SKIN FAIR 2015 – PXL ‘Aeryn’

aeryn brow_003

Another day, another SKIN FAIR 2015  post. Nope, I’m not sick of them by now, in fact,  anything but!  Every time I try on a new skin it’s a discovery for me, and all of the skins that I have tried so far have been incredibly pleasurable adventures.   The wearability and the versatility of the skins on show this year at SKIN FAIR are beyond compare in my opinion. It’s a really brilliant event and I am loving every minute! 

So, onto today’s skin that I implore you to check out because she’s a wee cracker.  Her name isAeryn‘ and she’s from PXL , the skin brand from Hart Larsson.  I elected to trial her with my BELLEZA VENUS MESH BODY and I wasn’t disappointed. Far from it in fact, I was delighted because Aeryn is really enchanting and incredibly wearable. 

So, details; what I like about this skin is that the shading is a little more defined upon her than the others that  I’ve tried so far. For some skin makers this would be a problem if they weren’t confident with their blending skills, but Hart’s done a great job of incorporating darker, shaded areas into the body of this skin without any harsh lines or areas that cause concern.  There’s great definition to the belly area and the breasts; they looked especially good when I wore them in the ‘push-up’ style on my BELLEZA body.  I opted to wear the natural tone and it’s a lovely warm colour with a  peachy glow, and  as with all the skins I’ve worn the  detail areas (such as the elbows, knees, feet etc) look great.

Of course it’s the face that makes or breaks a skin, and Aeryn doesn’t disappoint here at all.  She’s exceptionally pretty. As with all the skins I’ve talked about this week, I NEVER change my shape. Kitty’s shape is what makes her Kitty; it’s non-negotiable. Sometimes I tweak her a bit by adding a few pounds to her frame, but her face never changes, that’s set in stone. I can’t actually remember the last time that I changed anything on her chops, so it must have been a while ago!  Anyway, it’s always a surprise how different skins can change her facial features so much, and Aeryn is no exception.  She comes replete with eyeliner built into her look, so no need for me to add any makeup layers. The makeups I tested had subtle variations to the blush and all of them were equally good.  The lip colours are what really sets her apart for me though; you have a choice of four and word to the wise, get all of them.  I’m especially enamoured by the plummy-red gloss tone.    

Something else that I really like about Aeryn, and I think shows thought from Hart, is the inclusion of a tintable eyebrow on the tattoo layer along with a ‘No Brow’ option. Oftentimes I’ve struggled with the inbuilt eyebrows on a skin and the ability to add your own really does make all the difference.   Sometimes your personal vision of the perfect brow just doesn’t match that of the skin creator, so including a browless base can make all the difference to if you purchase or not.  

PicMonkey Collage

For example in these shots I’m wearing the  skin that includes the brow on the left, and the no-brow version on the right (I’ve added brows from NOX, currently available at the IDK event) and both of the looks are equally valid in my opinion, but it’s interesting how the lifted brow on the right adds more length to the face.  Incidentally, because PXL is the brand behind ‘Sweet Lips’ she comes with appliers too, and they’re pretty nifty indeed, as I hope you can see from the shots above.

I’ve had lots of fun styling Aeryn too…

bardot 2

For example, by adding this Brigitte Bardot-esque ‘Sharla’ Style by PLOOM (from The Kawaii Project) I’ve created a look to welcome in the Spring.  So there you have Aeryn. She’s super adaptable, easy to wear and absolutely gorgeous. I’m not the only one to think that either!  Go and check her out NOW at SKIN FAIR 2015 (SIM 1, Booth 32) Here’s your ride!

PXL AERYN available in Pale, Natural, Sunkissed, and Olive skintones.  Kitty wears: Aeryn NAT Makeup 04 NoEB C2

Each skin contains:
– 3 Eyebrows shading (embedded on the skin)
– 1 tintable eyebrows (tattoo)
– NoBrows options (skin)
– Freckles (3 shading on Tattoo)
– Moles (on Tattoo)
– Nail remover (glove)
– System Lasher remover (Alpha mask)

Aeryn is available in 4 Lipsticks colors (embedded on the skin) or as a pack in each of the 4 skin tones.

