UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Freya Unisex Bento Mesh Head from Catwa!

Shots fired!

Well, Catwa has officially entered the thick of the battle of what in what I used to call the Bento Head Wars, but which I am now officially dubbing The Great Bento War of 2020. Never can I remember a time in Second Life when so many great Bento mesh heads and bodies are being made available for free or next to free!

Catwa has just released a free group gift of a Bento mesh head, called Freya! Please note that despite the name, this Bento mesh head is intended to be unisex, usable for all genders of avatars. Like all Bento mesh heads, you should be able to use the sliders to get as masculine or feminine (or non-binary gendered) a look as you desire.

To pick up this group gift, you must join either the Catwa store group (^;^CaTwA^;^) or the CATWA HEAD Friends group. Both groups are free to join.

To pick up your free group gift, you then must teleport over to the Catwa store, and click on the black circle with the name of the corresponding group:

Once you unpack it, here is what you receive:

The Freya head comes with two recommended starter shapes (“boy” male, or female) an eyebrow shaper, some talking animations, a face light, and three HUDs: a master HUD, an animations HUD, and an eyes HUD (the package comes with rigged mesh eyes).

The “BOM Skin A Makeup Alpha Pack”, when unpacked, contains a complete set of alphas in various combinations (head, eyes, body, full avatar), plus a huge set of Bakes-on-Mesh blush, brows, eyeliner, freckles, hairbases, lipstick, and neck and ear tattoos. The folder includes a complete set of Bakes-on-Mesh skins from TheSkinnery (in a range of eleven skin tones, with and without eyebrows) and a couple of skins from Deetalez (again, with and without brows).

Note that there are no male skins included in this package; if you want a male look, you’ll have to go do a little shopping around! However, if you want a female avatar, you should be able to use these included skins with any Bakes-on-Mesh compatible mesh body (such as the still-available dollarbie Classic body from Meshbody) to get a good look without having to buy anything else!

The “HD Lips Pack Freya” package includes high-definition lips and a lips HUD.

Here is what the Freya head looks like straight out of the box, with the included default female body shape and eyebrow shaper, default skin and eyes:

After applying my favourite Daria skin applier for Catwa heads from TheSkinnery, and adding the HUDs, here’s what we’ve got:

The HUDs on the Freya are the full-blown versions you would expect to find on the full-price Catwa heads. The eyes HUD gives you twelve different colours (here, I picked one of the brown ones). The Catwa HUDs are quite complicated, with many features, and I would strongly urge anybody who is new to them to read through the comprehensive user documentation available on their official Catwa website. There’s even a “crash course” video on Catwa Bento mesh heads by former mesh body über-blogger Strawberry Singh, now better known as Strawberry Linden since she got hired by Linden Lab!

According to the group notice that was sent out, this is a limited-time offer, so I would try to get down to the Catwa store as soon as possible! Here are the SLURLs provided in the original group notice:

As you might expect, the Catwa sims are absolutely jam-packed with avatars picking up the Freya head, so I would advise you to either wait a while for the crowds to die down a bit, or use a tool like the handy free Teleport Hammer to fight your way in. (Also remember that Premium accounts get priority access to sims that are full.) Good luck!

P.S. I forgot to mention that, if you are looking for some free skin appliers to use with the Freya head, there are currently generous group gifts available at both Amara Beauty and at Essences for skin appliers for Catwa Bento mesh heads. Happy freebie shopping!


IMPORTANT UPDATE May 4th, 2020: Due to extremely high demand, the Catwa store has sent out the following announcement:

CATWA GIFT UNISEX HEAD Freya
[LIMITED OFFER 3rd to 24th MAY 2020]
The gift is is NO LONGER at CATWA mainstore!
Activate any of the CATWA groups before going.
Detach meshes so you can rez quicker.
Please give chance to other by leaving the sim after getting the gift.
Gift locations:

1. Sensual Romance
2. NoYourOtherLeft
3. LV Designs

Also, I spent some time playing around with the Freya head and the dollarbie Classic mesh body from Meshbody. I found that, once I was able to match the included skin tones between the Catwa Freya head and the Classic mesh body as best I could, I was able to use the included neckfades in the Classic Meshbody package to achieve some pleasing results without any noticeable neck seam (and there are clear, step-by-step instructions on how to apply the Classic neckfades to Catwa heads).

She is looking fabulous at Frank’s Jazz Club tonight! This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: Freya Bento mesh head by Catwa (free group gift; group is free to join)

Lipstick: HD Lips Pack Freya (included in the Catwa Freya head package)

Mesh Body: Classic mesh body by Meshbody (dollarbie group gift; group is free to join; more information here)

Hair: Gigi hair by Yomi (free group gift; group is free to join)

Dress: Kay dress in blue and gold by Tiffany Designs (free gift at The Free Dove; you must join The Free Dove group for free to pick up gifts there)

Shoes: Scarlett shoes in gold by Nala Design (free gift at the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil; the shoes are meant for Slink feet and I had to adjust them a bit to fit the Classic feet on this avatar, but they worked)

Animation Override: Lessie AO by GoldSquare (free group gift; group is free to join). The ankle lock, an essential add-on, is a free gift from Baby Monkey (just grab the blue bag at the reception desk).

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: Only L$1! (for the Classic Meshbody)


UPDATE May 6th, 2020: I have been tinkering around with the Freya gift head over the past couple of days, and I must say that I am impressed at just how versatile this head is! Here’s a couple of completely different looks I put together.

