Catwa tutorials Tutorials

Catwa HD Lips Tutorial

Yes, mate?
This is a blog for blokes…
Uh-huh. Sure is.
Lipstick tutorials?
Quitcher bitchin’. Some of us blokes wear the stuff. And you might, too, if I can gently persuade Catwa to create male HD lips that look as awesome as the female ones do.

OK, yeah. This one’s primarily going to be read by the ladies; I’m well aware of that. But many of the pretty boys out there wear Maitreya Lara with the V-Tech flat chest add-on, together with female heads, and the Catwa HD Lips are so. damn. gorgeous. that I wanted to write a tutorial for them. Because, y’know, they do stuff and people have questions about that stuff.

Where to find the Catwa HD Lips

Each Catwa female Bento head has its own unpackable bag of HD lips inside its folder, fitted precisely for that particular head. (If you have Catya then you’ll have Catya-fitted lips. Got Margeaux? You’ll have Margeaux-fitted lips.) If you’re not seeing them in your head’s folder, then it’s time to update. The HD lips were put into those folders as of yesterday (December 28th 2019) and the heads are now on v4.5. To update, go to the Catwa store, click the redelivery terminal (they’re at the landing point and dotted throughout the store, and they look like this), redeliver your original purchase, unpack it, and the update will be inside.

Want to know how to switch your look from an old version to a new version of your Catwa head, seamlessly and painlessly? Follow the instructions in this video. They will work on any Catwa Bento head—male or female—as long as your ‘old version’ is v3.0 or higher.

When you unpack the lips you’ll find these contents inside:

Contents of the HD lips bag for the Susan head.

How to wear them

You will have noticed (I hope!) when you unpacked the HD lips that a special instruction appeared on the screen. If you didn’t read it when you unpacked them, I’m going to put it here now:

Make sure that you have Advanced Lighting enabled!

You must have Advanced Lighting enabled in your viewer’s graphics preferences in order to see and work with the HD lips. One of the questions we’re most often asked in the Catwa support group about the HD Lips is, “Why do they keep vanishing?” – and the answer is always, “Because you don’t have Advanced Lighting enabled”.

Once you’ve got Advanced Lighting set up, we can move on to using them.

The HD lips are a mesh add-on, so right-click them in your inventory and select ‘add’. Next, add the HD Lip HUD so you can start working with those beauties.

The HD Lip HUD contains a ton of lipstick presets for you to try. Just click one and it will apply to the lips:

Using the HD Lip applier HUD

You can also use the tinting option on the HUD to add other shades to the presets:

Tinting with the HD Lip applier HUD

You can use the blend slider to fade the colour slightly:

Blending using the HD Lip HUD

You might think that’s about it, but nope. There’s more to it than just that. But before we get into the other things I need to show you something that’s critically important, and that’s where the lips sit on your Catwa head.

(Yeah, I know. On your mouth. Smartarse…)

This next bit’s important, so pay attention!

Catwa Bento heads comprise three total layers: skin, lower, and upper. And the HD lips sit exactly on the lower layer. This means that—in order for there not to be alpha-glitching between the HD lips and that lower layer’s lips—the HD lips will automatically push the blend slider for your head’s lower lipstick layer to the right, which makes it invisible. We’ll get to why that’s important later in the post. For now, here’s a quick video showing you why that needs to happen. This is what the alpha glitch looks like if the head’s lower lip layer is not set to invisible:

What the alpha glitch looks like if you try to show the head’s lower lip layer.

I’m moving the lower lipstick layer’s blend slider on the Master HUD in that video, to show you what happens when it’s not set to invisible. Note the flickering and blotching. Looks horrible, doesn’t it? That’s why the HD lips will automatically move that slider for you, even if you’re not actually wearing the Master HUD.

If you try to show the head’s lower layer then you’ll see a popup warning similar to this:

If you’ve tried the HD lips, then taken them off and had a very specific lipstick applier issue thereafter, that bit about the lower lipstick slider miiiight just be making you go “Hmmm…” but we’ll get to that point in a minute ;-)

My normal lipstick appliers don’t work on these HD lips, Skell!