PXL also has the following appliers available for purchase:

PXL SweetLips Appliers (HUD)
Slink Appliers (Body+hands+feet) (HUD)
Maitreya Appliers (Body+hands+feet) (HUD)
Belleza Appliers (Body+hands+feet) (HUD)

SKIN FAIR 2015 – Belleza ‘Tess’

Belleza_005

“How very lovable her face was to him. Yet there was nothing ethereal about it; all was real vitality, real warmth, real incarnation. And it was in her mouth that this culminated. Eyes almost as deep and speaking he had seen before, and cheeks perhaps as fair; brows as arched, a chin and throat almost as shapely; her mouth he had seen nothing to equal on the face of the earth.”  Thomas Hardy, Tess Of The D’Urbervilles

Ok so let’s get one thing out of the way. I love BELLEZA. I wear their skins often and have worn them with love and admiration for years now, and on the strength alone of their Skin Fair 2015 release, ‘Tess’, That’s NOT going to change anytime soon.

But why BELLEZA? As brands go, they’re practically legendary in the metaverse and are viewed as being at the very the pinnacle of their craft. You could say the reasons are down to a great marketing strategy, being worn by all the ‘right’ people and just plain luck, but that would be wrong, wrong WRONG. BELLEZA  have achieved their success through hard honest graft and most importantly of all creating the perfect product.

That’s not to say they don’t have their haters; BELLEZA skins, like GLAM AFFAIR, tend to be the equivalent of Second Life Marmite, either you love them or hate them. There’s already too much amateur dramatics in-world for me to develop this point further, suffice to say if you don’t like them, don’t wear them. Move along, there’s plenty of other places to go for skins should you so wish. I don’t know why there has to be so much vitriol spouted in their direction, but I do know that jealousy can be an all consuming mistress, and BELLEZA skins generate plenty of that..
So why do I like BELLEZA so much? Three reasons:

*Wearability. They’re perfect straight out of the box. You know that when you buy a BELLEZA skin you’re investing in quality, plain and simple.
*Durability: BELLEZA are practically timeless, and I can still rummage in my inventory and wear skins from a few years ago knowing that they will still be relevant today.
*Cosmetics: Great eyeshadow and lipstick ranges keep the skins looking fresh and tidy, and you really cannot go wrong with a BELLEZA gloss lip.

You know, I’ve heard people say that because they have an almost classic quality to the skins that they’re limited in the way that you can wear them, and that they don’t lend themselves well to more abstract looks. I’ve also heard it said that they’re totally ‘vanilla’ skins.  To those people I lift my middle finger and wave it with gay abandon whilst happily declaring ‘Poppycock’.

A skin is a base, pure and simple, and if the base you’re wearing is a quality one it can be left alone or embellished and enhanced and you’ll come out the other side looking like a bloody rock star either way should you so wish. I wear BELLEZA with piercings and tattoo layers and various enhancements all the time and look utterly splendid, even if I say so myself!
There are reasons for that of course but most important of all are the details, the enhancements, the little touches of light applied in the right places. THAT is why Belleza are successful because the work on display is pure avatar artistry of the highest level.
For example, faces. The nose on a BELLEZA  skin is always well defined and when worn over your facial shape sits perfectly. What do you mean you’ve never noticed that before? Yup, it does. You zoom in and out a lot on a skin and you’ll be surprised what you notice! They also create the best philtrum in Second Life. Now I know you’re reading this and thinking I’ve lost the plot, but hear me out. You know how I’ve often repeated in the past that age-old phrase, ‘..the eyebrows are the coathangers of the face..’, and that a good skin really needs them to be spot-on to be well balanced? Well you can extend it further, because what is also true is that if you bodge the shape and highlighting of the nose and most crucially of all the philtrum beneath it, then your mouth just won’t look right. It’s an area that needs highlighting and definition for your cupid’s bow to sit properly and for your lips to look inviting and chewable! If it’s flat and barely highlighted it can have a disasterous effect on the rest of the visage. I’ve mistakenly purchased and subsequently never worn skins that have made an absolute bodge of that area. BELLEZA  ALWAYS get it right.
Moving on of course I wear my Belleza skins with the Venus mesh body because, well, why wouldn’t I? The BELLEZA Venus HUD is actually one of my favourites to use, and the hands alone on this particular mesh body are worth the price because of the way that you can click a button to change their position and create pictures like this:

Belleza_008

Now, that is NOT a vanilla skin.

