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.

I SUPPORT BELLEZA

Real life has been hectic for the past few days (Annual Christmas Party. Free bar. That’s all you need to know!) so I’ve not actually logged in much this week, but boy oh boy when I did I was HORRIFIED to learn that someone has filed a DMCA against BELLEZA.

I mean, seriously? Belleza?

Yup, someone has decided to cry foul over their mesh body. Come on!  Anyone with half a brain knows how long their ‘Venus’ mesh body was in development, and it’s still very much a work in progress being constantly tweaked, twiddled and refined with a number of updates already sent out to existing owners.

But it gets worse;  not only does the team have to deal with the DMCA but according to a recently published press release on the official blog it would seem that the Belleza crew have been bullied something rotten recently, and that is completely infuriating to me. It sounds like a proper campaign against them. Why does this happen? We’re all ADULTS behind our bloody keyboards aren’t we? Can we not just approach our virtual lives with the common sense that we carry with us in our real lives, is that too much to ask? The amount of griefing that has been occurring at their sim is ridiculous too, and something I have not encountered in-world for many years. (I mean come on, griefing is still a thing? Oh, do f*ck off you tiresome trolls!)

I sometimes wear a mesh body, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes it’s SLink Physique, other times it is Belleza Venus. I love the fact that I am able to pick and choose from two equally scrumptious products, and why shouldn’t I? They’re both great and have offered me yet another level to my Second Life adventures, and I adore them equally for it.

The same goes for the skins that I choose to wear. Some days I want to wear Belleza, other days it’s Nar Mattaru. Sometimes I’ll wear a different skin completely, like my recent discovery from LUMAE. It doesn’t matter, it’s about what makes me feel good on the day I wear it, and over the years that has consistently been BELLEZA.  Do a search on this blog, and see how many times that brand  is mentioned. (No, I’m not on their blogger-list either, I’m just a fan!)  As much as I love all the skins I wear, and I am completely in awe of some of the newer and upcoming skin designers across the grid, I often revert back to my old faithful Belleza skins.

That’s why I’m so very sad that this DMCA has been filed, because it upsets me to think of all the hard work that has gone into establishing Bellezza over the years.  They don’t deserve to have their sales impacted because of this. 

The repercussions from an incident like this are far-reaching. In-world jealousy and envy have once again  resulted in suffering and although I’m sure that Tricky Boucher, Shyla Diggs and Felicity Blumenthal are going to be more than happy to face their accusers head-on it’s clearly something that they just shouldn’t have to endure.

Incidentally, I have no knowledge of who has raised this DMCA. In some ways I’d like to know who it is, because if I did, and they’re a content creator or store owner that I know and love, I would never purchase anything from them ever again. But in other ways I don’t want to know; what if they’re a Plurk friend for example? Or someone I really admire in Second Life? Perish the thought:(

Like many bloggers across the grid I wanted to do something to show my support for Belleza, so I trotted off to Uber and treated myself to the newly released ‘Eva’ skin (makeup 6/medium tone).  After grabbing my mesh body, I zoomed into a sandbox and took this snap. I think I look bloody gorgeous and THAT is mainly because of the skin and body that I am wearing, and will keep wearing as long as my arse looks south.

I’m PROUD to wear Belleza skins.

Here’s hoping all this bloody DMCA nonsense will blow over with minimal harm done to what is one of the most well-loved brands in Second Life. 

Saturday night, Sunday Morning

Like I said in my last post, I’m all about the kitty-prints at the moment!

It’s not hard to find Leopard print items on the grid and they can look both really funky and chic. I created two different looks for a weekend that both feature Leopard print.

My first look is perfect for a raucous Saturday night bash at a local rock club. In real life, this combo (wombo combo! Ahem, sorry ;P)  would be ideal ‘cos if you got too hot and sweaty at a gig you could take off the shrug and tie it around your waist, and the print pants just scream rock and roll!

My two key parts to this look are a mesh shrug with tube-top from Cynful, and some jeans from Waffle. 

Image

Cynful is a beautiful, high-end store that really stands out from the crowd. Walking into the store truly is a feast for the eyes with all the wares beautifully presented and the colours zinging out at you. It’s like a colour-swatch brought to life, making for a really enjoyable shopping experience.  I love whizzing around the store to see what’s new, and when I saw ‘Shruggable’ I knew it had to be mine!

‘Shruggable’ includes both mesh shrug and mesh tube top and comes in a glorious array of colours. I opted for black , so that I can mix and match both the shrug and top with other items in my inventory.  The shrug costs L$290 a pop, with an applier costing L$100.

This makes for an expensive item, but I think when you consider the versatility these pieces add to your wardrobe, as well as the fact that they’re mesh and beautifully textured (as is everything in store) the benefits outweigh the cost.  You’re paying for quality after all, Cynthia Ultsch’s designs are not cheap and the clothing sure reflects that.

Waffle! by contrast is cheap and cheerful and hurrah for that! This store comes straight from the imagination of the delightful Kiki Paine, and is located in the Dream Valley Plaza; a really neat and modern circular shopping zone.

Like Cynful the store itself is laid out in a really appealing manner and features some great items ranging from tattoos to underwear and separates, and you’ll find lots of outfits here that feature appliers as standard.  (I purchased my Camo drawstring tube-top from here, and that’s fast becoming a favourite of mine.) There’s a lot of choice in store, with the ‘Troublemaker Lingerie’ being especially alluring,  but my must-have item from here are the ‘Rock Chick Leopard Jeans’.  Not only are they a bargain at L$99 a throw, and come in a choice of five fabulous colours, but they look bloody brilliant worn  and go with loads of things lurking in my inventory, and looked excellent when worn with the Shruggable!

