Hair Fair on a Budget! featuring Exile, Lamb, ploom, and Faenzo

rosy mood - fuga. dollarbie at hair fair 2013

Rosy Mood – fuga. Dollarbie at Hair Fair 2013.

It’s Hair Fair time again!  Hair Fair 2013 runs from July 13th – July 28th. Want to demo hair without fighting the lag and the crowds? Check out the in-world Hair Fair Demo Group. You can browse through past notices to pick up demos, and try them on in the comfort of your own home.

This year I had to be strict with my spending. I decided my limit would be four or five hairstyles, and to ensure that I end up with a nice variety I also decided I’d buy no more than one style at each store I shopped at. It was incredibly difficult limiting myself like this! There were so many other shops I wanted to buy stuff from, but these are the stores I ultimately ended up purchasing from:

  • Exile
  • Lamb
  • ploom
  • Faenzo

Before I cover those, though? This super cute dollarbie called Fuga HF2013 from Rosy Mood. All three of these sweet cotton candy colors were included. As I’ve gotten older in SL, I’ve found myself ignoring dollarbies and freebies because they just end up cluttering an inventory that seems to magically and exponentially increase everytime I merely look at it. This is one giveaway item that I’m glad I didn’t pass up!

And now, on to the hairstyles that I bought and the reasons why I chose them:

ploom - raichu. hair fair 2013

First up: this hair from ploom is called Raichu. I love how cute and girly this style is! All of the hair at ploom was really very nicely done, but the playfulness of this style was the deciding factor for me. I had to have it!

I’ve also got to say that this is one of the most perfect black hair textures I’ve come across. When I’m not indulging in some pink or blue hair, black is my preferred color of hair texture. There have been many times at lots of stores, however, when I’ve simply passed over the black texture pack and picked up dark brown because the black isn’t… well, it isn’t right. Call me nit-picky, but I don’t like it when a black hair texture has too much white-ish highlights because then it just looks plastic. There are also places that make ‘black’ textures that have either a blue, red, or purple tinge to it. Actually I think that’s pretty cool, but then it’s just sad when a true black isn’t offered alongside those.

I will definitely be paying more attention to ploom releases in the future!!! As you can tell from my little spiel above, a good black hair texture is important to me, and the texture in the Indecisive color pack nails it.

exile - counting stars. hair fair 2013

And since we’re on the subject of perfect hair textures, let’s move on to my next purchase: the Counting Stars hair from Exile, which I picked up in the Wild Fusion 2 color pack.

Seriously, folks. Let’s just be honest with ourselves: a shopping trip to Hair Fair is an unfulfilled, incomplete shopping trip if you haven’t picked up something from Exile. Exile just keeps getting better and better. I struggled with my self-imposed shopping limits because all of the offerings were so sumptuous.

The textures are exquisite; sometimes I almost have this cannibalistic urge to eat my Exile hair because it looks so damn good. In the collage above, I decided to include two shots with the same pose but in different lighting. The left image features in-world lighting only (the sun) and the middle image features an additional lighting source (a prim emitting light nearby). While going over the pics I’d taken, I noticed how the hair texture took on an even more lustrous appearance with the prim lighting? Lol, I dunno… I thought that was cool and loved how that looked, so I wanted to share.

lamb - thieves like us. hair fair 2013

Another store that made me want to forgo my budget was lamb.

I ultimately decided on the Thieves Like Us style, because it featured braids that fall in front. How cute is this hairstyle?! I’m so glad we have rigged mesh hair. Back when we had regular prims and sculpts only, I don’t think I would’ve bought something like this because in my head it would only be good for photos. Lol I hate seeing avs wearing pigtails that stiffly swivel with their entire head as they look around.

These braids are really nicely done, and I think they’ll go with all sorts of outfits. I see myself getting a lot of mileage out of this particular hairstyle, and I opted to pick it up in the chocolate bars color pack.

faenzo - oblivion. hair fair 2013


Last but certainly not least is this oh-so-sleek, oh-so-silky-looking offering from Faenzo.

All of the styles at Faenzo’s Hair Fair shop feature long, pin-straight tresses. As soon as I’d walked in, I absolutely knew I was going to be coming back to make a purchase. I ended up choosing the Oblivion style, which drapes some hair over your left shoulder. This has got to be hands-down the best straight style I have ever seen in SL, thanks largely in part to the great texturing. It features what I feel is a perfect amount of sheen (straight hair in real life has a bit of a gloss to it because flat surfaces will reflect light).

I also noticed they used a very simple but clever method for adding some dimension and richness to the hair color. They added a very slight tint to one of the prims (or pieces? dunno what to call them). It’s subtle but I think it makes a difference. Gorgeous work, Faenzo people!

So there you have it, my review of the hairstyles I spent my precious Linden dollars on, and the reasons why I chose those particular styles. I’m very happy with my selections, and I wish I could have bought even more!


The layout of the sims makes it easy to shop. Just follow the road and you won’t miss a single shop.