This princess look consists of the Freya head paired with a Maitreya Lara body, using the starter female eyebrow shaper and female shape that came with the Freya package, and the Madelyn skin applier in olive from Amara Beauty (a free gift!):

And this completely androgynous drag queen look uses the Freya head with the Altamura Romeo mesh body, with the high-definition Freya lips and some makeup from Dotty’s Secret! The male eyebrow shaper and male shape for the Freya head were a free, full-perms gift from the NoYourOtherLeft gift pickup spot listed above (just look for a large box opposite the row of kiosks).

And finally, here is a male avatar I created using the free Freya head with the dollarbie Classic male body from Meshbody. I used the same male eyebrow shaper and male shape for the Freya head from NoYourOtherLeft as my starting point, only making the jaw a little more square, and using one of the Bakes on Mesh male skins from Digital Nude Art (DNA) that I picked up here (a store which, unfortunately, appears to have now closed):

So, as you can see, you can pretty much take this free gift head and go in any creative direction you want with it! Be sure to pick up the Freya gift head before this offer expires in May 24th, 2020. In addition to the three pickup spots I listed above, you can now also buy the Freya gift head, for free, from the SL Marketplace!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: FaMESHed Eighth Anniversary Round Gifts

One of Ryan’s top tips for freebie shopping is:

Check out the yearly anniversaries of regular shopping events; quite often there will be freebies at all or most of the participating vendor booths. For example, both FaMESHed and the eBENTO event have their anniversaries in May, and the popular Uber event celebrates its anniversary every July with many freebies.

Well, it just so happened that the hard-working people who run the FaMESHed event just sent around the following announcement:

Happy Birthday to FaMESHed!

We started in a tent, and here we are 8 years later… We have a special setup for this round.

SPOTLIGHTS BY: Di’Cor | Lapointe & BastChild | {le fil cassé} | Rise Design

Please note: This is a bigger round than usual, so please try to make sure you are not overloaded on scripts, and think of others around you. There is a lot of gifts this round.

Open: NOW until May 27th, 2020, at 11.59 p.m. SLT/’Pacific Time
Main Venue
Cam Shopping Sim
Update Group Sim

You do have to join the FaMESHed Update Group for free to pick up all the gifts, one gift box at most of the vendor displays. The first few days of FaMESHed are always busy, and it is even more so on their anniversary events every May! In fact, the event is currently so jam-packed with fashionistas on its opening weekend, that I had to use a tool like the handy free Teleport Hammer —and I was already a Premium member with priority access to crowded sims! It’s a sign of just how massively popular the FaMESHed event has become over eight years. If you want a preview of items available for sale at the event, you can check them all out here.

Through dint of sheer persistence, Vanity finally forced her way into one of the cam shopping sims located next door to the venue, and she expertly worked her camera around and scooped up all the gift boxes! (Here’s my handy guide to cam shopping if you are new to this useful skill.) Then Vanity teleported home and unpacked everything to try it all on.

This is your preview of the many lovely gifts available from the participating stores at this eighth anniversary round of FaMESHed!

Scandalize

The Scandalize Joanna dress (which sort of reminds me of Daisy Mae from Dogpatch in the old Li’l Abner comic strip) comes with a truly dizzying array of HUDS, to change the colour and pattern of every single part of this dress and its belt!

{le fil cassé} — Garbaggio

Here is the summery Francine dress in seafoam by le fils cassé, paired with the Cheryl sandals in mint by Garbaggio, one of my favourite shoe stores on the grid!

GIZ SEORN — Valentina E.

This daring duo consists of the Demi dress in green by Valentina E., paired with a group gift of some laced-up sandals, courtesy of GIZ SEORN:

Vanilla Bae —MICHAN — Essenz

This Yves dress by Vanilla Bae comes in three ombre tones: green, blue, and red. The green tone matches the Mesa shoe in green, another quality footwear creation by Essenz. The delicate Amy winged heart choker from MICHAN completes the look.

[Provocation] — Pixicat — Mangula

This last look is a bit of a hodge-podge, I must admit: the Tony cardigan and top by Pixicat, paired with the Kiara shorts in deep pink by [Provocation], and the Lucia boots and socks fatpack by Mangula. I have included the HUD for the Mangula gift so you can see all the colour options for various parts of the boots and the socks!

You’re all set to go on a fashionable hike! (Maybe swap out the Kiara shorts for some lederhosen?)

These are just a very small sampling of the dozens of gifts available, including many wonderful items for your home or garden that I have not shown here. As I said earlier, it’s best to wait until the crowds die down a little bit before venturing onto the sim.

Happy freebie shopping!

Come Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Relaunch of the New Catacombs 2.0 Night Club in Sinespace!

Come join the Cinco de Mayo celebrations on Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 at the relaunch of the brand-new Catacombs version 2.0 in the virtual world of Sinespace! Grab a cerveza from the bartenders and settle in!

The party begins at 11:00 p.m. UTC (4:00 p.m. Pacific Time) with the following exciting three-hour lineup of entertainment:

  • DJ Rosa playing authentic latino music;
  • followed by a set with the Jay and Les Show;
  • and Unruly Blues rounds the night off with the final set.

And check out the updates to the old Catacombs night club!

  • It’s twice the size of the old place!
  • Sound-to-light audio reactivity lighting 
  • Sound-to-light audio reactivity neon signs
  • Sound-to-light audio reactivity to jukebox  
  • User-controllable lighting independent of the region defaults

You might not be able to get out and party with a real-world crowd during the pandemic, but you’re most welcome to join the virtual fiesta to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Sinespace!