UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Advent Calendar Gifts for December 2nd, 2020

Here’s my blogpost with links to four lists of Advent Calendars and 12 Days of Christmas Calendars, plus my “Top Ten” Calendars you should not miss in 2020!

The Advent Calendar at Virtue

I don’t usually do writeups on Advent Calendar gifts in Second Life, because they are only available for 24 hours, and for those people who don’t visit my blog every day, it can be a bit frustrating to see free apparel and footwear that they might have missed picking up the day before.

However, since I am still stuck in self-isolation in my home during the province-wide pandemic lockdown in Manitoba, I might start doing a show-and-tell of some of the bounty that I did pick up that day, just to keep busy. So, here is my haul for December 2nd, 2020.

Virtue is a store run by Abiela Heartsong, who is a Christian woman who specializes in modest but stylish womenswear. Every year, she has an Advent Calendar in her store, with a free gift each day (you do need to join the Virtue group for free to pick up these gifts).

If (like me), you have some time to kill, then in front of the Advent Calendar are two camping chairs, a relative rarity in Second Life these days! You can sit for 60 minutes and win this lovely pastel party dress:

Camping chair at Virtue: My avatar looks so bored…

While my avatar waits, I will show you a couple of the December 2nd Advent Calendar gifts I picked up today. The blue Felicia outfit from Virtue comes in three separate parts: pants, tube top, and sleeves (not shown below), in sizes to fit Maitreya Lara; Belleza Venus, Isis, and Freya; Slink Physique and Hourglass; and Meshbody Legacy. The texturing is lovely, and it’s the perfect outfit for being stuck at home!

The December 2nd Advent Gift from the Essenz women’s footwear store is this lovely pair of Athens high-heeled sandals in black, which include a HUD to change the colour of the sole and the bow. This shoe comes in sizes to fit Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink feet. If you do not wish to spend the L$350 to join the Essenz store group to pick up all the Advent Calendar gifts, you can choose to buy this pair of shoes for only L$50 by clicking on the appropriate panel at the front of the store! (I love it when stores provide that option for non-group members! I believe Entice does that, too.)

Just a reminder that both WOW Skins and 7 Deadly S[k]ins have Advent Calendars with gifts of female Bakes on Mesh skins for your avatar. If you missed your chance to join the 7 Deadly S[k]ins group before December. it now will cost you L$1,000 to join, but for that, you will get 31 days on gifts! The cost to join the WOW Skins group is only L$199, but with that you can not only pick up each day’s Advent Calendar gift, but also all of the monthly group gifts (there is a box with all the previous group gifts on a small table underneath the display of the most recent monthly group gifts).

Happy freebie shopping!

UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: Camping is done! Here’s what the Alexandria Dots party dress looks like:

The shoes in this last picture are the Wales pumps from Essenz. This is a group gift, a complete fatpack, which alone is enough reason to join the Essenz group for L$350, as I explain in a previous blogpost about the Wales pumps:

That means that you get 26 shoe colours times 4 sole colours times 4 metal colours times 4 shoe styles, which works out to 1,664 different shoes! So even if you aren’t already a member of the Essenz group and getting this fatpack of versatile pumps for free, the L$350 group join fee works out to L$0.20 per shoe! Now, if that’s not a deal, I don’t know what is!

The group gift of the Wales fatpack of pumps is located on the front counter of the store, just behind the Advent Calendar (see red arrow below):

So, you listen to your Auntie Ryan, the undisputed Freebie Queen of Second Life 😉 , and you get your pixelated ass down to Essenz, join their store group, and mop up some truly lovely shoes!

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Group Gifts of Bakes on Mesh Skins from WOW Skins

UPDATE July 31st, 2020: Please note that the Wow skins and cosmetics store has moved; here is the SLURL to the new store. The Bakes on Mesh feet and finger fixes package I talked about in the blogpost below can be picked up from a shelf located on the second floor of the store (see the diagram with the green arrow).


The advent of Bakes on Mesh has meant that many people are now looking for BoM skins for their mesh avatars. Today, I wanted to share with you a true bargain: the group gifts from WOW Skins! It costs only L$99 to join the WOW Skins group, which gives you literally dozens of system/Bakes on Mesh skins, which works out to about L$2 per skin, a real deal! In some cases, the group gift skins come in only one skin tone, and in other cases, they come in a range of skin tones.

Just to the left of the main entrance to the store (exact SLURL), there is a panel where you can pick up the current month’s group gift, plus a gift box on the shelf below the panel, where you can pick up all the previous group gifts, all at once! Very efficient.

