Another Fifteen-Minute Second Life Avatar Makeover: A Complete Head-to-Toe Bollywood Beauty Makeover for Only L$150!

You probably already know that my passionate hobby is to create a complete head-to-toe Second Life avatar look from scratch, while spending as few Linden dollars as possible! (You can find all my previous, patented 15-minute SL avatar makeovers tagged here on my blog, including this latest post).

I have had an alt that I have styled as a Bollywood actress for many years now. She used to pick up all the saris at hunts such as the semi-annual ones held by FallnAngel Creations (remember them?), a store which has long since left the grid but continues on in the SL Marketplace. I hit every single hunt, and picked a collection of gorgeous system-layers-and-flexiprims saris which I wore on my classic, system avatar.

Here’s the Before picture of what she used to looked like:

And here are the After pictures. I think you’ll agree that this is a definite upgrade!

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head and Eyes: the Freya head by Catwa (a free group gift; the group is free to join, but if you haven’t picked it up yet, you’d better hurry, because this gift is only available until May 24th, 2020! More information and locations to pick up this fabulous freebie are here. The mesh eyes are included in the Freya package.)

Mesh Body and Nails: Juliet by Altamura (this was a limited-time group gift from Valentine’s Day 2019, which I turn to again and again on this blog; at the time I joined the Altamura group it was only L$50, but it now costs L$100 to join their group; this Juliet body is now for sale in-store only at the full price). In order to use the Essences skin below, I needed to buy and install the Omega system kit for Altamura (available for L$99 at this exact SLURL).

Skin Applier: The Sibyl skin applier for Catwa heads from Essences (free group gift; group is free to join; more information is available here). At the back of the Essences store, you can pick up a set of Omega body skin appliers in all eight skin tones for only L$1! (This avatar is wearing the darkest skin tone, E8.)

Hair: What you see here is a combination of a black hairbase from Catwa’s Master HUD, paired with the Pulled Back Bun hair that is already in your Second Life inventory! Just open your inventory, and scroll down to the very bottom of your inventory window to find the Library folder. It’s in Library / Accessories / Hair Design Options / Pulled Back Bun folder. It’s free, completely adjustable, tintable, and uncomplicated, and it fits well under hats and hoods, too!

Sari: This lovely sari is a free gift from the Habibi sim (just join the Habibi group for free, and click on the sign at the spawn point of this Middle Eastern themed sim).

Shoes: red flats by Garbaggio (part of a free sample pack of Slink-compatible shoes from Garbaggio, available on the SL Marketplace; Altamura mesh bodies have Slink-compatible feet)

Animation Override: Those of you who have been following the fifteen-minute SL avatar makeovers on my blog already know that my favourite freebie AO was one that was put out by a store called [ImpEle], called Chubby Girl AO. That store closed down years and years ago, but until recently this AO was still available to purchase for free from the SL Marketplace. All you had to do was add a separate hands-only AO for Bento hands (which were thoughtfully included for free with the various freebie versions of the Altamura mesh bodies) and you were all set to go! Unfortunately, this item has now been removed from the SL Marketplace, but I have provided step-by-step instructions on how to assemble your own Bento AO for only L$2!

In fact, the only thing that the Before and After avatars have in common are the earrings! These glorious Arpita earrings are by Mashooka Designs, a wonderful Indian clothing and accessories store which left the grid a long time ago, but continues on in the SL Marketplace (unfortunately, these earrings are no longer available).

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR LOOK: Only L$150! (It cost me L$50 at the time to join the Altamura group to get the Juliet mesh body group gift, L$99 for the Omega system kit for that body, and I paid L$1 for the Omega body skin appliers from Essences to match the Sybil Catwa head skin.)

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Free Bakes-on-Mesh Compatible, Bento Mesh Head for Female Avatars from the Genus Project

I just learned today from the Free*Style blog that the Genus Project, a major Bento head retailer in Second Life, is giving away a free version of their Strong Face model of female avatar head, which is Bento (fully adjustable) and supports Bakes on Mesh:

The Free*Style blogger, Helena Stringer, reports:

You can try to fight the horde that are grabbing Skin Fair Heads, or you can join the in-world group, which is free to join, and grab the head out of the notices: secondlife:///app/group/b153906f-38dd-0dd6-d327-345bef9f446e/about

They have also reduced their heads by 40% until an undisclosed time. 

Thanks, Helena! I would also very strongly advise you avoid the doubtlessly jam-packed sim where the Genus Project store is located. It will be an exercise in frustration.

Instead, join the GenusProject group for free (just copy and paste the above link into local chat in your SL client, and it will generate a group join link), and pick up the free Strong Face head from the group notices. The title of the notice you are looking for is: Support from the Genus Project team, and the head will be an attachment to that notice that you can click and download into your inventory. Group notices expire after two weeks, though, so please don’t wait too long!

The package includes:

  • the Genus Strong Face head itself and a head alpha;
  • a modifiable default shape (which should be your starting point);
  • Genus “jaws” (I assume that this is the teeth for inside the head);
  • a Genus neck fix;
  • Genus eyes and an eye alpha;
  • a Universal Setting HUD in two sizes (big and small);
  • a Basic Animation HUD in two sizes (big and small), and a variety of animations;
  • a Genus skin applier in three skin tones: Honey, Toffee, and Brownie, and four eyebrow colours: Blonde, Ginger, Brown, and Black (a nice bonus!);
  • an Information notecard explaining how to wear the head;
  • a Frequently-Asked Questions notecard.

