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Friday, 1 May 2009

The Skin's The Thing!!

Whilst we love our clothes shopping in SL, perhaps the most important items to purchase are a good skin and hair. Eyes too, can make all the different to an avatar’s look. Shape is another expense on top of the skin, so all in all you can spend quite a lot of money to get that perfect look.

I while ago, whilst exploring the rest of the grid, I had seen some really pretty skins made by sWEET FACEs owned by Michelle Oyen. I noticed then, that just like the name, the skins have the sweetest looks you could imagine, real beauty queen stuff. Michelle also sells beautiful flowing hair, I took a trip over to her main store to look at the hair and you can try a demo for L$1. The hair is lovely and moves just like real hair with some great styles to choose from.

You can pick from a variety of skins at Michelle’s shop in Knightsbridge and although they appear expensive, setting you back L$2,498, you do get the shape (which is modifiable), the eyes and eyebrows in with that too. Skin is one thing that 'what you pay for is what you get'!!! Take a close look at Michelle’s skins and you will notice the quality compared to a lot of cheaper ones around the grid.

I little tip, always dry a demo version before you buy a skin and make sure the shape is modifiable if you buy the shape with it, not everyone’s idea of what shape you should be will match the shape you actually want. I’ve seen some shapes with no modify that give big boobs or big bottoms which may not suit everyone, I have no idea why some designers go down this ‘no modify’ road, as it must put a lot of customers off, me for one. Skin’s also look different in pictures to what they do when you try them on, so to get a really good idea, you need to try them. I usually find getting the ‘make up’ on the skin to match what I want is also a problem, for some reason most designers seem to think we all like lots of lipstick and rarely give you a more natural looking mouth, but then again it is hard to cater for everyone’s taste and they do a great job trying to bring out enough variations to suit everyone.

For newbies trying skins, remember when you put a skin on, you can’t just click to take it off, you have to find your original skin, or another one in your inventory to replace the one you are wearing.

Skins are becoming more realistic all the time, it does look like some designers use photographs of real skin to make avatars skins, because on close inspection you can see things like freckles, and the texture is just too good on some to be just a photoshop mash up. It may seem that you are spending a lot of money when buying a good skin, but it depends how you feel about SL, do you want your avatar to be as lifelike as possible? if you do, finding the right skin should be the basis of your character, because without that, all the nice clothes in the world won’t help your avatar to look the part, good skin really matters!!

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