Version 3.0 of the Kalhene Anya and Alexa Bodies: A Great Second Life Bakes-on-Mesh Bento Head and Body Package Gets Even Better!

I have been following the progress of the Kalhene Bento, Bakes on Mesh bodies (the Anya female body and the Alexa transgender body) for some time now, and I am mightily impressed with how often the creator issues updates. We are already at version 3.0 of the Anya body, which I have found to be 99% compatible with apparel and footwear designed for Maitreya Lara mesh bodies (the only area where I have sometimes encountered problems is the wrist area on certain long-sleeved tops).

For only L$1,695, you get not only a Maitreya-Lara-compatible Bento mesh body, with a top-notch HUD, you also get a Bento mesh head, plus pretty much everything else you need to get started—skins, eyes, hair, a starter wardrobe, even an AO to control the eyes, head, and hands! All you need to add is a body AO and you’re all set!

Let’s draw up a side-by-side comparison chart, showing you what you get for your money: column A is the Kalhene Anya version 3.0 head and body, and Column B is the Maitreya Lara version 5.3 mesh body with a Catwa brand of Bento mesh head (the most popular combination):

Kalhene Anya 3.0Maitreya Lara 5.3
Base Cost of Mesh BodyL$1,695L$2,750
Petite Breast OptionIncludedL$599 extra
Flat Chest OptionIncluded L$499 extra
Bento Hands and NailsIncluded; Fingernails come in 36 colours and patterns, and 3 stylesIncluded; Fingernails come in 19 colours and 5 styles
Mesh Feet3 feet heights controlled by HUD (flat, medium, and high)5 feet heights controlled by HUD (flat, kitten, medium, high, and point)
Bento Mesh HeadIncludedNot Included (Catwa heads cost L$5,000)
Starter HairstyleIncluded (2 styles)Not Included
Starter SkinIncluded (5 skin tones in regular and flat-chested versions)Included (22 skin tones)
Starter WardrobeBikini (12 colours), Dress (8 colours), Shirt (4 colours), Leggings (4 colours), Flat Shoes (5 colours, 2 styles), High Shoes (5 colours, 3 styles). Apparel comes in versions to fit both regular and flat-chested versions.Bra and Panties by Erratic (9 colours) and Zaara (black)
TOTAL COSTL$1,695L$8,848 (not including cost of hair and a starter wardrobe)
Comparison Chart: Kalhene Anya versus Maitreya Lara with a Catwa head

Also, because the included skin tones that come the Maitreya Lara body and your choice of Catwa head will not match, you will also have to shell out for skin appliers from your favourite skin store (or a Bakes on Mesh skin, since both Maitreya and Catwa now support BoM). You could easily spend well over L$10,000 before you’re done with the Maitreya/Catwa combination, whereas you could take that extra money and put it towards apparel, footwear, hairstyles, and Bakes on Mesh skins, cosmetics and tattoos if you opt for the Kalhene Anya mesh body.

Here’s a look at the HUD that comes with version 3.0 of the Anya body. Note that unlike earlier versions, there are now three feet heights, controllable by the HUD (instead of separate mesh bodies): flat feet, mid-height feet, and high heel feet.

There’s a pretty complete set of alpha selections on the HUD, which compares quite favourably with those of the major mesh body brands, and of course you can also use the alphas that come with the clothing you buy. If you do 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).

The separate clothing HUD allows you to change the colour and style of the included hairstyle (bangs/no bangs), as well as all of the included starter wardrobe items, including the metals and gemstones on the included set of rings, the ability to show or hide the rings on each finger, and the colour and style of two kinds of shoes, flat and high (including the flats shown here; other options include sandals and pumps). Black and white pantyhose and tights (in all three feet heights and four different transparency levels) are included in the package, too.

Here’s a look at a completely styled version of the Anya mesh avatar, showing you where on the body and clothing HUDs I made selections:

As you can see, you can create and style a complete avatar look using only the elements in the Anya package! However, I also wanted to show you how this body would look with a different head and skin (the Anya head and body are separate attachments, and of course you can mix and match them with other BoM-compatible heads and bodies as you wish).

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head: Strong Face gift Bento mesh head from The Genus Project (free group gift)
  • Mesh Body: Anya version 3.0 from Kalhene (L$1,695; Kalhene has a a small store located opposite the N-Core Design footwear store (here’s the SLURL)
  • Skin: Brielle by Amara Beauty (a former free group gift; group is free to join)
  • Hair: Beyoncé hair by enVOGUE (a L$1 gift from a previous year’s Hair Fair)
  • Gown: Azahara ballgown in red by Scandalize (which I picked up using the recent group gift of L$400 store credit; the Scandalize group costs L$100 to join, but if you hurry, you can join for free and pick up a second L$400 store credit offer! I believe today is the final day you can join the Scandalize group for free.)
  • Jewelry: I pulled this old set from my inventory; they came from a store that has long since left the grid!

TOTAL COST OF THIS AVATAR LOOK: L$1,696 (L$1,695 for the Kalhene Anya mesh body, and L$1 for the hair)

Another Fifteen-Minute Second Life Avatar Makeover: Victorian Parlourmaid

I have an old, classic system alt in Second Life whom I decked in out in a full-blown Victorian-era parlourmaid outfit!

