So, I went away for a while. When I left, Mr. Oh had just started his reviews, and Catero had gone on hiatus. Now that I’m back, I see all these new guys. And they all look mighty familiar.
I became skinny goth emo boi because it seemed like every other guy in SL was big buff tan guy. But now that all I see on the blog are skinny dark-haired guys, I can’t keep it up. I gotta stand out! And if that means going for the big B, so be it.
Yeah. I’m a blond.
Once I made the choice, I had to go all the way. First came buffing up, cause without the dark hair to balance it, my weedy little body just disappeared. Next, I put on a skin, but– well, hell. All my skins go with dark hair. Black eyebrows may look good on some blonds, but I can’t hack it.
As I scanned through all my favorite skin stores, I came to realize that very few skins are made for non-brunets. Maybe it’s hard enough making the skin as it is, without adjusting for hair color too? Whatever the reason, there’s not much out there. Finding blond skins became an obsession, until I had a selection that allowed me at least as much variety as my old set.
The first skin is actually one I had lying around from my long-ago blond experiment. For Gabriel, by Lost Thereian of Naughty Designs, the overall effect is natural. The shading gives me a stronger jaw, and the minor imperfections in the skin will appeal to those who aren’t into the airbrushed-glass-doll look. Also, I really appreciate the lips. For once, I’m not wearing lipstick– and I like it!
Nothing is perfect though, not even the angel Gabriel. One real-life problem that carries over into SL is that blond eyebrows tend to blend into pale skin. This definitely decreases the dramatic effect, and makes me miss my old tradgoth skins. It’s a tradeoff, I suppose. You get an actual blond skin, you give up the benefits of the brunet.
Continuing with the natural theme, the skin highlights are subdued. I’m not a fan of the body oil look, so this makes me happy. As for the ubiquitous six-pack, I wasn’t happy about it back before I toned up my shape, but now it works just perfectly. It’s not drawn-looking, not over-the-top buff, but toned and (again) NATURAL. I very much appreciate not having every muscle fiber delineated. I’m not a bodybuilder, and Gabriel doesn’t make me look like one.
There will never be a situation where this skin looks out of place. Its versatility makes the price tag of L$1500 worth it. Along with that comes a bonus of unscripted Naughty (ahem) bits. Naughty is one of the more famous design houses out there, and I think these pictures show why.
On Aidan: Nina hair by Cay Trudeau of Skyshop HOC. Starlite Adonis Thong by Marscha Lowey of Je T’Aime (freebie!). Gabriel skin can be found at Naughty Island.
In slightly more dramatic mode comes the SIGNATURE Daniel skin by Simple Spad. The shadows are deeper with this one, the highlights brighter, and the flaws invisible. Check the thighs and knees on this one. They’re perfect. No clumsy shading, no weird smudging, just– thigh. And knee. The highlights hit perfectly, and I’m very happy to see that I don’t shave my legs. The light dusting of hair is perfect for a blond who wants to be a man without being a bear. (Back hair? That’s where I draw the line.)
And speaking of hair– OH yes. No androgyne me! Not to say that androgyny doesn’t have its place in my wardrobe, but this kind of detail is often overlooked or overdone. Not here.
All the details– belly button, nipples– are photosourced and look good. The six-pack is a little more dramatic, but again, not ripped to the point of absurdity. I’m very pleased with the collarbone as well. This skin was put together with a knowledge of anatomy, and it shows.
And the face? Well, it looks good. The eyebrow problem is solved here, though they’re a little more plucked and painted than the last skin. Again, no lipstick, which makes me happy, but nice lip shading, so I don’t turn into Kenneth Branagh.
The SIG skins run L$1500 each.
On Aidan: Serafin hair by Din Raymaker of Uncleweb Studios. Daniel skin can be found at Skutter.
And now, from natural to full-on ready-for-my-closeup, it’s Ridge by TOmmy Fairplay of Dragonfly Designs! The shadows here are even darker, the highlights even brighter. This is the skin they make thousand-watt facelights for. Though it looks its best in high-contrast lighting, don’t count it out.
This is the Ridge skin in Siberia with the Highwayman Soul option and guyliner. (Come on, leave me a little of my goth emo heritage.) Each skin has about thirty facial hair options, from a tiny soul patch to a stubbly full beard. You can choose whether you want your skin with or without chest hair, but whichever you choose, you’re also given the option within the box of going with or without body hair. And TOmmy didn’t take the easy way out by making it all black, or (if we’re lucky) brown, he made each skin’s hair color distinct. There’s even red! (Ryan, take note.) I agonized over which kind to get, because there were so many, and they all looked amazing. Even the soul patch, which I normally hate. I’m too shy to go begging for review copies, so this one was all I could afford, but if I had the money? Yeah, I’d get ‘em all.
The lips are a little frosty pink for my taste, but in a skin that’s this striking, the lips have got to keep up too. Besides, it’s a shade I can live with. And really, does a guy wearing eyeliner have any right to complain?
While I generally go for something a little less electrifying, there are times when I want to make an impression. Stripping down to this skin would certainly do that. It also comes with a body shape and an eyebrow cap. There’s even a matching scripted personal piece (sold separately). All in all, a handsome haul in a handsome package.
On Aidan: Double-clutch hair by Nex Brannan of Brutal Gear. Ridge skin can be found at Dragonfly Oasis.
Watch for part 2 of this review, where I go through even more skins, and show off my favorite.