I got a tip early this morning that Maitreya was having a Cyber Week 50% Off sale which, of course, includes the perennially popular Maitreya Lara female mesh body:
The sale excludes gift cards, and is only at their mainstore. I popped into their store (SLURL) to check it out.
The Maitreya Lara female mesh body, which usually retails for L$2,750, is on sale until Dec. 6th for only L$1,375. The petite breast add-on, which usually sells for L$599, is only L$299. And the flat-chest add-on (which I believe is comparable to the popular V-Tech add-on) is selling for L$249, half of its regular L$499 price.
This is the first time in this blogger’s memory that Maitreya has ever had a sale. Of course, everybody and their dog designs for Maitreya Lara; they still have an estimated 70% of the female mesh body market, although I’m quite sure that they are seeing strong competition from, among others, the Meshbody Legacy female mesh body, which includes a package of deformers to enable you to wear most Maitreya Lara-designed clothing on it (Nodoka Hanamura recently reviewed the Legacy body here). I have noticed more and more designers are now creating clothing for the Meshbody Legacy body, including a few who used to be Maitreya-exclusive (like Belle Epoque).
And, of course, there have been other, cheaper Maitreya Lara-compatible mesh bodies which I have written about before on this blog, notably the LucyBody Atenea and the Kalhene Anya mesh bodies, which I have found fit most apparel designed for Maitreya Lara. Please note that, as of this writing, the Kalhene Anya Bento, Bakes on Mesh female body (which includes a head) is still on sale for only L$999 (45% off the regular price) at Kalhene’s Black Friday sale (here’s the SLURL to their store):
The Kalhene Black Friday sale was advertised as ending on Nov. 30th, so I don’t know if it has been extended, or for how long, so if you want that L$999 Kalhene Anya body, you’d better hurry down today! As I have written, you get more bang for your buck with the Kalhene Anya body than you would with Maitreya Lara. I have found in my testing that the Kalhene Anya mesh body is 99% compatible with apparel and footwear designed for Maitreya Lara. The only problem area I encountered with the Anya body was the wrist area on certain long-sleeved shirts and tops (see image, right).
Shots fired! The female Bento mesh body wars are starting to get interesting!
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 3.0
Maitreya Lara 5.3
Base Cost of Mesh Body
Petite Breast Option
Flat Chest Option
Bento Handsand Nails
Included; Fingernails come in 36 colours and patterns, and 3 styles
Included; Fingernails come in 19 colours and 5 styles
3 feet heights controlled by HUD (flat, medium, and high)
5 feet heights controlled by HUD (flat, kitten, medium, high, and point)
Bento Mesh Head
Not Included (Catwa heads cost L$5,000)
Included (2 styles)
Included (5 skin tones in regular and flat-chested versions)
Included (22 skin tones)
Bikini (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)
L$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).
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)
No one on earth could feel like this I’m thrown and overflown with bliss There must be an angel Playing with my heart
—There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart), by the Eurythmics
Time for another one of my patented 15-minute Second Life avatar makeovers! I hope that you enjoy these transformation as much as I do 🙂
This time, I have selected an alt which I have styled as a heavenly angel (her actual, Second Life legacy name is Prayerful Vigil, quite fitting!). Here is a before shot from 2018, a classic avatar with a system-layers-and-flexiprims outfit, outfitted with the free Bento wings and sword from the Marcus starter SL avatar:
Be patient: Freebies can come and go; freebie stores like The Free Dove and Ajuda SL Brasil rotate their freebies regularly, so it’s worthwhile to visit every couple of months, just to see what’s new. It can take some time to pull together a complete look from various components picked up as freebies at different times from different stores and events.
In this case, the complete look was pulled together by patiently picking up freebies at various times throughout the past two years. I also took full advantage of the then-free Kalhene Ariadna mesh body when it was avialable! The wings and hale were the final two bits I picked up in the past week (please see the style credits below the picture for details).
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head: the Strong Face Bento mesh head by The Genus Project (free group gift; group is free to join)
Mesh Body: the Kalhene Ariadna mesh body (I was lucky enough to pick up the free predecessor of the current Kalhene Anya mesh body, which is now for sale for L$1,695 here; this body is compatible with Maitreya Lara apparel and footwear, and includes a Bento mesh head, not used here)
Hair: I picked this Jessi hair in goth white up from Sn@tch as a free prize in a previous year’s Trick or Treat Lane hunt
Necklace: This was a free hunt prize by Dreaming Thicket, in the Spring 2019 edition of the Twisted Hunt (which had a colour theme of gold and white, perfect for this angel avatar!)