This year’s build theme: Legos! This shot features the Cloud sim.

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It’s a new year, and I’d been thinking over the past few days that now would be as good a time as any to come back to my blog. I’ve not been blogging because RL has been taking up all my time.

I probably would have blogged some stuff today that I’d meant to write about maybe two months ago, but life has a way of throwing stuff at you. My grandpa passed away today. My generous, funny, hard-working grandpa who loves to cook and loves gardening. He loves papayas and has a whole bunch of papaya trees. He’s got a bit of a sweet tooth that I think my dad and I inherited. He has this way of laughing that he passed on to my dad, too. They both do this thing where they kind of tilt their head to the left and shrug their shoulders slightly.

It almost feels surreal. Like, maybe I will wake up tomorrow and realize today didn’t actually happen.

I logged into SL for a little bit, trying to distract myself. So I finally opened that disco kitten box I got from KittyCats a little while ago. It worked for a little bit. For a little while.

I love you, grandpa. I miss you.


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Are you still using a Chimera attachment for your dances? Sister, that is so 2007.

I recently acquired two fantastic dance HUDs from Animazoo, the Quadro Ladies Dancefloor and the Quadro Stage Performer. According to Dave Bellman, the creator of the Quadro HUD and owner of Animazoo, “the HUD has been in development for many years now, incorporating the feedback from many, many customers.” All this development of the HUD really shines through once you start using it and putting it through it’s paces. It’s packed with lots of great and useful features. As I was using it, I often found myself thinking, “oh this gadget is so smart!”

I put together a short video that shows a sampling of the usage I got out of my Quadro HUDs:

As you can see from the video, the HUD takes up extremely little screen real estate. (I’ve seen screenshots of other HUDs in the past that were so elaborate, they looked like they were trying to build a picture frame around the viewer. What is up with that, lol.) The two arrows act as Previous and Next buttons so that you can scroll through your dances, there’s an obvious Power button for turning the HUD off and on, and a Menu button that will drop down lists for you to work with. The button with the Animazoo icon allows you to minimize the HUD so that it takes up even less space.

nine HUD skins

Showing three of nine different HUD skins, for those who like to customize the appearance of their viewers.

When you first attach the HUD, it asks you what viewer you’re using and what sort of toolbars you’ve got set up. After you’ve clicked on a couple of buttons to answer those questions, the HUD will automatically position itself. No need to fiddle with repositioning it yourself.

Okay, so now let’s move on to what really makes this HUD special. It allows you to create dance Sequences, which are basically dance playlists. Personally, I think this is a great way to categorize your dances. Have you ever been to an event in SL where dancing was involved, and laughed at people who were using dances that didn’t quite fit? (I.e., breakdancing at a ballroom event. Lol.) You could create a sequence that has nothing but subtle dances that are perfect for a formal setting and name it “Vanilla” or whatever you want. Sometimes when I’m looking at my list of dance animations in my inventory, I have absolutely no idea what they’re like because they have obscure names like “Lime Jelly” or “D320-A”. Placing them in categorized sequences will eliminate the need to decipher their names.

Do you prefer to do the Jammy Dodger after you’ve done the Space Hopper, and not before? Not a problem! The HUD has a drag and drop feature so that you can rearrange the order of your dances in your Sequence. It’s ridiculously easy! No need to refer to a list and then type numbers in chat.

The HUDS already come supplied with a generous helping of dances (there are 35 in each, all arranged into several different sequences for your convenience). The HUDS are all Copy/Modify, though, and loading them up with even more dances has been made extremely easy. I’m not even kidding, I was impressed by the thought that went into the process of adding/editing the HUD! To add more HUDs, you simply “drop” it from it’s HUD attachment point and it will auto-magically be replaced by another one that locates where it went:

HUD locator

When you find the HUD, you’ll notice that it looks different as an in-world object. It’s big, boxy and easy to locate:

HUD as in-world object

Once you’ve found that box, all you need to do is pop open your inventory and start dragging dance animations over to it. That’s it!

Because this HUD also allows you to invite people to dance, and gives you fine control over who should stop dancing and who should continue (you can see me doing this in the video I posted above), I can see this being useful for folks who like to do machinima. Deciding who should remain animated and who should no longer be animated is as easy as clicking on their name in a list.

So there you have it, my humble little review of the Quadro dance HUDs from Animazoo. They’re worth a lot more than the price tag that’s on them, imho, because they’re packed with so much features and yet so easy to use. They take up very little space, provide tools for organizing your animations, have an interface that is not intimidating at all, and are already pre-loaded with lots of quality mocap dances from a range of styles.

Animazoo in-world location
Marketplace [MP] listing for Quadro Stage Performer
MP listing for Quadro Ladies Dancefloor

If you’re interested in the clothes, here’s a bit more info on that, too.🙂 The latex outfit is from Graves; it’s a somewhat older purchase but the texturing on Graves clothing still ranks among the best to be found in SL.

