UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Free and Inexpensive Mesh Heads and Bodies for Female Second Life Avatars

WARNING! This is a long, long, looong blogpost, which I constantly keep as up-to-date as possible as I come across new products.

PLEASE NOTE: For a current, up-to-date list of free options for male mesh avatar bodies, please see this blogpost

Mesh heads can be very expensive! This blogpost is my attempt to summarize all the options available to you if you can’t afford a pricey Bento mesh head, but still want to replace your old system avatar with a fully mesh one.

First, let’s just recap all the options for free or inexpensive mesh avatar bodies for women:

  • the Jenny Altamura mesh avatar head and body at the Freebie Megastore at London City (free; one skin tone; has Bento hands and head; more information here); you can remove the head and replace it with any other head, only if you got the freebie Jenny body from last year’s Women Only Hunt; however, you cannot remove the head if you pick it up now at the London City Freebie Megastore)
  • the Valentina Altamura mesh avatar head and body at the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil (free; one skin tone; has Bento hands and head; more information here); note that you cannot remove the head on this particular free body
  • the Emanuelle Altamura mesh avatar head and body at the Altamura mainstore (free; one skin tone; has Bento hands and head; more information here; to get this free group gift you must join the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group for L$50); you can remove the head and replace it with any other head. UPDATE: This gift is now available at this exact SLURL at the Unihispana Crea freebie store, but I am going to assume, like all the other Altamura freebies, that you cannot remove the head.
  • the dollarbie versions of the Classic and Curvy eBody mesh avatar bodies (these were L$1 each but are now FREE; 12 possible skin tones; vendors are available at the freebie stores at Ajuda SL Brasil and UniHispana Creaand also at the eBody mainstore; these mesh bodies do not have Bento hands, and they have “thick” alpha selections on the included HUD, which means you have to be somewhat careful what you wear with them)
  • the Afrodite mesh avatar body by LUCYBODY (free Midnight Madness gift; 256 possible skintones; has Bento hands; you must join the Lucyshoes group for free to get this gift; more information here) UPDATE Nov. 4th: It has been reported to me that the Afrodite mesh body is no longer available as a Midnight Madness gift at the LUCYSHOES/LUCYBODY mainstore, and I can confirm this. It costs L$1,000 now. Thank you, LittleMe Jewell!
  • UPDATE Oct. 21st: There’s a new free Kim Altamura mesh avatar head and body available at the UniHispana Crea Gateway Community sim (more information here); note that you cannot remove the head on this particular free body. UPDATE: This body is no longer available, sorry!
  • UPDATE Nov. 3rd: Altamura has graced us with yet another free body gift in the First Annual SL Frees & Offers Hunt: the Estephania Altamura mesh avatar head and body! (more information here; note that you cannot remove the head on this particular free body.) UPDATE: This gift is no longer available at the Altamura mainstore, sorry!
  • UPDATE Dec. 11th: Another free option for a mesh full-body avatar is the Ruth Too RC3, scroll down to the end of this blogpost for more details!
  • UPDATE Dec. 28th: Altamura has released yet another free mesh avatar head and body package, called Clodet (more information here). UPDATE: This gift is no longer available at the Altamura mainstore, sorry!
  • UPDATE Feb. 14th, 2019: If you were on the ball, you were able to pick up the free, fully-featured Juliet mesh head and body package as a Valentine’s Day gift from the Altamura booth at the eBENTO Event. More details here.
  • UPDATE Feb. 20th, 2019: I have found a new inexpensive mesh body I had not heard of before, called the Sahara Mesh Avatar.
  • UPDATE April 25th, 2019: I talk about the inexpensive Ocacin Standard and Voluptuous mesh bodies.
  • UPDATE May 3rd, 2019: I talk about the custom full-body mesh avatars by NI9HT at the very end of this long blogpost!
  • UPDATE June 6th, 2019: Akeruka has a new group gift of a female Bento mesh head called Cleo, for only L$1 until June 20th, 2019! Details are here.
  • UPDATE June 21st, 2019: Boataom has a group gift of a static mesh head if you join their group for L$99, details are in the Boataom section below.
  • UPDATE June 22nd, 2019: The Yala Club offers a free Maitreya-compatible Ruth mesh body, details in the Ruth section below.
  • UPDATE July 20th, 2019: The freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil now has a free Bento mesh body called Tina, details at the end of this blogpost. UPDATE: And, as quickly as it appeared, Tina has disappeared! I assume that this is because it was stolen content.
  • UPDATE Nov. 7th, 2019: I report on two dollarbie Bakes on Mesh avatars sold by Rule of Rose, in this blogpost.
  • UPDATE Nov. 29th, 2019: I have added an inexpensive head from Eve to the Eve & Adam section below.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to remove the heads from the Altamura freebie bodies:

  1. Attach the included Altamura HUD.
  2. Click on the white head in the HUD once to remove the head (this only works on the Juliet gift, the 2017 Women Only Hunt version of Jenny, and on the Emannuelle gift formerly available at the Altamura mainstore, but unfortunately not on any of the other free Altamura bodies);
  3. Remember to also click the eyelashes, teeth, and hairbase buttons to remove those as well!
  4. Then everything from the neck up should be removed, so you can add your own mesh head.

Now, let’s talk about free or inexpensive mesh heads to go with those bodies!

Akeruka

If you haven’t yet joined the Akrueka group (called [AK] Heads News & Support) for L$150, you should really consider it. If you had joined the Akeruka mesh heads group two years ago, you would have picked up no less than eight fully-adjustable Bento mesh heads (four female and four male), all for a single group join fee of L$150. That works out to less than L$20 per Bento mesh head, a truly outstanding deal! So join the Akeruka group and keep your eyes peeled for announcements of freebie or dollarbie mesh heads every six months or so 😉

Boataom

Now, here’s the Takaru mesh head from from Boataom for only L$10, which comes is six different static versions with different facial expressions, and which you can change the lipstick, blush, and eyeliner on, using the included HUD:

Free Mesh Heads 4 24 Sept 2018.jpg

(It’s got a bit of a Japanese anime look to it, which is not exactly to my taste, but it might suit your needs perfectly!)

UPDATE June 21st, 2019: I have been told that if you join the Boataom group for L$99, you can pick up the Disella static mesh head as a group gift:

Boataom

This is what the Disella head looks like. It comes in two skin tones, with two separate, adjustable sets of ears to match and a HUD with six different colours of lipsticks:

Disells Head 26 June 2019

I tried, but I could not adjust the size of the eye opening, which I think leaves Disella with a perpetually surprised look! You might have better luck with a different set of (system or mesh) eyes from your inventory.

Eve & Adam

Another option for a static mesh head is the dollarbie Eve mesh head (model N1new)  from Eve & Adam. Join the EVE *New SL Avatar* group for L$1, and buy the head for L$1, for a total cost of L$2:

Eve Mesh Head 24 Sept 2018.jpg

The Eve head comes with a HUD with 6 skin colour options, 2 hairbases (blonde or brown), 3 eyelash choices, 10 eyeshadow options, 4 lipstick options, and 3 cheek blush options:

Eve Mesh Head 3 24 Sept 2018

There’s also an option to custom-tint any of the head, eyebrows, eyelashes, eyeshadow, lips, blush, hairbase, and neck. Here’s a look at the Eve head in one of the darker skin tones:

Eve mesh head 4 24 Sept 2018.jpg

Now, I am not overly familiar with the Eve head, but Genna (of the blog SL Freebie Addiction) uses this head for many of her pictures, and she reports:

Limited HUD and no updates.  Omega compatible (must buy relay kit), but not all make-up works.

UPDATE Nov. 29th, 2019: A reader has alerted me that Eve also has a relatively inexpensive Bento mesh head which supports Bakes on Mesh, called Ana. It is available for only L$990 on the SL Marketplace.

