User:Inanna Fairlady

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22th Oct 2009
A sensual lady, living and working in Zindra and related islands. A dancer and a crafter of items - currently working on shoes.
  • 'Rose' range of shoes.

Platform stilettos with a cute Mary-Jane strap across the foot. For sale at Inanna's Star

I'm not naughty, I'm just moral in my own way.

I enjoy life, exploring the world and meeting people. I may be quiet, but usually I'm simply listening and enjoying being around people.

I'm also creative, making items for my own use: and have a small shop selling the best of my products. Right now, there are platform stilettos with a Mary-Jane strap across the foot for sale at Inanna's Star.

Erotic or exotic avatar style on the cheap

A common request in SL for help styling your avatar cheaply. I spend a lot of time on Zindra, so I get a lot of requests for advice dressing erotically cheaply.

To get to Zindra, you need to Age Verify. Here's the direct link to age verification, but you must be logged in to the Second Life website.


Shape is the structure of your body. The length of your nose, whether you have a heart-shaped, oval, square or round face, whether you're thick or thin, lean or muscular or fat, curvy or skinny or athletic. It does not affect the colour of your skin, nor the shading.

The cheapest shape is the one you make.

  • Go to any NCI location. find the freebies wall, and pick up an Avatar Proportion Kit. NCI locations are listed at the NCI website and check the second column for 'NCI Locations', or you can go to NCI HQ.
Take a landmark while you're there, you'll be going back to the freebies wall later.
Bookmark their tutorials page in general, it's WTF Tutorials. Very useful stuff there.
Bookmark What The Fug? just to see what not to do. Read it later.


Skin is the colour of your body. Freckled or not, pale or tan or dark or Na'vi blue. Thanks to the magic of visual illusion, it also creates some apparent shape - highlights and shadows create the illusion of collarbones and knees and deltoid muscles and the swirly structures in our ears.

Skins are very difficult to make for yourself, so collect a high quality cheap or free skin.

  • Try the Eloh Eliot or Sezmra Svarog free skins.
Eloh's can be found at The Gnubie Store and Schreckhorn, or by checking her profile picks. Eloh's blog is
Sezmra's skins can be found at - well, actually, I don't know right now. She's moving. Check her profile picks in-world, or her blog at
  • For male skins, try Olila Oh's yard sale, at Philereme.
  • For other skins, check the Other Resources listed in the section below.
  • For cheap skins, find the skinmakers who have retired, or buy their 'last years' version. There are many skin makers who keep upgrading their skills and producing new product, and sell the previous batch at a greatly marked down price.

Eyes and Hair

There's a wide variety of freebie eyes available in Second Life. You can start by collecting one of the eye collections at NCI, or even using eyes from the library - go into your inventory, and check the folder right down the bottom. It's full of free stuff from many of Second Life's best creators, collected by Linden Lab and used with permission. There's full avatar outfits there, in the Clothing subfolder, each of which has a set of eyes. You can grab eyes from almost any freebie location, or from most skin-makers.

Hairspray is a mall specialising in hair. You can walk around the mall collecting freebie hair until you find some styles you like, and use those as your initial hairs. Browsing Hairspray will also tell you which places you like, so you can come back when you've earned more money.

An important note with hair: avatars have two types. One is built into the avatar shape itself, the other is the far more popular prim hair. Because of this, we always wear a 'bald' avatar hair, so the avatar hair doesn't stick out through the prim hair. The 'bald' avatar hair also controls the shape of your eyebrows, and (depending on your skin) might control the colour of your eyebrows.

Body Movement aka Animation

Animation in this context is how your avatar's body moves. How you stand, sit, walk, dance, hug, fly, swim - everything. Linden Lab provides a default set of animations, but very, very few people like them. Besides, how a person moves tells you a lot about them! So we use animation overriders.

Technically, the animation overrider is the script (and prim controls) that triggers the animations, and an animation set is the collection of animations that your avatar actually runs. Each animation in the set is one stand, or one walk, or one sit, or one flying animation.

Good animation sets are as tough to get cheaply as good skins. Once again, look for the places that have older editions at a lower price, or that have sets with fewer features for a lower price. You can pick up the expensive, full-featured set at full price later on.

Animation Warehouse is a great place to go and find landmarks to explore - it's an animation mall (just as Hairspray is a hair mall). For animations, you'll find freebies that are individual animations - it's rare to get a fully stocked AO as a freebie - but you can certainly find out which animators appeal to you.


There's a lot of free clothing in SL. More than you can use. I recommend hitting only one freebie store at a time, and then going through and dumping everything that isn't up to standard. Once you've done that for several stores, you'll have a wide range of clothing in a wide range of styles, all of which is up to standard.

You can also get some excellent quality material through the free fashion blogs, such as the ones listed in Other Resources below.

Identifying Quality

In part, quality is what you make of it - if you like the look, go for it. However, there are some things that make an avatar look more intentional, or deliberate, than others.


  • There's nothing wrong with looking low quality intentionally - this advice is to help people look how they want to look.
  • However, if you want to look intentionally bad, it's better to pick only one or two ways in which to look bad, and having the rest of your avatar be of high quality - the brain subconsciously picks out the contrast, and recognises that it's intentional.
  • You can look as 'rich' or 'poor' in SL as you want, usually for the same price. In fact, rags are harder to make look right than riches! The trick in SL is to have quality rags, not crappy rags.


