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:
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!)
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.
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!)