Lynn

Ruby Skins Staff and Blog Administrator.

Find us on FLICKR

 

See RUBY Skins Portraits on Flickr

RUBY Skins has a Flickr photo-stream

Carmella and I both love photographing her special collection of unique, realistic skins and shapes so much that she has started a new photo stream on FLICKR. It features many of her complete avatar skin and shapes as well as some of Carmella’s friends and family who also wear her skin designs with custom shapes. As always, her photos are never retouched but use only SL Firestorm viewer settings. You must have a look at http://www.flickr.com/photos/carmellaprofile/sets/72157630034780684/with/7296013750/

comments are open so drop in and leave us a line! Also, Ruby Skins store has a suggestion box available for customers – we pride ourselves on rich customer service and value any feedback. Which has always been positive!

 

Skull and Bones Black Widow Hunt – if you dare….

Skull and Bones Hunt Gift

Ruby Skins announces participation in another great hunt – sponsored by Kastle Rock-Electric Gridwide Hunts. One of many stores with fine hunt gifts, Ruby Skins will not disappoint, offering a complete avatar set that you wont believe!

Almost to “out-do” her last hunt gift, Carmella presents to us her “Kezia 2″ fantasy skin, with special make-up and clothing – all fitting for the Black Widow. Kezia is a very pale skin with sexy shape and she dons special eye makeup for that seductive, widowy look.

She wears a revealing set of silks with a peek-a-boo top but for public dress she can wear the “black widow jewel” to cover her private parts. This is a complete avatar package that you cant beat for the price! (1L)

You must visit the store and do a little hunting – and don’t forget to check out the free Ruby Skins lady and men Group Gift and 10L spring ladies’ special. While you are  there don’t miss a trip to Ruby Intimate for a set of Rosebuds, Peonybuds or Pansybuds to wear with your new Black Widow gift. Perfect for her peek-a-boo top. See you there!

RUBY SKINS GETS A FACELIFT

Carmella has taken a break from rolling out incredible skins just long enough to renovate the store. Ruby Skins, located amidst the picturesque Ruby Lake with fishing and special prizes just waiting to be caught, now has an even more unique look.

Ruby SKins

Ruby Skins entrance

Carmella is well known for carving out a special niche in SL …providing unique skins and shapes – complete avatars – like no others. Her creations are realistic but also include hard-to-find looks. And now it is easier to find what you are looking for!

Store Directory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Products are arranged per type of skin and shape. Directions are easy to follow, printed right on the floor in front of you with a path right where you want to go! As always, shoes, accessories, eyes, specials and other exciting Ruby inventory is on the second level of the store – including the best FREEBIES you will find in SL.

Ruby SKins stairway

Ruby Skins Stairway

 

Carmella has made it easy to locate the unique style you are looking for – young, fantasy, male, female, elderly or ethnic. You will not find more realistic looking skins with live proportioned shapes anywhere. And you will be shocked at the pricing for such high quality products.

 

The store is shopping like you’ve never seen. So often you find vendors placing their products in gigantic stores, where flying serves you better than walking. Ruby Skins is easy to navigate. And Carmella prefers not to rearrange the store, making shopping for her return customers easy.

Ruby Skins upstairs

Ruby Skins upstairs

In addition to skins and shapes, Carmella makes some of the neatest accessories for your avatar. Glasses, hats, shoes, boots, eyes, jeans, dresses and tops…there is even a set of cool tans to give your skin a little “sunkissed” look! Ruby Skins also features seasonal specials, a complete avatar for the unbelievable price of $10L!!! Carmella doesn’t skimp on the gifts, freebies and hunt prizes. She makes it worth the while to get a bargain.

Ruby Skins 3

Ruby Skins Foyer

Ruby Skins participates in only the best hunts; reputable, with good customer service. You can always find the hunt information right where you rezz in. There, you also find her great customer service team signboards as well as other useful information.

And we must not forget the landmark to Ruby Intimate. Carmella makes the most realistic gender enhancements you will find in SL. If you want fake looking sex organs, forget Ruby Intimates. Because you will be amazed when you see the Orchid and Seargant enhancements. And you can test them on the wall right in the store!

