All About Alex – Introducing Genesis Labs Latest Male Mesh Head!

Absolute Alex

Hello Kitty-readers! I’ve not written a long, rambling blog-post in ages but get ready, because there’s one coming up right now.  I wanted to share some thoughts on the latest must-have item that has got the grid trembling with excitement, the GENESIS LABS ALEX MESH HEAD.

Mesh heads aren’t anything new and it’s to be expected that since mesh bodies have cemented themselves firmly in our virtual environment that mesh heads should do the same, but there are some fundamental differences. The main one is that most mesh heads are very limited with regards to customization options and it’s for these reasons that they’re not something I’m very keen on. However, I do expect that we will see mesh-heads take off in a massive way when the designers start to build them with gusto and the skin makers start to fully embrace them.

But just because Kitty doesn’t wear a mesh head it doesn’t mean that Jez can’t wear one.  Even though Jez isn’t my avatar (nor is he my alt, I don’t actually have one believe it or not!) I do make the decisions about how he looks, mainly because if he were to dress himself he would look like Uncle Knobby at your ugly cousin’s wedding! (You know what I mean: gravy down his shirt, socks that don’t match and lots of velour.  I shudder at the very thought! ) For that reason alone I refuse to be seen in Second Life with a train-wreck on my arm. I don’t have many standards but that one this Kitty is sticking to!

Because this mesh-head looked interesting I decided to treat him to it. This is as much an experiment in learning about mesh heads for me as it is about a change of appearance for him, so off I trotted to the COSMOPOLITAN SALES ROOM and picked up a demo with beloved in tow. We zoomed back home and began the process. Now, first of all,  I want to say that demoing this product isn’t easy because of the way the demo is packaged out of the box; when you wear it there’s a huge opaque band that sits on the head and it is very difficult to get an accurate ‘feel’ for the head because of it.  I can’t say I was especially impressed by it, but I understand why it is there.  There’s a genuine requirement for demo objects to have layers of security built into them.  I know there are some rotten types out there who think nothing of ripping off content creators and performing some sort of magical jiggery pokery that turns the demo into the actual product, thus stealing precious, hard-earned cash from the creator.

That sucks, I wouldn’t do it and I wouldn’t associate myself with anyone who did it either, but I do take issue with things that I cannot demo properly. To recap, at today’s exchange rate L$2500 is about £7.05 and to be honest that’s money that I really cannot afford to throw away in Second Life, so I need the demo to be an accurate representation of the product that I’m considering purchasing.

Needless to say, the experience that the demo was providing was putting me off.  What also put me off was the enclosed notecard which seemed tailored towards the range of existing GENESIS LABS female heads, rather than this male one. (It was also obviously translated but not so badly that I couldn’t get the gist of it.) Already this initial demo was leaving me feeling there was considerable room for improvement with the whole demo package and I wondered if that would be reflected in the actual ‘Alex’ Mesh Head itself, which Jez was eager to purchase regardless…

So we took the plunge. It’s straightforward enough if you’ve worn mesh products before (which I do, frequently) to understand what needs to be done, starting with an alpha-layer that covers your head (and eyes) because you’ll be replacing everything up top.

The head fitted well against  THE SHOPS DELUXE MALE MESH BODY that Jez wears (looks amazing but don’t get me started on their whole shopping ‘experience’ or I’ll never finish!) but immediately I started to realise the shortcomings of such an item.

For a start, you are considerably limited to the changes you can make to your appearance; you can change the length of the head, and the size of it, and the depth to some degree, but that’s it.  Everything else is static, so you can’t change the shape of your nose or mouth which means that you’re going to see lots of alternate versions of you walking around the grid. There are ways you can change your look though,  or example, Jez is a member of the IKON update group which meant he’d picked up the recent June group gift of a pair of rather fabulous eyes. (They’re from the stunning ‘Odyssey’ range in ‘Clarity’) Because these are mesh eyes he can wear them with the head, so that’s something that we can do to make our look slightly different to all others. (Note: The ‘Alex’ HUD does include a rather comprehensive selection of eyes to choose from though, in case you don’t already have mesh eyes in your inventory.)