Gown: This was also a free hunt prize in the Spring 2019 Twisted Hunt, from Appliqué Chic
Shoes (not shown): Amy flats from Hilly Haalan (free group gift; group is free to join)
Wings: golden Icon angel wings from Blueberry (I was able to pick up the Gold Pack of these wings last weekend, using the L$500 in free store credit which was in the group notices, and taking advantage of their four-day 50% Off Sale; the Blueberry group costs only L$20 to join)
Halo: Aether halo by Cubic Cherry (free gift at the current Engine Room shopping event; the event group is free to join; the halo is resizable and I made it smaller)
Sword: from the free Marcus starter Second Life avatar
Particle Effects: This is the only thing I bought at full retail price! The Valkyrie particle aura is from Cole’s Corner: animated halo, hands, and body particles in either silver or gold! (L$300; more information here, including an animated GIF)
TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR LOOK: Only L$320! (L$20 to join the Blueberry group, and L$300 for the Valkyrie aura particle effects; if you need to purchase the Kalhene Anya mesh body, the cost is L$2,015)
UPDATE Sept. 30th, 2020: I just found the perfect finishing touch for this avatar! It’s a gold wing necklace, the free gift from the MINDS booth at the 5th anniversary round of the SanaRae shopping event (here’s the exact SLURL; it also comes in a silver version). It’s beautiful, and very fitting indeed for an angel!
“After” pictures taken at the Engine Room shopping event.
Please note that I am taking the rest of the summer off as a self-imposed vacation from the blog so I can focus on my other work, except for sponsored blogposts, and the occasional exception such as this post. See you in September!
UPDATE Aug. 14th, 2020: I have received word that these fatpacks of clothing are only going to be available for free until August 15th, 2020, so hurry down today!
Scandalize has always been one of the most generous stores on the Second Life grid in terms of free group gifts, with a group gift wall in-store just heaving with free clothing and footwear. It costs L$100 to join the Scandalize store group, but you get so much in return it really is a no-brainer (or watch and wait for times when they have a free group join, too; they usually do it two or three times per year).
Well, Scandalize recently set up an outlet store on their sim, and to kick it off with a bang, you can join a new, free group called Scandals SL Frees & News and scoop up no less than seventy-twofull fatpacks of older Scandalize outfits, all for FREE! This is such an outstanding deal that I decided to break my self-imposed vacation from the blog to tell you about it.
Here’s the SLURL to the Scandalize Outlet store; when you arrive you will be prompted to join the new, free Scandals SL Free & News group (or you can just click on the panel as shown below. Once you have joined the group, just click on the Scandals tag in the corner of each clothing panel to pick up a complete fatpack (i.e. all colours and patterns, including ombre tones in some cases) of that particular outfit!
Most of the clothing comes in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara, Slink Physique and Hourglass, and Belleza Venus, Isis and Freya mesh bodies. Because many of these outfits show a fair bit of bare skin, they might not work well with other kinds of mesh bodes (such as the freebie or paid-for Altamura mesh bodies, particularly around the pelvic area).
However, there are now several free and inexpensive mesh bodies that are Maitreya Lara compatible. One of them is the Atenea mesh body from LucyBody, which is a free Lucky Board prize (more information is available here). Maitreya Lara clothing and Slink footwear fit this body very well, and for only L$197 you can pick up a Bakes on Mesh applier HUD to allow you to wear any Bakes on Mesh skin with it.
Another option for a Maitreya Lara-compatible mesh body is the new Anya full-body (i.e. head and body) mesh avatar by Kalhene, which has recently opened up a small store opposite the N-Core Design footwear store (here’s the SLURL).
For only L$1,695 you get a beautiful, completely-adjustable Bento mesh head and body, with a detailed HUD, complete with a starter wardrobe of clothing and shoes, plus a set of lovely, realistic-looking Bakes on Mesh skins in a variety of skin tones! The Anya package even includes hair, plus an AO for the face, hands, and eyes! All you need to do is add your own animation override (for the body) and you’re all set.
Compare everything that you get in the Kalhene package with paying L$2,750 for the Maitreya Lara body, alone, after which you will also have to shell out for a pricey Bento head (Catwa heads are L$5,000 each), plus pay for skin appliers, etc. etc. You can easily see what a deal the Kalhene mesh body package is (even if you decide to just use the body, pairing it with a different Bakes on Mesh-compatible mesh head).
(Note that Kalhene is also selling Alexa, a flat-chested/transgender mesh avatar, which is compatible with Maitreya Lara with the V-tech flat chest add-on, for the same price, L$1,695.)
Now that we’ve discussed Maitreya Lara-compatible mesh bodies, let’s take a look at some of the clothes I picked up for free at the Scandalize outlet store! Here is the Axcid dress, which comes in two separate parts, the dress and the sleeves, in a complete fatpack of colours:
The Clae outfit consists of a cropped leather jacket with a belted miniskirt, which comes in a variety of colours and patterns (the jacket comes in a wide range of colours, including black):
The stunning Scarlett full-length ballgown comes in a complete fatpack of solid and ombre tones:
Finally, we have the sexy Kya romper, where the top, belt, and shorts can be configured via HUD to a wide variety of different colours and camouflage patterns!
I have heard that these 72 Scandalize clothing fatpacks are only going to be made available for a two-week period, so don’t delay! Hurry down and snap up these fabulous freebies before they’re gone!! Happy freebie shopping!