Appliers: How Do They Work?

In 2023, appliers are not as widely used as most folks use Bakes on Mesh (Commonly referred to as BOM). I’m keeping these pages available now since some may find them helpful, but if you’re new to SL or making a new avatar you may want to check out your BOM options instead! 

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.

Appliers are one of the most commonly used items for mesh bodies. I see a lot of users asking questions about Second Life appliers or being confused as to what appliers can offer them. Today I’ll go over what they are, how to use them, and why you may want them.

Second Life Appliers: The Basics

Think of appliers like classic avatar clothing for mesh avatars (excluding BOM – more on that in this post). The applier itself is an object (usually a HUD) that applies a texture to mesh body parts. Some of the more common textures are skins, clothes, and makeup. Tattoos, beards, and scars are also textures that can be used via applier, as well as anything else you would want on your mesh body. To understand appliers you first must know about layers.


Layers allow multiple textures to be worn at once. Lower layers are hidden by higher layers. You’ll find the skin almost always applies automatically to the lowest layer. Most commonly you’ll have three other layers to select from when using non skin appliers.

Think of your real body and clothing for a moment. Your skin is one layer, any tattoos you may have are on a layer above it, your underwear is another layer above, and your regular clothing is the layer on top. Your tattoos hide what’s on the skin under them. Underwear hides any tattoos under it and your pants hide your underwear. It’s exactly the same on your avatar. Here is a breakdown of the most common layers:

  1. SkinA female Second Life avatar with red hair and using an applier skin looks off camera.
    • Skin appliers almost always automatically apply to this layer.
      • As such layers usually aren’t even listed as an option for users.
    • Covers the body parts as the lowest layer.
      • Anything else applied will be seen on top of the skin.
  2. Tattoo
    • This is applied directly over the skin, but under the Underwear and Clothing layers.
      • This means it’ll show on top of the skin but anything on the Underwear or Clothing layers will cover it up.
    • Popular for not only tattoos but also makeup, beards, scars, blood, bruises, and anything else that would be visible over the skin but covered by clothing.
  3. Underwear
    • Applied over the Tattoo layer but under the Clothing layer.
      • Just like in real life this will cover your skin and anything that’s directly on your skin via the Tattoo layer.
    • This doesn’t only have to be used for bras, boxers, and panties.
      • Want to wear a long sleeved shirt under a crop top? Apply the long sleeved shirt on the Underwear layer and the crop top on the Clothing layer.
  4. Clothing
    • The Clothing layer is the top layer.
      • As such it will cover anything on other layers since they are below it.
    • Want to get creative? Use Tattoos as decoration on clothes!
      • Instead of placing a Tattoo on the Tattoo layer, consider placing it on the Clothing layer with the shirt or pants on the Underwear layer.
      • This will show the Tattoo over the clothing and it may look like a neat design. Then again it may not. Play around!

With the basic knowledge of how layers work you’re able to experiment and play with different ideas. Give the tattoo on clothing and the layered shirts a shot!

What’s That Have To Do With Appliers?

Appliers put textures on layers. As mentioned before, skin appliers will generally be put on the proper spot by design. Many other textures allow you to choose where they go. When using appliers you’ll either select which layer to use from the applier itself or a little popup that appears after clicking the applier. Simply select what layer you’d like to use and you’re set! Placing two textures on the same layer will result in the most recent texture replacing the previous one. Some appliers will allow you to remove the texture via applier, however many don’t include this option. In those cases simply use your body part’s HUD to clear the layer.

A female Second Life avatar using applier skin, tattoos, and lingerie. Purchasing Appliers

Before buying anything you need to know that appliers are NOT universal. For example, Maitreya appliers don’t work with Slink body parts. You’ll have to learn what type of appliers work with what you own. This information should be in the notecards that come with your parts. Generally different brands use different appliers. It can definitely feel overwhelming when looking for products that work for all your different parts. Thankfully there are products called Omega System Kits.

Omega Kits are individual HUDs designed for each body part. So if you’re using body parts from Slink, Catwa, and Maitreya you’d purchase Omega System Kits for each. The Omega System Kits act as little translator relays so Omega Appliers can talk to your parts. This way you can just look for Omega Appliers that you like instead of looking for something that will work on your Slink feet, Maitreya body, and Catwa head. Of course if you want to look for those specific things you still can, but Omega takes that frustration out of shopping. Some body parts come already equipped with Omega so no relay is needed. Make sure to read those notecards so you know if yours do. Not all products are Omega compatible.

Popular Applier Types

Here you’ll find a small sampling of applier types.

  1. Multiple Parts
    • Omega 
      • Omega appliers simplify everything by allowing one applier to be used across various brands and body parts.
        • Not all brands are Omega compatible, so do your research before purchasing, and remember to always demo.
      • They usually (not always) require purchasing Omega System Kits for each brand you want to use Omega with.
        • Some brands (such as LAQ) are compatible with Omega without a System Kit purchase.
        • Omega System Kits can be purchased on the Marketplace or for a discount in world with the group tag on.
    • Slink
      • Works on Slink products ONLY.
  2. HeadsA female Second Life avatar using applier skin, a white applier tattoo, and black applier lingerie.
    • Catwa
      • Works on Catwa products ONLY.
    • LeLutka
      • Works on LeLutka products ONLY.
  3. Bodies
    • Maitreya
      • Works on Maitreya products ONLY.
    • Belleza
      • Works on Belleza products ONLY.

This is just a fraction of some of the appliers you’ll run into. Make sure to demo before purchase so you are sure the applier will work with your product.