Ruby Skins upstairs

Ruby Skins accessories

At Ruby Intimate, nudity is always allowed :) (Age verified only)

You can count on quality, good customer service, great prices and uniqueness at Ruby Skins. And a wonderful store to showcase all the great products they have to offer.

 

Ruby Skins 7

Ruby Skins, Ruby Lake and sign

 

 

If you have time, be sure to pick up your rod and reel and step over to Ruby Lake for some fishing. Carmella has stocked the lake with some great prizes for you avid anglers.

Inside the store, dont miss the group joiner to keep up on all the latest activity with new and updated products for Ruby Skins. Carmella wont spam you. We all hate spam and constant, silly ads. She only sends announcements on new products, updates and specials.

 

Ruby Store

Ruby Skins Store

Dont miss the new and improved Ruby Skins in Axel. You will appreciate the neat shopping experience and most of all the unique skins and avatars at incredible prices you will find there. It’s worth the trip just to see the store!

Bourbon Street 2 & Year of the Dragon Meet RUBY Skins!

If you love the party of Mardi Gras and the flair of the Orient, then 2 special hunts may interest you. Bourbon Street2 and Year of the Dragon are having awesome hunts and in honor, Ruby Skins is contributing an incredible set of gifts for both men and women.

Bourbon Street 2 Hunt runs Jan. 21-Feb 21st.

Mardi Gras gifts

Women's Bourbon Street Hunt gift

Ruby Skins Intimate presents Women’s “fat” nipples, made especially for flashing those boobies during Mardi Gras.

Bourbon Street men's gift

Bourbon Street men's gift

For the guys, a sexy, realistic looking penis (non-scripted). Both are manually resizeable and tintable. Each come with a set of transferable beads to celebrate the season. You’ll love both of these gifts because, as the un-retouched pictures show,  they are the most realistic looking Intimate gender enhancements you will find. Mardi Gras gifts located at Ruby Intimate Main Store.

 

If the Orient is more your style , check out this great hunt gift from the Year of the Dragon Hunt running Jan 23-Feb 23. A lovely Asian avatar, Dragon Lady, complete with shape, silks and an exotic Dragon tattoo across her back.

Dragon Lady

Or for the gentlemen a hot Asian Karate Master avatar, complete with pants, belt, sandals and featuring a Dragon/Tiger tattoo on his upper back.

Year of the Dragon gift located at Ruby Skins Main Store.

You will love this set of hunt gifts – just look for the mask or the baby dragon hatching from an egg to get your gifts.

Peasant and Princess; Between Tradition and Love

Tirzah & Hashem

Ruby Skins present Tirzah & Hashem - wonderful ethnic skin/shape combos

Coming to second life from an exotic place – Tirzah and Hashem have stolen away to be together – something forbidden by their families at home. Heartbroken by plans of an arranged marriage, Tirzah betrays her family through her love for another man – Hashem. She must choose between family and secret love, leaving all that she knew behind. Hashem, a poor peasant boy, loved her the moment he laid his eyes on her exotic, dark eyed, sensual face. Knowing he could never have her for his own, he had given up hope yet..when their eyes met in the courtyard he could not help but notice her glance seemed more than a passing look.

Hashem & Tirzah

A peasant in love with a princess

 

 

His heart melted when, after looking to see if anyone noticed her, she sent a slight smile his way. She knew declining an arranged marriage was not an option. Money had been payed and arrangements had already been made. To be caught acknowledging another boy could cost her dearly and could cost him his very life.

 

Hashem and  Tirzah

Tirzah watches Hashem from above

 

 

Days passed as Princess Tirzah noticed this simple peasant boy, so handsome and rugged. She could not help the feelings inside her heart – betraying her family, her royalty and her secure future. Yet this boy, this man, was all she could think about.

 

The days passed and each time she saw him her heart leaped until one day he approached her from behind in the market alley. He had to get close to her; even if it cost him his life because it was not worth living anyway apart from her. But was he wrong? Would she call the guards?  Words were not necessary as she turned and their eyes met. As she frantically looked around to see if anyone saw them, his eyes never left her face. At that moment he didn’t care who saw them. He would lay down his life for this beauty.

