Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Belle Epoque’s Summer Hunt, July 11 to August 31, 2022

Are you new to hunts in Second Life? Tearing your hair out finding an item you desperately want? Here are my top six tips and tricks for a successful SL hunt.

Belle Epoque is among my favourite womenswear stores in Second Life, featuring modern, fantasy, and historical styles of clothing. And from now until the end of August, the store is once again running a Summer Hunt, offering one-of-a-kind clothing, footwear, and accessories as prizes. Here is the legend of hunt prizes, which cost only L$10 each, a significant discount on the regular price! Some are a new colour or texture on an existing item of womenswear, while others are new designs:

You are looking for a white stuffed cat with blue eyes, as shown below:

(See the little white stuffed cat sitting in the corner?)

The cats can be small or large, and many are stuck within vendor displays, or tucked away in obscure corners of the Belle Epoque store. All the hunt prizes are of the high quality for which the Belle Epoque brand is renowned, and they come in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara or the Meshbody Legacy mesh bodies (please check the legend above for a few items which also come in the Maitreya Petite and Legacy Perky sizes; not everything does). If you have a different brand of mesh body (e.g. Freya, Kupra, etc.), I am afraid you are out of luck! Depending on the garment, you might be able to use the alpha HUD on an Altamura body to get the Maitreya or Legacy items to fit you.

To model these hunt prizes, I have called upon two of my small army of Second Life alts, Moesha Heartsong (Maitreya Lara body) and Lily Pond (Meshbody Legacy body). Yes, I am giving my main avatar, Vanity Fair, the day off! (Also, Vanity already has over 245,000 items in her overstuffed inventory, and I do not need to add to it!)

First up, we have a couple of ballgowns: Moesha is wearing the blue floral patterned Amanda gown (hunt prize #5), while Lily models the pink Allegra gown (#15). Both are quite suitable for your next elegant soirée!

Are ruffles your thing? Then you’ll love these next two dresses. Moesha models the pink Ankara dress (hunt prize #30), and Lily wears the green Juliette dress (#31):

Next up we have two patterned frocks, the more formal but still summery floral Cheryl dress (#8) and the multicoloured polka-dotted Maite summer dress (#20):

These are just six of the 31 hunt prizes, all for only L$10 each—truly a bargain! Remember the Summer Hunt ends on August 31st, 2022. Here’s your taxi to Belle Epoque. Happy hunting!

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: My Picks for the Best Gifts from the 2022 Valentine Shop and Hop

The Valentine Shop and Hop event starts tomorrow, February 2nd, and runs until February 15th, with over 200 merchants participating over 10 shopping sims! Each store has a free gift for you, and today Vanity Fair is modeling some of those gifts. And, as you can see from these pictures, not everything is red or Valentine’s-themed! Please note that all SLURLs provided here should take you directly to the gift.

Let’s start with the underwear today! Here Vanity is wearing a layered undershirt and matching panties, the Valentine’s Day present from the Neve booth (which comes with a HUD with four colour options for each; sizes: Lara and Petite, Legacy and Perky):

From Belle Epoque comes this cheerful heart-adorned Lacey top and matching panties (sizes: Lara and Petite, Legacy and Perky)

This black-and-pink bodysuit is the gift from ViSion (sizes: Lara and Petite, Legacy and Perky, Freya, Kupra), along with L$400 in free store credit if you join the ViSion Clothing Store group for L$18 (the credit must be used before Feb. 20th, 2022):

Next up are a wide variety of dresses! The Super Star dress is from TO.KISKI (Lara, Legacy, Freya, Hourglass sizes):

The gift from Pink Cream Pie is a fatpack of the Tori Crush dress (Lara and Petite, Legacy, Freya, and eBody Reborn sizes), which comes with a HUD with 24 different textures for every single part of the dress!

Another minidress is this Zoe dress with the cheeky little cut-out, from the FlowerDreams booth, which comes with a HUD with 12 different colours and textures! It comes in a wide variety of sizes, too: Lara and Petite; Freya and Isis; Hourglass; eBody Classic and Curvy; Tonic Curvy, Fine and Minimizer; Signature Alice; and Altamura.

If you’re in the mood for something red, Baiastice has you covered with this Hatas dress! It comes in the following sizes: Lara and Petite; Legacy and Perky; Freya; Hourglass; and Kupra.

Or if you prefer something with a bit more coverage (after all, it is still February!), how about this lovely damasque Valentine dress with its tied, flared sleeves? It’s the present from Poeme (fits Maitreya Lara; Belleza Freya, Isis, and Venus; Slink Physique and Hourglass; Tonic Curvy and Fine; Meshbody Classic/TMP; eBody; and five fitmesh sizes).