That’s a skin worn without the brow base (so I’ve added my own), along with a tattoo layer and lipstick to make a proper ‘Little-Miss Attitude’ look. (Is it me, or does she look like Thea from ‘Arrow’)

Does that even look remotely vanilla? NEWP. Let’s try something else:

RAW Tess

There’s not even a whisper of Picmonkey on the picture below:

porcupine_001

When you look at untouched photos like the past two (and even the ones I touched up previously in this post just had enhancements to lighting and filters, rather than actual physical attributes) is it not even blatantly obvious why BELLEZA are at the top of the skin tree? ‘Tess’ is plain gorgeous, adaptable and super-wearable. Another point that I want to include: even if you don’t have an awesome graphics card I’ve found that BELLEZA tend to look brilliant on screen. For the longest time I suffered with a card in my PC that was beyond pants, but still my BELLEZA skins looked the part. They just do, and so does ‘Tess’ to an absolute ‘T’.

She’s so beautiful that Thomas Hardy wrote a book about her 😉 , and she is a great addition to the BELLEZA collection. I love her.

Kitty is wearing Tess in medium tone with NO BROWS and in various make-ups available at SKIN FAIR 2015.  (Kitty’s added her own favourite brows because she’s awkward like that..)

Tess is available exclusively at The Skin Fair.  You’ll find her on Skin Fair sim 2, CLICK HERE to try and get in! Tess has 10 makeup selections to choose from in 7 skin tones (fair, pale, medium, sun kissed, tan, deep tan and mocha) all included with the individual makeup purchase. PLUS; cleavage layers, hair base, matte/gloss lips and more!  You’ll find BELLEZA at booth 17, Sim 2, but if you can’t get in you can try the Tess demos in the  -Belleza- group inworld – just check the group notice history.

SKIN FAIR 2015- YumYums ‘Hope’

Yum Yum Kitty

When I ventured forth to begin the blogger previews at Skin Fair 2015 I immediately realised that this year the event is going to be a bit of a corker. As you can tell from my previous posting, I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all.  In fact, I’m pretty confident in my assertion that you will not be disappointed, there are some amazing skins on offer and I’m not even going to choose one favourite from everything that I’ve seen and tried so far because it’s impossible.  Before I proceed any further with my reviews let me just give you a few notes on the layout this year; it’s incredibly straightforward to navigate the two sims. It’s obviously been designed to be easy upon the eye and to not overload the senses or your computer. For an event of this magnitude it would be all too easy to create a complex, dazzling location but the fact that this location will be utterly swamped with avatars (and therefore inevitably crash city for the majority of visitors) has evidently been at the forefront of the production team’s mind. I appreciate that. The sim is clean, uncluttered with white buildings and an easy to navigate layout across two levels, and it just works.

Anyway, back to the reviews. Confession time: I had never heard of the YUMYUMS brand until Skin Fair, BUT that’s the point of events like these isn’t it? They open your eyes to new labels and designers, as well as introduce you to new works by your old favourites.To be perfectly honest the naming convention of the brand and the styling made me think YUMYUMS was going to be uber kawaii (Newsflash:it is!), so when I put the skin on I was a little apprehensive,because as much as I love that kind of look it’s not something I regularly wear. Of course, I needn’t have worried because Hope is absolutely bloody divine and perfectly easy to adapt to a pretty regular avatar about town like myself.

The main thing that struck me about this skin is the quality of the colour across the body and how well it’s been blended. There aren’t any hard edges at all, it has an almost soft focus quality to it and a light and airy feel, which I know sounds utterly bonkers but go ahead and try a demo and you’ll see what I mean. The colour is even and applied perfectly to detail areas. It’s incredibly satisfying to wear.

If you like to sport a mesh body in-world you’ll be delighted to know that this is a skin that looks ruddy awesome naked. I tried ‘Hope’ with my Maitreya Mesh Body and was incredibly impressed by how beautiful she looked. If you like taking snaps then rest assured that this is a skin that will photograph very well. (In fact, don’t laugh but her nipples on the Maitreya bod looked awesome!)

What I really like about ‘Hope’:

  • I’m wearing the ‘Latte’ tone and it’s a lovely colour. Not too pale or too strong, a mid-tone in the true sense of the term with perfectly distributed colour across the body.
  • I’m cheating a bit here, but features such as the blush layer, along with freckles and moles make this a very authentic looking skin.
  • A lovely array of lip shades and appliers for practically EVERYTHING!

