Look, I realize that I am absolutely powerless to do anything about the malignant narcissist who is currently inhabiting the White House in the United States (and as a Canadian, I can’t even vote his incompetent ass out of office come November).
However, I still do have one potent tool at my disposal, and after 14 years in Second Life, I have become an expert at wielding it: styling a complete Second Life avatar look from head to toe! (Too bad I can’t make any money at it.)
And so, late last year, well and truly fed up with the antics of Donald Trump, I decided to use my skills to create a parody version of Twitler himself!
My inspiration for the following avatar look came from a six-metre-high inflatable balloon depicting Donald Trump as a snarling orange baby (grasping a cellphone from which he launches his tweets), which first was flown in London, during a memorable protest against Trump’s visit to the U.K. on July 13th, 2018 (the balloon is so iconic, it even has its own Wikipedia entry!):
This was my Before look, an avatar with a Catwa Stanley head and a Signature Gianni body (who shall remain nameless since entering the Second Life Avatar Protection Program for his own safety after participating in this makeover!):
And here is my After look!
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head: the Stanley Bento mesh head by Catwa (L$5,000)
Mesh Body: the Gianni mesh body by Signature (L$4,000; the shape came with the Donald skin applier below)
Skin Applier: Donald by Session for the head, L$399, and a matching Omega applier for the body, L$299
Animation Override: Bento Fat Boy AO by Voir (L$349)
Diaper: Tushiez diaper version 3.0 by the Imagination Factory (L$349 on the SL Marketplace; the diaper even makes crinkling noises as he walks!)
Animated Pacifier: Pa-w-cifier (Pawpers edition) by Little Space Kreations (free on the SL Marketplace); here’s a short video of it in action:
TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR LOOK: L$9,748 (and WORTH. EVERY. GODDAMN. PENNY.)
Needless to day, I have taken this avatar for several spins around the grid, and he has already been banned from several sims (including a few adult ones!), and politely asked to leave a few others for overstaying his welcome. In fact, he attracts so much vitriol that I only pull him out for special occasions, like this blogpost!
So, what do you think? Should I rent him out for in-world protests, weddings, and bar mitzvahs? 😉 I could just have a booming business on my hands!
Hair can be expensive! Today, inspired by the new hair wall at The Free Dove and by Cat Pink’s new video (appended to the end of this rather long blogpost), I decided to compile a list of all the places I like to go when I need to pick up some fabulous free tresses for my female alts! Some you might already know about, but some you might not.
The Free Dove
Palomma Casanova has completely revamped the free hair wall at the back of her venerable freebie store, The Free Dove (here’s the exact SLURL), so if you haven’t paid a visit in a while, why not pop in? It’s still the single best collection of freebie hair for men and women on the grid!
Firelight has generously donated different eight hair gifts, including the Leslie long hairstyle, which comes with a HUD with six colour options, plus a separate tinting HUD to adjust it to any shade you desire:
The Dolly hair, another gift from Firelight, comes in a sand brown colour:
The Marilyn hair, a gift from Alli&Ali Hair, comes in a light brown colour:
The blunt-cut Olivia medium-length hairstyle by Sintiklia is extremely versatile! It comes in a complete fatpack of colours, and a styling HUD with nine options:
The Rina hair-and-fedora combo by Lara AC is cute (it comes in just the brown shown, however, and you cannot change the colour of the hat, either):
One of my favourite places to go for free hair is D!va. Join the D!va store group for free and you can pick up this lovely Aria hairstyle from the panel right behind the front counter, which comes in a full fatpack of colours, plus a styling HUD:
And, if you walk around the narrow wall behind the front counter, on the back of it is yet another fabulous free gift from D!va: the Iris hairstyle, which again comes in a complete fatpack, with a styling HUD, and separately wearable parts for the long fall in the back, the front fall over the shoulders, and the braids! There are just so many ways you can wear this hair. The Iris package even includes the gown you see in the picture below!
The Stay at Home Club
Another wonderful place to pick up some free, high-quality hair is The Stay at Home Club website (check the Accessories section, and just click on the pictures to get the SLURLs of the stores). Here I show you three of the free hairstyles available for female avatars.
The curly Sugar hairstyle by Miss Canning comes with a HUD with 40 different colour choices:
Versaci, among a generous selection of other Stay at Home Club gifts, offers you a complete fatpack of this shorter, bobbed hairstyle called Beckie:
The long, wavy Rhea hair by Sintiklia comes in a full fatpack of colours, and includes a styling HUD to wear each side forward or back as you desire. The Rhea hairstyle package also includes two styles of bangs, which are separate attachments.
Note that, in addition to the Olivia hair at The Free Dove (mentioned earlier), and this Rhea hairstyle, there are a number of free hairstyles on the Free Gifts wall at the Sintiklia store, so be sure to take a good look around once you’re there!
