[ CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: The Fray - "Hold My Hand" ]
[ MOOD: Torn ]
Hello my loves! Today’s blog post is going to be a little different than what y’all are used to but I promised myself I would do this so I’m going to try to stay true to that promise as best as I can. Now. Let me preface this entire thing by saying I was asked to blog these products, and of course I agreed because it was super exciting and an honor to be asked but while I was going through the process of this entire thing I decided I was not only going to blog it but I was going to review it as well. I originally planned to showcase just the body, but then my curiosity got the better of me and I went a few steps further. We all know that The Shops is incredibly controversial because they are forward thinking, trend setters, so to speak, in their own right. I’ve always been a fan of their stuff from a distance but aside from their skins, I never really made the effort to try their other products because of one really large thorn in my side – they aren’t and it’s unlikely they ever will be, slink compatible. You can’t really wear the hands/feet/shoes with their products, and with all the money I’ve invested in Slink based appliers, shoes, accessories, etc, I couldn’t possibly justify throwing it all aside to wear something else full time that required even more of my Linden. I’m a blogger on a budget, I set a certain amount of L aside for myself every week and once that L is gone, it’s gone. Which means, my shopping is usually preplanned and I don’t have the luxury of dropping a lot of $L on such large purchases. Which is why, once I made the decision to go Slink, I stuck with it. Otherwise to me, it feels like money wasted. One of the first things I asked when I was approached to do this was, is the body Slink compatible? Overall, the answer was no and with that in mind, I went forth with my adventure anyway!
Let’s get all of this messy stuff out of the way right off the bat. The Shops overall shopping experience is simply put, a nightmare. I had gone with Micah and my boyfriend and after a total of three hours, I had almost everything I wanted/needed. In order to do anything, you need to be wearing their shopping hud at all times. Okay. Got that. Fair warning – if you attach the hud and you can’t get it to rezz – tp out of the sim, let it rezz and then tp back into their sim. Lag is a huge factor when on this sim that you need to keep in mind while browsing. While I was trying to demo different mesh heads/skin combos, I was having issues getting everything to load (both the hud and the previews on the mesh head) and accidentally bought the wrong mesh head. Twice. Luckily, it only charged me once. I’ll be blunt here and say, if I didn’t have credit from The Shops in order to purchase the products, I would have been pissed because I would have been out 3,000L for a head I was only trying to demo. The Shops was really great with me about the whole thing and they sent me the mesh head I actually wanted, thus meaning I had two now. I also grabbed the mesh body as well. Keep in mind, they offer a basic and a deluxe version of their products and the items I’m reviewing are just the basic products. You get a lot more options with the deluxe products but considering this was my first go around with The Shops, I wasn’t about to go all in. And frankly, I’m glad I didn’t. Here’s why: the total cost of everything for this blog post is: $6,392L. Normally I wouldn’t tell you this but after how frustrating this whole experience was, I feel like it kind of factors into it. After spending three hours getting through the demoing process, finally settling on purchases, etc, I was burnt out. I didn’t even want to take the time to go through and select one of their skins. So, knowing I had a skin already that had appliers, I started to get set up with that. Luckily, the lovely Lisanna from MoDanna was able to help me because I was grasping at straws. The shopping experience was enough of a mess, having to tp in and out of the sim over and over again just to get their shopping hud to rezz, and then constantly having to tp back and forth between the departments at The Shops sim, that I was already annoyed when I started unpacking everything only to find out that I needed two seperate huds for the modification and alpha-ing processes. You basically have to wear the Style hud all the time, then add your applier/installer huds from your skin shop click that and it’ll load the textures automatically into your style hud, then you have to switch between head, body, clothes, within the style hud to get to the section you want. The customizations continue from there… now, skipping through that, I managed to figure out how to activate the textures and then what happened? With both the head and body on and the textures applied for the skin, there is a large gap across the neck that does not get textured – period. You basically are forced to use one of their preset skin tones for that gap and you have to hope for the best in terms of blending your skin of choice to their preset skin tones. That factor alone makes me think they are trying to force you to purchase their skins in order to achieve a completely seamless look.
To make a long story short, there are only two things I really dislike about the overall experience. One, shopping. It’s unnecessarily difficult and confusing. As someone who has used mesh body parts for the better part of two years, as well as the Wommeh & Slink Physique, I am not new to huds/installers/appliers/add ons but the shopping experience made me feel like a complete idiot. I can’t imagine a newer SL player going into that situation and coming out with a positive experience. The second thing I dislike is the need for a ton of appliers/installers. To complete the look you are going to see in this post, I needed appliers for the face, the body and then, the eyebrows. Three separate appliers, for the same skin shop. Again, unnecessary in my opinion. If we could get all of that covered with just one applier, it’d make everyone’s lives easier.
Okay, phew. Now that all of that is out of the way, I want to share with you guys the things I do like about The Shops mesh head/body! This body is gorgeousssss. Unlike the Wowmeh & Slink Physique, I didn’t have to mod my shape at all to reach the desired look. It felt natural right off the bat which made me very happy. The only thing I had to modify was the size of my hand/feet – The Shops recommends between size 30 & 50, both are currently set to 36 now. Another thing I loved is the face. Oh, this face is gorgeous as well. The profile is just to die for and after everything is said and done, I’m quite happy with the end result. I ended up buying Fierce by accident, and was given the Moody, which is what I originally wanted, but after bouncing back and forth between the two heads and the Deetalez skin combo, I settled on Fierce. The hands and feet aren’t super epic to me because, like I mentioned earlier, they aren’t replaceable with Slink so all of my nails, nail polishes, tattoos, shoes, etc all become useless. But, if I ignore that factor, the overall shape and look of The Shops hand/feet is satisfactory. I have no real complaints about them.
I’m going to say, overall my review of this product is 6 out of 10. If it was Slink compatible, it likely would have been 7 out of 10. Now, for your viewing pleasure, I’ve added three completely unedited shots for you to reference. This way you can see the reasons why I really do enjoy the final look, but also why I’m only giving it a 6 out of 10. With that being all said and done, I want to thank The Shops for allowing me the chance to really review this product and for thinking of me in general for this assignment! Also, thanks to Micah and Lisanna for helping me through the shopping/setup chaos.
If you have these products and are need of help, don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll do my part to make it easier for you but also, don’t forget to visit The Shops website!
All right. I’m done. Enjoy darlings!