How To Look Like A Million Bucks On A Budget

Note: While the images are from 2017 products, the content has been reviewed and is up to date as of July 2020.

Second Life and some of its many avatars may be free, however a large portion of us invest money into the game. Avatar customization can turn into a very expensive hobby if you have the desire and the funds. That said, you don’t have to be rich to look awesome. If you want to spend some money on your avatar but need to stick to a budget you can still look great.

What To Spend On

The important thing to remember is that your avatar is yours and what’s important to others may not be important to you. Maybe you don’t care about cool clothing but you want a high quality mesh body. Perhaps you love the system body and want to invest in quality clothing and hair. It’s entirely up to you. Here are some things worth investing in when funds are limited.

The Basics: Body, Skin, Hair, Etc.

A high quality base is a great starting point. If you have some of the more popular mesh body parts you can find low cost and even free clothing, appliers, and accessories quite easily. What you should purchase is entirely up to your preferences and budget. This section lists some of the most popular brands alongside which genders they support so you have a place to start. This is by no means a complete list, it just includes the most popular brands to consider.

Mesh Body Parts

If you’ll only be purchasing high quality body parts (and looking for deals on skins and appliers) I recommend sticking with the more common mesh body options. Their popularity makes it very easy to find low cost and free products to use with them. I highly encourage you to demo all your parts together before purchasing to ensure they give you the look you want. 

  1. Heads
    • Catwa (feminine and masculine)
    • LeLutka (feminine and masculine)
  2. Bodies
    • Maitreya (feminine)
    • Signature (feminine and masculine)
    • Slink (feminine and masculine)
      • Hands and feet sold separate from body
    • Belleza (feminine and masculine)
      • Includes feet and static hands

I used to include hands and feet here, but most of the bodies come with them. Slink doesn’t, however you can purchase the Slink brand hands and feet separately.


It’s easier to make a high quality skin look good on a mesh body, however there are quality skins available for the system body as well. A great skin with the right shape can make your system avatar look nicer on a budget. There are many great skin brands in SL. Most are for humans, however you’ll find skins for furry and fantasy avatars around the grid as well. Some of the most popular skin brands are found below.

  1. Session 
    • Masculine and feminine skins.
  2. DeeTaleZ
    • Skins for feminine avatars.
  3. Birth , Nivaro & Labyrinth
    • You can find masculine and feminine skins at their location.


Hair is part of your avatar that is very noticeable whether you’re using system or mesh avatars. I have noticed that if you have a high quality skin it’s very noticeable if you select a low or even medium quality hair. If you’ve invested in a great skin I recommend also investing in great hair. The list below shows some of the more popular brands of hair in Second Life.

  1. TRUTH 
    • Feminine styles.
    • My personal favorite. I use hair almost exclusively from TRUTH.
  2. Magika 
    • Feminine styles
  3. Stealthic 
    • Masculine and feminine styles.
  4. Vanity Hair
    • Feminine styles.


A great shape can really make your system avatar look modern. If you have a mesh body and are sticking to a budget, however, purchasing a shape is actually one thing you can skip. Mesh bodies and heads generally come with shapes and you can tweak them to your liking without much difficulty. Many skins come with shapes, too. For your system shape you can also create one entirely on your own, however making it look nice can be a bit trickier. In this case I recommend finding a shape with a face you like (faces are the hardest for many people) then altering it as needed. For system shapes I recommend Strawberry Singh’s Zara for the ladies and John for the men. Both are L$99 each and can be modified however you may need.


Spending money on a quality outfit is another popular option. If you’re the type of person who just wants one look it can be worth investing in making it absolutely perfect. This may include pieces from various brands or a whole set from one. As always, I recommend you demo products if you can before purchasing, especially if you’ll be mix and matching various brands.

If you’re looking for quality but want a bit of variety as well you may want to consider fatpacks. Fatpacks are bundles including multiple versions of an item. They’re more expensive than buying just one color, but you get multiple versions for less than if you were to get them all separately. This is especially popular for items that may be worn with various outfits, such as jewelry and shoes. Customization HUDs offer more bang for your buck as well.

There are so many great clothing brands and styles that I can’t even hope to give you an all inclusive list here. If lists are your thing though, I do have a good starting point for you. I strongly recommend you browse the marketplace, shop in world, and visit various events to find the brands and products that suit your style and needs.


Joining groups for brands you love can be a great investment.  Most designers will have their own group (or groups) and offer perks for their members. The specific benefits vary by group, but many will tell you right in the group description what you get by joining. I could write a whole post itself on groups (oh wait, I did!) so I’ll keep it light in this post.

The list below shows groups that have given me great value for price and are totally worth joining if you like their products. Each group can be found in game by opening your SL viewer and clicking the linked brand name. Join fees are always subject to change, so make sure to check the price before clicking join to avoid any confusion!

  1. TRUTH
    • Join fee at time of posting is L$350.
    • Perks:
      • A small batch of freebies (on front table)
      • VIP only hairs (free when released, L$500 for previous releases)
      • Event product demos in notices
  2. 7 Deadly s{K}ins – Skin in today’s post is this month’s group gift.
    • Join fee at time of posting is L$250.
    • Perks:
      • Monthly gifts (skins for men and women)
      • Exclusive sales and discounts
      • Exclusive MM boards and Lucky Chairs
      • Various group events
  3. Aii The Ugly & Beautiful (Basic & VIP) – Tattoo in today’s post is Basic group gift.
    • Join fee at time of posting is L$0 for the basic group and L$500 for the VIP group.
    • Basic perks:
      • Basic group freebies (found in freebie section)
      • Exclusive Lucky Boards
    • VIP perks:
      • VIP exclusive freebies (found in freebie section)
      • Exclusive Lucky Board
      • Free select store items
      • Free products for item testing (limited)

Pics & Credits

Click for full view.

Head – Catwa: Lona
Body – Maitreya: Lara
Shape – Regeneration: Trisha
Skin – 7 Deadly s{K}ins: Apple (Oak)
Hair – TRUTH: Ambriel (Greyscale)
Tattoos – Aii The Ugly & Beautiful: Mancer’s Mark (White)
Dress – MODA: Sequin Party Dress
Shoes – MODA: Armina Gladiator Platforms
Setting/Poses: Wetcat and Lemon: Dawn
Location: Comhar Photo Studio
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2 thoughts on “How To Look Like A Million Bucks On A Budget”

    • Thanks!

      That’s a common viewpoint. It all depends on how the individual decides to classify it. Linden Lab themselves refer to it as a world, not a game. It does fit into the MMOSG (Massively Multiplayer Online Social Game) category, though. All personal preference.


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