Visit NYNE, join their group for free, and you can pick up no less than thirty-nine free hairstyles from the shelves behind the front counter! Six newer hairstyles are in the bags on the lower shelf, and there are another 33 hairstyles from 2018 and 2019 in the gift boxes on the upper shelf. Seriously, no other store on the grid offers you so much free hair! (There’s also a Stay at Home Club hair gift nearby too, to make it an even 40 free hairstyles!)
Let’s look at a couple of the hairstyles, all of which come with a HUD with six or seven colour options, plus separately colourable streaks.
First up is the long, straight Anissa hair:
Next is Tivi, a fun, crimped hairstyle:
Finally, here is the Kim hairstyle:
In addition to the free Firelight hairstyles you can find at both The Free Dove and the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil, head on down to the Firelight main store, join the Firelight group for free, and pick up the current and all the past group gifts:
The Emma braided hair comes with a HUD with nine colour options:
Lamb has five free hairstyles as group gifts (the Lamb group is free to join).
This is the Angel hair, which comes in a fatpack of colours:
Navy and Copper
If you join the Navy and Copper group for free, you can pick up three free hairstyles from their store (here’s the SLURL):
Here is one of those three gifts, the Green Tea ponytail, which comes in a complete fatpack of colours:
Olive Hair has a wall with fifteen lucky boards, which do not require a group join. The letters change frequently, and there is usually a crowd of avatars waiting for their initial to appear, so your chances of picking up a free hairstyle are pretty good:
This is the White Rabbit hair, which comes in a blonde fatpack, with optional bunny ears:
Finally, Cat Pink SL (bless her heart) has just published a brand new YouTube video, with no less than twenty different places she goes to for free women’s hair in Second Life! Some of them I have mentioned up top, but many I have not.
If you visit the video page on YouTube (be sure click on “SHOW MORE” in the description text located below the video), she even provides a very handy list of the SLURLs to all the stores she mentions!
So, as you can see, lacking in Linden dollars does not mean you have to go bald in Second Life! Happy freebie shopping!
I don’t blog about Second Life freebies for men as often as I do for the women, but there are a couple of nice freebies I wanted to mention today.
Amazing Creations has monthly free group gifts for both men and women (the store group is free to join), and this month’s men’s gift is this casual outfit, which includes the boots (here’s the exact SLURL to find the gift panel in the Amazing Creations store):
The best part of this outfit is that it is all in one piece: the shirt, jeans, and boots are all one werable mesh object. Just alpha out your body and your feet and you’re all set!
Another freebie is available without a group join at the Peak Lounge event taking place in Second Life this weekend. There are three free group gifts, and one of them is a set of beer props (see red arrow):
The set comes with a wearable sixpack of beer for one hand and a beer bottle for the other, both with Bento hand poses:
There’s also a rezzable sixpack for decoration purposes. Out guy is all set for his next party!
I’m not sure how long the Peak Lounge freebies will be available, so if you’re interested, head down there this weekend! Here’s the SLURL.
This avatar is also wearing:
Mesh Body and Head: Romeo by Altamura (a free group gift from last Valentine’s Day; no longer available for free)
Hair: Anderson by Alli&Ali Designs (which I picked up for free at an in-world conference last year)
Animation Override: Daily sLIFE Free Bento Male AO (free gift from Tuty)
One of the Second Life vloggers I follow is Cat Pink SL, whose videos are in Spanish, but have English subtitles, so it’s pretty easy to follow along. She covers hunts, events, and freebies, and in a couple of recent YouTube videos, she talks about the free versions of the eBody Classic and Curvy female mesh avatar bodies (which now support Bakes on Mesh), and the free mesh heads, skins, and cosmetics from Genesis Lab:
I had talked about the three free Genesis Lab static (non-Bento) female mesh avatar heads before here (scroll down to the Genesis Lab section), so I am not going to repeat all that information here. But what I did not know is that the Genesis Lab group is once again free to join; there is a small black panel on the Group Gifts wall in the store (SLURL) you can click on to join the store group:
So I decided to experiment a little with one of my alts, using the Kenna head from Genesis Lab (still my personal favourite static mesh head, which comes with a HUD with lots and lots of options), paired with the eBody Classic mesh avatar body. As you can see from these pictures, she turned out looking really good!
I did have one problem: the Genesis Lab Cream skin I applied to the BoM eBody avatar did not work on the feet! However, this is not a serious problem when wearing a long ballgown such as this, and you can get around it in other outfits by using boots which replace the eBody feet completely (they are a separate attachment, along with the hands). I am not sure if this was a problem with the eBody mesh, the eBody BoM relay HUD, or the skin appliers I used (I tried several from the Genesis Lab group gifts, all with the same result). It’s a weird bug.