Genesis Lab

If you go to the Genesis Lab mainstore and join their group (called GenesisLab, all one word) for L$99 (there is a group join panel on the Group Gifts wall at this SLURL), you can pick up three lovely mesh heads as free group gifts: Makena (an albino head), Lara, and Kenna:

Genesis Lab heads 24 Sept 2018.jpg

The Lara head comes with a HUD to control the included mesh eyes (4 different eye colours), plus 4 options for the eyebrows and hairbase (red, blonde, brown and black), 4 options for eyeshadow, 4 options for skin tone, and 8 options for lipstick. Here’s what she looks like:

Freebies from SL 2 10 May 2018
Genesis Lab – Lara Mesh Head

The Kenna head, which is probably my favourite static mesh head, comes with a HUD to control the included mesh eyes (8 different eye colours), plus 8 different eyebrow and hairbase colours, plus 8 choices for each of the head’s lipstick, eyeliner and eyeshadow. Here’s what she looks like:

Kenna head 24 Sept 2018
Genesis Lab – Kenna Mesh Head

The Makena albino mesh head from Genesis Lab comes with mesh eyes, but it does not have any other options. As you can see, she’s quite striking:

Genesis Labs Mesh Head Albino 9 May 2018
Genesis Lab – Makena Mesh Head

Altamura Maya

Perhaps the best option for a free mesh head is the Maya head, available from the Altamura mainstore. This is a totally free gift (you do not need to join the Altamura group to get it), but it’s kind of tucked away in a remote corner of the store, so use this exact SLURL to locate it (just use the Map feature in your SL viewer, click on the Show Selection button, and follow the red arrow). This is a static mesh head with one HUD to change the skin tone to one of four options, plus two HUDs for makeup options (again, I have paired it with the Curvy eBody mesh avatar body). This is the Maya head with all the makeup options turned off, so you can see the features more clearly. I think it’s quite attractive!

Maya mesh head 24 Sept 2018.jpg

So there you go, all your best options for free and inexpensive Second Life mesh avatar heads and bodies! You do not need to spend a small fortune to have a good-looking mesh avatar in SL!

So, have I missed any bargains in mesh heads? If so, please leave me a comment, thanks!

300mg

There is a vendor on the SL Marketplace called 300mg, who is selling 6 free mesh heads, of which one is a female head called Amra. Here’s the picture from the vendor:

Amra.jpg

But when I tried it on, I found that it wouldn’t work with the default system avatar eyes. And (despite the assertion on the product listing that it has Copy/Modify permissions), I found I could not resize the head to fix the problem. So you will have to use the Amra head with a complete body alpha which removes the system eyes, and use mesh eyes instead (such as the ones which are part of the Genesis Lab mesh head packages). Make sure you take a copy of the mesh eyes first and use the copy, as you will have to adjust them to fit this head. The free Amra head comes with a HUD with six static facial expressions, but it does not come with eyelashes, so you’ ll have to buy those separately. Here’s the result, with the mesh eyes from the Kenna head and the Curvy eBody mesh body:

Amra Head 25 Sept 2018.png

As you can see, it’s quite a striking look, and definitely an option for those of you who wish to have a darker-skinned mesh avatar but don’t have a lot of Linden dollars to spend.

Yabusaka

Yabusaka sells a kit which allows you make your own customizable mesh head for L$9,999, but she also sells a demo version of the kit for free on the SL Marketplace, which includes the following free sample mesh head, which you might want to try out:

Yabusaka 25 Sept 2018.png

Strawberry Singh blogged about this head, and also created the following video:

UPDATE Sept. 26th:

Safybelle

Someone on the official Second Life community forums sent me a message:

Safybelle has a mesh head you can “earn” by playing her in-world traffic game. All you would need is some time, a group slot, and L$99 for the Omega plugin.

So I went to the Safybelle store in-world (here’s the SLURL), joined her group for free, and started playing her game:

Safybelle 26 Sept 2018.jpg

You can play the roulette-wheel game up to 10 times every 24 hours to earn points:

Safybelle 4 26 Sept 2018.jpg

You can find other locations to play this game on the Safybelle website. (There only seems to be the one location at the moment.)

Once you earn 30,000 points, you can get this Jessy 3 Bento mesh head for FREE! (I only earned 2,110 points in my first ten tries at the roulette wheel, so it’s probably going to take about 15 days of playing to earn 30,000 points.)

Safybelle 2 26 Sept 2018.jpg

If amassing 30,000 points seems like too unattainable a goal, there are also two other prize vendors within the store itself (here’s the SLURL), where you can get the Jessy 2 model Bento mesh head for only 16,000 points, or the Elwing elf Bento head (with animated ears) for only 19,900 points:

Safybelle 5 26 Sept 2018.jpg

After that, all you will need is the Safybelle Omega relay applier (available on the SL Marketplace for L$99), and you will be able to use any Omega-compatible skin with your Jessy 3, Jessy 2, or Elwing Bento mesh head!