From The Annex come two free gifts! The Dreams nightshirt comes in a fatpack of eight colours (black, green, grey, navy, peach, pink, purple, and teal), and if you join The Annex store group for free, you can pick up the ribboned Rhoda dress, which comes in nine colours (aqua, black, blue, green, grey, peach, pink, purple and yellow). Both gifts come in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara, Belleza Freya, and Slink Hourglass mesh bodies.

Be sure to drop by the QE Designs booth and pick up their generous gift box; it’s stuffed with many gifts of womenswear, and even a couple of home decor items! Here Vanity is wearing three gifts for QE Designs: the Everly top, Camilla denim shorts, and Gretchen tip-toe sneakers. Top sizes: Lara; Freya, Isis, and Venus; Physique and Hourglass; Tonic Curvy and Fine; eBody. Shorts sizes: Lara; Freya, Isis, and Venus; Physique and Hourglass; Tonic Curvy and Fine. Shoes fit Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink feet.

And here’s another couple of gifts from QE Designs, the Anya romper paired with the Una heels (each of which comes with a four-colour HUD). The romper sizes: Lara; Freya, Isis and Venus; Physique and Hourglass, eBody; Tonic Curvy and Fine; and classic sizing. Shoes fit Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink feet.

There are some truly lovely ballgowns for you to snap up as well! First, we have this red Bekka beaded-bodice gown by Sascha’s Designs, shown with another Shop and Hop present from ALTER, this lovely red-and-gold Vianney jewelry set (necklace, earrings, and ring). The gown can be worn with or without the flexiprim skirt attachment. Gown sizes: Lara and Petite; Legacy and Perky; Freya; Physique and Hourglass; Tonic Curvy and Fine; eBody Reborn; Kupra; fitmesh Medium; and something called Cinnamon & Chai (which is a body I have never heard of before!).

Another option is this stunning vintage ballgown from Blue Moon Enterprise, the Lady Rose Heart gown, which comes in only the Maitreya Lara size:

Here’s a close-up of the earrings, the Valentine’s Day present from Beloved Jewelry, which come in two different sizes (small and large), with a complete fatpack of metal textures and stone colours to choose from, to match any outfit!


Our last ballgown gift is a show-stopper! Behold this stylish Sol gown in soft pink from SOFIA, which comes with an optional star brooch worn at the waist (not shown here). Sizes: Lara, Legacy, Freya, Hourglass, and Kupra.

Below, Vanity models two different presents: the red latex Ryud pants are the gift from MEMOIRE (sizes: Lara, Legacy, Freya, Kupra), and from Addams comes the Betina Valentine’s top (sizes: Lara and Petite; Legacy and Perky; Freya and Isis; Hourglass; Kupra; eBody Reborn), which comes with a HUD with five different patterns as shown:

From Entice we have the gift of this wine-coloured, full skirt, imaginatively called Only Exception. And you can pick up the matching Only Exception top (which comes in two patterns, with or without the heart) for only L$50 nearby! Sizes for both skirt and top: Lara, Legacy, Freya, Hourglass.

The sneakers Vanity is wearing in this final outfit are also a Shop and Hop gift, from Lapointe & Bastchild SWEAR (they also come in a men’s black version; both men’s and women’s sneakers come in a variety of sizes to fit most popular brands of mesh feet).

Valentina E‘s Shop and Hop present is this jaunty cherry red beret (resizable via menu), which might just be the perfect finishing touch for your outfit!

And finally, there are several offers of free store credit or gift cards available for you to pick up:

  • Poison Rouge – L$500 gift card
  • Monomania – L$250 store credit (pay L$1, automatically refunded)
  • Nuve – L$350 gift card
  • ViSion – as mentioned above, L$400 free store credit if you join their store group for L$18
  • Rosary – L$500 gift card
  • Bloom Furniture & Decor – L$300 gift card
  • Little Fox – L$400 gift card
  • LaGyo – L$300 gift card
  • Salesita’s Creations – L$300 gift card if you join the ! ~ *Salesita’s Creations* ~ ! group for free (also a free dress with an 8-colour HUD, no group needed)
  • TREND – L$600 store credit if you join the ~TREND V.I.P.~ store group for free (credit expires February 10th, 2022; there’s also a free dress, no group needed)
  • Tachinni Clothing – L$150 free store credit, plus L$250 in additional free store credit if you join the ~ Tachinni Clothing ~ group for L$15 (all credit expires Feb. 19th, 2022)

Don’t forget that you only have two weeks to pick up all these gifts, plus many more fabulous freebies, so don’t delay! Happy freebie shopping!

UPDATE Feb. 2nd, 2022: Naria Panthar was once again done a YouTube video in which she unpacks and tries on all the gifts from all ten sims of the 2022 Valentine Shop and Hop! I recommend you watch the video on double-speed playback to save time, and keep a pen and paper handy to note down the stores whose gifts you like. Then, use this handy alphabetical listing of stores participating in the Shop and Hop to go directly to each store to pick up just the presents you want!