UPDATE Jan. 20th, 2020: I have now found the cause of the strange white patches on the feet of the eBody mesh avatar. It was the result of a classic, system shoebase I applied to the foot. You can get around this problem by removing any shoebase that causes this, and using the avatar hover height instead when wearing high heels. You can ignore my complaining later on in this blogpost about not being able to wear certain types of shoes; any Slink-compatible shoes should now work!
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head: Kenna by Genesis Lab (includes the mesh eyes shown here; free group gift; group is free to join)
Mesh Body: eBody Classic from the eBody Shop (pay the vendor in the store L$1 and it will automatically be refunded; these mesh bodies do not have Bento hands, and they only have “thick” alpha selections on the included HUD, which means you have to be somewhat careful what you wear with them)
Skin Applier: Cream skin by Genesis Lab (part of the Lakki skin package from Genesis Lab; free group gift; requires the eBody Bakes on Mesh relay HUD which you can get from the eBody store, just pay the vendor L$1 and it will automatically be refunded)
Gown: Holly gown by JUMO (a recent Advent gift which comes in a size specifically for eBody Classic mesh avatars)
Hair: Bella by Alli & Ali, an elegant updo with a colour-changeable comb in the back (a freebie I picked up at a recent virtual conference; it pays to check conference sims in Second Life for any freebies provided for presenters and attendees to outfit and style their avatars!)
Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. (Note the freebie versions of the eBody do not come with Bento hands, so you don’t have to worry about animating them.)
TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: FREE! (All you need is L$1 to pay the vendors in the eBody store to get the eBody Classic mesh body and the eBody Bakes on Mesh relay HUD, which is automatically refunded.)
Note that I do not know how long you will be able to join the Genesis Lab group for free (they used to charge for it), so if you are interested in picking up their free group gifts, I recommend you don’t wait to do so.
UPDATE 6:20 p.m.: You know what? I am actually going to do something that I’ve never done before on this blog: I am going to NOT recommend (un-recommend?) a freebie. And that is the latest freebie version of the eBody Classic and Curvy mesh avatar bodies.They are dreadful. The problem with the feet not taking Bakes on Mesh skins is bad enough, but it gets even worse.
I went over to The Free Dove freebie store, and picked up a few outfits that said they came in versions designed specifically for eBody, like this minidress from Hilly Haalan, and even the eBody stuff doesn’t fit properly!
The previous version had slightly more workable “thick” alpha sections than this new one, especially in the chest/bust area and the back, and it’s a absolute pain in the butt to find something—anything—that works with them, short of a gunnysack where you can alpha out your whole body (and I’m not even sure about that anymore, either!). I also tried adjusting the body sliders to get rid of the skin breaking through, but to no avail.
The brutal truth is that even the Holly gown I showed you up top had some problems with certain poses in my freebie AO, where some skin would break through at the sides of the gown, a problem that the included alpha sections on the freebie eBody Classic mesh body can’t fix.
Perhaps the paid-for eBody version (with the full complement of smaller alpha sections) would fix the problem, but I don’t think that even that would fix such issues as I found with the Hilly Haalan minidress above. I am discovering to my dismay that many “eBody” versions of garments simply don’t work as advertised, particularly for the freebie version (here’s their HUD showing you the alpha sections; the top part is all greyed out and cannot be used):
(Note: I do have an alt with a paid-for version of the eBody Classic avatar, and I might just go back and try all these dresses from The Free Dove on again with that body, to see if they work out any better.)
UPDATE Jan. 11th, 2020: I tested the Hilly Haalan minidress I mentioned above on my paid-for full version of the eBody Classic mesh body, and it fits perfectly, without any issues! So something is up with the latest freebie version.
The best I could come up with was this outfit, consisting of the Faythe dress by GeMyles, paired with the Lita Lolita shoes in ochre, which include the socks and allowed me to completely alpha out the feet:
There was only one other pair of free shoes I found at The Free Dove that I could wear with this mesh body, the Paper Sparrow Alice heels which also came with socks (worn here with a free red minidress from eBody, which I had picked up in December as an Advent gift at the eBento event):
Here’s a better look at them in a place that’s not all black-on-black:
So, after over an hour on unpacking and trying on garments and tossing them aside in frustration, I found exactly two mesh dresses and two pair of shoes that I could wear with the freebie eBody Classic mesh body (and one of those dresses was already in my inventory). Every other dress specifically designed for eBody that I picked up at The Free Dove would not work properly with the “thick” alpha sections.
Nope, sorry, pass. Consider the freebie eBody Classsic and Curvy as demos only, not for actual wear.
However, if you are looking for a nice static (non-Bento) mesh head, I can certainly still recommend the free group gifts at Genesis Lab, especially if you are down to your last Linden dollar!