The rest of your appearance changes are dependent upon the HUD then, which is very straightforward to use. The novelty of Alex is that there are a multitude of facial tattoo options (beautifully documented HERE by Mokatana) that you can select from and these look quite good suggesting that he had a great time during amateur hour at the local tattoo parlour! You can also go for a Hangover-esque tribal style around the eye area should you so wish.  There are scars and moles that you can select from too and all of these can be used to add character to your face and they do so really well (at least until you encounter someone in-world who is sporting exactly the same options as you).

Alex’s brow game is strong and they’re styled well.  You can opt for solid brows or the urban types with the Vanilla Ice shaved bits (which never looked good in 1990 let alone 2015) but I digress; the point is there has been some thought that has gone into the physical production of Alex and on the whole it works really well resulting in a very attractive visage indeed.

But here’s where it starts to fall apart for me. I don’t like the fact that Jez can’t change his expression.  I get fed-up with our avatar inability to smile in-world. Of course, I know that you can make facial expressions in-world but they’re hardly attractive and more novelty than anything else. I always think that I end up looking gormless when I smile, so to my mind a strength of any mesh head should be facial expressions but nope, ‘Alex’ just comes with the one look, which is glum. To be fair being a moody chuff suits him but I would have absolutely killed for a selection of expressions to play about with.

The other thing I don’t like is he has no eyelashes. I know it may seem a trivial point but I think it’s important; people have eyelashes so to my mind ‘Alex’ needs some too! I hate to see avatars without eyelashes; lashes frame the eyes and make such a difference to your appearance which can look incredibly flat without them. Besides, ‘Alex’ is pretty flat from the side anyway, unless you’ve managed to change the depth of his face with your slider settings but even then it does feel like he’s been hit in the chops with an iron skillet!  Because he’s a mesh and 3D I want to see depth and dimension so anything that can provide that is worth adding to the package.  Those minor criticisms aside, he still looks better in profile than many regular avatars you see on the grid, so he has that going for him I guess.

Facial hair is another area that offers HUD options for you to try, and I appreciate the fact that the basic shades of black, brown, blonde and red are accommodated here. The facial hair appearance is actually really well done; it looks the part and I’ve no complaints regarding it at all, in fact the hairbases that are included are really lovely and Jez can wear them pretty confidently on their own, as the main picture shows, and with regards to the facial hair and embellishments you can tell that these parts of the appearance were well considered before application and the quality of creation does shine through when these elements of design are taken into account.

The skin tone Jez is wearing Alex in is 3, and that matched relatively well with tone 16 from the Style Mode HUD for his THE SHOPS body.  The addition of a tattoo also helps hide any discrepancies in tone, and we found Jez an absolute beauty at the latest round of ANYBODY from WHITE WIDOW called ‘Tombstone’ (more on that label later!)

Oh, another quick point, ALEX comes with really dinky little ears as part of the package which Jez opted to change for his AITUI favourites (Ear system Gen. 4 Pierced)  which  were pretty easy to skin match courtesy of the epic AITUI HUD. These ears are pretty awesome actually with tons of options, not least the little tattoos that you can wear on them and if you go for the facial tattoo options in Alex they match quite well indeed!

Despite some of my more negative points there’s no denying Alex’s credentials; this is indeed a quality mesh head, but for me it doesn’t offer enough in the package to warrant the L$2500 price-tag.  Personally speaking for that price I want to see more functions and feature options and clear, concise instructional notecards.  My hope is that further releases are going to build upon the solid foundations that Alex offers. Don’t forget that there aren’t any appliers out there yet for him, so you have to mix it up a bit if you want to wear him with your existing skin or mesh body.  I was dreading this task but we actually found this to be quite successful, which I think the photograph proves.

To sum up then I think both Jez and I agreed that Alex has a LOT to offer and it’s always exciting when something as special as this mesh head is launched in-world, but I’d caution against getting swept up in the tide of enthusiasm just yet. If you can afford to splash out then go for it and enjoy, but if you’re hesitant I would say hang on to your Lindens and wait for the GENESIS LABS team to build upon Alex’s very solid foundations. It’s a great product, but it’s not a fantastic product yet although it definitely has tonnes of potential.

