Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Essenz Shoes

Those of us who pursue retail therapy to chase away the blues are a sad bunch in this perilous pandemic season. In much of the world, retail shopping has been deemed a non-essential service, and therefore, real-world shoe stores around the globe have closed their doors, for who knows how long. It’s depressing.

So why not indulge in some shoe shopping in Second Life? I can assure you, the dopamine rush that hits your brain from landing that perfect pair of shoes is the same, whether it is in real life or Second Life! Trust Auntie Ryan on this, my dear 😉

Remember that one of Ryan’s eight rules for freebie hunting is to watch for free group join periods. Once or twice a year, many store groups will promote themselves by letting you join their store group for free (usually just before Advent calendar season). In fact, it was just before Advent that I joined the Essenz shoe store group for free 2 years ago, and what a bargain that has turned out to be! I have gotten oodles of well-crafted shoes in the two years since I joined the Essenz group!

In addition to an Advent calendar every December with a lovely gift of women’s footwear each day, Essenz also has a free group gift available on the front counter of their store, a new and different group gift each month. And April’s group gift is so wonderful, that even if you have to pay the L$350 to join the Essenz group, it’s totally worth it!

Let Auntie Ryan explain… 🙂

The April group gift from Essenz is the Wales fatpack of pumps:

Now, you might think that L$350 for a single fatpack of pumps isn’t that great a bargain; after all, you can probably find a better deal on pumps elsewhere on the grid. (KC Couture sells fatpacks of pumps for L$75, for example.)

But these Wales pumps (which come with a HUD with 26 different colours for the shoe and four different colours each for the sole and the metal trim) actually come in four different styles!

There are the regular pumps with a thin heel:

Regular pumps with a thick, chunky heel:

Platform pumps with a thin heel:

And platform pumps with a thick heel!

That means that you get 26 shoe colours times 4 sole colours times 4 metal colours times 4 shoe styles, which works out to 1,664 different shoes! So even if you aren’t already a member of the Essenz group and getting this fatpack of versatile pumps for free, the L$350 group join fee works out to L$0.20 per shoe! Now, if that’s not a deal, I don’t know what is!

By the way, the Wales pumps come in sizes to fit Maitreya, Belleza and Legacy feet. The Altamura avatar I used in these pictures had Slink-compatible feet, and I found that the Belleza shoes fit them well.

But wait…there’s more!

Every month, Essenz gives out a free promo code in their group. Check the group notices for that code, and use that promo code to save L$175 on any purchase in their store! Just right click on the item you wish to purchase, select Menu from the pie menu that pops up, then on the blue pop-up menu that appears in the upper right-hand corner of your SL viewer, click the Buy button. On the next menu that appears, click on the Promo Code button, then enter that month’s special code in the box provided. The L$175 will be deducted from the price you pay! How great is that?

Happy shopping!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Christmas Gifts from the Cosmopolitan Event (and Advent Gifts for December 17th)

Another December event which offers lots of gifts for freebie fashionistas is the current round of the biweekly Cosmopolitan shopping event, which runs from the 16th to the 28th of December. It’s only two weeks long, shorter than other events, so be sure not to miss it!

Just inside the entrance to the event is a huge Christmas tree, with stockings you click on to receive the presents. (You do have to join the Cosmopolitan group for free to pick up these gifts.)

Participating vendors are adding stockings to the tree every day between now and Christmas, so I would advise dropping by on Christmas Day and picking up everything at once.

If you insist on visiting every day, the layout of the stockings around the tree can be somewhat confusing compared to traditional Advent calendars, and you might land up collecting the same gifts multiple times. You might want to use this tip provided by SL blogger Chic Aeon: once you have clicked on a stocking and received its gift, right click on it, Select More from the pie menu, select More again, then select Derender, then Blacklist. You will no longer be able to see that stocking on return visits! (These are the instructions for the Firestorm viewer; I do not know what the equivalent is for the standard Second Life viewer.) This is a genius tip! Thanks, Chic!

Cat Pink SL has already posted a YouTube video with a look at a few of the early gifts from the Cosmopolitan Christmas tree, so I am not going to bother posting pictures of the presents here:


Today Vanity Fair is wearing two Advent calendar gifts for Dec. 17th:

  • The lovely Nola dress which comes with a separate black bolero jacket, from Virtue. The calendar requires you to join the Virtue group, which is free to join.
  • The Osaka shoes in riverside blue from Essenz. The shoes comes with a HUD to change the colour of the sole (4 colours), the metals (4 textures), and the flowers (26 colour options!). The calendar requires that you join the Essenz group for L$350, but I believe there is an option for non-group members to purchase each day’s gift for L$50.

Vanity Fair is also wearing:

Happy freebie hunting!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Presents From the December FaMESHed Event (Plus a Few Advent Calendar Gifts)

The December round of the FaMESHed Event in Second Life is upon us, and once again, most of the vendor booths have beautiful Christmas gifts for us! There is some really lovely stuff, both for your avatar and for your home. You do have to join the FaMESHed group for free to pick up all the presents.

