Playing with myself – Catwa ‘Skell’ Bento mesh head

So yeah. This happened.

Catwa’s new male Bento head—named for and inspired by Yours Truly—will debut at Skin Fair, which begins on 9th March. It will be L$5000, and the demo is free. (Be aware that the demo contains ‘missing pixels’ while the full-priced head is complete.)

You have no idea  how hard it’s been for me to keep schtum over this, but to say that I am both thrilled and honoured to have ‘my own’ Catwa Bento mesh head would be the understatement of the year. When I finally saw the ad image and got hold of the head itself to try it out I was literally  (and I don’t use that word often; I take ‘literally’ literally) shrieking with delight.

My sartorial darlings, I AM GORGEOUS! XD

Seriously, Catwa has outdone herself with this one and given me the beautiful male head that I’ve been yearning for. Look at the cheekbones. Look at the lips! GAH! I spent about half an hour just cammed on my face while my AO played out, taking screenshots. Which, of course, I’m now going to spam you with :p

Is it wrong to want to snog your own avatar? Asking for a, uh, friend…

The above skin is one of my current favourites: L’Etre’s Toni  in buttermilk. But, of course, I had to slap a load of others onto this glorious construction to see what they looked like. And shall we say that the seal-clapping only intensified when I did that?

Yeah, I guess we should. Honestly, I think that by now you’ve realised this isn’t so much of a mesh head review as it is an out-and-out GUSH. Shit, son, I’m sorry, but can you blame me? ;-)

(And yeah, I kinda wish I’d switched out Windlights for the following pics, but I’m all about the continuity, me…)

Skell is the first of Catwa’s male mesh heads to be at v3.2, and contains some nice little quality of life improvements, which will be coming to all of Catwa’s Bento mesh heads soon. There are new gestures added to the gesture pack, and the issue where using high-priority sit or stand animations sometimes stopped some of the head’s animation features (such as blinking) from working has now been fixed. The default skin options on the Master HUD now show what colour brows they have (and also which are the no-brow options), and Catwa has included some nice tintable guyliners in the eye makeup section. You don’t have to go full-on Robert-Smith-of-The-Cure with these, but if you have a skin that needs a little bit of ‘pop’ around the eyes (we’ve all got that one skin, right? We love it, but our eyes look like pissholes in the snow from a distance!) you can put on any of the eyeliners, tint them a colour that suits your skintone, then use the blend slider to find that Goldilocks ‘just right’ spot.

Go pick up a demo of… uh… me, and try me out. You’ll find that I give great  head ;-)

Skin Fair runs from March 9th -25th. More information can be found here.


Head: Catwa – Skell* (Bento)
Ears: L’Etre – Olympe Mesh Ears
Skin appliers: As listed in the post
Brow appliers: Identity Body Shop – Thick Eyebrows
Eye appliers: Avi-Glam – Vivid Eyes* (pearl)
Hair: VoltHair – Kevin
Hairbase applier: Stealthic – Male Hairbase (thick)
Necklace: Empyrean Forge – Springleaf necklace
Windlight used throughout this post: Phototools Dead End Sky 01

*review copy

Catwa ‘Victor’ Bento male mesh head

“Handsome and handsomer,” said Alice…

Well, actually, no she didn’t, but I do. Victor is Catwa’s latest male Bento mesh head release, and he’s probably the most gorgeous one yet. Also, I suspect—from the quick test that I gave him last night in order to get the pics for this post—he will be very versatile when it comes to potential androgyny. There’s something about that jawline and the nose that makes me think Victor could be quite a pretty boy if he really wanted to ;-)

This post is really just a quickie to showcase a few pics, but once I get inworld again later today I’ll throw some more skins and some slap onto him and see how he turns out.

For now, though, he’s pretty damn gorg in this Stray Dog skin, and with the new hair by VoltHair (at the current round of Man Cave). Oh, and those Catwa mocap animations…

“So, you doin’ anything tonight?”


Head: Catwa – Victor (Bento)
Skin applier: Stray Dog – Levi (tone 04)
Eye appliers: Avi-Glam – Lucent Eyes* (daylight)
Hair: VoltHair – Shaun (blacks)

*review copy

For further details about Catwa’s male Bento mesh heads—including a how-to guide for customising them—check out this post.

Lelutka ‘Andrea’ Bento male mesh head

A few weeks ago, my sartorial darlings, I wrote a long-arsed post for guys to help them get to grips with Catwa Bento mesh heads. Now, while I place myself firmly in the Catwa fanboy group, I’ll admit that—for some guys—the sheer stupefying range of options available on those heads can be bewildering and frustrating. (Case in point: that post was 4000 words long, and I only covered the basics.)