Thanks for the tip, Fionalein! 🙂

UPDATE Oct. 7th: Well, I finally collected the 30,000 points to get the free Jessy 3 Bento mesh head from Safybelle, and it is definitely worth all the work to earn those points! Here’s what the head looks like, along with the HUD:

Safybelle Jessy 3 Head 7 Oct 2018.png

The Jessy 3 head comes complete with:

  • 12 hairbase tones
  • 9 skin tones
  • 8 eyebrow styles and colours
  • 5 styles of eyelashes
  • mesh eyes in 27 different colours, with a reflections option
  • 8 colours of lipstick
  • 4 tintable blushes / 4 styles of freckles / 4 facial tattoos
  • 12 kinds of eyeshadow and eyeliner
  • a choice of human or elf ears (with an elf ear animation)
  • a choice of angry, sad, sexy, happy, or standard facial animations
  • and it even has 8 different settings for eyeblink animations!

For a free, fully-adjustable, Omega compatible Bento mesh head, this is truly a super deal! The Jessy 3 head compares quite favourably with Bento mesh heads costing L$5,000 or more! So head over to the Safybelle store and get that roulette wheel a-spinning! And, even better, if you’ve already used up your 10 turns for the day, you can still play the sploder pig to earn more points!

UPDATE Oct. 9th: Well, I’ve had a few more days to play with the Safybelle Jessy 3 Bento mesh head, and I am going to have to retract my statement that the head is “fully-adjustable”. It turns out that many of the head appearance sliders (particularly those under the Head and Chin sections) do not change the features of this head, as they would with a fully Bento mesh head by Catwa or another maker. You can still make some adjustments to the eyes, nose, and mouth, though. I still think that this is a great deal for a mesh head, I just wanted to add that clarification to my earlier enthusiastic comments.

Here’s a picture of the Safybelle Jessy 3 head with the elf ears enabled. The ears can be animated, and it’s fun to watch them move and twitch!

Safybelle Jessy 3 head 9 Oct 2018

Ruth 2.0 and the Yala Club Free Mesh Body

Another option for those of you without Linden dollars to spend is the entirely free, open source female mesh avatar head and body package, called Ruth Too RC3, which is available on the SL Marketplace by Heavy Industries. There are three packages available, which include not only the mesh head and body, and HUDs for 9 different skin tones and alpha selections, but even starter hair, a dress, and shoes! 

Ruth Too RC3 11 Dec 2018.png

With the included alpha HUD, you can pretty much make clothing designed for any other mesh avatar body work with Ruth. Here is Ruth wearing the free Clover dress from the Baby Monkey capsule wardrobe available at the Free*Style store (more details here) as well as the free Sonnet pumps from the freebie store at Hilly Haalan (more details here). I had to adjust the pumps a bit to feet the feet, but it worked out okay. I added the free Alli & Ali Marilyn hairstyle from the selection at The Free Dove, and here’s the final look:

Ruth Too RC3 2 11 Dec 2018.png

Looking good for zero Lindens!

Heavy Industries is not the only vendor selling the Ruth 2.0 mesh body. You can also get one for free from Vlad Blackburn, or for L$1 from The Body Studio Store. Duck Girl also sells a Ruth RC3 hands, feet and nails update for L$1. I’m sure there are others if you search on “Ruth” or “Roth” on the Second Life Marketplace.

The Ruth and Roth mesh avatars are already quite popular on the various OpenSim virtual worlds, so it is no surprise to see them make an appearance in Second Life. Here is a link to the Ruth and Roth Avatar Project page on GitHub.

