I still derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from styling a Second Life avatar as inexpensively as possible, but still looking like I spent thousands of Linden dollars! Here is what I was able to create today, using as my starting point a wonderful free skin I found at the COCOAMATRIX store, called Avril:
This avatar stands out in any crowd! She is wearing:
Head: Genus Strong Face (a free gift head from the Genus Project; includes the mesh eyes shown)
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!
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!