Tirzah & Hashem

Suddenly, in the alleyway, they meet.

At that instant a runaway  horse drawn taxi rounded the alley corner and came straight toward the startled couple. Hashem’s mind raced as he feared for the life of this special woman who had captured his heart. He boldly leaped and grabbed her, pulling her from the path of sure death to land on a soft pile of silk pillows and rugs in the marketplace. Hearts pounding, matching the pounding sound of the horses’ hoofs fading down the alley, they held each other amidst the silks. Quickly, he softly pressed his lips to hers.

Tirzah & Hashem

Saved from certain death, Hashem steals a kiss from the Princess

 

“Take me from this place” she whispered thickly. “Save me from a life of unhappiness”. “They would kill us both my princess” said Hashem, already feeling the blade of death on his neck. “We must escape together” she claimed in a hushed voice. ” I would do anything for you”, said Hashem, desperately planning their escape. “Meet me tonight, at midnight, at the wells of Midian and we shall cross the wasteland together. “I will”, Tirzah vowed. ” I will be there”.

 

Tirzah & Hashem

Fleeing across the wastelands

 

 

 

In the dark of night with a golden moon shining at their backs across the land, two lovers fled across the wastelands beyond Midian. Leaving all behind, they left with only a small pack which Hashem carried.  ”I have some money”, she offered as they hurried away from the only life they had known. “It will help us”, he assured her. “God will help us.” she added. “Where will we go?” she asked fearfully. “I know a place”, said Hashem. “A place where we will walk freely, be whoever we want to be, never to be found by anyone here. Free to love each other forever, my princess”.

Hashem and Tirzah

The Portal of Virtuality

 

 

 

As they travelled across the desert, in love, hearts wondering of their future, they came to their destination – the Portal of Virtuality. “Are you sure?” asked Hashem. ” Very sure”, she replied. Their eyes were wide as they looked into the swirling mass of red and gold, flashing with lightening and blue stars. Not looking back, they ran forward, swept into the portal. Holding eachother’s hands they felt themselves falling, seemingly forever.

 

Feet touching the ground again, they both felt a cold gust of air as they noticed the land was covered in a powdery white substance. “What is it?” asked Tirzah worriedly.”This must be what is called snow”, said Hashem, as he noticed the tiny white flakes falling softly around them as they stood together in the silent, twinkling night. “I’ve heard about it.” he added. Smiling, she embraced him and said, “It is wonderful”.

Tirzah & Hashem

Safe across the realms into Second Life

As they held one another, they heard the faint sound of bells in the distance. They began to sway gently catching their breath. Gathering their strength and courage, they turned and set out into the night, dreaming of what might be beyond. You too can live the adventures of Hashem and Tirzah. They are found at Ruby Skins, awaiting a your dreams for them in their Second Life.

Same Old Same Old? (Barbie and Ken get the Boot)

Uniqueness is said to be the hallmark of SL. One has the ability to create an avatar to be completely unique. Even some of the best SL designers have recommended when starting a business to avoid “copy catting” and to design things that are totally the artist’s unique creation. In terms of personality, we cannot help but be unique. When it comes to our bodies and skins, we are naturally unique. Down to the last freckle, scar, blemish and gray hair. Yet unfortunately, when you look around in SL, is this what you often see?

Men's faces in SL

Random men in SL

 

 

 

In a comparison of random men’s faces, patterns of similarity are clear. Men’s faces tend to include dark hair, blue eyes, goatees, and square jawlines. Dimples appear popular as well. Though the shapes of these men are not shown, they are all quite similar.

