Hello, all you freebie fashionistas of Second Life!
I have news of not one, but two different free store credit offers at two of the most popular womenswear stores on the grid: Scandalize and Blueberry.
The Scandalize group is once again free to join for a limited period of time (only four days!), so I would definitely urge you to take advantage of it! The regular group join fee is L$100, and Scandalize offers, without a doubt, the most generous group gift wall of any store on the grid.
Once you arrive at the Scandalize store, there will be a panel you have to click on to obtain L$300 in free store credit, which you can spend on anything in the store! Here’s what the sign looks like (don’t forget to activate your Scandalize group before clicking!):
Here are the locations of the two panels in the Scandalize store:
Just click on one, and you will get a blue pop-up window to accept your reward. That’s it! Then you can go shop (but it be more polite for you to leave the sim in order to give other people a chance to get in and obtain their reward, too).
I regret that I do not know how long this offer lasts, or if the free store credits expire or not.
The owner of Blueberry is once again celebrating her birthday in a blow-out fashion with a 48-hour 50% Off Sale!
She writes in the Blueberry group notices (I believe the Blueberry group costs L$20 to join):
There is nothing I would rather do than celebrate it with my Second family – all of you. I am giving away L$100,000 — we will pick 20 berries to give L$5,000 gift cards to! 20 chances to win! Simply love & share on Facebook: https://bit.ly/3mPjJBY
Even if you don’t win, EVERYBODY in Blueberry groups are getting L$500 credit!
To get your credit, look for a notice in the Blueberry group called Blueberry Birthday Event!!! and click on the attachment to get a HUD:
Look for the HUD in your inventory and wear/attach it. It will appear on screen. Just click it, and the L$500 credit will automatically be added to your account! (This credit will expire after two weeks.)
Well, as you can probably imagine, the sims where the Blueberry and Scandalize stores are located are absolutely jam-packed with avatars. Even the adjacent sims (from which you could cam shop) are heaving with camshoppers, too! (If you are not familiar with cam shopping, here is an introduction I wrote, with step-by-step instructions on how to do it.) So please, do everybody a favour: once you get in, pick up what you want, and then GET OUT so that others can get a chance to get into the stores. Thank you!
UPDATE Sept. 25th, 2020: Blueberry has posted an update to her group. The 50% Off Sale has been extended for another 48 hours!
If you haven’t been able to get in the sims, don’t worry! We are extending the sale by 48 hours!
The advent of Bakes on Mesh has led to some interesting developments in the mesh body market in Second Life. I have written about a few of them before, such as the highly-recommended Anya and Alexa mesh bodies by Kalhene, which are fully compatible with apparel and footwear designed for Maitreya Lara:
Bakes on Mesh allows mesh body makers to focus on the actual mesh of their products, without having to worry about providing support for skin appliers, or even a HUD with alpha sections (although the Kalhene Anya body does include such a HUD). After all, BoM bodies can use the clothing alphas that often come with clothing. If you should need a set of alphas to use with clothing that does not come with them, you can pick up a free set from Little Black Dress at this SLURL (just click on the bag on the floor).
Very early this morning, unable to sleep, I dragged my weary ass out of bed and paid a visit to the Freebie Megastore on the London City sim, just to see what was new. While there, I noticed an advertisement for a new, Bakes on Mesh, Bento mesh body called Eden, by a company called Rebirth, which I had never heard of before.
So, I popped into the brand-new Rebirth store (here’s the SLURL) to check it out.
The Eden body is a unique proposition in the Second Life mesh body market: one body that can take you from child to teenager to adult, and from male to female to transgender! There are three options for sale at the Rebirth store:
a male version of the Eden body, which includes starter shapes for child, teenage, and adult male avatars, in ten skin tones, for L$2,790 (head not included);
a female version of the Eden body, which includes starter shapes for child, teenage, and adult female avatars, in ten skin tones, for L$2,790 (head not included); and
a transgender version which includes both male and female starter shapes and skins for L$4,890 (the base mesh body is the same regardless).
Now, I have seen a lot of mesh bodies in SL, but never before have I seen a single mesh body that offers you such a wide range of ages and genders! So, curious, I paid my Linden dollar to obtain the demo version of the transgender package, and I put it through the paces.
