What’s Happening in Second Life?

Let’s face it: there is so much going on in SL that it’s almost impossible to keep track of it all. So how do you know what’s happening that might interest you?

Obviously, if it’s an event that one of your groups has planned, you’ve probably received a message about it—unless you’ve opted out of Group Messages. In that case, I don’t know what to tell you, since you’re obviously not interested, leaving me to ask why you even belong to that group in the first place.

But let’s assume that you’re receiving regular group notices but want to spread your wings a little, and see what other folks are doing. If this is you, then have I got news for you!

Log out of your SL viewer and fire up your web browser. Look at the top left corner of your screen, which should look something like this:

Click on Events to bring up this screen:

(Click on the image for a larger view)

This won’t bring up my Events Calendar, but rather your own. Now you can see the events open to you. The information includes the date, time, and location, so there’s no excuse for missing out on any of the fun SL has to offer.

So the next time you’re bored, or just looking for something new to do, just check your Events Calendar!

 

 

 

Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa!

Okay, I’m guilty. I confess. I review a lot of hairstyles from Alli & Ali. I get them—for free—from the Alli&Ali Designs Mainstore. But that’s not why I review them. Well, at least it’s not the only reason.

I’ve been using their products for almost as long as I’ve been in Second Life. I find their selection to be wonderful, their prices reasonable (especially when you factor in their new products discounts), and I love the low display weights.

I do have an Alt, and for her, I buy—at current prices—A&A products. I really like them that much.

Anyway, you deserved to know my connection to my vendors.

That being said, my next posts will review April 19th’s releases.

Until then,

If All You Want is a Head…

Omega Systems Appliers

If All You Want is a Head

You don’t need to buy a body. The Mayreal bento head kit comes with a body. I use a Maitreya Lara mesh body simply because it’s a more realistic look.

All Mayreal heads come with a perfectly serviceable body, as well as a decent selection of skins that have been designed to match the head.

If you’re like me and would like a broader range of skins and makeup to be available, then it’s definitely worth buying an Omega Solutions applier kit for the Mayreal head. And you’ll also want to grab the Omega generic router.

But there’s a secret: the applier kits cost $L149 on the SL Marketplace, but only cost $L99 in-world at the Omega Solutions store. Oddly enough, the generic router sells for $L1 in-world but is free in the Marketplace. Either, you’ll need them both.

Do you use another brand of Bento head? No worries—Omega is sure to have the kit you need.

Which Comes First?

The body or the head? I’ve discussed this with several people in SL and they all agree: if you can afford only one, go with the head first. This will give you time to save up your Lindens ($L) until you can afford the mesh body of your choice.

I chose the Mayreal head because of the low cost; a Catwa head, in comparison, will cost 4 figures in $L.

Still Not Sure?

Mayreal heads, like most other mesh products, can be difficult to fine-tune to get the exact look you want. If you’re interested in the Omega system, you can check it out before you buy anything on their web site.

DISCLAIMER: I receive no consideration for this review from either Mayreal or Omega Systems. I am reviewing the products merely because I use them and have found them to be decent products.

I’m Done For Now

No, not the blog! I mean my appearance. After some more explorations and figuring out more customizations, I’m finally happy with my new look…

…at least for now, anyway.

I achieved the look I like with the addition of Alli&Ali Designs Mainstore’s Anastasia hair, the Omega Applier System, Omega’s free router, and the .:Glamorize:. B*Jeweled Makeup Set OMEGA Appliers.

Total cost for the makeup: $L175. But hey! It’s just the price we women pay for beauty.

The Omega System

Just as a computer operating system such as Microsoft Windows allows programs to be run on a wide variety of makes and models of computers, Omega System Appliers allow various items (most notably, skins and makeup) to be used on mesh bodies—even on bodies they weren’t originally designed for.

This means, for example, that I can purchase a set of makeups that were originally designed to work with, say, Catwa heads, and use them on my own Mayreal head. This opens up a huge world of options that were previously unavailable to me.

It also means I can change my appearance without having to use the Mayreal makeup HUD, the operation of which is Greek to me. I’ve always been in favor of things that make life easier, and the Omega system is no exception.

Omega is, of course, available on the SL Marketplace, but they also have an in-world store which features much more than is available on the MP.

So if you’re unhappy with the current makeup and clothing available to you and would like to expand your horizons, you owe it to yourself to check out Omega Solutions.

NOTE: This is a completely unsolicited review of a product I like. I get nothing in return for posting this review.

 

And Now for Something Completely Different…

Let’s talk about…heads. I’ve written previously about mesh bodies, and now it’s time for something even more interesting: mesh heads. Specifically, Mayreal brand mesh heads.