 

 

Certainly clothing and accessory style can make the avatar unique. But  SL lovers are at the mercy of shape and skin designers to help create various unique avatar characteristics. Unless of course one delves into attempting their own shape and skin creation. So why is it then when we look at women, but especially men avatars, so many  look alike? There has evolved  a “standard” in shape and skin making. That standard is something we all can admit to seeing:  men with huge, broad shoulders, tiny waists and heads, giant arm and leg muscles. Women with large breasts and even larger hips and buttocks, and of course pouffy lips, long, thin necks and alien eyes. Oddly, many SL avatars end up looking like RL people who have had plastic surgery! Barbie and Ken were great as children but can we graduate to realistic, attractive and shapely avatars for SL? And by attractive, that means even for the plus sized, elderly or ethnic preferences.

The answer is that we certainly can. One of the luxuries in SL is that anyone can play with shapes. The categories and sliders make it easy in the SL browsers. One just has to find a modifiable shape to start with. But many of us may not have the “eye” to create something realistic to the human body. Especially given SL limitations. One way to experiment is to find a modifiable shape that seems to be close to the desired outcome, copy it and then make modifications that are unique. It can be fun to let your avatar loose or gain weight, change cheekbone structure or get a boob job. It is important to keep in mind however, that good skins are created on a frame or shape that is unique for the skin.

Nose distortions

Nasal folds

Great distortions in the shape will stretch a skin or create hills and valleys that do not match the shading of the skin. A common distortion appears surrounding nose shape. Unfortunately SL offers little variation for unique nose appearance. Making adjustments there can create distortions. If the nose tip is too low, as shown in the first picture, small folds appear just against the outer edge of the nostril and the nostril holes will appear pinched from below.

Belly distortions

Too large of a belly causes stretching

 

Similarly, those desiring a larger belly could find not only stretching in a skin not made for that type of shape, but also bulges that begin to appear and a distinct line across the belly.  A truely great skin will make the illusion of a larger belly in the texture itself, therefore eliminating the need to distort the shape.

Necklines

Extreme jaw settings cause pointy chins

 

 

 

Sleek facial proportions are created with minimal settings most often. The jaw setting should create a straight line between the neck and chin. Maximization of the jaw depth will distort the look of the profile, creating a pointy, harsh, chin and neckline.

large buttox

Buttox settings should stay conservative to avoid distortion

Large hips and butts are desired in SL by many. To get the greatest, most natural effect, the skin itself should create the illusion of largeness. Using shadowing and texture with expertise can achieve that illusion. If butt settings are maximized, a regular skin is stretched, ruining the shadowing and the shape. It becomes contorted, causing bumps and bulges. In addition, a conservative butt and belly size will make clothing fit much easier. SL clothing designers are not using base shapes that are large in belly or butt.

Many shapes sold in SL are highly overpriced and often are not realistic in appearance. Pay a reasonable price for a shape that is modifiable and if editing is desired, make tiny adjustments that will go a long way in creating a unique appearance that matches your skin. The best option is to shop for a great shape that needs no adjustment and comes with a skin made for the shape. And certainly, lighting is a big factor in how a skin looks. Movement away from the norm in SL and using special preset windlighting can create harsh lines and features on all skins no matter the quality.

Body textures

The difference is in the texture

To reveal the true effect texture has on appearance of the avatar on the shape, examine here 2 shapes and 3 skins. The first and second body from the left are the same shape. The first has the “Anna2″ skin, which is a younger, plump skin. Body 2 has “Huldah” skin which is a plumper, elderly, lady texture. Body three and four are a slightly plumper shape. Body three is the “Abigail” skin, which is a younger, plump, lady texture. Body 4 has the same “Anna2″ skin as body 1. Dramatic is how to describe the difference in the look of the avatars in this example. Even the same “Anna2″ skin looks quite different (body 1 and 4) on different shapes. You would be suprised to know that the size settings for the belly, breasts and buttox on both of these shapes are quite conservative. To fully appreciate what expert use of texture can do, note the breast sag on body 2 for the elderly lady. Breast shape like this by adjusting the avatar shape alone is impossible. It is the texture of the skin that makes the shape come alive.

Simon

A great skin/shape combo looks real

Appearance is an important part of your presentation in SL. Make the most of it by develooping a naturally unique looking avatar, complete with style, personality and passion.