The face is probably the most important part of a skin, and here is where Hope really comes into her own. She has a very wholesome feel to her which is probably due to the choices of blush and the ability to add freckles to her should you so wish. ‘Hope’ looks flushed in a very attractive manner indeed. In fact, this is probably why I decided to try her with ginger brows, something that I wouldn’t normally do. I’m glad I took the chance to try her in a different colour way to what I am used to because with her ginger brows, coupled with the latest hair from EXILE (available at Collabor88) and my juicy PXL Sweet Lips she looks blooming amazing doesn’t she?

Speaking of appliers I’ve NEVER seen such a comprehensive Applier HUD in my entire Second Life. Click HERE to see what I mean!

The HUD covers all the important brands of mesh attachments; bodies, mouths and hands and feet and was very responsive and easy to use. I sometimes find that when I load a HUD I have to wait for it to warm-up before it works, do you ever find that?Well, no problems with this one at all. It was incredibly responsive. It’s also really nice to look at in its own right; well-designed and nice and big and bright.

As I mentioned in my list above something else that I really like about ‘Hope’ are the lipstick options.  There are are a couple of packs available at the event to choose from, and joy of joys IoKKo MoLko has made appliers for the PXL Sweet Lips which I’m  rocking at the moment. There are LOADS of delicious colours to choose from and they all look absolutely nomworthy. I mean, you know how I feel about pink right? I even LOVED the pale pink lipstick shade, am I ill?!!

I decided to play about further with this skin and added hair from ELIKATIRA along with one of the lipstick shades (this time without my PXL Sweet Lips) and woah, am I channelling Molly Ringwald in this shot or what?!

yummy_004

Readers, ‘Hope’ is an absolutely smashing skin; I am incredibly impressed with her. In fact you could say that YumYums have given me hope, but that would be cheesy..so I’m not going to say that. Nope, not at all.

I will say that she is definitely worth adding to any self-respecting Skin Addicts repertoire, and on the strength of this release YUMYUMS is a brand I’ll definitely be keeping a very close eye on in future!

SKIN FAIR 2015 is open NOW!!   (YumYums is booth 49, Sim 1)

SKIN FAIR 2015 – Zoul Creations ‘Gina’

So it’s SKIN FAIR 2015 time and here’s my first skin review, and it’s an absolute belter. We’ve got just over a fortnight of amazing skins to get through and I already feel like I’ve found my happy place!

Now, here’s a thing. I don’t  know if ‘Gina’ from ZOUL CREATIONS is supposed to look like Kim Kardashian or not, but bugger me backwards with a shopping trolley, when I put this skin on my shape (without ANY changes, same shape that I always wear) Kim was precisely who was staring back at me from my monitor!  I mean, JUST LOOK!

kim_006

Isn’t it like her? WOW! I added a blonde hairstyle from TRUTH (Seeing as Kim’s cut her lovely  long tresses and dyed them blonde, I fear she will suffer a straw-like barnet for that).   I can’t say I’m a huge Kardashian family fan, but I do think  that Kim is pretty, which is a good job really because this skin is gorgeous.

And when I say gorgeous I mean sensational.

I’ve already got TONS of compliments on this one and it doesn’t surprise me one pop because whenI first discovered ZOUL CREATIONS last year at Skin Fair I could see this was a quality skin brand, and they’ve been a firm favourite of mine ever since. The skins that Shantia Soulstar lovingly creates tick all the right boxes for me:

  • Excellent colour-depth and spread of tone across the torso, limbs and no unseemly issues with, erm..seams.
  • Epic zoomability,  In other words, zoom in close on this skin and she still looks darn near perfect.
  • Super fine feature detailing: elbows, nails and all the important places are well created with the right level of detail.