Using Appliers

So now that you know what they do and how to select them, it’s time to learn how to use appliers. First you’ll want to attach it it. Most will attach to the HUD automatically, but if you find yours is attaching to the body it’s an easy fix. Simply right click the object in your inventory, select “Attach To Hud,” then choose where on the HUD you want to see it. Simply interact with the HUD to apply the texture. Most are very obvious and just require clicking on the HUD. If it’s complex check to see if a notecard came with it explaining how to use it. Remember some appliers, especially clothing, will ask which layer you want to apply to before actually applying.

Visual Examples

Second Life appliers come in all shapes and sizes. Here you can see some examples of various appliers.

Various Omega system kit HUDs in Second Life.
Omega System Kits and a basic HUD Omega Skin Applier
An Omega HUD for 7 Deadly Skins in Second Life.
Customized Omega Skin Applier (7 Deadly s{K}ins)
An Omega HUD for AlaskaMetro in Second Life.
Custom Omega HUD for nails (By alaskametro)
An Omega HUD for Pink Cherry in Second Life.
Customized HUD for Slink, Maitreya, Belleza, and Omega including various nail types (By PiNK CHERRY)
An Aii Omega HUD in Second Life.
Custom Omega HUD with many customization options. Nipple options not shown. (By Aii The Ugly & Beautiful)

Photos & Credits

Remember to click for full view!

A female Second Life avatar smiles off camera.

A female Second Life avatar looks down while wearing sexy seductive lingerie. Her bellybutton and cleavage are showing.
Head – Catwa: Lona
Body – Maitreya: Lara
Shape – Regeneration: Katie
Skin – 7 Deadly s{K}ins: Tessie
Hands – Slink: Dynamic Hands
Hair – TRUTH: Fire
Eyes – Catwa: Mesh Eyes
Tattoo – Mirus: Armony Tattoo
Bra & Panties – LRS Creations: MGSN Gift
Bodysuit – LRS Creations: Jadore Lace Jumpsuit
Pose/Background – Comhar Photo Studio
Like this post? Share it!

12 thoughts on “Appliers: How Do They Work?”

  1. Good info, Asia. I think SL has gone over the top with appliers – it’s so complicated just to get dressed. If I use a mesh body and mesh head and want to change skins, I can have two HUDs for the mesh parts on the screen, then a skin and a face applier on screen and an OMEGA relay for both of them. That’s 6 objects on the screen just to change skins. Now if I want to add tattoos, then that’s another couple of objects to do that – the OMEGA relay and the tattoo HUD. It’s getting ridiculous. Add the makeup HUDs for the ladies to that and you’ve got SL gone completely barmy. It was never like that with clothing layers which you could mix and match easily, just adding them from Inventory.

    • Thanks! I don’t think it’s really SL’s fault though. Every product made is unique to the designer. It’s totally understandable that appliers for each brand would be different. I definitely understand how it can be frustrating, especially for those who learned on classic avatars. Omega is the closest thing we have to unification. True simplification would require all mesh body part designers to agree to use just one system, which would be quite the feat.

      While it can definitely be a bit more complex, I’m thankful for all the options we have now. I don’t mind a few extra steps to accommodate the expanded selection.

  2. Yah. Sorry. Still so confused on this. It’s mostly the terminology that is so damn confusing. You know, with all these appliers they never mention the word texture. I get so confused with all the different “appliers”.

    • Applier and texture are used almost interchangeably with mesh when it comes to the customer’s side. Think of the applier as the tool used to put the texture on the mesh. Instead of wearing a layer like the classic bodies you’re instead applying a texture onto the mesh. Does that help at all?

  3. I can not use 2 apps.
    I have tattoos and I want to use pubic hair together.
    When I try to use the 2 together, it never goes away any other way.
    Boto Tattoos on clothing and pubic hair on tattoo.
    The 2 together always makes some of them invisible. I do not know what else to do.

    Maitrya Body

    • Try toggling the Mask Mode button under the layers to see if it helps. I also sometimes apply the layers in different orders. If that doesn’t help you’ll want to contact Maitreya’s customer service.

  4. Unless you want to run around naked, mesh bodies are a waste of money as you will be covering them with your clothing. Far easier to use the classic body but add mesh hands and feet for a more realistic option. Mesh heads are also a real pain and are still not that pretty or adaptable. They all seem to come from a similar template which means it’s quite hard to look unique in-world. Plus I don’t really get why the mouths are so pouty and close to the nose. Looks like you are sniffing your top lip :o( I love changing my look in SL on a regular basis, so by sticking to mix and match classic and mesh I get a lot more shopping done and more fun for my hard earned Lindens!

    • It’s all a matter of opinion! I know many people who prefer their classic bodies over their mesh even when nude. I also know many who prefer mesh even when fully clothed. It all depends on the person’s individual tastes.

  5. I have a question. Is there a way to apply old SL texture clothes to a Mesh body. I’ve been in SL long enough to have a boat load of clothes that are for the classic avitar and a lot of them are very well made that I would like to apply them to my newly bought EVE mesh. But the EVE kits ask for actual textures and won’t use SL textures (i.e. shirts, pants, tops, etc). Is there something like that or would I have to go to the creator of my Mesh Body and ask them?

    • I recommend going directly to the creator of the old texture and seeing if they have applier versions. Mesh bodies aren’t compatible with the old textures, so you’d need an applier.

  6. You explained everything to a tee that was confusing me. Now I understand. I wish other who tutorial explain like you did. Thanks so much.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Toggle Dark Mode (Site Designed for Light)