The starter shapes are just that: starting points, and I suspect you will have to do a lot of tweaking to get something that you will be happy with (my personal pet peeve is avatars with arms that are way too short!). Here is the default adult woman shape with the Akeruka Limited BoM skin (the underwear shown in these pictures is included for all possible shapes and breast sizes):
Here’s the default little girl shape, which I used with one of the included flat body skin tattoos (because the Akeruka Limited skin is intended for an adult woman, and frankly looks really disturbing on a child avatar!).
Here’s the default male teenager body shape with the included male body tattoo (again, the underwear is included):
And finally, here is the default adult male shape, again with the included male body skin tattoo:
After futzing around with the body sliders, here’s what the adult female shape looks like, paired with the Kalhene Bakes on Mesh Bento head and a skin from 7 Deadly S[k]ins called Elvira, in the maple skin tone (an Advent calendar gift from 2019):
All in all, not a bad result (although I’m not a big fan of the shape of the hands):
Here’s a look at the HUD for the Eden body, which does not include alpha sections for the body. You do get settings for four feet heights, four different breast sizes (flat, small, normal, and male), and the ability to tint your toenails and fingernails.
So, what’s my overall verdict on the Eden body?
This is definitely a very malleable body, where you can adjust it using the body sliders (and the included HUD to adjust the breasts and feet) to allow you to express virtually any gender you wish—male, female, or anything in between—and any age. A sign in the Rebirth store (see image below) says you can take this body from age 8 to age 25, and my experiments with the demo version confirm that.
However, this very malleability also makes it hard to recommend the Eden body if you are only interested in one of the many possible looks: male, female, child, teenager, or adult. For example, if you’re only going to present as a female avatar, you are much better off with one of the many female mesh bodies on the marketplace (and I would therefore recommend the Kalhene Anya mesh body as a reasonably-priced alternative which even includes a Bento head, given that everybody and their dog makes clothing to fit Maitreya Lara mesh bodies). If you want to be a child avatar, and only that, then I would probably recommend one of the child mesh heads and bodies such as the ToddleeDoo, which will have much better designer support.
Which brings me to another problem: there’s a lack of clothing for the Eden bodies. Although there is a clothing store off to the side of the Rebirth store, containing a small but serviceable selection of different outfits for male, female, and intersex avatars, I don’t think there’s a lot of other designers making clothing for this body yet (and there’s a rather large sign in the store next to the entrance, pleading with apparel designers to pick up a devkit for this body and make some clothing for it).
This is, sadly, a problem with all new mesh bodies; designers tend to focus on the best-selling models of male and female mesh bodies, which means it can be next to impossible to find apparel specifically designed for them.
But, if you are a true chameleon, who likes to change their age and/or gender on a whim, the Eden mesh body might be absolutely perfect for you (provided you also get an appropriate Bakes on Mesh skin and Bento mesh head to match whatever look you’re going for).
However, the extreme malleability of this mesh body—its major selling point—also means that purchasers have a duty and a responsibility to NOT create offensive results. For example, if you mix and match an adult skin, an adult head, and a child’s shape, you could well land up in Frankenstein territory (and reap a swift and permanent ban for breaking Second Life’s ironclad rules against ageplay).
While I was in the store, I saw an avatar shopping in the clothing section, wearing what appeared to be a combination of an adult, system head and an Eden body in a child’s shape, and it just creeped me out completely. I wonder if the creators of the Eden mesh body realize that they may have opened up a Pandora’s box here.
Therefore, I am somewhat concerned at the potential for abuse of this product (but I also realize that some people are going to go right ahead and push the boundaries of decency and good taste in Second Life anyway, just like they always do… helloooo, Tiny Things!That last link is completely safe for work, by the way…).
O.K., it’s 5:30 a.m. and I am going to go back to bed and try to get some sleep before my workday starts…
I am here to remind all you Second Life freebie fashionistas that it is the perfect weekend to pop down to the sixth anniversary round of the monthly Uber shopping event, which ends on Sept. 22nd, 2020 (here is my original blogpost with pictures of many of the gifts). It’s no longer crowded, you can shop in peace, and you can pick up scores and scores of free gifts (you don’t need to join any group).
Everything my goth girl avatar Nada Nix is wearing in this picture (except for the body, head, and hair) is a free group gift from Uber! The T-shirt from Miss Chelsea succinctly sums up 2020 with a one-star review: Total crap. Would not recommend.
