

Get ready for an uber grid meltdown of gargantuan proportions on Wednesday peeps. In fact,  I think Plurk and the entire blogosphere will explode too, and there’s a very exciting reason behind it.

On Wednesday we finally get to see the long-awaited SLINK mesh body, and quite frankly I’m REALLY buzzing about the prospect!

 My Second Life, and I’m sure this applies to many others, has become infinitely better as a result of the amazing mesh hands and feet created by Siddean Munro. If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time you’ll know I’ve always had issues with my wrists in Second Life; I’ve always hated them and they’ve been a particular bug-bear of mine.  They look so unpleasant in photographs, but the introduction of the Slink hands has made all the difference. No more do I despair at ugly, angry wrist bones jutting out at unfortunate angles when I’m posing for shots for the blog.  The hands in fact are  really beautiful wee things and have created a cottage industry for enthusiastic manicure and pedicure creators across the grid. Not only that, but the detailing on them, and the positioning of the fingers upon the  hands has always really struck me as incredibly well thought out; whatever pose you choose they add a realism to your look that you just don’t get from the regular avatar.

 Of course, the fact that skin makers could release appliers for the hands and feet made them even more essential purchases, and  consequently I think I have appliers now for the majority of the skins in my inventory.  Depending on where you shop appliers can cost a small fortune, but they are so worth it. Wearing your exact skin tone across your entire frame courtesy of those magical appliers is such a simple, yet essential pleasure.  In recent months we’ve seen tattoo layers become available for hands and feet too, again enhancing our individual looks even further.  In fact, when you stand back and think about it the revenue generated by these add-ons must be outrageous!  It’s made of win for everyone concerned;  for SLink for providing the technology, in the first place, and for the  and the skin makers, manicurists and pedicurists  who have been canny enough to include appliers in their range.  And don’t forget the shoe-makers and the jewellery creators and..and…GAH! The whole industry that has sprung up around these virtual appendages is absolutely immense,  I don’t begrudge any of them single Linden either.  The work that must have gone on behind the scenes to make all this achievable must have been terrific. And  let’s not forget that there are now  dedicated shopping areas where you can purchase every kind of add-on that your heart desires too.

 Seems to me so far it’s all been a roaring success, and when Wednesday comes I can see no reason at all for Siddean not to have applied her same high standards of creativity to the mesh body, or should that be bodies (ooh, the very thought!)  that she’ll be releasing.  Let’s face it her work has always been bob-on, and this is why I am so eager to see what she has been busily engaged upon for the past few months.  I’m sure if you’re reading this then you are too.  So what benefit will a mesh body bring?

 Truth be told, and don’t laugh, I don’t really know! As it stands I love the shape that I wear,  so why will I want to change to anything else? I guess it’s curiosity that’s got the better of this Kitty.  I want to see the way that the body blends in to the existing Slink Add-ons. I’m interested in the bewbs too, isn’t everyone? One of the reasons that I haven’t worn my Lola’s so much recently is because I just can’t size them to the scale that I want. I don’t necessarily want a huge, heaving bosom in Second Life, but I do want definition and shape beyond that which is already built in to the shape of the avatar.  I’m hopeful that we’ll see some of that.

 Speaking of shape, I’m keen to see if curves will be catered for.  I’m hopeful that they will, in fact they have to be a selling point.  I  want to see beautiful, shapely bums and hearty, wholesome thighs.  I want to see clothes fit even better too and I admit I have no clue at all how the existing mesh marvels that I have in my wardrobe will fit, but I’m confident that this will be something that has been addressed.  Also, how will they be sold? Will we get torsos to which you add whichever feet and hand style that you like, or will there be all-in-one versions too? There are huge benefits to both. 

 Most importantly though we need the skin makers to get behind this release and create appliers that will work across the entire body.  Think of the possibilities for tattoos and decoration and relish the prospect of seeing some truly innovative and stylish avatars on the grid in the coming months.

 Wednesday can’t come soon enough for me, and I’m sure that Siddean won’t let us down.  As soon as I get my hands on anything resembling one of her releases, I’ll let you know what I think! GAH, I can’t wait!

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Picture above from Siddean’s blog, SLinkstyle. OMFG HOW AWESOME IS THIS?!

 Are you excited about the new mesh bodies that are starting to appear on the grid? What are your thoughts on this new mesh venture; do you think you’ll invest in one, or more? Let us know in the comments below!

NEW RELEASE: The Toronto Kitchen from Bazar

Feast your eyes on this bad boy; and yes, feast is perhaps the most appropriate term of phrase because this, boys and girls, is the totally scrummy delicious Toronto kitchen from Ria Bazar. 

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When Ria kindly sent me this package, I opened it and this is precisely what I did:

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(Click on the picture above for a larger version and you’ll see why)

Once I had finished wiping the drool from my monitor and keyboard I got to playing about with the items included.  The Toronto Kitchen is a modern, modular set-up that you build using the components included in the package, so you have tons of freedom to design your dream kitchen to  fit perfectly in your given space.  Like everything in the Bazar Toronto range, the kitchen is predominately wood that can be  colour-changed to light, medium and dark at the click of a button.   The open-plan styling means that you can add pots and pans and accessories to your hearts content, but the units do come complete with some lovely accessories already included, such as stainless steel kitchenware, utensils and plates.