Nope, they won’t. You need specific HD lip appliers for these. Catwa has given you a HUD with a great many of them already included—right there in the folder with the lips. She also has five additional sets that you can purchase at the inworld store and here on Marketplace:

HD Lip appliers available to buy at the Catwa store

Many more can be found on Marketplace and inworld. I’m very fond of some of the HD lip appliers by Andore (including some available at the inworld store as group gifts). The HD lip HUD included in your folder has four tabs with multiple save slots, so you can save all of your additional purchases onto a single HUD if you want to.


A word of warning: Do be careful when shopping for HD lip appliers on Marketplace. I’ve noticed that there is at least one creator who is using lip art photos from Pinterest boards and turning them into HD lip appliers. Always read the reviews on these (if reviews exist) since one or two that I’ve seen have noted that the textures look blurry—as well they might, since those textures are JPGs saved from Pinterest!

Using your Master HUD alongside the HD Lips

In addition to the tint and blend options on your HD lip HUD you can also use the Catwa Master HUD to apply tints, gloss, and even other lipsticks on top of the HD lips!

There is a caveat to this, though. If you’ve been following this post carefully you’ll remember that bit about the lower layer of your head’s lipstick layer being rendered invisible by the HD lips, right? Yep, this means you can only use the upper layer option on your Master HUD to add these extra lipsticks and glosses.

To add another lipstick (or a lip tattoo) you need to have already saved it to the Catwa Master HUD. I’ll give a quick bonus tutorial for doing that at the end of this post, but for now I’m going to use this lovely free wearable ‘babygoth’ tester from Alaskametro to add an extra layer over the top of my Catwa HD lips.

First of all, apply the HD lip applier that you want on the lips themselves. I’ve applied a blue HD lip applier from the Catwa HD lip HUD:

I’m now switching to my Catwa Master HUD, where I’ve already saved the babygoth lip applier to the lipstick tab. I’m going to check the ‘upper’ box in that section (which will switch onto the upper layer of my Catwa Bento head any appliers that I now add from that lipstick section) and I’m going to click the saved babygoth applier:

Applying a saved lipstick on the upper layer of the Master HUD, over the HD lips

That looks great as it is (not quite perfect along the upper lip, mind you, but that’s down to the applier lipstick being a little bit lower than the HD lip), but what if I don’t want the lips to be that dark? What if I want to fade them a bit so that the whole thing is a darker shade of blue? I can do that by grabbing the slider on the Master HUD and pulling it to the right, which will make the upper layer more transparent. That leaves the dark babygoth overlay intact, but fades it a bit so that the underlying blue HD lip shows through more and makes the babygoth applier look blue instead of black:

Blending the applied upper layer lipstick on the Master HUD, over the HD lips

Now, how about adding some gloss to that?

Let’s add some gloss to that blue HD lip/babygoth overlay combination. I’m going into the 2nd tab on my Master HUD now. This is what I call the ‘workhorse tab’, since it’s where I do a lot of my customisation. It’s a great tab to play around in and see what you can do with it.

The Materials section highlighted below is where you can add some gloss:

You’ll first need to click the lip icon. This is split into two halves—an upper and a lower—that correlate with the upper and lower layers on the head. Since we can’t use the lower layer (remember: the HD lips have rendered that invisible!) we’re going to click the top half of the icon, which corresponds to the head’s upper layer. The glossiness slider beneath it now lights up and we can start shifting it upwards to add some shine to the upper layer of the head’s lips.

Applying shine to the upper layer of the Master HUD, over the HD lips

Note: You might not see much of the shine visibly if you’re not standing near any local lights (or wearing some kind of facelight). I’m wearing a faint projected light in the video above and I’ve changed my Windlight, to show you the shine. It’s not very visible here, but you can just make it out.

OK, I tried the HD lips but now I’ve taken them off and none of my normal lip appliers work!

This is the question we get asked the most in the Catwa support group about the HD lips.

Remember when—earlier in this post—I said ‘If you’ve tried the HD lips, then taken them off and had a very specific lipstick applier issue thereafter, that bit about the lower lipstick slider miiiight just be making you go “Hmmm…” but we’ll get to that point in a minute’? Well we’ve now reached that minute.

The HD lips—as you will recall (because I’ve bashed you over the head with it enough times by now!)—render the lower layer of your head’s lips invisible. They have to do that in order to avoid that blotchy glitching shown in the earlier short video. And since all non-HD lip appliers will—by default—go onto the lower lipstick layer, none of them are going to show up if that layer is invisible, right?