Luckily for those guys (and for the rest of us, for reasons I’ll go into shortly) Lelutka have finally released a male Bento mesh head, called ‘Andrea’, which this post is going to be a brief (and loving!) review of.

First up, the nitty-gritty. Andrea costs L$5000, like most Bento mesh heads. A free demo is available at the inworld store, which I highly recommend you try. You can also pick up some demo skins by Clef de Peau, Tableau Vivant, and Stray Dog at the Lelutka store, as well as some demo shapes. These will give you a rough idea of what the head is capable of looking like. The default skins are also by Tableau Vivant, of which you get 10 different colour options.

Andrea is compatible with Slink and Belleza bodies (it does not  work with the default SL system body), and on my Slink body I can honestly say that I’ve never  noticed a visible join mark at the neck. It also has built-in Omega compatibility. You can learn a lot more about the head by reading this post on the Lelutka blog, but I’m going to summarise the basics here.

First up, a quick look at the HUD’s various tabs, beginning with the essentials. This is the workhorse tab, where you’ll spend most of your time while customising your look:

Note on that tab you have two additional side-tabs (the black background ones) – Save Layer Slots, and Tint Layers. We’ll get to those shortly, but as you can see in this HUD screenshot, you have a generous amount of options for customising straight out of the box, from facial hair, hairbases, brows, skins, tattoos, and even makeup. And that default smokey makeup, my darlings, looks fuckin’ fabulous:

You’ll also note that the Essentials tab contains simple ‘clear’ buttons that will quickly remove anything you’ve added to your head.

The second tab contains moods and expressions which will animate your face (if you want them to). I usually don’t tend to have random Bento animations running on any head that I wear, because I don’t want some random woman to think that I’m giving her the come-on by winking at her and licking my lips O.o

You can also control various aspects of your eyes and mouth (states of opening and animation) in this tab.

Note the eye control at the bottom. I’ve found that I need to have them both at their lower setting in order to show fully in my eye opening. Whether I’ve just not discovered something that I should be doing as yet, or whether that’s a quirk of my shape, I’ve no idea. But it’s something to note.

Tab three contains the main eye and mouth controls, plus some eye applier presets. Since the head is Omega-enabled, you can also apply any Omega eyes to it, as well as Lelutka appliers.

Tab four is for personalising. If you have full-permission textures of your own (for example: a face or neck tattoo that you designed) you can drop them in here:

The final tab is all the main settings. Keep the auto-updates on, so you receive any updated versions of the head without needing to redeliver. And click that ‘Misc’ button every now and then for a free gift from Lelutka ;-)

Moving on to those two extra side tabs, we have the Save Presets tab. This allows you to save up to four particular appliers on each location for ease of re-application later on. Just click and hold on the slot while you’re wearing the applier, choose a colour, and it will save to that slot:

If you run out of save slots, there’s an additional Personal Library pack available for L$265 in the Lelutka store, which contains copiable individual HUDs each containing eight more slots. As well as that, the Personal Library also contains a copiable ‘full head look’ HUD, which is perfect for those of us who create outfits. Add all your appliers for a look, save it to the HUD, then save your outfit (including the HUD). If you then change the appliers on your head and want to re-wear that outfit, the HUD will re-attach and one click will have your entire head back to the look you set it to.

And, finally, we have the Tint Layers tab. This is nice and simple, with the layers listed along the top. What I especially love about this is that you can tint several layers all at once by selecting the ones you want to change (so, for example, you can tint your hairbase, brows, and facial hair all the same colour in one easy click). To input RGB, click in that central section (where you see the 0 0 0) and type in the RGB values in the text box that opens up.

Pros and cons

As with any Bento mesh head, Andrea has its pros and cons. I would always urge people to try multiple demos of skins and shapes and heads in different combinations, because a Bento mesh head is an expensive purchase. But these are the things that struck me in the couple of weeks since I’ve been wearing this head:


It’s so damn easy to use. You have a simple ‘clear’ button on each main applier section to get rid of whatever you’ve applied. It’s all there, without any worrying about upper and lower layers.

Omega appliers (if you hit the ‘A’ for ‘All’ button) will pop up a new window (pictured below) that names  the areas you can apply it to, rather than just offering ‘upper’ and ‘lower’. I’ve been using Omega appliers for ages, and I still  get annoyed when I take a stab at upper or lower and watch my eyebrows vanish.

