SKIN FAIR 2014- NAR MATTARU – ‘FREYA’

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‘Nar Mattaru’ apparently is a Sumerian term, and means a chasm or an abyss.

I don’t know how that relates to skins, other than it sounds a bit bonkers in a cool way. And that’s fine, because NAR MATTARU skins aren’t bonkers, but they are incredibly cool. They’re the creation of Jade Glazner, and they’re completely new to me, but I think I’ve become a total convert after my SKIN FAIR 2014 experience.

This post is about the NAR MATTARU special exclusive SKIN FAIR release called ‘Freya’. Now Freya is one of my favourite Norse Goddesses, and here’s a random Kitty-fact, had I ever had a daughter in RL I would have called her Freya. So with a name that has a meaning for me it would have been completely daft had I not checked the skin out. And I am so ruddy glad that I did, because it’s rather special indeed. It’s the kind of skin that will make hordes of screaming Valkyries wrestle you to the floor just so that they can have a lick. Oh OK then, I jest, but in all seriousness she’s a bit of a stunner.

Freya is available in a multitude of delicious tones at the event, but I opted for the lovely Caramel shade and set to work studying and styling this skin. What FUN!

What I particularly like about ‘Freya’ is the mouth. Oh reader, it is divine. It’s very realistic looking, and when I put this skin on I was immediately taken by how voluptuous it made my lips look, and I haven’t changed the shape of them at all.
On the cheek is delicate blush that leans towards being subtle rather than over-defined, and the eyebrows are nothing short of sensational; beautifully drawn, but restrained and finished to a very high standard. For my close-up I opted to wear the black brow, and it works extremely well when balanced out with mesh lashes, as you can see from my picture above.
The body of this skin has been just as carefully prepared as the face, and I could spot no issues with shading or colourisation on the skin. The tone is constant, and there are a smattering of carefully added blemishes to add realism. Definition is suggested with a gentle highlight on areas of the body that require it. Details like elbows and knees, feet, ankles and that little dip where the clavicles meet are no problem here; attention has clearly been paid where it matters. It also has an interestingly-styled ‘lady-garden’ area. I’m not the kind of avatar who indulges in festive frolics so to be perfectly honest I don’t really pay much attention to private areas beyond checking that they look fine in comparison to the rest of the skin. It does the job for sure, as do the nipples and breasts, which again are very nicely done. I’ve no complaints.

If I was to sum up how wearing Freya made me feel I would say that the overall feeling I got from this skin was one of youth and vibrance.  It’s a zesty little number, make no doubt about it, and when the make-ups are added she really comes alive, but to be honest this is a skin that you can wear bare and get tons of value from. I really love it. 

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In fact, we have a radio show around these ‘ere parts, where on a Saturday afternoon local football fans call up to ‘praise or grumble’ the performance of their team. If Freya was a football team I’d say she was more than worthy of some serious, lavish praise. But she’s not, she’s a Goddess, and this skin more than lives up to the lofty standards that only the heavenly can aspire to. I insist that you check her out!

Click HERE to visit NAR MATTARU at SKIN FAIR 2

SKIN FAIR 2014 – ‘Cara’ by Zoul Creations

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(Click on the raw shot above for a larger version of the image, so worth it!)

In my previous Skin Fair post I was talking about the importance of brows, and how they were going to be a really big thing at Skin Fair 2014. That was an understatement and a half, a rarity for me I know! But EVERY single brow-style that you can think of has been catered to at this years event, including those fabulous furry facial caterpillars that belong to Cara Delevingne.   And speaking of Cara, this is a skin named after her from Zoul Creations and she is a bit of a stunner. 

Now of course think of Ms. Delevingne and you’re immediately going to think of her eyebrows.   Although Cara’s brows are heavy they’re fortunately not very Denis Healey; being more refined and polished. The fact is, if those brows were fitted to any other shaped face than Cara’s they’d look a LOT different, and definitely not as cool.
The CARA skin follows a similar principle; your shape is your canvas after all and you may find that you have to tweak it a little to get the full benefit from this skin. But tweak you must, because make no mistake, this skin from ZOUL: CREATIONS is a bit of a corker, and I predict it will be a huge success at Skin Fair.

So apart from the brows, what do I like? Well the tones of this skin are all really lovely, and I have had no issues at all with seams or jaggedy edges where the finishing hasn’t been quite up to par. My favourite tone is Tone 4, and it’s a really delicious caramel shade that can be perfectly complimented with any of the make-ups that the creator, Sharia Soulstar, has made. The lip colours offer a real opportunity to individualise your skin, and all the main shades are accommodated well here. I always tend to go for darker berry or red shades, but I surprised myself by really enjoying the paler choices that are available too. The cheeks are beautifully shaded providing great depth and finish to the face, and the skin looks great when worn nude.

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Details such as shoulders, the nape of the neck and base of the spine are well-defined and features such as the belly-button and, ahem, lady-garden are more than adequate. The breasts look just right; no comically over-sized areolas on display here. The lines are clean, crisp and finished well. The eyeshadow options offer further opportunities to play about with your look and each choice is great value. I always like striking, well defined eyes and ‘Cara’ does not disappoint in that regard. Even though this is a brow-heavy skin the make-ups balance the face out perfectly; had this been designed by someone less experienced I wonder if it would have been as successful as it is.

cara naked_002I really enjoyed experimenting with this skin. That’s one of my Second Life joys, one minute you can be pale as snow, the next dark as night, yet look utterly fabulous constantly. I actually didn’t need to do anything to my shape to make it look good, and to be frank I couldn’t have made it look any better on me had I tried. It’s an absolute must have if you ask me, and I will be wearing this a LOT.  So, Kitty tip; do NOT be put off by the brow. It’s not something I’d normally try and yet I’m wearing it, and looking bloody fabulous too! Go to Skin Fair, give it a go. Trust me, Cara is totally worth it!

Congratulations to Shantia Soulstar for this fabulous creation; you’ll find Cara on sale at Skin Fair 1.

SKIN FAIR 2014- REVIEWS COMING SOON!

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My first skin review from SKIN FAIR 2013 will be featured very soon; here’s a sneaky peaky!

This is the beautiful ‘Cara’ from ZOUL CREATIONS. I’m completely in love with her, and so many amazing skins available at this event. I can’t wait to share them with you all! Watch this space!

(Click on the pic to see a larger version, and prepare to drool!) 

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:

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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!)