Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The New Ava Bento, Bakes on Mesh Head by META Is Only L$99

Housekeeping Note: I actually wrote most of this blogpost on October 2nd, 2020, before I decided that I needed to suspend blogging to focus on my full-time paying job as an academic librarian. I still do, but… I decided I was so close to finishing this post that I just went ahead and did it tonight, and there’s no reason to hold it until November.


I received a rather unexpected gift this morning when I logged into Second Life, along with the following note from the creator, MikeThayer:

Hello, hope you are doing good. I make bento mesh heads for SL. I noticed your blog on my first release, the Bae head, and wanted to thank you for getting the word out. My latest work is Ava, another female bento head with SL UV map (much better match to skins made for classic avatars this time) and it would be great if you take a look at it and even better if you can blog about it. I’m selling for just 99L like Bae and it’s a promotional but no time limit on it. I hope you would help me get the word out. Have a nice day 🙂

Wow! This is not the first time I have received a freebie from a vendor, but it is the first time I have received a mesh head or body. Strawberry Singh (now employed by Linden Lab as Strawberry Linden) built her blog around her detailed reviews of various mesh heads and bodies. She started off buying her first items that she reviewed on her popular blog, but after a while, SL content creators would just give her their heads and bodies, so that she would blog about them. In fact, Strawberry even created a nice little side-business creating and selling customized shapes for various mesh bodies and heads (here’s a link to her store on the SL Marketplace).

And I looked at this gift and I’m thinking to myself: Are SL content creators about to start raining down mesh heads and bodies for me to review? Am I about to become an even bigger Second Life celebrity? Could I be the next Strawberry Singh?!??

NAAAAAAAAAAH.

Probably not. For one thing, my blog doesn’t focus exclusively on Second Life, like Strawberry’s did. And I do tend to devote most of my writing to finding “steals, deals, and freebies” in Second Life (you can find all my blogposts in that category here), as opposed to blogging about new releases and full-price items. So, no, unfortunately, I will not be becoming the next Strawberry Singh 😉 and, alas, it will fall to somebody else to fill Berry’s shoes (and I’m quite sure that many bloggers are doing so already).

However, it has made me realize that I will need to create and post some policies about receiving gifts from vendors, since it is starting to happen more and more often lately. I will scout around the many thousands of Second Life blogs, and see how other bloggers are handling this particular situation.

Anyway, my apologies for going off on another tangent, let’s get back to the main story here. Here’s what the Ava head looks like with the default shape and the included full-head skin tattoo layer (you will have to find body skin to match, as well as some eyelashes to fit):

Note that there is no HUD which comes with this head; you will not be getting all the bells and whistles you would expect from a top-tier brand name like Catwa or LeLutka. But for only L$99, it is a beautiful, no-frills, perfectly serviceable head which will work with all your Bakes on Mesh skins, cosmetics, hairbases, and tattoos.

After tweaking the head a bit to obtain a pleasing shape (it seems to respond fairly well to the sliders), here is my final look (sorry, but I was unable to find suitable eyelashes in my inventory):

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: Ava mesh head by META (L$99 on the SL Marketplace)

Mesh Body: Classic mesh body by the Meshbody (L$1 group gift; more details here)

Skin: Elvira Bakes on Mesh/system skin in maple from 7 Deadly S[k]ins (a free Advent calendar gift from last Christmas; the group costs L$295 but I joined the group when the offered a free group join period)

Hair: Agatha by KUNI (free group gift; group is free to join)

Dress: Tammy dress by AdN (free lucky board prize; group is free to join)

Shoes: Wales pumps from Essenz (a free group gift from several months ago; the Essenz group costs L$350 to join)

Your total outlay for this Bakes on Mesh-compatible, Bento mesh head and body combination is only L$100—which is an outstanding bargain!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The New Bae Bento, Bakes on Mesh Head by META Is Only L$99 for a Limited Time

PERSONAL NOTE: Well, I actually lasted a whole TWELVE DAYS between blogposts, which I think is a new personal record!