And one more ballgown gift to share with you! This is the Irina gown from 2Love:

This beautiful red ballgown comes in the following sizes: Lara, Legacy, Freya, Hourglass, and Kupra.

From Her to ME: A Gender-Affirming Surgery Fundraiser in Second Life, Nov. 22nd to Dec. 22nd, 2021

A memorial to those transgender people we have lost this year, at the From Her To ME event

Metaverse platforms are natural homes to transmen, transwomen, the non-binary, and the gender fluid, where you have the ability to choose how you are seen by other avatars. Many trans people take the first steps of their journey in a virtual world.

But while virtual worlds can be a haven to the transgendered, they are not perfect, either. In November 2017, I wrote an extensive blogpost about how many virtual worlds and social VR platforms still tend to codify the male/female dichotomy as a hardset binary rather than a fluid concept. Still, many people who want to present as a different gender from the one they were assigned at birth seek out metaverse platforms where they can express themselves freely, without judgement or harassment, and where they can help build vibrant, diverse communities.

While I was in the Belle Epoque store in Second Life, doing their 6th anniversary hunt (see this blogpost for a view of some of the many lovely hunt gifts), I came across a poster on the wall which intrigued me, so I teleported over to the event titled From Her to ME, which opens Nov. 22nd, 2021 and runs until Dec. 22nd, 2021:

The From Her to ME event in Second Life s a fund-raiser for Danny, a transgender man who is getting top surgery (here’s his GoFundMe page; he wants to raise US$6,000 to reach his goal).

Up here in Canada, chest masculinization surgery is usually covered by our universal healthcare, but the overall situation could still use improvement, according to CTV News:

Transgender Canadians and advocates are calling on the federal government to implement comprehensive trans and gender-affirming healthcare coverage across the country…

As it stands, all provinces and territories offer various levels of care for transgender and non-binary individuals. But often barriers crop up within the first instance of trying to access that care, an issue advocates say is due to a lack of training, forcing trans and non-binary people to become experts in their own healthcare.

But, while the situation in Canada is far from perfect, it is still far better than in the United States, where thousands of transgender Americans like Danny have to pay out of pocket for often-expensive gender-affirming surgeries, and sometimes resort to opening crowdfunding pages on GoFundMe and similar services in an effort to raise the necessary funds.

Hence, the From Her To ME event in Second Life, where dozens of Second Life content creators are donating all or part of their sales towards the cause. Here, for example, Belle Epoque is selling two complete fatpacks of former gacha prizes, and donating 100% toward’s Danny’s GoFundMe campaign:

There are also special auctions, where the winning bidder gets a rare or even one-of-a-kind item, like this purple fantasy outfit from Belle Epoque, with the proceeds again going to Danny to help fund his top surgery (the auctions start when the event opens on November 22nd, 2021).

Here is your taxi to the From Her To Me event, which starts Nov. 22nd, 2021 and runs through to Dec, 22nd, 2021. Why not pay a visit (they’re already open early, although all the vendor booths are not set up yet), and see if anything strikes your fancy? Your Linden dollars will be going to a good cause!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Gifts from the Belle Epoque Sixth Anniversary Hunt!

Well-known Second Life womenswear retailer Belle Epoque (store SLURL) is celebrating its sixth anniversary with a free hunt! You are searching for birthday cakes hidden in various places around the store, containing 30 free items from Belle Epoque, as well as free items from a number of other retailers.

Here are my picks for the best of the hunt prizes! I hope that you don’t mind that I used a pose stand to show off these prizes—it’s just so much quicker to work this way, and I wanted to share my finds with you as quickly as possible! There are many lovely dresses and gowns from Belle Epoque as hunt prizes, all unique and one-of-a-kind designs, but they come in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara and Meshbody Legacy bodies only! All accessories such as headbands and hats are unrigged and resizable.

First up is a pair of hunt gifts, the oversize pink Maite rose headband (hunt prize #14) and the form-fitting Nailah ballgown (prize #9):

Candace dress (prize #2):

Circe asymmetrical tailored dress (#5):

Tyra dress (#6):

Gia dress (#7):

Christine dress (#10):

Natalia dress (#12):

Rose shirt dress (#13):

Jennifer top and skirt (one piece; #15):

Monica dress (#16):

Allegra gown (#30):

L’Amour Curtois historical straw bonnet with hair (#29):

The Free Spirit headpiece (#24):

Knit top dress (the hunt prize from c*C*c):

Tania minidress (the hunt prize from UNA):

The Belle Epoque 6th Anniversary Hunt ends November 30th, 2021, so hurry on down to the in-world store and snap up some fabulous free fashion for your avatar!