It took me four hours in Orientation Island to create my face shape on my first day in SL. It looks nothing like the RL me, but it is the face that I had been drawing since I learned to draw. It was my ideal face. Although I've changed the body shape a few times, I didn't touch the face for more than a year and a half.
It took me six months to find a skin that would preserve that look and feel. I found it in X2:Exotica with their Soft Fusion line. At that time, it was among the best available skins in SL. And among the most expensive at 4,000L per set of five makeups. Although I bought a total of three different skin tones (tan, deep, and dark), I've stayed with the same manufacturer. In fact, I've stayed with the same makeup set in the same line.
Anyway, I've changed. Here's why.
The story starts in February when Shanna Sungsoo asked if I would be interested in doing a mermaid fashion show, which would feature several mer tail designers. I said, sure, but I only had one tail to show and I wanted to model it myself. At that time, I was already planning the bridal mer tail but hadn't started work on it yet. I wanted to unveil it (pun intended) at the fashion show.
Well, I watched a few SL fashion shows on YouTube and realized there were things I didn't know about modelling at a fashion show, so I started looking at training and found the MODA Modeling School. I filled out an application and didn't hear from them for a long time.
Meanwhile, the mermaid fashion show kept getting postponed, until I couldn't wait that I went ahead and released my bridal mer tail. When the fashion show got scheduled, I couldn't model the tail anyway. At around the same time, I got word from MODA, but the classes started after the rescheduled fashion show.
The MODA classes started last week, continue through this week, and will end after next week. It was the Photography class last week that made me realize it was time for a new skin. I was about ready to get new skin anyway because I'm seeing more realistic skins available now. And, as the Photography class illustrated, the skin makes a big difference in the headshots.
Well, I tried a gazillion demos. But they all changed the look and feel of my face and no tweaking could bring back that "flavor". So I finally went back to X2 and noticed their Hyper Fusion line. It photographed better. I got the deep tone but there was a blue tint to the highlights that kinda made me look like a zombie. So I got the tan tone and it works much better. However, I had to tweak my face shape, particularly the mouth, to preserve the feel.
Then I had to buy natural-looking eyes because the eyes I had in inventory had very white whites. I found the perfect eyes at Wild Lilies. I bought several pairs.
So, I have two headshots for the Photography homework. Same pose, same lighting, same composition. But one is everyday sweet and the other is evening elegant. The everyday sweet one is now my profile pic. (How'd you like that transparent background?)
It's still me, only better. Mo' bettah.