On my av’s face are tattoo layers from three – count ’em, three! – different brands (LAQ, cheLLe, and Pink Fuel). Gotta love the freedom that tattoo layers give us! I really hope that more skin designers start following LAQ’s suit, and start putting features on layers as well.

rooftop pose 02

rooftop pose 01

mixed up girl

What I’m wearing…


Catsuit by Graves – Splice leather latex catsuit (on the MP | in-world)
Boots by Graves – Ankle boots, black leather latex featuring hexagon texture (on the MP | in-world)


Hair by Exile – Veronique, Babydoll color (not available on the MP | in-world)
Eyes by Mayfly – Liquid Light Mesh Eye, Amber Pitch color (not available on the MP | in-world)

Skin by LAQ – Glow Minna, Peach 01 (not available on the MP | in-world)
+ LAQ Essential Elle 2.5 eyelids (in-world)
+ LAQ Essential Elle 2.5 nose (in-world)
*Note, LAQ Essential and LAQ Glow collections are on two different (neighboring) sims!

Lipstick by Pink Fuel – Kumi Hazel matte lips, Bordeaux color (on the MP [fatpack only] | in-world)
Eyeshadow by cheLLe – Adele Sparkle, Hillcrest color (on the MP | in-world)

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Mixing It Up

saga plus elle

LAQ recently released the very first their new Essential skins! I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time, ever since Mallory had teased us with photos of her new bodyskin on flickr.

What makes these skins even more special is the fact that the facial features are also available on tattoo layers. For those of you who love to customize your avatar, this is like a dream come true! In the collage above, the picture on the lower left features the Saga skin. On the lower right is the Elle skin, with the lipgloss and smokey eye tattoos added on top.

I really loved the ethnic look of Elle’s nose and eyes, but I also adored Saga’s cute lips and pretty eyebrows. So, I combined all those features by wearing the Saga skin and then layering the Elle eyelid and Elle nose tattoos on top of it, as shown in the top picture of the collage. The result is stunning!

laq essential collage

In addition to eyelid, eyebrow, nose, mouth, and even birthmark tattoo layers, you can also purchase add-on lip colors and eye makeups. There are just SO MANY possibilities, it’s enough to keep you occupied for hours as you try out all the different combinations. I did four other combos in my second collage (actually, I did a lot more than just four, it’s easy to get carried away!); here’s the breakdown of what “parts” I used in each shot:

Upper left corner = Saga 2.5 skin + Elle 2.5 nose + Smokey eye + Saga Lips 07
Upper right corner = Saga 2.5 skin + Saga lips 05 + Saga lipgloss + Elle 2.5 eyebrows
Lower left corner = Elle 2.5 skin + Makeup 03
Lower right corner = Elle 1.5 skin + Elle Lips 07 + Makeup 01

I also tried sticking my Essential skin tattoos onto a few of my older Glow skins. The fit isn’t always perfect because brows and lips are drawn differently, and of course there’s the issue of different skin tones, but you can definitely experiment with blending older Glow items in your inventory with your newer Essential tattoos. Again, I kind of went crazy trying out all sorts of combos but I’ll just show you one example, and leave it to you to come up with your own mix and match creations!🙂

This image features Malin Peach 01 skin + Saga 2.5 eyebrows + Saga 2.5 mouth. Malin is part of the older Glow Skins collection.

Malin Mix

I hope you have as much fun with mixing things up, as I did! I’m already really looking foward to future LAQ Essential skin releases. Being able to add to my collection of skin tattoos is going to be awesome.😀

For even more mix and match pictures, check out Sasy’s post on LAQ Essential skins. Or, take a look at the new shape from Juicy, created especially for the Saga skin.

Other items I’m wearing…

Hair by Exile – Fade Into You, Cashmere color (not available on the Marketplace [MP] | in-world)

Eyes by Mayfly – Liquid Light Mesh Eye, Amber Pitch color (not available on the MP | in-world)

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Lazy Morning

Back in early 2007 when I was still new to SL, I rented an apartment at Mill Pond and was given a two hundred prim allotment. Two hundred! It sounded like a lot, and I was eager to go shopping and decorate my new place with awesome rugs and chairs and paintings.

As it turned out, you could burn through two hundred prims in no time. Details like chair legs, sofa cushions and shelves all ate into that allowance rather quickly.

Soon after that, sculpts emerged. Four chairs and a table used to cost you maybe twenty prims; with sculpts, that could be reduced to a mere four prims. It was amazing! Decor would still cost you, however; add a vase of flowers, an umbrella stand, or some place settings at the dining table and you’d still go through prims quickly.

These days, though? We’ve got mesh. And in the hands of the right designer, your prim count (or land impact as we like to say these days) will positively plummet:

laq furniture collage

Continue reading

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The Ballet Slippers

I never did get around to blogging my video about these amazing ballet slippers from SLink! They’re designed to work with the rigged mesh feet that are also from SLink; the result is beautiful and realistic movement.

The Ballet Slippers from Melanie Kidd on Vimeo.

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