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Kayla Elyssa
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Mesh Heads 001 - Why would I even want one?
[Updated Sep 21 2016]

It may be kinda late, but this has been churning around in my head [non-mesh!] for a while now, so I thought I would get it outta my system. I knew a little bit about mesh heads, was aware of them and even tried a demo... But the thing is, a little research on Google left me even more confused than when I started. The thing is, most of the bloggers that I read, were writing at such a high level of sophistication and detail, I never found an answer to my most basic question - why would I even want one? Whats the point, and won't I just look like everyone else who has the same head?

I searched Google for blogs about mesh heads.
Unfortunately, most of the bloggers assumed that 1) You already HAVE a mesh head, or really want to buy one. I didn't, and I wasn't convinced yet. My first demo left me entirely non-plussed, animations were nice, ok a sweet smile.. and 2) You know what the hell they are talking about ( I was lost).

Please remember I am not an expert, and the following are just extractions from my own small experience. I am just trying to save someone L$ and PAIN.

Let us smash the biggest misconception right now - I WILL LOOK LIKE EVERYONE ELSE , LIKE A CLONE. Uhmmmm, sorry, in most cases you are going to be wrong.... And BTW, how many times have you walked into a place in SL and have seen a dozen California beach blonde barbie dolls,huh?! You can look like a clone if you want to , but now the mesh heads [at least the major ones] have got lots of customization features. You will NOT look like everyone else.

https://goo.gl/photos/CFTL8HQpGSo7Z16v9
Pic link above, showing the same skin applier on 4 different Catwa heads. Amazing, isn't it?

And HERE is a real [SL Life] photo, of me in a standard skin [NO MESH HEAD], meeting a stranger in a store, who looks like my clone, just a bit taller:

https://goo.gl/photos/oJ4V7BehP2kDqCFCA

Hmmmmmm.... uhmmmm a mesh head will make me look like everyone else?! In 6+ years of SL, this is the ONLY TIME that I saw someone whom looked exactly like me, and that was wearing a standard avi skin. Super funny at the time! I called friends to witness the miracle hihi.

THE BEST REASON TO OWN A MESH HEAD IS FOR THE EXPRESSIONS!!

I was told a couple months ago, wearing my standard SL head, to quit smiling so much, and you know what? She was right. It is nearly painful to see... The mesh head expressions are soooo much prettier and more natural. So my fever to get a mesh head got worse. I have a smile, I like to smile. But not if it's gonna turn people off, myself included.

WHICH mesh head should I buy?
Don't. That's right, DO NOT buy one, until you are perfectly satisfied. Get demos first. I do not have endless time or Lindens to try infinite variations,which led me to PART II of my mesh head pain....

I CAN'T FIND A LOOK I LOVE!
This bothered me for near 3 months, and gave me MAJOR pain.... I went all over the SL Marketplace and Google trying to find an applier which i loved [ that's a skin which basically gives you a different face for your head. I am not sure, but I think few people just wear the stock head] .

Let's face it - if I am gonna shell out lots of Lindens, and invest in the time for the learning curve, I don't want to look just pretty, I want to look Beautiful! Stunning !! And the thing is, I saw many that were either plain, and left me like 'meh', or were downright ugly. The rest were pretty enough, but just not ME. Ya know? Honestly this continues to be a problem, as there are simply not as many appliers available for mesh heads [yet], as there are tons of gorgeous standard heads. UPDATE: Many more appliers available now, than when this article was written.

I bought the Taylor FIORE head at the Skin Fair 2016, out of pure frustration. She is gorgeous, but not really a practical gal for everyday use. She only has 6 expressions, and these flash alpha during expression changes, also the HUD is HUGE and does not minimize as most HUDS do- it is a point on your screen which is invisible and a real PITA. In addition to that, she's not Omega compatible ... and there is nothing available for her that I could find. no add-ons for my Taylor, cry cry.

Finally ! I found a Belleza skin applier for the Catwa mesh head Annie, that I fell in love with. And another from The Skinnery that I also just adore. So I am now a happy camper - I have beauty plus expressions.

