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Modeling

Clear Skin and Blue Skies Ahead. It's Summertime!

It's summer time.  The weather is warmer.  The sun is out.  And you want to be out in that fresh air enjoying life.  Sunshine and the subsequent Vitamin D from sun exposure has its benefits.  We need a little bit of those UV rays to prevent things like Rickets and Depression.  Not all sun exposure is bad.  Moderation is the key to life.  But this post isn't about the pros and cons of lazy days out on the beach, in the sand and salt water, soaking up copious amounts of natural Vitamin D in the form of refreshing, warming tropical sunshine...... sorry, got a little sidetracked there with my day dream.

Ok, so you want to be out enjoying the summer life.  Lazy days on the beach, or lake, or any other outdoor activity.  But, if you're like me sunshine puts a nice spotlight on any problem areas on your face.  It's embarrassing to admit, but I have always struggled with acne and large pores.  I remember being in the 6th grade and begging my mom to let me wear make up so I could try to hide the large dark pores across my nose.  And as an adult, I still suffer from this less than flattering condition.

Another guilty confession:  I am addicted to Pinterest.

Last night while waiting out my frequent visitor, insomnia, I was scrolling through Pinterest when I spied something that really caught my attention.  A natural skin treatment to help reduce large pores (blackheads) on the nose and smooth skin.  I couldn't wait to try it.  In my haste I failed to take a picture for before and after results.  My apologies.

What was this remedy?  Something most of us have in our kitchens.  Lemon juice and baking soda!



After doing a little research on the subject and finding many variables to this "recipe" I decided to go with the simplest method.  Hey, simple is better!  I used a small ramekin,

These are Ramekins!


squeezed in about a Tablespoon of lemon juice (the recipe said to squeeze a lemon for fresh juice.  I didn't have one on hand but I had a bottle of lemon juice *not from concentrate*)



then started adding baking soda a little at a time, stirring to make a paste.  Don't be alarmed, it will fizz and foam.  It is a chemical reaction between the two ingredients and shows that your baking soda hasn't gone stale.  Just keep adding a little at a time and stirring until the foaming goes down enough to add some more.

Baking Soda foaming when mixed with Lemon Juice


The goal is to create a thick, creamy paste.  Then using my fingers I smeared the paste all over my nose, cheeks, chin, and center of my forehead (typical T-zone areas).  Basically anywhere I suffer most from acne and large pores.  I spent a few minutes scrubbing it in (for exfoliation) and then I let it sit on my face for 20 minutes.  Like most face masks the paste dries and pulls at your skin.

*If you have sensitive skin, 20 minutes might be too long.  Start with 5 minutes and work your way up to what you can tolerate.  It will burn a little but shouldn't be terribly uncomfortable.

After 20 minutes I simply rinsed my face with cool water and patted dry.  I could immediately feel the change.  My skin felt noticeably smoother.  Grabbing a mirror and standing in the sunlight to examine my nose I was happily surprised to see a very noticeable shrinkage in the diameter of the pores across my nose.  Not gone, but yes smaller.

I let my face breathe for an hour or so and then applied a little bit of coconut oil, which is fantastic for skin care, especially for oily skin.  The coconut oil absorbs into your skin completely after about 5 minutes leaving it soft and supple, not greasy.  And it has antibacterial properties to help fight against breakouts.



I am thinking the lemon juice/baking soda scrub/mask is a bit too harsh to use every day, but perhaps once or twice a week.  Also of note, both lemon juice and baking soda have whitening/lightening properties.  It may take some time, but over time with continued use these ingredients may lighten skin blemishes and spots.

Of course, there are many other uses and benefits, as well as side effects.  If you have skin sensitivity test in a small area for a short amount of time first.  If you are allergic to either ingredient don't use at all.  It probably wouldn't be the best idea to use this skin scrub/mask immediately before heading out into the sunshine either.  Be good to your skin.  Be kind.  Be gentle.  Take care of it and it will take care of you.