UPDATE June 22nd, 2019: Quite by accident, I discovered that the Yala Club is giving away what it claims is a Maitreya-compatible mesh body based on Ruth 2.0, which comes with Bento hands (here’s the exact SLURL to find it at the club; you will need to show it on the map and follow the red arrow to locate it):

Free Mesh Body Yala Club 22 June 2019

The body comes with regular nails or long nails, flat feet or high feet, and it includes a couple of HUDs with skin appliers (it is not Omega compatible). There’s also a (non-Bento) head included, but you’ll  need to use a choker or scarf to hide a noticeable neck seam. I found that most Maitreya clothing and shoes fit the Yala Club free mesh body well. Here’s a look at it, as well as the HUD showing you the available alpha sections, which should allow you to wear just about anything with it. For totally free, how can you go wrong?

Yala Club Free Mesh Body 22 June 2019

Altamura Leila

UPDATE Dec. 19th, 2018: The 8th day Advent gift at Altamura is a fully-adjustable, Omega-compatible, female Bento mesh head called Leila (you do have to join the Altamura group for L$25 to pick up this gift; more information here):

Altamura Leila Head 19 Dec 2018

This head is only available until Christmas, and then it’s gone, so hurry down!

Here is what the Altamura Leila head looks like with all the default makeup removed, the free LAQ Joline Omega skin applied, and a dollarbie Omega lipstick by Poema added, with a Maitreya Lara body (LAQ body appliers to match the LAQ skintones are L$300 per tone):

Leila Head 20 Dec 2018

Looking very good!

Sahara Mesh Avatar, Skins and Basic Mesh Head

I discovered that I had overlooked yet another option for an inexpensive female mesh avatar, called the Sahara Mesh Avatar body. At this SLURL (warning: adult-rated sim), you can pick up the following items:

  • the Sahara Mesh Avatar for L$29;
  • a Basic Mesh Head for L$1; and
  • a package of 5 skins for L$1

The sign indicates that the Sahara Mesh Avatar is Maitreya Lara compatible, and I found that clothes and shoes designed for Maitreya did indeed work well with this mesh body. The Basic Mesh Head is non-Bento, and it does have some flaws around the neck seam area, although an included facelight seems to fix the situation somewhat. (You can replace it with any other mesh head, as I did in the second picture below.) Not that the body is not Omega-compatible and it does not have Bento hands.

Here is what the final result looks like, along with the HUD to select alpha sections:

Actually, not a bad result at all for a Maitreya-compatible body for only L$31 total! Here’s what the body looks like with the Akeruka Maia Bento mesh head that was available last June as a group gift:

The hands on the Sahara mesh body are particularly lovely (especially compared to the hands on the freebie eBody mesh bodies), but they do have one small problem: although there is a fingernail texture applier HUD included in the package, there are no fingernail textures! So the default fingernails on this body are a grey colour.

However, I was able to use the fingernail texture applier HUD with a light pink texture already in my inventory, and it worked out okay.

Ocacin Standard and Voluptuous

One inexpensive mesh body that I have not yet talked about is by a company called Ocacin. They don’t seem to have an in-world store, but they do sell both the Ocacin Standard Mesh Bento Body version 2 for L$250 and the Ocacin Voluptuous Bento Fitmesh Body version 1 for only L$100 on the SL Marketplace.

The Ocacin mesh bodies come in only one skintone, and they have only one HUD, to control the alpha selections, which are arranged rather strangely. While both Marketplace listings say that these bodies have Bento-compatible hands, I found that neither would work with my Bento AO. In this picture you can see the alpha HUD and the Ocacin Standard body, paired with the Akeruka Lulu Bento mesh head (a choker hides the slight seam at the neck):

I did find the toes on these bodies to be a bit ugly. You can use the HUD to hide the default high-heeled feet, and replace them with four other kinds of the feet from the Add Ons folder: flat, mid heels, and killer heels, plus a pair of feet which are compatible with MAP brand feet. Oddly, when you remove the default feet and replace them with another pair, the red toenails of the original feet are not removed! Adjusting your avatar’s hover height should fix this irritating bug, though.

I can’t figure out how to change the toenail or fingernail colours, or adjust the fingernail length (which by default is rather long).

NI9HT

When I first came across the Mrs. Philips avatar in-world, I did a complete double-take. She looked so real! The texture work is amazing!

And when I discovered that you could buy the Mrs. Philips full-body mesh avatar for only L$300, I snapped one up right away! The body comes with Bento hands, and includes the outfit, jewelry and hairstyle. All I did was make the arms a little longer, and the head a little smaller, and I added a free purse, a group gift from Belle Epoque at the 7th anniversary of the FaMESHed event on now.