This is where, our blogger friends are helping us regular people- they have the time and creativity to find awesome looks for us. So my small advice, is find a look that you LOVE, then buy the applier and the mesh head that it is designed for. If there is not a style info, you might have to create a note card or contact the blogger or the store.

The applier that you found and love, will not look the same on different heads from the same creator. Don't go out on a limb, be safe, get the head it was designed for. PLEASE do not just buy a popular head, and think that you will find an applier you love to go with it. Because you might not.

I admit it, and probably you are better than me at this, but I have a hard time looking at the store applier picture, and envisioning the myriad different looks that could be created with the applier for a particular head. So again, this is where the bloggers helped me so much!

IF I BUY A MESH HEAD WHAT CAN I CHANGE?
On the Head sliders- You may change the head size, and the head stretch. The head stretch actually has quite a dramatic effect... also body fat has some effect.You can also change eye depth. That is pretty much it, as far as head structure. But..... you can change eyelashes, lipstick, blush, eyebrows, eyes, hair, facial tattoos. You can of course also change the skin tone, depending upon the applier. These alone are enough to totally change your appearance, of course. What am I forgetting? Oh yes, LOGO lets you change noses as well!
I hope to see more options in the future, and I am sure there will be. There are now dimples and cheekbones addons coming out.

My simple run-down and opinions on some head creators:

Lelutka ! I heard somewhere that, they will not be updating the other heads any longer, and are going forward with Simone, whose looks I hate haha. I guess that, if you want to look like an Eastern European runway model you might give her a try... There are LOTS of Lelutka heads which are really nice, and LOTS of add-ons and appliers. I super hope they will keep updating the other heads. UPDATE: Lelutka IS updating their older heads, at least some of them.

Genesis Labs: The heads are VERY pretty, but they do not have many expressions. So for me this is a show-stopper.

LOGO: I bought the Chloe head and wish I had bought Alex :( - I cannot find any appliers made just for Chloe they all seem to made for Alex. Ditto for the Sadie head. Lots of add-ons and appliers, again.

FIORE: They only have three female heads that I am aware of - again I just adore Taylor and would wear her every day if only she had MORE - expressions and add-ons. And a HUD fix. I will keep her for future use in case of updates.

Akeruka - I tried the demo Julia head but I wasn't all that impressed. I am not sure of the availability of add-ons or other options.

Catwa my love !!! I saved my personal fav for last - LOTS of heads now, LOTS of add-ons and LOTS of skin appliers. 500+ expressions with the upgrade... I love you Catwa.clip <3 <3 <3, for you ended my misery LOL.

I TRIED THE DEMO HEAD AND IT LOOKS SO WEIRD I RAN AWAY!
Yes, well it's not a one-click process, and some heads default to a near-white facial tone... you should be able to change this using the MAIN HUD for the head. In addition, most heads were not really designed [ I believe ] to be used stand-alone - you need the facial applier.
Shout out to head and applier creators: PLEASE FIND ANOTHER WAY, TO MARK YOUR PRODUCT AS 'DEMO' BESIDES COVERING THE FACE WITH ALL KINDS OF LINES AND GARBAGE. IT IS REALLY HARD TO SEE AN ACCURATE RESULT WITH ALL THOSE LINES ON THE FACE.
It is even harder to tell, if you have a demo head and a demo applier, but it can be done.

I WORE THE EXACT SAME HEAD AND APPLIER AND I STILL DON'T LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE PICTURE!
Yes.... I know.

I sincerely hope this will help someone avoid the pain and agony that I had - search blogs and Google images, find a look you love, try the demo. P.S. Some creators will let you try a demo applier on a demo head - but not all of them will allow this. In that case, go with the style card info.

REFERENCES
My first choice for mesh head looks, search her site for 'Catwa' for example
http://strawberrysingh.com/

Let's talk about mesh heads:
http://meshbodyaddicts.com/lets-talk-about-mesh-heads/

https://akatandamouse.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/lets-talk-about-mesh-heads-mesh-body-addicts/

5 misconceptions:
http://www.canarybeck.com/2015/05/23/5-misconceptions-mesh-heads-second-life/

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New look - with Catya from another head
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Awesome destination post by Sheree! Can't wait to visit this
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