I've also read where people have splashed their face with a mixture of 1 cup water and 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner.  ACV is another one of those handy kitchen items that has so many practical uses and is great for the body, skin, and hair.

Perhaps I'll cover uses for ACV and other kitchen items another day.  In the meantime you can do your own research and tests.  Here are a list of some great natural products to keep in the house for use on your skin, in your body, or around the house.

Baking Soda
Apple Cider Vinegar
Coconut Oil
Honey
Sugar
Turmeric
Lemons/Lemon Juice
White Vinegar
Sea Salt
Essential Oils

I am sure there are many others I am forgetting to list.  Know of some or have your own experiences and tips?  Leave a comment.  I would love to hear your stories.

~sierra sugar

Chasing Pirates


Pirate Kitty faded, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.


In your message you said, you were goin' to bed, but I'm not done with the night.
So I stayed up and read, but your words in my head, got me mixed up so I turned out the light.

And I, don't know how, to slow it down.
My mind's racing from chasing pirates.

Well the man in there swings while the silliest things, floppin around in my brain.
And I try not to dream but them possible schemes, swim around, wanna drown me in synch.

And I, don't know how, to slow it down.
Oh my mind's racing from chasing pirates.

Ears - *Dreams* Tied with a Bow Snowy White Twitchy Ear 1.2
Skin - *League* Sia Fair FelineFemme -Frex -Cleavage
Eyes - sa_ForestElfEyes_CelinFerns
Lashes - Miamai_NoAlpha Lashes_N01
Hair - [Nikita] Bright Choque Hair - Ice
Shape - My own

Boots - *~*Illusion*~* *~*Pirate Boot Base: Fop/Strapped/Small Divided
Stockings - + ezura + Thigh-High Sheer Stockings *Stripes
Garter - ~Blacklace~ Trouble: Black Lace Garter w/Gun
Corset (prim) - Schadenfreude Corset (Frozen Waist) - Wider Ribs
Corset (alpha layer) - Schadenfreude Underbust Corset Alpha
Corset top (prim) - [Black] CorsetTop
Corset top (clothing jacket layer) - [Black] Corset
Skirt - Indyra Orginals - Bastille BustleSkirt
Pants - ~Blacklace~ Trouble: Velvet & Satin Gray Pinstripe Garter Belt
Panties - ~Blacklace~ Trouble: Black Velvet Panties
Collar - Indyra Orginals - Victorian Choker Ascot
Arm cuffs - Indyra Orginals - Bastille Cuff
Hat - Indyra Orginals - Bastille Tri-Corner hat

Sierra's Numbers



Sierra's Nummbers, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.
Completing Strawberry Singh's challenge to list our shape numbers. It's wonderful to see such diversity in Second Life and everyone's idea is aesthetics when creating their avatar.

Please take a look at her Flickr group "What's your Digits" to see everyone who has participlated.

Other Credits:

Shape: My own custom creation
Skin: *League* Sia Fair Ruby -Frex -Cleavage
Hair: VIXEN - Besom - White
Eyes: sa_ForestElfEyes_CelinFerns
Lashes: Miamai_NoAlpha Lashes_N01
Nails: [ Love Soul ] Prim nails*Charme*White
Neko Ears: *Dreams* Tied with a Bow Snowy White Twitchy Ears (now Sanu)
Neko Tail: Psychotic Neko - Extreme Corset Tail
Outfit: ~Blacklace~ Crush: Pink Satin Mesh Camisole Set

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas


Christmas2010a, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.

Where I come from in Real Life we have seasons such as "Summer", "August", "Hot" and "February" (where we get a slight reprieve from the heat and humidity). So Fall and Winter in Second Life for me are the most enjoyable. I love to see Sim landscaping change with the seasons. I love how all the stores fashions reflect the colder weather of wintry climates. I love the warm fuzzy sweaters and boots of all varieties. And I love to decorate for the holidays with all the little pretties I find around the grid.