Of course, there’s a catch. And that is that the clothing is part of the avatar mesh and cannot be removed. (The nacklace and bracelets are a separate attachment.) So if you’re not too fussy about what your avatar is wearing, but you want a completely different look from all the young-looking people around you, this might be your thing. It’s my new favourite avatar to slip on when I wander around the grid exploring!

NI9HT also sells custom full-body nude avatars. Again, you won’t be able to dress them (no clothing will likely fit the custom mesh bodies and there’s no HUD with alpha selections available), but if you’re just wanting to use one for dancing/stripping/escort work in SL, or you only hang out at nude beaches, they might be perfect for you.

Here’s a link to their store on the SL Marketplace, if you are interested to see what other custom full-body avatars NI9HT has to offer. Warning: some of the images of the nude avatars are NSFW!

Tina Bento Mesh Avatar

UPDATE Sept. 2nd: Today, I checked and, as quickly as she had appeared at the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil, Tina has disappeared! I have no idea what happened. Sometimes you have to act fast to pick up a freebie!

Today I was strolling through the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil when I noticed a new Bento mesh body for women (at this exact SLURL; you will have to use the beacon on your map to find this location, as everybody starts off at a single spawn point at the sim).

The Tina avatar is fully adjustable, with Bento head and hands. There are separate HUDs for the head, body, and alpha sections (which appear to be identical to the Ocacin one I profiled above):

There’s a few perplexing points about this avatar. First, right out of the box, the upper body and lower body were two separate skintones, which I had to fix immediately. I found I had to right-click on the Skins part of the body HUD to actually see the numbers which correspond with the four included skin tones (the vendor panel shows the darkest skin tone, a very deep brown with a high sheen). The skin appliers on the head are in the separate head HUD, and despite what the buttons say, there are only four to match the body skins, not eight.

Tina comes with mesh eyes in four colours, as well as built-in facial animations. You’re going to have to do some adjustments on the eyes, however, because the default shape has the smallest and squintiest eyes I have ever seen! Here’s a few shots after I made the eyes bigger and wider open (this is the second-darkest skintone):

The nails are a real problem area. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to use the HUD to tint the nails, which are frankly the ugliest I’ve ever seen on a mesh avatar. There are separate add-on long nails which don’t even try to cover the base nails on the mesh avatar (now, this might be because I made the hands slightly smaller):

Another problem is that, at certain angles, there is a noticeable bulge at the neck seam of this avatar:

I also was unable to figure out how to change the feet height in any way, shape, or form (the first time I’ve tested a mesh avatar with this problem). And worse, the included mesh feet do not appear to be Slink or Maitreya compatible. Pretty much your only option is to alpha out the feet altogether using the included alpha HUD and wear boots, or some other shoe that includes the foot (like the black and red chained sandals by YDEA available at the Free Dove). Here’s another look at Tina wearing those chained sandals (which include a skin tint HUD to match the rest of the body), plus a sequined minidress from the freebie store at London City:

So, Tina is pretty, but she has problems (and doesn’t that statement apply to all of us?). I do think that there are now some better free options out there than this, but it’s a nice addition to the freebie mesh avatar marketplace. We are now seeing some real choices.

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Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Ryan’s Eight Rules for Freebie Hunting

Here are 8 rules for freebie and bargain hunting that I have compiled over eleven years in Second Life:

  • 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 month 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.
  • Monitor the various freebie news sources: Here’s the best six groups to join for freebies. Here are four blogs and four Flickr groups to follow for news of freebies. And read my blog 😉 and other SL fashion blogs and Facebook groups for news. And watch the Cat Pink SL series of YouTube videos for more news about hunts and other freebies.
  • Join groups which are known for giving great deals and freebies to their members: For example, if you joined the Akeruka mesh heads group a year and a half ago, you would have picked up no less than six fully-adjustable Bento mesh heads (three female and three male), all for a single group join fee of L$150. That works out to only L$25 per Bento mesh head, a truly outstanding deal! Also join the Altamura group for L$50, which gives you access to the deals that Altamura offers on mesh heads and bodies at various events around SL, as well as many group gifts in the mainstore. Alien Gizmo’s regularly gives away L$200 gift cards for their store to their group members. Join these groups and stay in them, because you never know when there will be a bargain or a freebie available in future.
  • Watch for free group join periods: A perfect example is Scandalize, which has lifted its group join fee of L$100 from Sept. 15th to 17th (more info here).
  • Use the lucky chairs and panels: You can often pick up some great freebies this way. Here’s my list of the 18 best lucky chair and panel locations in Second Life.
  • Participate in hunts: Hunts are often a great way to pick up free or inexpensive items. The Free Dove picks three different designers every month who hide hunt items all over the store. A recent example was the August hunt by Sweet E’s at The Free Dove and Sweet E’s mainstore.
  • Visit fashion and gacha events: These can be another great place to pick up free gifts (be careful, though; some gifts at some events can be as much as L$10!). For example, the regularly held events run by the Gimme Gacha group have dozens of free gifts available for you to pick up. FaMESHed is another regular event with many high-quality freebies.
  • Don’t be too picky: Even though the free item might not be the exact style or colour you wanted, you can probably still make it work, and look good too. It’s the picky shoppers who land up spending a lot more money to get exactly what they want. For example, do you really want that expensive ballgown, when you can pick up that simple but beautiful Nadia ballgown as a free gift from Hilly Haalan (the group is free to join), with a HUD that gives you 15 different colour choices? You can probably make that work well with accessories already in your inventory, and look stunning.

Here is a perfect example of an avatar where I was able to pull together the entire look, over the course of a year and a half, for only a single Linden dollar! It is a combination of lucky chair prizes with free group gifts (joining the group when it was free for a limited time), plus store giveaways. Please click on each picture to see it in a larger size:

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head, Eyes and Makeup: Kenna mesh head (free group gift from Genesis Lab; the group join fee was free at the time I joined, but they have since raised it to L$99)

Mesh Body and Nails: Afrodite body by LUCYBODY (free from the Midnight Madness board if you join their group for free; more details here)

Hair: Ivy hair (free gift from Entwined; the 3 HUDs included in the package give you a total of 65 different hair colours!)

Dress: red and black Devil’s Heart Sweets dress (lucky chair prize from Alien Gizmo’s; enter the store at the main entrance, turn left, and walk along to the second courtyard near the far end to find the lucky chairs, or just use your map and follow the red arrow from the provided SLURL)

Choker: Nina choker by RxK (free from the Ajuda SL Brasil freebie store; more details here)

Clutch: Helena clutch (lucky chair prize from MODA; the HUD gives you 24 colour choices for the purse, and a choice of either gold or silver for the metal accents; enter the main store in front of you at the spawn point, and go around into the back room where the four lucky chairs are located or just use your map and follow the red arrow from the provided SLURL)

Shoes: Bijou pumps (lucky chair prize, also from MODA; the HUD gives you 36 colour and pattern choices each for the shoe and the platform)

Avatar AO: Your First AO Basic Female Mocap by Vista Animations (L$1; it’s located at the back of the Female AO section of the store, so use your map and follow the red arrow provided by this SLURL)

Bento Hands AO: Jenny Hands AO (part of the free Jenny Altamura mesh body package available for free at the Freebie Megastore in London City; it can be worn with the Vista AO, which does not have built-in Bento hand animations; more details on how to get Jenny here)

Ankle Lock: by Baby Monkey (freebie from the blue bag on the reception desk)

My total cost to assemble this complete avatar look was only L$1 (for the Vista AO).

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Gowns and Dresses by AZUL

AZUL is known in Second Life for some beautifully designed ballgowns and dresses. But did you know that you can join their group for FREE, and pick up no less than 33 dresses from their Group Gift wall?

AZUL 3 2 Aug 2018AZUL 2 2 Aug 2018AZUL 1 2 Aug 2018

You can also pick up a 34th dress if you join the SL Frees & Offers group (which is also free to join).

