Saturday, September 15, 2007


D-skin by Japanese designer DynamiteTanaka Payne has been around for a few months now, and features extremely pretty, "semi-realistic" skins and a unique business model. The quality of the skins on offer could easily see D-skin competing with a lot of the bigger names.

When you walk into the store you will see a selection of (currently) 8 skins, which at first appear to be sold as singles. Hence my initial gasp at the 2K price tag. But each skin comes with a selection of makeup options, a shape and a face light. It's a similar set up to RaC and Insolence in that each skin represents a unique character, so there's no choosing between different skintones here. And those of you looking for uber-tanned or ebony skins can stop reading right now - there aren't any on offer.

I'm reviewing the D-Skin08 v1.0 here, but a lot of the selling points of this particular skin apply to the rest of the range as well. All have delicately pretty faces, minimal makeup, and smooth buttery skin. These are not skins for blingtard bimbos or wanna-be strippers - and I can say that confidently because a scantily clad avatar with breast sliders at 100, big hair and tons of bling was trying on demos while I was in the store and it just didn't work. Now that's a strong selling point in my book! But if your style leans more towards fresh and cute, or subtly sophisticated, these skins are definitely something you should be looking at.

The 6 makeup options for the D-Skin08 include 3 different eye makeup styles, with 2 shades of lipstick for each. These are very subtle variations and the overall look of the skin won't change a lot when you switch between makeups. The eye makeup is particularly impressive, it's extremely natural and the eyelashes are some of the best I have seen on a skin (to give you some idea of how good, I am not wearing prim eyelashes in the picture above). The lips are nice and glossy in neutral tones, with the shading above them giving a nice emphasis to the mouth. The blush gives a subtle rosy glow to your face, and the brows are very natural looking without being overly detailed. While it's obvious the designer has used some photosourcing for the face, he has managed to avoid all the flaws that are apparent in so many photosourced skins - the texture is perfectly smooth, and there is no ruddiness or unevenness to the skintone. The nostrils and ears are extremely well done too. After checking out the faces of these skins, I was sold, and probably wouldn't have cared if the bodies came covered in green dots.

Fortunately, I can't make any complaints in that department either. The body shading is extremely good. Overall a nice creamy tone, with soft shadows and highlights rather than harsh and overly realistic shading. I really like the shading around the breasts, which gives emphasis without appearing unnatural. The nipples are quite light and very natural looking. Trinitee Trilam has already made mention of the great neck shading on this skin and I would agree it is excellent. Other features that stood out as being particularly well done are the hands, and the back of the knees. The genital area on this skin is hairless, but fortunately there is no "open wound" effect as 'Kota would say, it's all very subtle.

The most unique aspect of the D-skin product is the Update Tool. Normally if a skin designer improves their product, you are left to buy the new version. If your D-skin is updated and improved, the new version will be sent to you when you use the update tool. I haven't had the chance to see this in action, but it's clear from the version numbers of the skins that DynamiteTanaka does update his work, with some skins up to version 1.2.

Check what's included with your skin before purchasing. While the skin I purchased came with 6 different makeup options for 2K, other skins come with different skintones or fewer makeup choices. One very pretty skin only offered 2 makeup options for the 2K price tag, but it's easy enough to see what you'll be getting as it's all in the demo. A couple of the older skins are also available for 1500L.

Worth the price tag? Hell yes, worth walking over hot coals for faces this pretty. Be prepared to spend some time choosing though, it's really hard to decide between these skins. The D-skin blog should help you out though, there's very detailed information and a ton of pics for each of the skins there.