Nada is wearing:
Choker: Reckless studded choker by AVEC TOI (comes with a fatpack HUD)
T-Shirt: the Brin 2020 T-shirt by Miss Chelsea
Skirt: the Mara jersey skirt in red by Jeune
Combat boots: Rev boots by Memoire; these come in sizes to fit both male (Legacy, Belleza Jake) and female (Legacy, Belleza Freya, Maitreya Lara, Slink Hourglass) feet.
Here’s your taxi to Uber. I will leave you with a video by SL vlogger Cat Pink, showing you a selection of some of the other gifts available:
I just stumbled across a fabulous fashion freebie for female avatars, and I decided to use it as an excuse to write up an entire blogpost about all the places in Second Life you can pick up a full-length mesh ballgown, for free! Clip and save for when you need something for a formal, black-tie event (or even if you just feel like swanning around SL in a full-blown battleship ballgown; hey, it’s your Second Life, express yourself any way you want!)
The freebie is from the newly-rebranded store, Dead Doll (formerly known as Dead Dollz), which has set up in a brand new location and is offering a gift to celebrate. If you join the SeraphimSL.com group for free and click the panel shown below, you can pick up the simple, elegant Etta strapless gown for free:
The Etta gown comes in a fatpack of sixteen colours as shown. Here, Vanity Fair models it with a black lace bolero from United Colors (not free; I purchased the fatpack of this bolero, waiting for the perfect gown to pair it with). Sheer perfection!
Another place where you can pick up some free gowns is the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil. Up on the third floor is a large display by VIPs Creations, where in the top row of panels are three different styles of full-length gowns:
This lovely strapless gown with a subtle pattern is by VIPs Creations, and comes in four colours as shown, and even includes the shoes:
Another place to pick up a simple, classic ballgown is the generous freebie store at Hilly Haalan, where you can find this Nadia gown in fifteen colours (you will need to join the Hilly Haalan store group for free to pick up all the freebies here).
While some gowns are the right length for high heels, the Nadia gown works best with flats. Fortunately, at Hilly Haalan you can also pick up a free set of Amy flats which come in a variety of colours to match this ballgown perfectly!
Another little-known spot where you can pick up ballgowns in orange, red, and blue is !Soul, a store which has set up shop in a skybox high above the newbie orientation centre called New Resident Island (here’s the exact SLURL). If you join the !Soul group for free, you can pick up dozens of free gifts of women’s clothing, hair, footwear, and system/Bakes on Mesh skins. Everything in the store is free!
The apparel at !Soul comes in standard sizes, but ballgowns are the kind of clothing that you can easily alpha out your pelvic area and legs anyway, so they will always fit! (You might have to adjust your bust size slightly, though.)
Here is the blue ballgown from !Soul, with the optional fur stole. Looking elegant for zero Linden dollars!
Of course, you can sometimes pick up free ballgowns at the entrances to many of the finer dance establishments in Second Life, such as this gown from the newly-reopened Frank’s Jazz Club (which appears to have started up again just to try and wrench business away from the upstart Frank’s (more information here):
And, of course, there are several beautiful ballgowns to be had at The Free Dove (remember that you have to join The Free Dove group for free in order to get these freebies). Palomma Casanova, the owner of The Free Dove, has reorganized her venerable freebie store by designer, so you will have to wander around a bit to find all the ballgowns. However, there is still a small women’s formalwear section near the back entrance (SLURL):
Nearby is a display by Lurve, which features two very different gowns:
And close by, the Tiffany Designs display at The Free Dove has a couple of lovely full-length ballgowns, perfect for your next swanky soirée:
In fact, you can also pick up a couple of free ballgowns at Tiffany’s main store location (one is mesh and the other is an applier gown; no group is needed):
Take a look at the shimmering, daringly low-cut Nia ballgown in champagne, one of the free gown gifts at Tiffany Designs!
So there you have it—elegance on (less than) a dime!
Remember that the Etta ballgown fatpack gift at Dead Doll is likely a time-limited offer, and that Palomma Casanova frequently rotates the stock at The Free Dove, so please don’t delay picking up these gowns and stashing them in your inventory for your next major event. Happy freebie shopping!