|Val, Miss August|
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, though, we're still searching for that elusive next "superstar" Playmate that can conjure up my next A+ rating. With this July-August double issue, though, we don't really get that breakthrough. However, we do get a punchy contender in Miss August, Val Keil.
The small brunette named Val is a 22 year old beauty hailing from Philly. Although she isn't the poser that I would have hoped, she's visually great in many different aspects, most notably with her big sexy eyes.
Val's unleashed a plethora of Playmate material so far this month, with photographer Josh Ryan offering a nice respite from Eisenmann's disastrous entries. While Ryan is no virtuoso, he gives a considerable amount of breathing room to his models, allowing them to be contemplative and sexual, never allowing the setting to take charge and dictate the way forward.
Val's pictorials are a bit uneven, but certainly pleasing to the eye because of the great subject matter. Her main pictorial is a bit off, as is her "Hollywood Glamour" entry, with both of them not offering enough color and contrast to Val's dark look. Miss Keil has a dose of stage presence that several other women have lacked so far in '13, taking the reins when they're properly offered.
|Val's figure is notable for her|
amazing lower body
In her "Pure Aphrodisiac" photo set, Val hits her stride and settles in, with her signature ruby red lipstick and heavy dark eyeliner showing off a face with character and charm. In a slinky pink garter set, Miss Keil spins and manipulates her body, which isn't something to be underestimated. While she doesn't have the curves or natural balance that Alyssa had (and few do), she's chiseled and has a fantastic ass.
What Val lacks in really raw talent is made up for by her intriguing looks. The real coup de grace comes in the second half of her "Director's Choice" set, where a grid-like brassiere and a tantalizing bottomless look pervade throughout, and evoke some naughty poses. While her movement is a bit stiff and she never looks 100% comfortable, there's no denying that this one is a woman who's here to carve out an identity of her own.
- Face: A-
In a year of some really pretty faces, which is probably the most inconsistent trait for most Playmate classes, Val's still stands out as one of the most eye-catching. Her deep, pearly eyes are easily her best feature, and when she tilts her head down and peers up with them, it's a signature move that doesn't fail. A knock against the editors here would have to be with her oft-overdone makeup, where you almost hope they gave her a single chance without such a heavy dose of that ruby red lipstick.
- Body: A-
One of the smaller Playmates of this class, Val's stature is easily apparent in photos, as her torso looks notably shorter throughout. However, this serves to offset some of the imbalance that Val has in her physique. She doesn't have overly large breasts, and that suits her well - but with the rest of her body looking adequately curvy, her top half seems a bit lacking. All that aside, Val is a complete pleasure. Her perky butt is always sexy, and gives her what's easily the best bottom half of 2013.
- Talent: B+
Val possesses some really above average posing skills, sometimes looking imposing and utterly sexy in her pictorial. Josh Ryan does well with Val in several settings, with her lingerie shots looking particularly powerful. Val works the camera with ease when she's comfortable. On the other hand, at times she's not given the room to shine, and looks lost and confused. She has a tough time compensating for a stale setpiece, which is worrying.
- Pictorial: B
Mr. Ryan hits a few home runs with Val's pink lingerie set and a spread with a strappy bra and not a whole lot else. Those two pictorials are truly great, since they give her a pure, simple slate to expose herself. But with the two other pictorials, "Hollywood Glamour" and her magazine spread, she looks over-polished and vastly underutilized, like a mannequin with little of the glow she has when she's in her element.
- Centerfold: A
Val's centerfold is a back-to-basics strategy that is easily the best centerfold image of the year so far. It's a perfect shot of her fantastic hip lines and awesome lower body. Full frontal shots that are as fantastical as this are hard to come by in today's Playboy.
- Overall: A-
It's been a consistent year, if anything. There's still no true star power, and Val was never the girl to bring it with much impact. However, we've got a pretty memorable Playmate with a gorgeous body, ample posing skill, and a couple of good pictorial sets - more than you could ask for in a year of some subpar material. Val's stunning face complements a body that sports by far the best legs and butt of 2013. Val won't etch herself into the minds of fans, but she's been a pleasure nonetheless.