Of course, this year  is ALL ABOUT appliers.  Love or loathe the plethora of mesh bodies, gobs and norks out there in the metaverse as you see fit, but you have to admit that appliers are pretty important these days. I’m sure they’re the bane of any skin-makers life BUT the reality is that so many of us have mesh bodies/lips/armpits that to not feature appliers as a selling point  would now be considered seriously lacking, and it would also mean skin makers are missing out on a revenue stream in a class of its own.  So I like to find appliers that are responsive and HUDS that work. I’m happy to report that these do precisely what they say on the tin; I’m wearing the Slink Physique and Slink Casual hands in this picture and there are absolutely no problems with joins at all.  Oh, and the appliers are FREE. So, let’s move beyond my being a dead ringer for a celebrity who seems to have made making a sex tape an aspirational career goal,  and discuss why I’m loving this skin.

A strength of ZOUL CREATIONS has always been the brows.  Brows, as I’ve prattled about on these pages a million times before, are essential to creating the right balance to your look.  Personally I like my brows to be strong, but NOT full on ‘scouse brow’.  Brows are very much in vogue nowadays and there is nothing that disappoints me more than a wonderful skin base with brows that look as though they’ve been drawn on by a five-year-old. Sadly, I have encountered more than my fair share of those. But these aren’t guilty of that; they’re strong, defined and they look fab.  And so does the standard lip, juicy and full with great colour application. (All the pictures that follow are completely un-retouched by the way..)

Gina

The make-ups and lipsticks for this skin are an absolute joy; a thoroughly comprehensive collection of shades for the eyes offering great definition along with a fab array of luscious lip shades to choose from.  I went mix ‘n’ match happy as you can see in the pictures above, and this is just three combinations that I came up with from a palette teeming with colours.  Seriously, sometimes my mind boggles at the skill set of the skin makers we have in-world, and ZOUL CREATIONS, for me personally, belong in the upper echelon of Second Life skin designers.   If you’re the kind of avatar who spends a certain amount of your time swanning about in the nude you’d do yourself a huge favour to try this skin.  It looks absolutely beautiful naked, it really does, and I hope you can gauge that from the picture below.

KIM K

Shantia is debuting a few other skins at Skin Fair too which I’ll come back to on the blog.  You’ve plenty of time to check these out but if you can’t get into Skin Fair at launch (yeah, like THAT’S going to happen!) then you should take a trip over to her store. There’s a number of reasons for this; number 1 you can check out the tantalising array of eyebrows that she sells, perfect for every avatar and cheap as chips, and number 2, you can pick up a FANTASTIC skin called ‘Monica’ at the promo price of…L$75.  It comes with four eyeshadows and four lip shades, and it is sublime, and possibly the bargain of the century too! Oh, and buying it gets you L$8 in store credit as well..come on Shantia, are you doing this for love or money?  Well, I’m going to take a guess, because when I was trying Gina on I got a real sensation of someone who is creating skins and make-ups just for the sheer joy of doing it.  You will know what I mean when you demo Shantia’s skins; I’ve seen frankly far lesser creators charging a small fortune for work that isn’t a patch on hers.

And here’s the thing; I actually asked Shantia about that and her response was, and I quote, “….well I want people with not so much money to be able to have nice skins too :)”

If that  attitude alone doesn’t convince you to seriously check out ZOUL CREATIONS I don’t know what will.   Actually I do, the prices..

  • The skin fair releases are L$499 for each skin pack which includes ALL skintones
  • The make-up packs are L$125 each (you can select eyeshadows or lipsticks. Just buy them all)
  • Sweetlips appliers (not even used them in this review, can’t wait to try them!) also cost L$125 per pack

AND let me repeat my earlier point…

Skin appliers ARE FREE. Which quite frankly is utterly mad!  

So, go to Skin Fair 2015, and before you hit the stores featuring the skins that absolutely everyone else on the grid will be wearing, go to ZOUL CREATIONS.  You’ll probably find that you can buy everything on

You’ll probably find that you can buy everything on display for the equivalent cost of just one single tone of any other of the skins available at the event, but don’t take the low prices as an indication of low quality. These skins are anything but, and I’m totally entranced by Gina.  This is my first review at SKIN FAIR 2015 and the bar has already been set incredibly high but wow, with skins this good we’re all in for an utter treat aren’t we?

One final shot with no enhancements of any kind.  (Incidentally I’ve been using the ‘Canimod’ Windlight for all the pics in this piece, only the top photograph has been heavily edited using Picmonkey.)

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If this doesn’t qualify as a must-have skin in 2015 then I don’t know what will. Be sure to check out ZOUL CREATIONS at SKIN FAIR 2015!