Second Life is a great big play ground of amazing possibilities, fantastical creations, and imagination without boundaries. So as I sit here sipping hot chocolate in my house cooled to a comfortable 70 degrees thanks to the modern luxury of air conditioning, I decorate my home Sim for Christmas. Caribbean Islands are not known for their blustery winters and snow days, so I build up in the sky. SL is great for defying the laws of physics too! In my little skybox I'm able to create a cozy snowy scene complete with frozen pond, frost covered evergreens, and a cute little wooden cabin.

I string some paper snowflakes across the doorway and hang a pretty wreath on the wall. A simple Christmas tree with its twinkling lights brings a touch of festive cheer. As I sit all warm and cozy inside my cabin I can look out on my perfect little winter scene and smile. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Skin: [PXL] - Kasumi SK RoseLips P
Makeup: [PXL] - Kasumi SK Smoke Eyes
Lashes: MaiMai - No Alpha Lashes N01
Hair: Damselfly - Whiskey in Ruby Twilight Blend
Eyes: Poetic Colors - Poison Ivy
Ears: *Dreams* - Tied with a Bow Snowy White Ears
sweater: !BDC FIRESIDE FAWN SWEATER MINI
Cabin: {what next} - Nordic Cabin
Photo Credits: *SKC* Photography

Intro to Modeling


As 8pm SLT approached I found while I was slightly less apprehensive than I was during the Orientation I was still notably anxious about this first class. Who would be my classmates? Who would be the instructor? Would I fit in? Would I trip over my tail and fall flat on my nose in front of everyone? Luckily the latter of the list did not happen.

Our first night at the MODA Modeling school was spent in an intimate classroom around a cozy table discussing the core values MODA is built upon as well as a brief outline of what the course will entail. I found over all that everyone was pleasant, friendly, and very helpful. Still my only concern is my RL schedule interfering with the MODA class schedule. Thursday nights in particular may cause a conflict. But I'm going to stick it out and do my best to complete every class, every course, every assignment.

Its refreshing to be involved in something again. Its uplifting to have a goal and a purpose instead of the shadow of misdirection that I've wandered aimlessly under for the past year. My one hope is that with my change now that I still make Him happy and proud of me. Its His smile that watches over me that I hope to never cause to faulter.

Catwalk

On a shopping spree with a dear friend of mine last night, Christine, she and I discovered that in all of SL Neko's tend to be highly over looked as models. Well, its something I've suspected for quite some time as I've wanted to get into modeling but as a devout and faithful Neko its proved a difficult to say the least. So what is it about ears and a tail that makes us so non-photogenic? Can't say its because of our skin as up until recently I've always worn a "normal" skin. Although Nomine has an absolutely fantabulous Neko tiger skin. Beeeea-u-tiful! Munch's new line of skins has THE best lip proportion and shape in SL in my opinion. But aside from how fabulous her skins are, what exactly is it about Neko's that designers shy away from in using us for their advertising campaign?

Now before anyone gets all upset I'm not sitting here throwing prejudice or segregation accusations. I honestly think its more a matter of misunderstand and fear of the unknown. I don't believe there is a great conspiracy out there to oust the Neko population from the SL modeling world. Neko's are used a good bit in cyberpunk and steampunk, even a touch of goth from time to time. But I'd love to see them used more and become more mainstream.

*gasps* Did I just say that? Why yes I did. There was a time when I was highly offended at the growing Neko population in SL. Being one of the first Neko's here 3 years ago it was frustrating to see such a boom in the growth of these hybrid cats. I was no longer unique, different, special. But, just like every hooman, or every furry, or elf, or dragon, every Neko has her own unique personality. Each of us are filled with playful quirks that stand us apart from each other. And it is these very playful traits that I feel would lend itself so well to the camera. And I think its time I figure out a way to open up the doors. I'm proud of my ears and tail and wish to show them off, and what better way than through the beauty and art of still photography and fashion.

After all aren't we the purrrrfect ones to walk the catwalk?