But first, without joining any group, you can pick up The Stay at Home Club’s free gift from WOW Skins, Sonia, which comes in a full range of skin tones:

The Stay at Home Club gift is in the gifts and lucky boards room, which is located in the far left-hand side wing of the main Wow Skins store. There are also a number of gift boxes with skins, if you join the various SL groups listed on the panels below each gift, such as Fabulously Free in SL and SL Frees & Offers:

Now, let’s take a look at some of these free group gifts!

This is the July 2020 group gift, the Malaika skin in the sandy skin tone, which comes in system/Bakes on Mesh versions as well as Maitreya, Catwa, and Omega appliers:

Here is the June 2020 group gift from WOW Skins, the Anita skin in the sandy skin tone:

And here is the group gift from May 2020, the truly lovely Elora skin in bronze:

Now, please keep in mind that for some of the older group gifts (a few of which date back to 2013), there will be some problems at the fingernail bases and the toes when applied to mesh bodies. For example, here is what the Dama skin looks like on the Classic female mesh body by Meshbody:

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this! Just pick up the free set of Bakes on Mesh feet and finger fixes available at League (here’s the exact SLURL). They come in a wide variety of skin tones, and you should be able to find a close match.


UPDATE July 31st, 2020: I have just discovered that, tucked away on a shelf on the second floor of the new location of the Wow Skins store, there is a free set of Bakes on Mesh hands and feet fixes for older Wow skins! The advantage of this particular set is that they come in all the Wow skin tones, and will match these group gift skins exactly!

Here’s the exact SLURL; you’ll need to show the location on the map in your SL viewer, and follow the red arrow from the default spawn point on the sim. Just click on the box indicated by the green arrow, and buy it for zero Lindens:


With that problem addressed, let’s take a look at the group gift system/Bakes on Mesh skins from WOW Skins! Please note that all of these skins have the makeup baked in; you won’t be able to remove the eye shadow, eyeliner, or lipstick on any of these skins.

WOW Skins come in a variety of skin tones. If the group gift skin tells you what the skin tone is, I have listed it in parentheses after the name of the skin.

Dama

Janette (Tan)

Ryanne (Tan)

Angy (Caffé)

Nahia (Milk)

Savanah

Creamy (Bronze)

Rosalia

Noralie (Bronze)

Kendra (Bronze)

Gisella

Stella (Tan)

Suvi

Prezione (Tan)

Moon (Tan)

Angel (Tan)

June (Bronze)

Yolanda (Tan)

Kathy (Bronze)

Salma

Rory

Petals

Mady (Bronze)

Love (Tan)

Kesia

Jada

Ina

The avatar in these pictures is wearing:

  • Mesh Head: the Cat Calm head from Genesis Lab (more information here)
  • Mesh Body: the Classic female body from Meshbody (more information here)
  • Hair: Dolly hair in rich brown by Firelight Hair, a gift from The Free Dove (more information here)
  • Choker: the Nefert gold choker by Poison Rouge (a free gift from the recently concluded 5th anniversary round of the Três Chic shopping event)
  • Dress: the Nice ballgown by JUMO (a free Advent calendar gift from last December)

Another Fifteen-Minute Second Life Avatar Makeover: Professional Business Woman

Everybody is familiar by now with the Elizabeth businesswoman avatar, one of Linden Lab’s selection of starter avatars for newbies:

Well, today I decided to give Elizabeth one of my patented fifteen-minute avatar makeovers, and take her to a role-play hotel operating in Second Life for a business meeting! The Essencia Hotel (website; SLURL) is a hotel and convention centre, staffed by both NPCs and role-playing avatars (you can even apply to work here).

To book a room, you just click on one of the kiosks in the hotel foyer, which takes you to a website. Rates range from L$150 a night for a standard twin single, up to L$500 a night for the premium suite!

If you join the Essencia Hotel group for free, you can even pick up a free gift: some luggage!

Here’s what Elizabeth looks like after her head-to-toe makeover. And, like any savvy businesswoman, she knows the value of a dollar. Everything you see here was free! (In some cases I joined a group when they had a free group join period.)

Elizabeth is wearing:

Mesh Head and Body: the free Kalhene Ariadna female mesh body (which, unfortunately, has been pulled from the SL Marketplace because of a DMCA complaint; more details here; I hope that this is resolved soon, but as Elizabeth the businesswoman well knows, legal matters over intellectual property can take time to resolve!).