It contains a very generous sample of starter appliers, including some great makeup.

It lends itself very well to androgynous looks, for guys who are into that kind of thing.

The neck blend (at least with Slink Physique Male body; I’ve not tried it yet with Belleza’s Jake body) is 99% perfect. You’ll only notice a small line there in extreme windlights.


The wingnut ears. Dear god, I’m sorry, but I hate  the ears! My RL ears don’t stick out like the handles of the F.A. Cup, and I don’t want my SL ears to, either! Luckily, you can hide them via the Essentials tab on the HUD, and wear ears by other creators. My own personal preference is for Swallow ears, but you may also want to try ears by Aitui (especially if you’re into gauges and stretched lobes). ETA: Also, check out L’Etre, who are fast becoming my new favourites for mesh ears.

The shimmer on the makeup layer applies to both eyes and  mouth. If you look at the images of Skell above, you can see that I’ve got a great slick eye gloss thing going on, but I also look like I’ve been snogging an open pot of Crisco. (Which, hey, worked for that look, but some guys ain’t gonna like it.) In short: I’d love it if Lelutka would split the eyes and lips into two sections.

The lips are a bit on the pouty side, which I believe is something of a thing with Lelutka heads. I don’t personally mind, since Skell could Blue Steel for Britain at the Olympics, but if you decide to demo the head, check to ensure you can edit the lips to your liking, from a profile view.

To sum up

Despite my two main quibbles (the ears and the single makeup layer) I’m really liking this head, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Lelutka brings to the male Bento mesh head market in the future. I’ll close this post with a few looks culled from my Flickr, of what I’ve done with the head thus far:

The all-over face shimmer is fantastic for creating a wet look. Get that mesh rain out, and your soaked-through shirts on, boys ;-)

Cheekbones for days

Wolf Hour: Catwa’s new ‘Shaheen’ male Bento mesh head

No, my sartorial darlings, your eyes do not deceive you. Skell has gone ginger.


It won’t last, I promise ;-)

A few days ago, Catwa Clip released her third male Bento mesh head, called Shaheen. After ten minutes of playing with the demo and slapping as many applier skins as I could find on it (as well as trying different shapes) I splurged on it, because my God  is it versatile. People in the Catwa group have been sharing their images of Shaheen, and I’ve seen it go from being Middle-Eastern in appearance to Asian, to—in my case—celtic.

In short: if you’re looking for a Bento mesh head that will really  give you a lot of options for styling, I strongly suggest that you demo this one. This is how I styled it yesterday:

Hair Fair has, of course, just started. If you want access to all the demos without the lag, join the Hair Fair Demo group and check notices. (This group is free to join. You shouldn’t be charged any fees for joining any groups related to Hair Fair, so if you are  expected to pay a fee then you’re not trying to join the official group.) You can also find images of everything available at the fair on this post of the Hair Fair blog, which is sorted very clearly by region and location.

As a side-note before I begin talking about the hair I’m featuring here:

I want to say a big thank-you to the organisers of the Hair Fair event. They have pulled out all the stops to ensure the event is as simple to navigate and as lag-free as possible. Each region is sub-divided, and avatar visibility has been removed from adjoining parcels and regions. This means that you will only have to render those on the parcel you’re currently in.

Added to that, each section of stalls at the event has different-coloured shutters to help identify them (very handy if you check the blog, since each store’s region/shutter colour/location in the region is listed there). Also, the signs outside each store are named for that store, so if you have ‘show tooltips’ enabled you can hover your cursor over them and find out where you are if textures are slow to rez.

And, finally, direct teleporting is enabled (no godforsaken landing point to get choked up with avatars!) so if you grab from the blog the SLurl of the store you desperately want to visit, you’ll land right in front of that store.

OK, now I’ve got my profuse thanks out of the way, can we just sit and drool over this hair? Stealthic have brought three styles to Hair Fair this year, all of them female and Bento-rigged. I picked up demos for all three, and this one just screamed  ‘celtic prince’ at me. It’s utterly perfect for historical or fantasy roleplay looks and—as you can see—works just as well on men as it does on women. (Although do be aware, guys, that it will dig in a little between your shoulders if you’re using a male avatar base. In my opinion, this hair is more than worth that little inconvenience.)

An added bonus is the fact that you don’t need a hairbase with this hair, because it’s created with one included. (In fact, if you try to wear it over a hairbase applier, you’ll get alpha glitching, so remove the applier and appreciate the fact that you just don’t need it!) Oh, and it also comes with a styling HUD, which contains several different ways to wear the hair.