As a running gag, I created a custom group for her called the Prim and Proper Cleaning Service. My profile states:

I proudly role-play a properly starched Victorian cleaning maid for Prim & Proper Cleaning Services (P&P for short, ma’am/sir). Dusting, vacuuming, etc. etc.

Bring that touch of Upstairs/Downstairs or Downton Abbey to your next social event. Impress your guests! Available for hire at very reasonable rates.

(Did you know a clean sim reduces lag?)

Every so often, when I’m feeling especially mischievous, I turn on her group tag, and unceremoniously plunk her down in spots like retail stores and clubs, where she busily dusts and even vacuums (on a modern-era vacuum cleaner, no less!). Here she is at the new, upstart Frank’s Jazz Club (she used to get routinely kicked out of the old one, where I found that the gate-keepers had no sense of humour whatsover):

“Lift your feet, hun…”

So, I decided it was time to give my Victorian parlourmaid a complete makeover, from a classic system avatar to a mesh outfit. Here are the after pictures, taken in the Library at Angel Manor Estate (how very Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey!)

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: the Strong Face Bento mesh head from the Genus Project (a former group gift which, unfortunately, is no longer available)

Mesh Body: the Classic mesh body by Meshbody (L$1 group gift; The Shops! group is free to join; more information is about this body can be found here)

Skin Applier: Genus head skin applier and Bakes on Mesh body skin Brielle, from Amara Beauty (free group gift; group is free to join)

Parlourmaid Outfit: Victorian Maid Black by Melon Bunny (L$500 on the SL Marketplace)

Victorian Boots: texture-change Victorian Ankle Boots by The Mesh Cloud (L$299 on the SL Marketplace)

In fact, the only three things that the before and after looks have in common are:

Hair: Timeless hair in chestnut by *DG* Hair (which seems to be no longer available)

Maid’s Cap: from the Edelweiss Emma Victorian maid’s dress (L$600 on the SL Marketplace for the complete system-layers-and-flexiprims outfit)

Animation Override: Gown AO by Kamilah Hauptmann of Posture Is Everything (a very nice freebie for avatars under 30 days old, which I picked up at the Caledon Oxbridge new resident orientation centre; I added the Bento hands AO from the free Altamura Jenny mesh avatar body package available at the Freebie Megastore in London City)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: L$1400 (if you don’t care about the maid’s cap, the price goes down to L$800)

Hard at work dusting at Frank’s!
These dance machines get SO dusty…
Vacuuming the dancefloor at Frank’s Jazz Club (the glitter gets everywhere!)

Yes, I am having entirely too much fun in Second Life while I practice proper social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Skin Appliers from Amara Beauty for Catwa, Lelutka, and Genus Project Bento Mesh Heads

As part of the week-long #TogetherAtHome promotional initiative by a number of Second Life retailers, Amara Beauty is giving away several skin applier gifts, for Catwa, LeLutka, and Genus Project Bento mesh heads:

The Brielle skin applier works for all Genus Project heads, including the free Strong Face group gift that the store recently gave out! In addition to the Brielle, Madelyn, and Ivy skin appliers in six different skin tones, you can also pick up the so-called Slender body appliers for Legacy and Omega-compatible mesh bodies for free, as well as additional Bakes on Mesh layers to fix the hands, feet, and cleavage on your skin.

Here is the Brielle skin applier in the beige skin tone on the freebie Strong Face Genus Project head and the dollarbie Meshbody Classic body (each skin comes in a Bakes on Mesh version with three eyebrow options—dark brows, light brows, and no brows—and the Genus head skin applier comes with four eyebrow options—dark, brown, light, and no brows, for you to apply your own preferred eyebrows separately).

I think you’ll agree that this is truly beautiful skin, and it’s well worth the trip down to Amara Beauty to pick up this generous, free group gift before it’s gone! You don’t even need to join the Amara Beauty group.

This particular avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: the Strong Face Bento mesh head from the Genus Project (a former group gift which, unfortunately, is no longer available)

Mesh Body: the Classic mesh body by Meshbody (a dollarbie group gift; more information is about this body can be found here)

Skin Applier: Genus head skin applier and Bakes on Mesh body skin Brielle in beige, from Amara Beauty

Hair: Iris by D!va (free group gift located on the other side of the wall behind the front counter; the group is free to join)

Dress: Lucia dress from Ello (previous hunt gift; this store now appears to have left the grid, but they are still on the SL Marketplace)

Shoes: Wales pumps from Essenz (the group gift for April; the Essenz group costs L$350 to join; the Classic mesh body has Legacy-compatible feet; more information about the shoes is here)

Animation Override: This is a graceful, old AO for empire-waist gowns by PixelDolls (remember them?), a store which has been long gone from the grid, but still exists on the SL Marketplace (it comes included with the Innocent Dans L’Amour gown for L$150, and I find I pull it out of my inventory and use it all the time with wider, “poofier” dresses and skirts).

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR LOOK: L$501 (L$150 for the PixelDolls AO, L$350 to join the Essenz group for the pumps group gift, and L$1 for the Classic mesh body)

Here is your taxi to the Amara Beauty store! Happy freebie shopping!