The fix for this is very simple. If you’re not already wearing it, add your Catwa Master HUD and go into the lips tab. Make sure you have the ‘lower’ button checked/ticked for the lipstick section, and drag that blend slider all the way to the left again. Voila! Your non-HD lipsticks will now show up :-)

If it’s already showing as all the way on the left, just grab it and slide it to the right and then back to the left.

I bought some HD lip appliers for Catwa and they don’t work on these HD Lips!

Before you purchase any new ‘HD lipsticks’ that are listed as compatible with Catwa heads, always check that they are not listed as ‘HDPRO’ and that they don’t have this logo on the ad:

The Catwa HDPRO logo. You may see this on an ad as white on dark grey (as shown here) or white on the ad’s background image.

Recently, Catwa began releasing a new range of advanced Bento mesh heads called HDPRO. These heads feature built-in HD lips, but appliers made for those lips are not backwards compatible, so they will not work on the older HD Lips add-ons that come with the Catwa Bento heads released before HDPRO.

Bonus Tutorial: Saving lipstick to the Master HUD

As promised earlier when I explained about layering additional lipstick over the HD lips, here is a quick tutorial showing how to save ordinary, non-HD lipsticks to the Master HUD. The same principle lies behind saving anything to the Master HUD if you want to layer it on the upper layer.

First, make sure you’re not wearing the HD lips, and that your lower lipstick layer blend slider is all the way to the left (as shown in the image above).

Next, apply your lipstick. If it offers you the option to apply to ‘lower’ or ‘upper’ choose ‘lower’.

Saving the applier to the Master HUD

Once it’s applied, go into the lips section of your Master HUD, find a blank spot with the word ’empty’ above it, and click the little ‘save’ button beneath it:

I should probably have chosen a colour other than green for that annotation, but at least it’s obvious, right? Ouch…

You may or may not see an icon appear in the ‘Empty’ box above it, but even if you don’t see that, the word ‘Empty’ will disappear. Whether you see an icon or a coloured box or nothing is entirely down to the creator of your applier and whether they scripted it to have a special icon or not. Sorry, but there is no way to add your own icon if one doesn’t exist!

Applying the saved applier from the Master HUD

To apply this saved lipstick (or whatever else you’ve saved!) to the head, you need to go into the relevant tab and check the relevant box (upper or lower), depending on which layer of the head you want to apply it to. Usually you will only need to save things that you want to apply to the upper layer, so check/tick that option, then click the box above the ‘save’ button that you clicked:

Note to self: Skell, pink and green should not be seen… >.<

So, Skell…

Yes, mate?
About those HD lips for guys…

Heh. I keep oh-so-gently giving Catwa a little nudge to get HD lips created for her male Bento heads, because it’s not just lipstick that they can be used for.

The ‘HD’ in the name stands for ‘high definition’, and the textures are exactly that. Sure, I’d love to see a few actual male-fitted lipsticks—some jet black for the goths, a bright red and a dark red for Gaga’s Little Monsters, a hot pink for the drag queens—but what about some high definition non-lipstick textures in various natural tones? Maybe a slightly chapped version for those wintry regions in SL? Small scars? A bitten version? High-def lip tattoos?

There are so many possibilities, and I think Catwa has it somewhere on her (very long!) to-do list, so hopefully us guys will see some HD lips at some point.

Bonus bonus!

Got more appliers that you want to save than you have available slots on your Master HUD? Go to the Catwa store, into the gift room, and pick up the free Extra Save Slot HUDs. They’re copiable, and some of them contain a load of bonus free appliers:

The free extra save slots HUD gifts. Sets available for both Bento and non-Bento heads. Make sure you pick up the right ones!

Got more tints that you want to save, and the six save slots on your Master HUD aren’t enough? Back to the Catwa gift room with you, and pick up the new, free tint gift HUD. Let me know if you manage to fill all of those slots, because even I would struggle to do that. (The ad image doesn’t show all the available slots.)

The free extra tint save slot gift. The ad image doesn’t show all of the available slots. There are actually 210 in the main panel, and six in the smaller tinting panel

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