Note: all photos presented are un-retouched!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

RUBY Intimate

 

RUBY Intimate Main Store in Black

Did you know that Ruby Skins makes realistic Gender Enhancements for the age verified? These are not your run-of-the-mill penis and vaginas that you generally find in SL. They aren’t oversized, deformed looking, cartoonish body parts. These Enhancements are incredibly real looking, easy to use, functional vaginas and penis’. The quality of these Enhancements is unmatchable.

Sergeant

The Sergeant

Orchid

The Orchid

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are even demos mounted on the wall with a HUD to test them right in the store. The textures on Ruby Intimates are more real than you have seen in SL. The sculpts used are discrete, organic looking and resizable. Compare to any other product in SL; you will not find anything more realistic looking.

Sergeant demo

Sergeant demo mounted on the wall

Orchid demo

The Orchid demo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those wanting the same look of realism but not needing a functioning Enhancement, then the Ruby Intimate “Beach Series” is available. The Marigold and P.F.C. are the same sculpts and textures as the functional Enhancements. They are tintable and can be resized manually.  Perfect for the nude beach!

Ruby Beach Series

Non functional enhancements

In addition to the Orchid, Sergeant, Marigold and P.F.C. Gender Enhancements, Ruby Intimate also has color-change pubic hair for both men and women, in different styles. The Whisp and the Wooly are pubic flexi prims that look incredibly real when worn.

Pubic Hair

Whisp pubic hair

Also featured are the 10 texture options for Peony and Rosebud nipples. Just attach, fit and click to pick your favorite look. Once your texture is selected, they can also can be HUD tinted for even more fine detailing. For extra fun with tops that show one breast, you can even hide either one of your Ruby nipples! How versatile!
3D nipples

Rosebud and Peony 3D nipples

Of course these enhancements look their very best on a Ruby Skin and shape. Artist and creator Carmella Ruby strives for realism in all of her work. Her main store features the most photo-real avatars in SL.

Ruby Intimate now has an outlet store in addition to the lovely, beach themed, main store skybox in Black. The new Asian themed store at the “Hae An” location is a tasteful, roadside, low lag shop that is very easy to find.  Like the Intimate sign says, “tasteful shopping for the age verified individual”. A visit to either of the Ruby Intimate locations will get you hooked on making your SL more real.

New Intimate outlet store

Ruby Intimate Outlet store in Hae An

 

SLURLs for all Ruby stores:

RUBY INTIMATE OUTLET AT Hae An: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hae%20An/168/133/52

RUBY INTIMATE AT Black: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Black/200/22/705

RUBY SKINS AT Axel: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Axel/153/236/108

Darius of the Dark

Second Life is a place noted for the ability of one to be unique. Young, old, fuzzy, mechanical, or anything one’s mind can conjure up can find a home there. There is no better place for someone like me to dwell. I was brought forth uniquely different from most avatars in SL. A phenomenon quite rare. A light cast into the dark you might even say. You could say I am mostly a night-time dweller; nocturnal. I cannot spend much time in the bright light for a number of reasons. One is that my light toned skin is not meant for direct sunlight. Some people point with eyes wide and call me albino. Others whisper I must be gothic. And yet others cast their eyes upon me and believe I am an undead; a child of the night. The truth is I am all of those.

Darius Goth

October is my favorite time of year because I seem to blend in best during this mysterious month. I love the harvest moon, the call of the wild wolves in the foggy darkness and the crisp cool air taken in especially from high above the sims. I relish the blood curdling cry of the screech owl and the faint sound of an old woman’s cackle drifting on the breeze.

 

Darius Gothic look

 

 

Who do you prefer to be in SL? A playboy of women? A poor man down on his luck? A showman singing on stage for a rowdy crowd? Or maybe a dashing, sharply dressed dancing man, twirling his partner expertly across the dance floor. Is your avatar a reflection of yourself? A part of yourself you wish you were? Or possibly completely and thoroughly “you”?

 

 

 

Building your unique look can start with peering deeply into your soul, examining who you are, who you want to be and then uniting that idea with a special avatar that births your new being. An unveiling of an SL soul.

 

 

Darius albino look under the blue moon

I have found that plane for my own existence. You might say I’m comfortable in my own skin. May you reach that goal also.