Here Vanity Fair is wearing two gifts from vendors at FaMESHed: the Christmas Deer sweater from Just Because and the Hanna red heels by Phedora. (The blue leggings were part of the Dec. 4th Advent calendar gift from Appliqué Chic, and are still available today for free, but they will be L$10 after today):

The red Joy throw pillow and the neon Santa hat on the wall behind Vanity are also gifts from FaMESHED, by Fancy Decor and EQUAL respectively.

Now we have the Merry plaid blue zipper skirt (part of the same Dec. 4th Appliqué Chic Advent calendar gift as the leggings in the previous picture), plus a lovely cropped sweater, the FaMESHed gift from Giz Seorn:

Here we pair the red cable knit mohair sweater by COCO Designs with the sexy red thigh-high Cate boots by Garbaggio (my favourite shoe store!):

Next we have the Shayla robe in green from Ricielli, which comes in both closed and open versions (obviously, I’m not going to show you the open one!):

The Scandalize gift is the Nairi dress in black with a separate black lace bralette:

The gift from Neve is this lovely outfit consisting of two separate pieces, the top and the matching skirt:

This is the Jane sweater by RIOT (which comes in green as shown and also in red), paired with the Adriana red glitter shorts by Bombshell. (The RIOT gift box also includes Jasper sweaters for the men.)

Next up is the Scarlett bra and panties, the gift from Belle Epoque, shown with the Punta Cana shoes by Essenz, which comes with a HUD to change the colour of the shoes themselves (3 options: grey, blue, and red), the sole (4 options), and the tie around the ankle (18 options):

Here’s a closeup on the shoes, which like everything Essenz sells, is wonderfully crafted, with much attention paid to details!

Finally we have the Cindy dress in mint green by Kaithleen’s, paired with the Dec. 5th Advent calendar gift from Essenz, the sand-coloured Honolulu shoes:

Here’s a closeup of the Honolulu shoes, which are bit too frou-frou for my taste, but they might be perfect for you!

You do need to join the Essenz group for L$350 to pick up their daily Advent calendar gifts, but all are beautifully crafted footwear, and I think that L$350 for 24 quality pairs of shoes and boots is a bargain.

The hair used in all these pictures is the Dec. 5th Advent calendar gift from Firelight Hair, a curly hairstyle called Melvena (you will have to join the Firelight group for free to use this calendar). The hair comes with a 3-colour HUD to change it to brown, black, or red:

UPDATED: Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: FaMESHed 7th Anniversary Gifts!

One tip I always share with avid Second Life freebie hunters is to check when the various monthly shopping events celebrate a yearly anniversary. This is often a time when you can pick up dozens of free gifts from the many content creators participating. One of the best-known and longest-running shopping events is FaMESHed, and it just so happens that they are celebrating their 7th anniversary this month!

You can join the FaMESHed Update Group for free, and with that group active, you can visit the FaMESHed sim and pick up over 60 different gifts from many talented, well-known designers, all for free!

However, I would caution you that the current round of FaMESHed runs from May 1st until May 27th, so you have plenty of time to vacuum up all the freebies. Today the sim is almost impossible to get into (unless you are a Premium member), and the lag is absolutely horrific. You’ll be clicking and reclicking several times in vain on each giftbox to get your presents, and only after a delay of 5 to 10 minutes each! If I were you, I would wait until later in the month when it’s less busy. Just mark it in your calendar so you don’t forget!

What I can do is show you just a sampling of the sixty free gifts available, so you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth the hassle to get into the sim and brave the lag. In all these pictures Vanity Fair is wearing:

First up is with a mint green minidress by Neve (which comes with a HUD with four colour and pattern choices), paired with the Camila hair by Limerance (which you can tint as you desire using the included HUD), along with sunglasses by Minimal and the So Feng heels by BREATHE:

Next up is the Soho dress in olive by Junbug, paired with the Misha hairstyle by Elikatria (which comes in four sizes, with a HUD with 20 different colours):

For a completely different look, here’s a blue top by Giz Soern, worn with high-waisted cargo pants in camel by COCO Designs, the Jessie Anime hair set by Ayashi (which you can tint any colour you like), and as the finishing touch the Savannah fringed bag by Aleutia:

Vanity Fair’s second-last look is the daring, skin-baring Vivien dress in nude by Kaithleen’s, paired with a pastel beads necklace by Meva and resizable Nina silver hoop earrings by Miu (they also come in bronze, gold, and pink). The finishing touch is a pair of vintage peep-toe heels from Eudora3D, and a round wicker Africa purse by Belle Epoque. (The hairstyle in these pictures is Lady by Truth Hair and it is not a free gift.)

The final look features the Hush bra and panties in eggshell by Dead Dollz, paired with the Bahia blue fishnet heels by Essenz, to which I added the Annoushka silver earrings by Ilaya and the Nicky crystal bracelet by Kunglers:

So, if you like what you see, head on down to the FaMESHed event before May 27th! These and many other freebies await you.

UPDATE May 3rd: Naria Panthar has done an hour-long YouTube video where she shows off all the FaMESHed 7th anniversary gifts. (For some reason I could not embed that video here on my blog.) Note that in addition to many items of clothing, jewelry and hair, there are many gifts of household items like books and pillows for your home.