Mesh Crash Course: Troubleshooting Issues

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

Need more mesh help or info? Check out our full Mesh Crash Course.

Sometimes things just don’t go as expected when using mesh heads and bodies in Second Life. Here are some of the most common issues:

  1. Skin, makeup or tattoos don’t apply
  2. Skin, makeup or tattoos appear distorted
  3. Eyelashes are clumpy
  4. Skin, makeup, or tattoos are shiny
  5. Makeup or tattoos are faded
  6. Old body parts show through the new mesh body parts
  7. And many, many more…

While all of these things can be very frustrating, thankfully they are usually an easy fix!


Some of the most common problems come from trying to use appliers. If you’re not familiar with them make sure to check out our in depth post on how appliers work.

If you’re finding that skin, makeup, or tattoos aren’t showing up at all it can be a few different things. First you’ll want to make sure you’re using the correct appliers. A Catwa applier, for example, won’t apply to a Lelutka head. If you’re using Omega appliers (the “universal” applier) make sure you also have your Omega System Relay Kits on. You may have to click the relays to activate them. For more information on ensuring you have the right applier and how to use appliers please check out Appliers: How Do They Work?

HUD Options

Most mesh body parts come with Heads Up Displays, or HUDs for short. Every brand will have a unique HUD, so make sure to explore yours thoroughly. Play around with any buttons or sliders one at a time so you can see what they do. Being familiar with your options will make your mesh experience easier in the long run. Make sure to read any notecards that come with your purchases and don’t be afraid to ask in support groups if you’re having trouble figuring something out.

Common HUD Options

Catwa’s head HUD from 2017

While every HUD is different, some do have a little overlap. Here are some common things to keep an eye out for in your HUD. If one of these solutions doesn’t work make sure to try other sections of the HUD.

  1. Show/Hide/Mask/Blend
    • Options like this will change if and how your applied texture looks on your mesh.
    • Common issues this may fix:
      • Distorted or clumpy looking tattoos/lashes/makeup 
        • Toggle the Mask or Blend options.
      • Makeup, tattoos, lashes, or parts not visible 
        • Toggle Show/Hide options
      • Faded textures 
        • Play with blending options to get the desired effect. Try moving the blend bar all the way to each side to see if there is any change.
  2. Tinting
    • The tint section of the HUD allows you to add color to certain areas. Generally you’ll select a part (such as the eye makeup, blush, lashes, etc.) and then select the color to apply.
      • Note: If the texture you’re altering is white it will take color very well. If it’s black you likely won’t notice any change. Anything in between really depends on the individual color you start with.
      • Tinting something with white will let the original coloration the designer created show.
    • Common issues this may fix:
      • Distorted or clumpy looking tattoos/lashes/makeup
        • Try changing the tint to white. This ensures what the designer created color wise shows.
      • Pure white textures
        • Some designers make their product in white so you can match it easily using tinting. If you purchased a beard or similar and it’s applying white you can generally use tinting to make it the desired color.
  3. Shine
    • Shine gives your skin a glossy look. This is really popular for makeup such as lip gloss. It’s also useful for avatars such as The Broken Doll who want a sheen on their skin.
      • Remember that the shine options will only alter the body part that you’re using the HUD for. If you have a Catwa head and Maitreya body you’ll have to adjust the head shine via the Catwa HUD and the body shine via the Maitreya HUD.
    • Common issues this may fix:
      • Skin, makeup, or tattoos too shiny
        • Adjust the shine slider to the desired level of shine (Note: Some HUDs have more shiny on the left and some on the right. Play with it!)
      • Skin, makeup, or tattoos too matte
        • Adjust the shine slider to the desired level of shine (Note: Some HUDs have more shiny on the left and some on the right. Play with it!)
      • One mesh part shinier than another
        • Adjust the shine slider to the desired level of shine (Note: Some HUDs have more shiny on the left and some on the right. Play with it!)
  4. Alphas & Layers
    • Alphas hide parts of your body.
      • Equipping alphas from your inventory hide the system (default) Second Life body.
      • Alphas in the HUD hide specific sections of your mesh head or body part.
    • Common Issues this may fix:
      • Mesh head/body sticking out through hair/clothes/etc.
        • Toggle sections of your mesh product on and off via the HUD
      • There are random body parts/hair sticking out through mesh body parts/head
        • Make sure you’re wearing an Alpha layer from your inventory. Most mesh products will come with Alphas to wear with the product.
      • Random parts of your head/body aren’t showing at all.
        • Find the alpha section in your HUD and click that part of your body/head to toggle it on and off.

Have other questions that aren’t covered here? Ask in the comments and I’ll help if I can! Otherwise check your notecards or consider contacting the creator of your products for assistance.



Head – Catwa: Lona
Body – Maitreya: Lara
Shape – Regeneration Trisha
Skin – 7 Deadly s{K}ins: Lake in Snow
Hair – TRUTH: Ambriel in Multitone 2
Eye Shadow – Songbird: Tripp Shadow
Lipstick – Lumae: Glimmer Lips
Dress – Pixicat: Dragon Dress Seductive nr1 (Epiphany Gacha Rare)
Shoes – MODA: Lianna Flower Wedges
Setting/Pose – Exposeur: Gacha Gardens Group Gift
Location: Comhar Photo Studio
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2 thoughts on “Mesh Crash Course: Troubleshooting Issues”

  1. Very useful post, Asia 🙂 My worst sin is forgetting to put the OMEGA relay on and expecting it to all work without the relay heheh! I’ve just got into the tinting and shading on the CATWA HUDs, makes a difference to what kind of look you’re after – even on the gent’s Mesh heads.

    • Thank you! Appliers are almost always the culprit when I have issues, too. I put all my Omega relays in one folder and just add the folder to what I’m wearing whenever I change now. Makes it soo much easier. It doesn’t solve everything though. I find I’m trying to use a Lelutka applier for my Catwa head more often than I should admit haha.


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