Let’s take a look at some of the gowns and dresses you can get for free from AZUL. First up is the Sept 2015 group gift outfit, which includes the black dress, fur jacket, and a black rose choker:

AZUL Sept 2015 Dress 2 Aug 2018.png

Next is the January 2018 group gift, a gorgeous mermaid-style black ballgown:

AZUL Jan 2018 Gown 2 Aug 2018.png

Finally, we have a delightful pink dress with matching black neck ribbon, the January 2017 group gift:

AZUL 3 2 Aug 2018.png

So hurry on down to AZUL to snap up all these glorious freebies—here’s your taxi to take you directly to the Group Gift wall!

My avatar is also wearing:

Head: Maia Bento mesh head by Akeruka (free group gift; group join fee L$150; no longer available for free)

Body: Afrodite mesh avatar body by LUCYBODY (free group gift; group is free to join)

Hair: Chikai hair by Argrace (free group gift; group is free to join)

Shoes: Classic black pumps by Marquesse (available free at the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil; this shoe comes in four colours; note that the LUCYBODY mesh avatar body has Slink-compatible feet)

TOTAL COST FOR THESE THREE LOOKS: L$150 (the group join fee for Akeruka)

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Afrodite Female Mesh Body by LUCYBODY

UPDATE Nov. 4th: It has been reported to me that the Afrodite mesh body is no longer available as a Midnight Madness gift at the LUCYSHOES/LUCYBODY mainstore, and I can confirm this. It costs L$1,000 now. Thank you, LittleMe Jewell!

For a current, up-to-date list of free or inexpensive options for mesh avatar heads and bodies for female Second Life avatars, please see this blogpost. For a current, up-to-date list of free and inexpensive options for male mesh avatar heads and bodies, please see this blogpost

Here’s another freebie tip that I picked up from Cat Pink, whose YouTube videos about freebies and hunts in Second Life are often quite informative. Did you know that you can pick up a beautiful, full Bento mesh body for female avatars, with 256 possible skin tones, a complete set of nail lengths and colours, and a complete set of detailed alpha cuts, for FREE? All you need is a group space and a little patience.

Teleport to the LUCYSHOES/LUCYBODY store, enter the store, and take the fourth aisle to the left, after the wall marked GIFTS:

Afrodite 5 29 May 2018.png

There’s a Midnight Madness board. Join the LUCYSHOES/LUCYBODY group for free (there’s a group join board right next to it), and then touch the Midnight Madness board to register yourself.

Afrodite Body for Free 29 May 2018.png

Once the board gets 100 hits, everyone gets a free, fully-featured Afrodite body by LUCYBODY.  After 100 hits, the board resets to zero. I was very lucky and I hit the board when it was at 99, and I got my Afrodite body within a couple of hours!

I was expecting this to be a disaster, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was easy to use and looked good on my avatar! The Afrodite body has a few nice features that you won’t find on other freebie/dollarbie female mesh avatar bodies, like the free Altamura Valentina or the dollarbie eBody Classic/Curvy models available at Ajuda SL Brasil. With the addition of the LUCYBODY Afrodite, there are now three options for female mesh avatar bodies for those without the Linden dollars to spend on more expensive mesh bodies! More choice is always good.

Like the eBody models, it comes in a variety of skintones, but with a bonus feature: the HUD has 8 basic skintones, each of which you can adjust using 32 tint panels to give you a total of 256 available skin colours! The nails HUD has 7 options for nail length and 24 colours and patterns built right into the HUD. The Afrodite body has Bento fingers (like the Altamura Valentina, but unlike the eBody dollarbie versions) and the detail on the hands is actually quite lovely.

Afrodite 4 29 May 2018.png

One thing I like about the Afrodite LUCYBODY is that it has the most detailed alpha selections of any mesh avatar body I have ever seen! You can basically wear just about anything with this body and make it work with all these alpha cuts! In the picture below my avatar is wearing a dress designed for Maitreya Lara by Maci (a group gift; the group is free to join), and it fit with a minimum of fuss. I like that!

Afrodite 3 29 May 2018.png

Here’s another picture of the avatar in a sharper light. I am also wearing the Lulu Bento mesh head by Akeruka, and to hide the slight seam between head and body, I am wearing the Nina choker by RxK, a free gift from Ajuda SL Brasil. The feet are Slink-compatible, so any shoe created for Slink feet will work with this mesh body (you might just have to adjust the foot size for the best fit; they recommend 32.)

Afrodite Body for Free 2 29 May 2018.png