Jez wears: 

Mesh head: Genesis Labs Alex @ The Cosmopolitan Sales Room

Mesh Body: ‘Deluxe’ Male Mesh Body by The Shops

Eyes:  Odyssey Eyes in ‘Clarity’ (June Group Gift) by IKON

Tattoo: ‘Tombstone’ by WHITE WIDOW @ ANYBODY

Clothing: Denim Shorts by  PUMPKIN @ The Mens Dept 

Pose: Poses from the ‘Willie’ range by POSEOLOGY

Kitty Loves..PXL Sweet Lips

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It’s all about the mesh these days isn’t it? (“It’s all about the mesh, ’bout the mesh, no sculpties!”)  Frankly I just  can’t be me until I have my mesh body and my ears attached. Then, of course, there’s my hair, clothes, tattoos and piercings, footwear and blimey, I’m exhausted just thinking about this! In RL,  I’m far less work.  Unless I’m in the office I’m usually sporting a onesie of some description and I care not a jot.  I tried a few of the mesh mouths when they first came out and despite there being appliers galore out there for them, I just didn’t like the way they made me look. I’m really not into trout pouting. I mourn for Meg Ryan’s  previous gorgeous smile and the idea of sticking anything into your lips to make them larger is just madness to me. I do have an awesome Urban Decay Lip Plumper in RL that makes my pout more luscious in times of need, but there’s some strange alchemy going on with that stuff. It makes your mouth tingle in a way that’s burgeoning upon the unpleasant and the effect is incredibly temporary. A good hard snog will suffice just as much if you ask me.

But back to the issue at hand; mesh mushes. Are they worth all the excitement? Until yesterday, I would have given you a big fat “NO”, but guys, I’ve changed my mind courtesy of this new release from PXL, called ‘Sweet Lips’. I’d observed a couple of Plurk buddies wax lyrical about the virtues of these newly released enhancements but when my good friend Gidge Uriza said they were pretty awesome out of the box I knew I had to try them, because for a start I’m very nosey and for another thing I hate being left out, LOL 🙂 Also, they looked absolutely banging on her, so  I zoomed over to the store where there were quite a few other avatars picking up demos. I tentatively picked up mine and retreated to the comfort of a sandbox to play about with my gob. (Which sounds unbelievably dodgy!)

I was entranced. These are incredibly easy to fit, adjust and wear and I was really pleased with how well I could match them to my skin tone without using appliers. Lip piercings are included (but can be removed via HUD) and I’m guessing more appliers will be forthcoming from a lot of the best skin makes in world, especially seeing as GLAM AFFAIR included some with their FIFTY LINDEN FRIDAY offering this week, this beautiful ‘Brandi Sweet’ skin in America tone.

Let me draw your attention to this featured picture because guys, I haven’t done anything with it at all; it’s a completely raw shot from SL, using the Strawberry Singh Close-up Windlight setting, and as you can see these sweet lips look pretty darn perfect don’t they? I’m incredibly impressed. Truth be told they could do with a minor tweak on my part because the fit is a little off on the left hand side as you look at the picture, so you can see a little glitch if you zoom in, BUT that’s me, not the product. A little tweak and these bad boys will be ripe for puckering up and chasing boys all over the grid, as is my usual fashion!

Incidentally you can change the colour of your lips via the HUD, but to be honest I’m not going to be messing about with that. I’ll wait for properly textured appliers I think; purely based on personal preference and the fact that I’m very lazy and cannot be bothered with faffing around with colours etc. Besides, I’m very good at breaking things, and although I think these are worth every Linden I paid for them (L$650) I don’t want to have to buy them again!

I actually don’t think that I’ll be taking these ‘Sweet Lips’ off now that I’ve fitted them, and I really am looking forward to lots of lipstick combinations coming out for them too. I know that like GLAM AFFAIR, IZZIE’S has already released appliers so I’ve no doubt that other skin brands will be following thick and fast. Exciting times!

Another point to note is that these lips are advertised as ’01’, which to my mind, and judging by the spaces left in the vendor in store, means that there will be further releases coming to the grid. On the strength of these alone I cannot wait, my only wish is that the next edition steers away from the gormless guppy-like pout, and perhaps give us a bit of a smile. It’s all very well being all fierce and fashionable but sometimes you just want a bit of a grin, you know?

Anyway, if you want to give these divine ‘Sweet Lips’  a try, and I strongly suggest you do, so zoom over to the PXL Main Store and hit the vendor inside on the right.

Have fun and let me know what you think!

(For details of what Kitty’s wearing, please see previous post!) 

NEW YEAR, NEW KITTY!? (Not ruddy likely!)

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HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY READERS!