A particularly groovy touch is the blackboard surround. This comes with a chalk-layer that you can add to the ensemble, and I’m sure you could make your own alpha-layers and write messages on them to really add the personal touch!  (Kitty-fact: I have a wall painted in black-board paint in my kitchen. I draw cats on it, rude messages for my beloved and occasionally the odd shopping list…) You’ll find shelves included in the package, as well as a light-fitting (different to the one in the main picture but equally fabulous) and a kitchen island .  There’s also a stainless-steel cooker and air-vent which adds a funky, industrial feeling to the collection.

This is a 100% original mesh production, and you can choose from either a PG OR an Adult version of the kitchen.  Of course, like all Bazar products, there are some excellent quality animations included in the package. The poses  are fantastic and will enable you to have some brilliant encounters with your loved one (although it’s a bit unhygienic being so intimate in the kitchen, don’t you think? No? Just me then.) I guess you can’t help it when feelings of desire overcome you as your chap stirs soup sensuously!  The oven  is pretty nifty and has multiple cooking modes so you can pose as a cook par excellence and ‘prepare’ soup, meat and fish, my favourite dish.  You can also wash dishes and clean the kitchen should you wish. Everything that you need to bring your virtual kitchen to life has been thoughtfully included by Ria.

Another inspired addition is that the collection includes a quick-rez version of the kitchen.  This is really useful, because it can be pretty daunting when starting a layout from scratch. Of course you can remove and replace pieces should you so wish.  This is what the quick-rez version looks like:

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Something that’s missing from these shots but features in the main image is a fridge, but Ria has that covered.   She has just added a couple of fridges to her range, and they’re just as excellent as you would expect. In my kitchen I have the Retro Fridge (Exclusive) on display. It’s a bit of a corker. For starters, it’s texture change and you can select from ten options to suit your every mood.  (I especially like the retro, lace and cat print textures.) It’s stocked with food and drink items, as well as single and couples poses too.  Some of the poses are great fun, and pretty true to life:

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Well, true-to-life if you’re the kind of girl who raids the fridge on a frequent basis. The fridge also dispenses a vast array of food and drinks through a menu, and you can wear all of them.  It’s a pretty essential item to add to your kitchen and one that offers substantial options for the very silly price of L$199. You’d be daft not to buy one. 

I’ve had great fun styling my Toronto kitchen and I’ve incorporated pieces from other elements of the Toronto range (such as the Dining Set and Toronto Study).  I have also added multiple Arcade winnings and some of my favourite kitchenware to create my dream kitchen. Isn’t it pigging divine? 

I know I harp on about Ria Bazar on these pages guys, but like I say every time, she creates items that really do make such a difference to your Second Life.  Her work is exemplary, it really is, and I wouldn’t be such a fan of it if it wasn’t.  This is going to sound daft,  but this kitchen makes me want to invite friends over for virtual dinner parties.  But I’m sure sat at my keyboard with some nibbles and a bottle of wine they’ll feel like the real thing, especially when I get very, very drunk!  Oh, and a final note, this kitchen is priced so reasonably considering the content that it’s practically a scandal. The PG version is just L$635, and the Adult version is just L$685. The retro (and modern) fridges are just L$199 each. and   The whole lot are a must buy, and you can pick them up via the marketplace or in-world at Ria’s store.

Main image includes items from the Toronto Kitchen and Dining rooms, as well as various accessories sourced from different stores across the grid. The lighting is from Trompe L’Oeil and is available at C88. 

HORRORFEST 2013: Have You Seen My Bukkit?

ImageIt’s all about the candy at Halloween, so  you need a nice, large receptacle to stash your hard earned trick or treat winnings in.  One that’s big enough to fill to the brim with yummy calorific treats…

So what could be better than a nice disembodied head to carry your chews and sweets in? 

Yup, these Ed Gein-esque  bags from BALACLAVA are both ghoulish AND practical.

Ok, they’re totally gross, BUT in a GOOD way!

For a start they’re awesome mesh creations, and  for another they really are very realistic.

A little too realistic if you ask me…<shudder>

A nice barbaric touch is the chain handles that  pierce the eye sockets like a lobotomist’s dream.

The ‘Bloody Candy Bucket’ can be worn or rezzed, and you can even click for a tasty lollipop to be dispensed, although I fear the flavours will be a bit off. Adenoid Surprise or Tasty Tonsil treat anyone? The lollipops are actually pretty clever, when attached they cause a face emote to appear…YUM! You can also get a filled version, but the pictures were all taken before I went out to annoy the neighbours. I think if you carry these you can pretty much guarantee you’ll get as many treats as you like…

Oh, and my bucket on the floor? That’s a lantern, and it’s really effective. I really do love these in a sick and twisted way because they’re simple ideas perfectly visualised..even though they’re disembodied heads.

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Finally these are 100% donation items to the chosen charity, The Epilepsy Therapy Project. Which is incredibly nice of Uriah Eulenberg, who I hear nothing but great things about on a daily basis..<ahem>.

(Look, I’m creeping OK? I don’t wanna be a bukkit!!!) 

Go visit Horrorfest 2013 and get yours by clicking HERE!