I just can’t stop looking at that profile. Seriously, the nose on this head is just killing me; it’s so perfect. Here, have some differently-styled shots. I’ll credit everything at the end of the post:

And here is a front-on view. I’m using my usual shape here:

And, well, just because ;-)

You can pick up the free demo of Shaheen at Catwa’s inworld store. Head inside the store and you’ll find it on the central pillar in the side room to your left. The full price of the head is L$5000. You’ll get store credit when purchasing, so if you buy anything  from Catwa, I recommend getting it from the inworld store rather than from Marketplace. Store credit racks up pretty quickly, and you’ll find some nice cheap extras that you can use it on once you’ve accrued enough, as well as some group gifts.

Credits (images 1 & 2)

Hair: Stealthic – Genesis (Bento Fitted) (reds HUD)
Vest: Gild – Long Vest with Knit Skull Scarf (black)
Pants: Gild – Colour Denim Pants (black)
Skin applier: Avenge – Matthew (peach)
Eye appliers: Avi-Glam – Elysian Eyes (olive)
Brow appliers: Odeco – Catwa/Omega Mens Eyebrow (shaved)
Head: Catwa – Shaheen
Body: Slink – Physique Male
Hands: Slink – Dynamic Male

Credits (image 3)

Skin applier: Tableau Vivant – Nyx (tone 4)
Hair: Stealthic – Reach
Hairbase: Stealthic – Male Hairbase
Eyes: Avi-Glam – Elysian Eyes (fjord)
Brows: Odeco – Catwa/Omega Men’s Eyebrow (shaved)
Shirt: Body Factory – Brad Shirt

Credits (image 4)

As image 3, but the clothing is as follows:

Jacket: ZED – Lace Up Steel Leather Hoodie Jacket

Damn, Daniel!


Catwa Clip released Daniel, her long-awaited male Bento head last night, and the store was crammed with avatars waiting to pick up the demo. I was one of them, and after playing around with it for a bit, I dug deep into Skell’s wallet. Because, well… damn, Daniel!

I’m going to be tweaking for a while yet, but this is as close to Skell as I’ve managed to come so far with this head. And yes, there are frustrations for me when it comes to applying combinations of makeup, eyebrows, and hairbases (which is why I’m wearing a skin that comes with brows, for now) but I’m pretty certain that’ll all come much more easily once I get used to the HUD and its various workings.

I know I won’t be able to layer makeup like I can on the system head (you know me, my sartorial darlings: there are five makeup layers on the avatar head, and I tend to use them ALL) but I’ve been experimenting with the Omega makeups that I do have, and I’ll be hunting around for some Catwa-specific ones soon. (I already have some by Slackgirl, so I’ll be looking into those a lot more.)

So here he is, my lovelies. Bento Mesh Head Skell. Nah, that mesh bonce won’t be a permanent fixture on his shoulders. Mesh heads will still be fashion accessories to me, especially since I know I can do so much more with Skell’s system phiz. But I’m pretty happy with this one.

Cheekbones for miles.

I suppose I’d better give you a quick rundown on what he’s wearing, other than the head, right? The hair is Tableau Vivant for the current run of The Mens Dept, and the coat is sYs, again for The Mens Dept. Jewellery by Maxi Gossamer, piercings and earrings by Kibitz, makeup by [email protected], and eyes by IKON.

The skin is a special release for the Daniel head (although it’s not exclusive to it) by L’Etre. Please note that if you use Slink hands and feet, you’ll need to buy those appliers separately. For this look, Skell needed the head applier (also comes with a system skin), Slink body applier, Slink hands applier, and Slink feet applier. Other mesh body appliers are also available, including Omega.

The Daniel head is L$5000, and you’ll earn store credit for each purchase at both Catwa and L’Etre.


Head: Catwa – Daniel (Bento viewer required)

Skin: L’Etre – Daniel (pearl)

Coay: sYs – Chester Coat (black)

Necklace: Maxi Gossamer – Sister Catrina Muertos

Piercings: Kibitz – Canion Unisex Piercings (silver)

Earrings: Kibitz – Radius Unisex Ear Piercing

Makeup: [email protected] – Morgana Gothic Eyeshadows

Ring: Maxi Gossamer – Royal Kadijah Estate

Hair: Tableau Vivant – Oliver Hair (naturals II)

Eyes: IKON – Sovereign Eyes (deep hazel)

Poses: Boys To The Bone