 

 

 

If you are still exploring or soul searching, you could find yourself drawn to a place souls are born and unique avatars receive their life…..whether they look fleshy, plump and full of life or a little less “alive” …. like me.

 

 

 

Whichever you choose, let your body, skin and soul come together to fulfill your SL desires. Don’t be fooled though, SL is not so far from RL. Walk in the bright light of day or lurk in the dark shadows-perhaps I will find you there……  (Darius begins to smirk softly as he fades into the night..)

Darius Child of the Night

Who is Carmella Ruby?

Carmella Ruby owner and designer at RUBY Skins & Intimate

Hi again from RUBY Skins blogger! I’m here today with owner and designer Carmella Ruby, of the awesome RUBY Skins and other great products, including the new line of RUBY Intimates. I have managed to capture a bit of time from her busy schedule today. I have asked Carmella for a little Q & A session  and I’ll start with the obvious one…

Q-What got you started in SL?

A-Well, I started SL because a good friend had just started here. She thought it was fun. I had heard of it but really did not know what it was. And then my husband, Jethro, came on and it was a great way to get to know each other all over again. That is what has kept me here; my friends and family.

Q-You said you are a graphic artist–can you tell us more about that?

A-Not to reveal my RL age lol, but I have worked professionally for several years in the commercial graphics field. Several years. I started before there were computers in use to any high degree. So when the opportunity came to go to work at a place that was just introducing computers, I took it. Much of the software had to be self taught. I took up Photoshop at version 1 or 2, I think, and taught myself how to use it. Computers and graphics have come a long way.

Q-Tell me how the two come together here to make RUBY Skins a success.

A-Well when I started in SL we were “noobs” stumbling about but my friend and I ended up in Axel sim while looking for a place to live and we have been here since. I started building in SL – houses mostly, for ourselves. Of course like most SL residents, we were always trying to improve our appearance. We were supporting the SL economy in those days but everyone needs a skin and for the ladies that is really not too much of an issue except most look the same. Really, the challenge came for the men in our group. There was almost nothing out there and all of them looked so very similar. But the real thing that finally started me creating skins was when we wanted an elderly skin. I could not figure out why all the skins in SL were cookie cutter skins; all young, white, beautiful people…so RUBY Skins was born.

Q-Your senior skins have been touted as the best in SL by your customers. What makes them come alive?

Sarah one of RUBY Skins Top Sellers

A-To start out with, I use real life models and paint the skins seamlessly onto the SL Avatar form. I spend a lot of time de-seaming them and giving each not only a unique face but a body as well. But I think the thing that brings all of the RUBY Skins to life is they each have their own personalities. As they are created, they develop a personality. Each is special to me. Some of them are rude, some are grumpy, some are sweet. I think about people I know in RL and use that.  I create not only the skin but the accompanying shapes. So there is more than just technical skill involved; they are like an artistic creation in 3-D. I don’t even get along with some of them. lol.

Q-Can you pick one of your favorites and tell us about the development of that skin and shape?

A-Oh my! A favorite? That is like picking a favorite child..let me see..Sarah has been a phenominal success and she was my first elderly lady. She was/is a sweet, grandmotherly type who has her experiences written in the lines on her face. After creating the skin I usually temp upload unfinished skins into SL. I create the shapes with the skins and then tweak the skin for the shape and see who awaits me. So Sarah got fairly light make-up– “grandma don’t want to be painted like no hussy”–well except for her final make-up and then she over-did it. Her perfume too. One thing…if I discover a mistake with any of my skins, I will correct them and send a free update to anyone who has purchased one.

Lynn – Wow you claim to have great customer service, and I can see why. That seems to be a rarity in SL!

Carmella – Well I don’t charge a lot for my skin and shape combos but it still is enough that people deserve the best.

Q-You have opened a new store-RUBY Intimates–tell us about this unique place.