As you can see, the included skin applier gives a beautiful result (I am also wearing the included Genus mesh eyes, and I have not changed any of the sliders from the included default shape):

The included Genus skin applier HUD (showing Honey skin, Brown eyebrows)

There are tons of options in the Universal HUD! These are just two of the three tabs:

And the animation HUD has plenty of eomtional moods and facial expressions! Here’s I selected the sleepy/yawning mood:

And this is the angry/annoyed expression:

In short, this is one of the nicest, most fully-featured freebie Bento mesh heads I have ever encountered in my many years of freebie shopping. So go and get this for your female avatar! You won’t regret it. Here’s my final look (I paired this head with the Atenea mesh body by LUCYBODY, which I wrote about here):

P.S. I will add this news to my ever-expanding, ever-popular blogpost on free and inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for female Second Life avatars.

P.P.S. SL vlogger Naria Panthar has just released a half-hour YouTube video demonstration of the various features of the Strong Face head and its HUDs:

UPDATE April 4th, 2020: I forgot to mention that this free Strong Face head is also Omega compatible! You will have to purchase and install an Omega System kit for it, though. You can purchase the Omega System kit for Genus Project heads for only L$99 from the Omega Solutions in-world store (at this exact SLURL).

So I paired the Genus Strong Face head with the Altamura Juliet body (which I picked up at Valentine’s Day 2019 as a free group gift), and applied the free Elvira Omega skin applier in snow (which was an Advent calendar gift from 7 Deadly Skins last Christmas). I was quite pleased with the results! This is the makeup-free face, since fairies don’t wear makeup 😉

Absolutely stunning!

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head: Strong Face by Genus Project (free group gift; group is free to join)
  • Mesh Body: Juliet by Altamura (former free group gift; the Altamura group costs L$100 to join)
  • Omega Skin Applier: Elvira in snow by 7 Deadly S[k]ins (a free group gift from last Christmas; I joined the group when it had a free group join period)
  • Mesh Eyes: Genus mesh eyes (comes in the package with the Strong Face head)
  • Hair: Aria by D!va Hair (a free group gift; the group is free to join)
  • Jewelry: Daphne choker and earrings by from Beloved Jewelry (free; a hunt gift from a couple of years ago)
  • Gown: Luminessence gown in white by Oi Bae! (free group gift; group is free to join; I’m not sure if this store is still on the grid or not, but they are on the SL Marketplace)
  • Shoes (not shown): white flats by Garbaggio (part of a free sample pack of Slink-compatible shoes from Garbaggio, available on the SL Marketplace; Altamura mesh bodies have Slink-compatible feet)
  • Iridescent Wings: these were a freebie I picked up many years ago and I forget where I got them
  • Magic Wand: like the wings, I forget exactly where I picked up this freebie.
  • Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. I added a free, separate Bento hand animator from the Altamura Juliet package.

TOTAL COST FOR THIS ENTIRE AVATAR: Only L$298! (L$100 to join the Altamura group, L$99 for the Genus Omega system kit, and L$99 for the Altamura Omega system kit.)

I’m all set for my next fantasy roleplay experience in Second Life!

Happy freebie shopping!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: !SOUL

The !SOUL Store

!SOUL was a freebie store which suddenly disappeared from the grid, but lo and behold, I have just today discovered that they have now set up shop in a skybox high above the newbie orientation centre called New Resident Island (here’s the SLURL).

As before, everything in the store—women’s clothing and footwear, hairstyles, even some system skins!—is completely free. Freebie fashionistas rejoice!! You will have to join the !SOUL group for free to pick up these items, and there is a group join panel in the store:

Please keep in mind that all clothing items use standard sizing (XS, S, M, L and XL), and also note that some of the free shoes include the feet (although they do include a HUD to tint the skin to match the rest of your body, it is still a bit of a laborious process).

Below, my avatar is wearing the Lily hairstyle from !SOUL, plus the Delicate Satin Mesh Dress in white (in comes in several other colours and floral patterns) with the included Delicate Flat Ankle Mesh Boots (I just alpha’ed out the feet and they fit perfectly):

The Lily hair comes with 14 different HUDs with twelve colours each, for a total of 168 different shades!

Here my avatar is wearing the Mesh Gown Dress, which comes in seven patterns as shown in the picture below. The hairstyle is also by !SOUL, and is called Bellflowers.

Finally, we have the Mesh Long Pants and matching Mesh Frill Blouse, which comes in four different colours:

(The hair in this picture is Kelsa by Firelight Hair, a former Advent calendar gift, and the shoes are part of the freebie pack of Slink-compatible shoes available from Garbaggio on the SL Marketplace.)

Here’s the SLURL to !SOUL. Happy freebie shopping!

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Mesh Heads and Skins from Genesis Lab, and the Free eBody Classic and Curvy Mesh Bodies with Bakes on Mesh Support

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)

Shoes: black flats by Garbaggio (part of a free sample pack of Slink-compatible shoes from Garbaggio, available on the SL Marketplace; eBody mesh bodies have Slink-compatible feet)

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!

Look:

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!