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic festive season with your family and loved ones.  I know I had an absolutely cracking time, but in between RL work and being with loved ones I found very little time to log-in (which is just as it should be!)   I’m making up for it now though with gusto, and busily compiling some blog posts for you all to enjoy. So let’s start as we mean to go on shall we?

Seeing as it’s a new year I thought I’d share my first semi-nude shot of the year with you all, LOL!  This is me sporting the latest mesh body to hit the grid, ‘Lara’ by MAITREYA. Now, I decided after the BELLEZA malarkey that I wasn’t going to buy any more mesh bodies because with all the DMCA nonsense I didn’t ‘t know if they would prove to be a sound investment. Spendin thousands of Lindens upon something for which you’d expect regular updates, only for the item to be DMCA’d and taken off-grid isn’t a good return on the money spent. Not that I’m tight but I’m not made of Lindens, and I like to be careful what I buy. (Of course you do Kitty, that’s why you have 56k of items in your inventory…PFFFT)

Fortunately BELLEZA returned back to the grid with their wonderful mesh body and a happy Kitty this did make, so when MAITREYA released Lara my initial thoughts were “Nah, I’ll give it a miss.” I already had two mesh bodies, SLINK and BELLEZA, so I didn’t need another one, right? WRONG.

I made the FATAL mistake of demoing Lara. (I blame Magenta De Vinna AKA Skittles for this, because I asked on Plurk if I should give it a go because clearly I can’t think for myself, and Skittles told me that it was definitely worth a demo.) The rest is history. Readers, this body is bloody divine. I zoomed over to a sandbox, opened the box and fell in love.

So what are my thoughts on this bod? It’s very different to SLINK and BELLEZA in that, well to my eyes at least, it’s more ‘lifted’ around the bewbs and bum areas, but not in an exaggerated Nicki Minaj-on-acid manner. It feels youthful and zesty and vibrant and is VERY easy to wear. To me, SLINK feels like the classic mesh body that anyone can wear, BELLEZA feels more modern in some ways,  but this one feels, well, fizzy and vibrant, if you get my drift? Indeed, this is the first mesh body I’ve tried where I’ve managed to get a really good skin match out of the box without wearing one of the designated skins. Seaming issues to the neck in this body have been minimal for me, and after a few minor corrections I can’t see a join at all. I have had problems with my BELLEZA body and my SLINK body with the neck area, but the MAITREYA body has pretty much worked straight out of the box, which has made it a real blessing in my opinion. The whole package feels less ‘fussy’ in a lot of ways; although the HUD doesn’t have the panache of say the Belleza HUD, it’s effective and easy to use. I think the alphas are the most

The whole package feels less ‘fussy’ in a lot of ways; although the HUD doesn’t have the panache of say the Belleza HUD, it’s easy to use. I think the alphas are the most effective thus far too; I’ve found fitting my clothing around this to be the easiest of all the bodies that I wear.  I’ve had issues in the past where I’ve had to change my shape to get the best fit, I haven’t with this and my outfits look grand.

As far as changes go I’d like to see more hand positions included and more nail polish colours too in the basic HUD, but apart from that I really don’t see what other improvements will need to be made, other than enhancements over time.  The HUD needs work I think, even when resized it’s quite intrusive on the screen so if that could be reduced to a tiny icon by the click of a button that would prove useful. It also lacks ‘Oomph’ as far as HUDS go, it could do with prettying up a bit, but that is a cosmetic change that has absolutely no impact on the quality of this body at all.  Of course I ended up buying it, and guys I haven’t taken it off since I got it! 

If you’re into mesh bodies then you definitely need this one in your collection, and if you’ve never tried them before why not give the DEMO a try? The results are really

The results are really fantastic, as I hope my photographs demonstrate..

Boxed

I mean just LOOK at my bum, look at the hands…GAH!!! Amazeballs aren’t they? I absolutely LOVE it! There’s plenty of blogger buzz about this release too. I particularly liked Berry’s blog post about this body, which compares it with others on the market (except Belleza), and you can read it here.

Check out the MAITREYA ‘Lara’ body by clicking HERE to visit the Mainstore  The body costs L$2750 (That’s about £5.25), and for the product I think that’s an incredibly fair price.

Have you tried the Maitreya ‘Lara’ body yet?

What do you think?

Let us know in the comments below!