A-Well  to start off with, I am not just in SL to sell things, and I use everything I sell, so there never will be some products available here. There seemed again to be a real lack of, what I call, Realistic Gender Enhancements. I am a realistic freak I guess. There are certain things in SL that just don’t look or perform like RL. I’m not sure how to say this, but like one lady that was blogging some of the RUBY Skins said, she had “never seen a umm female gender enhancement that did not look like a hotdog bun between her legs”. As most can attest to, male enhancements look more like sporting equipment. So I created sculpted gender enhancements to look more real and opened what I think is a classy store to sell them to age verfied people. We have a nude model there most of the time displaying the products.

The RUBY Intimate Store shop in a quiet beach store

Q-Have you ever had a complaint about one of your products?

A-Someone had an issue with the toes in the ladies flip flop sandals once. And there is one review on the Adam skin in Marketplace where someone thought he was too splotchy and tired looking. However, as for the flip flops, when the purchaser showed me the issue, I fixed them for her on the spot and then updated the product. Adam was one of our free skins and truthfully, I ignored the comment. See, in RL sometimes people are splotchy, have freckles, moles, zits, uneven skin tones, etc. It is one of the things that make RUBY Skins look like someone you know.

Q-Can you tell us about your next project?

A-Oh my! I have so many…but the big thing coming up is the new Elite Skins. They will include extras like modifiable shapes, tans, tan lines…I’m still working on all that will come with them, lol. But they will sell for slightly more than our Premium Skins.

Q-You recently remodeled your store–is this to make room for the new line?

A-Yes and more skins, or should I say skin/shape combos. Some things are in the works for group members and RUBY Lake will become a hot fishing spot.

Q-Is that part of the build next to the store in Axel?

A-Yes, just north of the store is a lake in the Black sim. You cant really miss it because it has a giant, rotating, RUBY Skins sign by it. My other thing besides creating realistic Avatars is making nice, realistic looking places. I like to think that RUBY Intimates is one of the more unique stores in SL.

Q-Are you involved with any of the hunts this fall?

RUBY Skins sells complete Avatar packs throughout the year for an incredible L$10

A-Well I have had several offers but so far I am only signed up for the “Make Her Over Hunt” which should be starting sometime within the next few weeks. The gifts at RUBY Skins are top notch. Our FALL Special will be out very soon and feature “Candice”. I wont even give my junk away as some seem to do. My goal is to have 100% customer satisfaction. It does not matter if you got something free or payed for it. RUBY Skins is not all about making money. Sure, it is nice to make enough to pay tier and be able to afford better equipment to work on, but that is not my #1 goal.

Lynn-Wow, there is so much more I’d like to ask but we will close here. There is a little of everything in this store from eyes to shoes to clothes to skins. And ohhh the quality. Don’t miss the specials, freebies, hunt gifts and prizes. And for the age verified, a little hot excitement don’t forget RUBY Intimates.  Hey, I’m getting my fishing pole and heading for RUBY Lake.

Candice will be featured in the Fall Special to be released soon!

More than a pretty face?

 

SL Skin More Than Just Faces?

Second Life is a great place to spend time, there is no doubt. It offers things we just cant get in real life. The social, recreational, educational exploits are endless. And an interesting economy thrives in this virtual world. However, there is a very dark downside to elements of the SL economy. Buyers can literally be deceived due to perceptions that exist in real life but not in SL. In the real world we are conditioned to believe that the higher the price, the better the quality of our purchases. And this makes sense when we understand what goes into the making of a product. Better quality fabric, wine, etc. The cost is higher to bring that type of quality to the customer. Second Life is not this way. Merchants can get their product on the SL market very easily. And in many ways, the buyer is at the mercy of trusting that the seller has released a high quality, fairly priced product, with good customer service to back it. Unfortunately it is just not always so. Don’t misunderstand, there are excellent merchants out there in SL, who go far and above in quality and price. But there are many more who don’t. The above illustration is a comparison of faces. You would be shocked to know the prices of each of the 5 skins used in our comparison. They ranged from Ruby Skins free “Rachel” (far left) to other popular skins priced up to L$1200 in our examples. We used the same Ruby shape for all skins in the examples, same pose and lighting. Please note, the higher priced skins only include one skin and no shape. We saw prices at L$3000 or more for fat packs with various makeups and again they did not include a shape. You will find single modifiable shapes in SL averaging around L$800. As always, our photos are not retouched, but we did try to obscure the name of the skin on those with demo marks. Click the photo for enlargement and then “see full size” for an even larger view. Slower internet connections may load the examples more slowly.