Skin: Creamy in the milk skin tone from WOW Skins (a free system skin from the gift box of all the previous group gifts, located next to the panel with this month’s group gift; I joined the WOW Skins group when they had a free group join period a while back; Creamy is an older system skin, to which I added the Bakes on Mesh finger fix gloves which are part of a full package of BoM feet and finger fixes for Wow skins, tucked away on a shelf on the second floor of the new location of the Wow Skins store, located at this exact SLURL (click Show on Map and follow the red arrow).

Hair: Kristen by Ade (free gift from the SL17B Shop and Hop; more information here).

Eyes: Sahara eyes by Avi-Glam (free gift from the SL17B Shop and Hop; more information here).

Dress: Office dress in black from Kaithleen’s (I picked this up for free using the gift card that was a Christmas group gift from the store last December).

Shoes: I have been meaning to blog about this fabulous freebie for a while now! These are the sixtynine pumps in black, a free group gift from the KOKOIA shoe store (the KOKOIA group is free to join). These lovely free pumps come in six different neutral colours to go with just about any outfit!

Briefcase: I picked up this freebie from the SpotCat booth at a past Man Cave shopping event. It comes with the Bento hold post shown, and I think it’s the perfect finishing touch for this professional look! (Note: if you go to the SpotCat store in-world and join their store group for L$100, among the group gifts is a set of three of these briefcases for men or women, in white, brown, and black.)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR LOOK: FREE!


All pictures taken at the Essencia Hotel.

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Cat Calm Bento Mesh Head from Genesis Lab

Genesis Lab is offering yet another steep discount on a Bento mesh head for female avatars. This one is called Cat Calm, and if you join the GenesisLab group for free, you can pick one up for only L$55, a 99% discount!

As you can see, this head has a striking, angular, chiseled appearance, with a sharp, defined jawline and high cheekbones:

The package includes Bakes on Mesh skin in six different skin tones with brown brows, light brows, and no brows options, but I decided to use a recent group gift Bakes on Mesh skin I picked up from Wow Skins instead, called Elora Bronze. Here is what the Cat Calm head looks like without any adjustments to the head or body sliders:

The cellphone HUD on the right is the Material Editor, which allows you to change various aspects of different parts of the head: tint, full bright, transparency/blend, glossiness, etc. The default head comes with an absolutely hideous white, diamond-shaped tattoo under one eye (?!??), which I immediately removed by clicking on the Tattoo button, then the reset arrow icon in the upper right-hand corner of the phone.

To the left are five of the mini-HUDs that control eyeshadows, eye colours (the mesh eyes are included in the package), hairbases, eyelashes, and lipsticks. (You can also tint and adjust all of these features using the Material Editor HUD.)

Here’s what the head looks after I made some slider adjustments to the mouth area, and with some hair (a free gift I picked up at last year’s Hair Fair called Lara Winks):

One of the things that drives me crazy is when stores do not include adequate documentation in their mesh head or body packages. There is a single notecard in the Cat Calm package that mentions a few new features, and nothing else at all! Even worse, unlike some more popular heads, I could not find a brand website with any online documentation, either, which many brands offer. It’s basically trial and error here, folks.

In particular, the included facial animation override is absurdly tiny, with lettering that is impossible to decipher, and I had to make guesses at what the various buttons did. Not impressed, Genesis Lab.

Here’s a full-length shot, after I played around with the body sliders to my satisfaction (I paired this head with the Classic mesh body group gift from Meshbody):

This is a strikingly beautiful head, and at L$55 it is a real bargain.

UPDATE June 3rd, 2020: Here’s another look, once again pairing the Cat Calm head by Genesis Lab with the Classic Meshbody group gift, and using the included Bakes-on-Mesh skin tone number 5 with brown eyebrows:

I have a little test I perform to judge how attractive a female avatar is: I plunk her down next to the dancefloor at Frank’s Jazz Club (as I have in the picture below), and I wait to see how long it takes before some male avatar hits on her. This one? I broke my old record! Less than 15 seconds! And there were two of them! (Yes, I am evil. But I don’t catfish. I just ignore their instant messages.)

I think this avatar look compares quite favourably with a Maitreya Lara mesh body/Catwa Bento mesh head combination which would set you back at least L$7,750 (and that’s before you spend any money on skin appliers, hair, clothing, shoes, etc.).

The hair, gown, gold choker, shoes, and AO were all freebies I picked up somewhere along the way. So the total cost for this entire avatar was only L$56 (just L$55 for the head, and L$1 for the body)…truly an outstanding bargain for a beautiful avatar!


Now, I do not know how long this promotion will last, so you might want to pop down to the Genesis Lab store soon (here’s the exact SLURL of the vendor panel in the store).