The thing about my own mesh body—Maitreya Lara—is that it uses the original head that came with my classic avatar shape. I believe most mesh bodies work this way. But I wanted my head and face to have the adaptability and flexibility as my body. I asked around, and based on the advice I got, I decided to go with the Mayreal Nadia mesh head. My main reason? It looked like it was everything I wanted. Plus it was about $L3,000 less than the next brand.

Mayreal Nadia Mesh Head

Maximum Realism on Your Face

A good movie or book depends on its ability to suspend your sense of disbelief. Second Life is no different: the more realistic your avatar appears, the easier t is to immerse yourself in that world. Here are just a few of the facial animations available with the Nadia head:

 

 

 

Using the Head

Unpacking the box the head came in was a simple matter of wearing it: doing so created a new folder in my inventory with all of the components of the head. All 60+ elements if you count the instruction cards. But don’t worry—you won’t use everything all at once. Once you wear the head, everything else is related to your appearance, allowing you to customize your appearance right down to the the length of your eyelashes and the size of the beauty mark above your lip! Oh, right: you can decide on the lipstick color and glossiness, too.

Anyway, that’s just an introduction to mesh heads. Next, I’ll show you my new appearance and explain just how I got there.

Bye for now!

 

A Beginner’s Guide to a Virtual World

That’s the premise of this blog, and the entire reason I created it. But lately I’ve realized that’s not what it is any longer: now it seems to be little more than a series of reviews of hairstyles and other fashions.

Well, that stops today.

Meet Kate Hannigan

I met Kate—or Katie, as she prefers to be called—when she first joined SL about 3 months ago. I forget where we met, but she IM’d me asking for some information about something or other. I was able to answer her questions, and since then we’ve been fast friends, BFFs.

She recently said that she’d like to write about her adventures in SL, but didn’t know how to go about it. Eureka! The lightbulb lit up, the dime dropped, and I realized I had found a solution to getting the blog back on track. I’m going to continue to write about fashion and styles, while Katie will join me as a co-author, and writing about everything else in SL. That way, she won’t have to worry about setting up and maintaining her own blog on WordPress or anywhere else.

So don’t be surprised when you see her name as the author on stories, or as a Category.

Switching From a Classic to a Mesh Body

More and more folks in Second Life are switching their Classic avatar bodies for newer mesh bodies. It’s an excellent choice, as the new bodies look and move more realistically than the older ones. But the new ones come with drawbacks of their own., probably the greatest of which is their expense.

One of the most popular mesh kits is Lara, from Maitreya. The body kit will run you $L2750, which as of this writing is about $12.50 in US dollars. That’s before buying any clothes, but fortunately, Maitreya has a free dress kit and three pairs of shoes to go with it. In addition, the body itself comes with matching bra and panties.

When I (Aisling) switched from a classic avatar to Lara, I budgeted $L5,000 for the body, a new wardrobe, and a few other incidentals, such as a new Animation Override (AO).

But not everyone is in a position to spend that much money, much less all at once. So I’m going to show you a way you can save on expenses ahead of making the change.

Enter The Free Dove

And I mean to enter it both literally and figuratively. THE FREE DOVE FASHION  (www.thefreedove.com) is SL’s oldest (13+ years) and most popular site for free, high-quality fashions for men and women. It features clothes and accessories for both classic and mesh avatars, and their inventory is constantly changing.

How do they do this? Palomma Casanova, the owner and operator of The Free Dove, invites SL’s top designers to provide free samples of their works. This accomplishes two things: it allows you, the customer, to acquire a decent wardrobe while giving the designers free publicity for their goods and services. And to be fair, when I’m in the market for new clothes, I always check out the vendors who have kindly provided me with the free goods before I check anywhere else.

Meet Heather Wilkenson

Heather is a new account I created to show you what all this means. Right now she’s wearing a classic-style body, which I plan to upgrade to a mesh (Lara) sometime in the next few weeks. She’s wearing an outfit from The Free Dove; specifically, (SP) Winter Day -caramel-. This is an outfit specifically designed for classic bodies. But she’s also acquired several mesh outfits in anticipation of the upgrade since they might not be available by then.

More importantly, a few of the outfits she likes are for both classic and mesh avatars. So she can wear them now, and still be able to wear them after she switches to Lara (or any other mesh avatar).

Summing Up

Like everything else in SL, going with a mesh avatar or staying with a classic shape is a purely personal choice, which depends on many factors—primarily your budget. But I hope I’ve given you some options to explore while you decide.