Saturday, December 7, 2013

I Finally Get a Makeover in Second Life

 The idea of the extreme makeover is disturbing.

Janice Dickinson


          Well, it’s finally happened.
          I did it.
          I finally had a makeover of my avatar in Second Life.  Don’t worry, I had some serious professional help and I look a lot better than I did.  (Further reason not to worry, I’ve had several friends in addition to my makeover specialist/genius and me validate this.)
          Let me tell you the story. 
           A short while ago, I met May O. Mingzi from Beau Belle Village inworld for a story.  As I try to do, sometimes more successfully than others, I stay in touch with the subjects of my stories.  (Significant Other says this makes them sound like lab rats.)  Once, our chatting turned from future stories to my rather cartoonish appearance and my failed efforts to effect a makeover. 
          For those of you who are joining us late, my avatar was created from the primordial soup of the various freebie shops that were around back at my Beginning.  I turned out alright or so I thought.  Some SL fashionistas may have sniffed at my appearance but my true friends, both of you, and those who are more principled always made me feel welcome and kept their snickering for private chat.  (These are the same types of people who take stray, starving animals in during bleak winters in Real Life (RL).) 
          However, over time, like most folks, I grew up.  I realized that improving the appearance of my avatar would show my commitment to the community, support designers and merchants, and prove once and for all that I could do something semi-technical right for a change. 
          Despite a valiant effort on the part of dedicated friends (who may have also been interested in cleaning up the looks of SL) I really didn’t get too far.  I want to be clear.  This was all my fault.  (Significant Other feels this may have something to do with my commitment issues.  Whatever.)
          So, I was all ears when May mentioned a talented makeover artist whom I should meet.  Her name is Starla Farella and she has been active inworld since September 2007. 
          Starla had her start in SL like many of us, exploring and taking pictures of the interesting places and people she met.  By March 2008, she had a photography business and realized that many of her clients really weren’t “foto-ready” so Starla added makeovers as a service. 
          Since then, Starla has added to her skills, including Photoshop, and has started designing eyes.  She has also collected landmarks of SL locations that offer top quality skins, hair, eyes, etc.. The list is called “Starla’s Choice” and is given to her clients. 
          In RL, Starla is a portrait artist and understands proportions and faces.  She loves what she does.  (How many of us can say that about RL?)  For some of her clients, she has made avatars that look like the SL version of their RL self. For this, she has done avatars for people like the vice chancellor of Perth, Australia University, the vice president of San Diego University, and the vice president of accounting at a Pennsylvania university.
Starla offers her services to noobies and performers for free, as funds and time will allow. She has made some of her best friends in SL this way.  She believes SL can be a healing place for people. It can be a place that liberates a person from their RL limitations. SL is a great place for a person to get to know their true self better in her opinion. Starla has found it can be an amazing learning place.  As I must admit so have I.
The creative energy in SL is amazing to Starla. In spite of the occasional griefers and the usual percentage of “ass holes” (I quote here!) , most people in SL seem to her to be kind and will help if just asked. Some of the stories she have heard from her clients will amaze you she adds. 
          So, with this woman I have hung my fate.  (Actually, Starla has hung her reputation on me.  I hate this kind of pressure.)  We are ready for my makeover.
          My needs are simple.  (At least I think so.)  I need hair, skin, and some basic moves.  I want to keep my distinctive, trade mark red eyes.  (Long story.) Most importantly, I’d like to have a semblance of resemblance to how I look now.  I don’t want to throw my friends for too much of a loop. 
          Starla is a professional and does some pre-work before we meet.  She captures my eyes and I know I have finally found the makeover artist for me. 
          The actual makeover itself occurs when I TP to meet her.  I expect a woman but instead I meet a man rather stylishly dressed who looks vaguely like me. I say vaguely only because he looks a helluva of a lot better than I do.  (Even in RL, but I won’t go there.) 
          The man speaks and it’s Starla fitted out as I will look when this transformation is complete. 
          We set to work and I will spare my readers the tiresome details of how I try the patience of poor Starla as we make decisions, I try on things, go from shop to shop, and I learn how not to make purchases inworld. 
          Somehow, we survive.  Starla is still with me and we are still friends.  This woman is not just an artist, she is counselor, instructor, and confidante.
          When all is done, I’m stunned.  I can hardly recognize the new me.  (Significant Other is shoulder surfing at the moment of the big reveal and is shocked by the improvement.  I am now considered hot.)
          Starla helps me with my wardrobe and proceeds to take pictures to contrast with my before shots.  I’m over the moon with how I look.
          I can’t say enough good things about Starla and her work on my behalf.  She prepared in advance, listened to what I wanted to do, protected me from myself (Never an easy thing as Significant Other will attest.) 
          Starla is a true artist and professional.  She has married the artistic with the practical inworld.  I strongly recommend Starla to anyone who is looking for an avatar makeover inworld.  She is very good and a pleasure to work with. For additional samples of her work check out this YouTube video.  Tell her I sent you! 
          For full disclosure, I must include that Starla did not charge me which she does with many clients and purchased several objects on my behalf to complete the effect.  If anyone should think I have a conflict of interest here, I suggest that they look at my before and after photos to understand the high regard in which I hold Starla.
          What’s ahead for me?
          I’m going to work on my male plumbing, I do wander around nudist sims a lot for my stories so I think all my parts should be of the same quality.  I’m also going to upgrade my wardrobe while I’m at it.
          What do you think of my new look?
          Please look me up and let me know!  Also, have you had a makeover recently inworld?  If so, I’d love to hear from you about how it turned out. 
          I want to thank Starla for all her efforts on my behalf.  (Who BTW, appeared as herself as a woman and all I’ll say is that she takes care of herself as well as she does her clients.)  I want to thank May too for referring me to her.
          I’ve included a few pictures documenting my transformation.  I think I look pretty good even if I do say so myself!     

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.    
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

Photo No. 1  Starla Farella

Photo No. 2  webspelunker – Before

Photo No. 3  webspelunker – After

Photo No. 4  Prototype of Red Eyes



May O. Mingzi said...

Yay, Starla! And yes, Web, you look HOT!

Anonymous said...

I totally enjoyed doing your makeover! It is always a pleasure working w such a pleasant client. Clients who respect my skill and trust my advice will always get the BEST results. ~ Starla Farella @ Look REAL!

Nemesis said...

Oh she did a great work. You really look really, really good now.

webspelunker said...

May, thanks again for the referral and your unbiased appraisal of my new looks! ;)



webspelunker said...


I too enjoyed working with you and many thanks! Feedback has been wonderful!



webspelunker said...


Many thanks! I really, really feel better about myself inworld! ;)