Hi there. As a SecondLife designer who has made cosmetics and skins since 2004, I get asked a lot of repetitive questions on how to maximize one’s avatar or coping with the misfortune of falling in love with a skin which doesn’t offer much diversity where cosmetics are concerned. So I am going to take a few minutes and try to share my own findings, the pros and cons of tattoo layer cosmetics and also share a look I put together to better illustrate my gist. Curious? Read on!
Opting to play around with your looks and having fun with skins and makeup doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with whatever skin you are gussying up. This is SL, you can be anything or anyone, and there’s nothing wrong with suddenly switching your looks up to have fun with it. I find cosmetics help me express a bit of myself and customize my avatar to something more unique. You can look at any of my shop’s cosmetic ads and see there is a wide range of versatility to be had, and all it takes is a layer of cosmetics and your appearance is suddenly something totally different.
Like skins, cosmetic tattoo layers rely on your appearance sliders for how they look on your avatar and some will look beautiful and others not so beautiful, but it all has to do with your face as it is (and the quality of the product you are applying). It is up to you to decide to tinker or not to tinker with your appearance sliders to look better in certain cosmetics, but I generally stick to what doesn’t require a huge overhaul when I am playing SL Barbie on my av. Always check demos where provided, what looks good in the Photoshop enhanced ad of something might not look the same on you due to your avatar appearance settings. On my ads, the ten image display of each shadow or lip is not touched up and is the truest representation, whereas the face of the ad I tend to paint some light shadows across the image and smooth jagged pixels. I cannot speak for other designers and their own ad process. So yes, demo everything you can.
For me, I like to begin my transformations with a basic skin which has as little cosmetics to it as possible. The more eye make up you have on a skin, the harder it is to hide it by tattoo layer cosmetics due to area coverage. Lips are a different factor, with lips it is about placement and size on the original skin, and finding alternate lip layers which can work with and/or conceal the ones beneath. Make use of demos where provided, and preferably on a skin with as little eye cosmetics as possible.
Here I am today. Hi, yes, this is me totally candid and untouched. I am wearing Katra by Glam Affair (-Glam Affair – Katra skin [ Europa ] 07 NB). Coincidentally, Katra in Polar is the skin for the two ladies in my blog logo (which are also me) – just further example how easy it is to play with makeup on tattoo layers! In any case, it’s hard to tell with my fake eyelashes stickin’ out all over the place, but I picked this particular face because it had the least eye makeup on it. I cranked out some makeshift eyebrows in a deep, desaturated magenta hue for my theme because there was no purple type option otherwise.
I make a lot of eye shadows, each set offering loads of color options and varying styles. I chose Aine ([LB Glamour Eyes] Aine Set 1 – 1) because it works well with the coloration of the eyes without overpowering them, and the silvery under eye highlights enhanced the washout glow of the irises. Aine, by the way, is also the eye shadow of the blonde on my blog logo.
When I made the Kissable Lip line, I have to confess it was more for me than customers. lol Everything I wanted in a lip I put into them, and I am still making more and more of them with different textures and shines and designs. Again, the two ladies in the blog logo are sporting Kissable Lips, as well. So yeah, I totally put my Kissables on and went with something of the Brown Sugar from the Shimmer Collection ([LB Kissable Shimmer Lips] Set 3 – Brown Sugar 2) tinted purplish. Unfortunately you cannot tint them, but there are purple lips in the Shimmer Collection if you are in want of them. I just needed a specific shade and darkness. A few usual embellishments and I’m done.
I promised you an “in my opinion” pros & cons list for tattoo cosmetics, so here it is.
Pros: Able to change and/or enhance your avatar’s face per your preference, mood, whim, what have you. Versatility in color and style possibilities. A plethora of cosmetic designers in SecondLife to collect cosmetics from – And if buying from La Boheme, L$75 for a new eyeshadow set of ten hues is less costly than a new skin elsewhere. The ability to keep using that favorite skin but freshen up your appearance and have fun with it.
Cons: Facial tattoo layer count restriction might make totally customizing your face difficult. Texture pulls – I work really hard to ensure as few of them as possible, but not all designers do that. Bad alphas and/or jagged outlines. Eye cosmetics can’t conceal everything under them if someone is wearing a lot of makeup or extended eyeliner on their base skin. Lack of demos to test drive the cosmetics (they are like skins, in the sense there should be demos).
It’s something to consider, if you have not yet ventured into cosmetic layers much. Feel free to stop by the shop and collect demos. =)