  • Keep an eye on proportion. SL body proportions are usually even taller and thinner than 'fashion illustration' proportions, which are taller and thinner than human norm. However, there are cues we see as 'beauty', and cues we see as 'distortion'. If you don't have a good eye for proportion, use a proportion kit, or start from a pre-created shape.
  • Have some asymmetry and imperfection. Use the knocked knees, or face shear, or eye pop. Just don't use much. One or two points in one or two of them is enough for people to notice subconsciously, and it makes you look more 'real'.


  • You want knuckles, collarbones, ears, nose shading, and other such details. Look for them.
  • Skins and shapes work together. A skin that is perfect for your shape will make all the features (or most of them) look defined, and might give you a 'wow!' mental moment. A skin that's completely wrong can make you look deformed. Most skins will be kind of 'meh, that's okay, I guess'. This doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the skin inherently - just that it doesn't work with your shape.
Usually, a designer whose skins mostly look 'well, it's kind of good' will have one skin in her range that makes you go 'THAT ONE!'
  • Once you have the right skin, fiddle with the shape a little bit, until it looks even more right. You'll only want to tweak things one or two points, for the most part.
  • Don't let skin designers (or shape designers) tell you that you *must* wear their shape with their skin. They're just trying to sell you on a whole look because skins and shapes do work together - but you want to be unique, not a clone.


  • The eyes should have an iris that contains the kind of rays and speckles found in the human eye. There should be a light reflection in the top right or top left, a bit of shading along the top, and the sclera (white) should be faintly veined, and pinkish or brownish in the corners rather than white.
  • If you're going for 'inhuman' or 'unnatural', ignore all of that!


  • Hair in SL will have some unnatural elements: most of it will be stiff. If it flows, it will fall through your shoulders and back. If it doesn't, it will stick out ignoring gravity at times. And may still go through your shoulders and back.
  • Develop enough building skills to be able to shift individual locks of hair, so a lock that blocks your lovely makeup can be moved. If you learn to do that, make sure you buy mod-copy hairs.
  • Hair should be patterned into locks that look like stylised real hair. You probably won't get hair that does look like real hair - you're looking for the illusion or impression of it, instead.
  • Hair should fit your head. You shouldn't end up with a visible mess of prim ends in your forehead, or visible bald skull behind the forehead or along the sides of the head. Unless it's a 'balding' hairstyle!
  • If the hair is close to fitting, and is mod-copy, and you have building skills, go ahead and buy it and fit it yourself. If it has a resize script, but isn't mod, consider it - but sometimes the resize scripts don't work as well as you'd hope.
  • Mod-copy hair can be tweaked so the hair locks don't poke through your ears, too.
  • Most people like some flexi locks in their hair.


  • Animations should flow like a natural movement (unless intentionally otherwise).
  • Animations that fit your shape are preferable - try to avoid having hands sticking through your hips, or sitting way out from them. Try to have folded arms that rest on, not in, your chest. Try for sitting on chairs, not above or deeply inside them.
Note that animations that don't fit like this aren't necessarily wrong - just wrong for your shape.
  • Look for animations that fit your personality as you want to express it. Whether you stand and walk with shoulders squared or hunched, whether you fidget as you stand or stand in a quasi-military pose, whether you sit crosslegged and casual or stiff and formal.


  • Edges must match at the avatar seams. The pattern doesn't have to match, but the edges must. If a garment is misaligned, toss it.
  • Patterns should match at the avatar seams, or the seams should be disguised. Lots of very good designers don't do this, but the best ones do.
  • There should be neither a light nor a dark 'halo' around the edge of the garment, unless it's an intentional trim such as a lace or a braid.
  • There will almost always be some antialiasing, present as a blurry edge. Unfortunately, we have to live with either that or stair-stepping, on curves. The blur is preferable.
  • Panties shouldn't stretch down the inner thigh, except during extreme avatar movements. (Unfortunately, that stretch is built into the avatar shape. Blah.)
  • Jeans pockets shouldn't cut off partway through the pocket at the avatar seam. (I've seen that painfully often). Nor should any other garment's pockets or other details.
  • Prim elements to the outfit should be colour-matched to the garment. The match will not be perfect in all lighting, but should look very close in midday light(for most garments) or midnight (for goth, vampire or nightclub garments).
  • Flexible prim items should flow naturally and smoothly, like fabric. Unfortunately, they will flow through the body at times - this is unavoidable.
  • Prim elements should either fit you, or be modifiable or resizeable to fit you. Ideally, they should be modifiable.
  • By 'fit you', I mean that the top parts of prim skirts should be either hidden behind a belt, or hidden inside the avatar. Belts, cuffs and armbands should circle as close to the appropriate body part as feasible, without being inside them. Jewelry should be placed as close as possible to where it would be on a real person, without being inside the body.
  • Shoes should be placed properly on the foot. Sandals should show a 'realistic' amount of mid-foot: many of them look like someone's scooped out most of the insole.
  • Some people love what we call 'bling', some hate it. Bling is a particle effect that resembles the reflection of light off shiny objects. Bling should be optional - never a 'must have'.

... and that's my spiel. I hope it helped!

Other Resources