The SL market is flooded with clothing and skins. Skins are good examples to prove our point.  The look one chooses  is highly important in SL. SL culture is built around this much more than in RL because it is so easy to change it and make it the way we want it to be. So in choosing a skin and shape there are endless possibilities. However, if the buyer desires something that is proportioned and modeled after real life, buyer beware. Deception is rampant not only in the product but in the marketing of it. Graphic tools such as “Photoshop” are absolutely astonishing in how they can be used, both for good and bad. They can deceive the buyer into believing that the product marketed is what they will receive. Unfortunately with skins and clothing, the skinmaker should spend as much time using Photoshop on the product itself to produce a goal of  beautiful, flawless product instead of mocking up the ad, retouching imperfections and deceiving the buyer.

An inspection and comparison of quality and price is quite a lesson for those who care to try it. Skin prices are unbelievable and often do not match the quality. No doubt, much time is put into a good quality skin and shape. However the product should speak for itself, no matter what quality of graphics the buyers computer has. There is no excuse to charge high prices for seams, grainy quality, cartoonish, garish looks and the other “sins of skins” that are easily found in SL. Feet are a good example of detail. Feet are difficult to recreate to look natural. The folds and pixelation are incredibly hard to paint. Here you see one skinmaker who decided to leave a foot without any texture at all! (center)

We pay a lot of attention to bodies in RL. No less important in SL. 3D recreation of the subtle things that make for a beautiful body are important in a good skin. Click to enlarge the above picture, and I hope you can see the comparison of bodies here and notice the seams on the sides of some of these skins, below the breasts down to the waists. Seams appear as a faint line, a demarkation of where textures meet. Quality skins will not have seams or have very few and only in difficult to “reach” places like inner thighs.

The head is another enigma. Often, the scalp is found to have no texture at all or the seam was not blended out where the face meets the scalp. It is clearly seen here, in one of the more expensive skins (4th skin from left). It is difficult to find a good bald ladies skin that has head with true texture.

Beautiful bottoms are very important in SL. They come in all shapes and sizes, often highlighted with shiny hineys. But look just above the cheeks and often you will find a distinct seam, dividing the lower half of the body from the upper half. Many times the skin is created to look best from a distance, and not close up.

Creating realistic shapes is an art in SL. Though many new users of SL prefer  to create their own shapes, often it is easy to end up with a mis-proportioned body. To attain a shape that is as real life as possible, the creator has to work with the limitations that SL offers. The avatar body options are quite limited.

Here are a number of ladies shapes. Well, we think the first shape is more like a hybrid alien. :) Unfortunately that shape came with one of the most expensive skins we sampled. It clearly stands out among the others as odd. 3rd from the left is a free Ruby shape.  Even larger shapes can be well done in good proportion, as the end shape on the right. Men’s shapes are no different. The need for good balance and proportion is essential.

Shape number one is somewhat better than its lady counterpart, but not by much. Even when attempting a shape outside of the norm, large or small, it can be a challenge to end up with something that appears natural.

As you can see, obtaining a good looking shape and skin for a fair price in SL can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Especially when most merchants are there to make a profit. Though it is true, a few truely hope for the buyer to have a great product for a low price. Check for yourself and shop wisely. Look for reputable merchants who have good customer service. Inspect demos closely. Compare prices. Ask questions if there are issues. A truely good merchant wants a happy customer and will go out of their way to ensure it. And beware of comments or reviews left on products. Often positive reviews are left by the creator themselves or an alt of the creator. And negative comments are often left by a competitor, so judge for yourself by acquiring and inspecting a demo if one is available.

I do hope you haven’t paid too much for your favorite skin and shape. If you did, don’t feel like you have to wear it just because you bought it. That only advertises a bad product. Find a product that is worthy to be worn by you!

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