I teamed the outfit with a couple of necklaces; one which I’ve worn for a while now which is the Chinese motif necklace that’s sold as part of an outfit by Ducknipple. The Owl necklace was one of those things I’d forgotten that I had in my inventory, as you do. It was a happy find for me then, and funnily enough, it was from Happy Finds! (Run by the best named avatar in Second Life – Annoyingjapanesechild.dinosaur. Seriously!)  I’ve no idea how I forgot that it was there because I love owls, and this necklace is really well made and super cute to boot.

To finish I’m still wearing the Belleza skin, ‘Ava’ that I acquired a few weekends ago. I just LOVE the eye-make up on this skin, which is making it really hard to take off. (I’m into eye-make up on skins in a big way at the moment.) Fortunately by buying some lip colours I can make it more versatile, but I do wish there were more eye make-ups like this in store!

Finally the hair is by Elikatira. The sale was due to finish on the 23rd; and I confess that I haven’t visited in the past few days because if I had I would have probably bought the store. The sale sign did mention all styles would be retired once it finished; I have mixed feelings about that because part of me doesn’t want anyone else to miss out on the fabulousness that is Elikatira hair, but on the other hand I kinda like the idea of exclusivity that retirement sales bring. (Although judging by how many people purchased hair, most of the grid probably has this style anyway!) But here’s the thing, retiring these items means that new stock will be coming soon. Can you imagine? Squee! (And rumour has it that it will be mesh! Double yay!)

Image

Of course, after  Saturday night must come come Sunday morning, and my guess is that you’d be nursing a hangover and wanting something comfortable to wear.  (I picture Kitty about to go for Sunday lunch in this outfit. In real life I guess the skirt would be a teensy-weensy bit too short but hey, this is Second Life so I can wear my skirt how I want!)

For this look I teamed a lovely’ Nia’ jumper from Sn@tch with this scrummy mesh print skirt from Tentacio.  The sweater adds a little Schoolwear-chic, don’t you think? I’ve watched the store rise over the years and I’m so chuffed by how it has evolved and succeeded.   Ivey Deschanel works damn hard at her designs and there is some amazing clothing to be found there. 

There are now lots of lovely mesh items to choose from, and I’m delighted that her range of clothing with appliers is increasing, as this picture shows. Even if the darker side of fashion isn’t your thing, I would still pay Sn@tch a visit, and I doubt that you’ll come back empty-handed. (Trust me on this, you won’t.)

Once you’ve drooled all over my sweater, be sure to check out my skirt. I’m so excited by this mesh skirt! (Can you even be excited by a skirt? LOL)

I don’t wear skirts that often in-world  but since finding this wee beauty I’ve not taken it off. Even better there are a few more to choose from in the range and they’re a fabulous price of just L$70!  Incidentally if you haven’t checked out Tentacio before then I insist you stop reading and go there NOW. It’s just totally brilliant, oozing hipster styling from every pore and the prices are fantastic.

To finish the look I elected to wear my ‘Tassels’ necklace from Glow Studio, and the rather fetching Jamie hairstyle by Wasabi Pills, which is fast becoming a favourite hair store of mine. I love the textures that they use on their hair in store, and it’s a must visit for long-hair lovers. The Jamie style is beautifully crafted and I love the way it drapes over the shoulder and across the face.  (It doesn’t interfere with mesh bewbs either !)

So what do you think? I hope you like both these looks as much as I do, and I am certainly having fun wearing them. And speaking of fun, see the jukebox that I’m standing in front of? Isn’t it bloody glorious!  It’s from ‘The Stuff Store’, and the stuff that they sell is rather special indeed!  I first discovered them when I decided to buy Dad something nice for his new pad. I thought a juke box would be ideal to finish off the bar area against his home, so I did a search on the marketplace and found ‘The Juke’. This mesh creation evokes a golden era, as does most of the other retro ‘stuff’ in Crias Rowlands’ eclectic store.  It comes in both Modern and Retro versions, is mesh and weighs in at just 8 prims, which is astonishing when you consider the detail. It serves as a land radio featuring 80 stations, so there should be music available to suit every taste, and something I really like is the fluorescent tubing on the front of the unit which, when switched on, creates the perfect ambience.  It really is a stunning, substantial piece of kit and really turns your house into a home.

Well that’s me sorted for the weekend, I’m just gonna sit in front of my Juke and enjoy some tunes I think!

Whatever you’re doing in world this weekend, real or virtual, I hope it’s a corker, and if you’re bored why not check out the stores I’ve listed in this post? Happy shopping!

Kitty Quicky – Bargains to be had at Belleza!

Image

 

Didn’t find out about it until today BUT Belleza is having a weekend offer where a selection of skins can be purchased for L$400 ($1.58/£1.01)

There are three female and two male skins to choose from. All are frickin’ amazeballs!

I’m wearing the rather splendid Ava in medium skintone.  I’m a sucker for glorious eye make-ups, and this winged shadow had me at ‘Hello’

L$400 is a bargain for a quality skin, and Belleza are amongst the best on the grid if you ask me.

If you’re interested, you’d better get to Belleza sharpish, because this offer will end at Midnight when we all turn into potatoes or something!

(Oh, and the hair is by [e], which is having a sale until Feb 28th, featuring a whopping 70% off! Will deal with that in another post coming soon. Besides, you’ve plenty of time to get there and enjoy, trust me, at the moment t’s packed and the lag was bloody awful when I visited earlier. But go you must, do not miss out on some of the most gorgeous styles on the grid!)