I was going to save this particular blogpost for when I resume blogging in September, but I didn’t know how long this special, promotional price would last, so I decided to publish this post now rather than wait.

Because I need to work overtime (including evenings and weekends) on my full-time university job in order to meet some firm deadlines this fall, I regret that I will not have any time to blog about the various social VR and virtual worlds, at least this month. Consider this a one-off, single-time exception.

See you in September!


I swear, you come across great deals in Second Life in the damnedest places.

I was enjoying the blues at Bray’s Place (my new favourite hangout on the grid) and idly checking out what the other avatars were wearing (using the handy free What Is She Wearing? HUD) when I discovered a model of Bento mesh head that I hadn’t encountered before, from a company called META. And it’s a real bargain if you are looking for a Bento, Bakes on Mesh-compatible female mesh head!

It is currently on sale for only L$99, in what I assume is a special, time-limited promotional offer (here is the link to the SL Marketplace listing):


This is what the Bae head looks like, using the included brow shaper and body shape, right out of the box, with zero adjustments to the sliders. The shape of this head reminds me a bit of the freebie Catwa Freya head (sorry, it’s no longer a freebie!).

The head skin you see in this image is actually a full-head tattoo layer included with this head (I experimented and found that the butter body skin tone of 7 Deadly S[k]ins matches it well). I am wearing it on the freebie Ariadna body by Kalhene, which is, sadly, no longer available*. There was a slight neck seam visible, which I covered with the golden choker you see here.

After making various adjustments to the head and body sliders to my liking, here is my final avatar look, using the Bae head and the Ariadna body. In these pictures my avatar is wearing the Elvira skin from 7 Deadly S[k]ins in the butter skin tone (this was an Advent calendar gift from last December). I found that this Bento mesh head responds very well to the sliders, and of course it works with any Bakes on Mesh skins and makeup:

Here’s a full-body shot:

Now, I don’t know how long the L$99 promotional pricing will apply to the Bae head, so I would snap it now if you’re interested! I think this is a real bargain, especially when you compare it to Bento mesh heads that cost L$5,000 or more.

*Note that the L$1,695 Anya mesh body by Kalhene (which is frequently updated, and simply gets better and better with each new update!) is the successor to the original Ariadna freebie mesh body. Anya is available to buy at the Kalhene store, and is fully Maitreya Lara compatible; please see this blogpost for further information. I am mightily impressed with this body!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: META Basic Mesh Body for Male Avatars

Cat Pink, whose YouTube videos you should follow regularly if you are at all serious about tracking down Second Life deals and freebies, has found yet another inexpensive mesh body for male avatars. It comes from a store called META and it is available on the SL Marketplace for only L$1:

META 3 24 Jan 2019

The body is fully adjustable and includes Bento hands and a HUD with a complete set of alpha selections, which means you can get just about any clothing to fit it. Please note that it only comes in the one skin tone, a dark tan. This dollarbie version of the META body is not Omega compatible, but there is an Omega-compatible version for only L$699.

I paired this body with one of the free male Bento mesh heads I picked up from Akeruka, called Leon (remember my tip: join the Akeruka group for only L$150 and monitor the group notices for announcements of future free group gift heads!). The head comes with ten different skin tones, so I picked the closest match and hid the slight seam using a unisex choker from the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil. Here’s what he looks like:

Meta Leon 2 24 Jan 2019.png

I especially appreciate the detail on the hands; they are particularly well done! This body is a good choice if you don’t want an overly-muscled look for your male avatar.

META Leon 24 Jan 2019.png

This casual outfit is one of the four free male outfits (including shoes) available at the Steamworkz Bathhouse & Resort Gay Beach (here’s a SLURL to take you directly to the spot where you can pick them up). People often overlook LGBTQ spots in Second Life and I have found that they can sometimes be a great source of freebies (you can even pick up a free penis attachment if you’re looking for one, to avoid that “Ken doll” look 😉 ).

This is an excellent addition to my list of free and inexpensive male avatar heads and bodies. You do not need to spend a fortune to have a good-looking avatar in Second Life!