Eyelashes are optional on the Reborn dolls. The dolls look ok without them and unless you can achieve a "barely there" appearance, the eyelashes can very easily look overdone. Baby Face Sherri (above) looks glamorous with her long dramatic lashes, but Baby Berenguer could end up looking like Baby Tammy Faye.

My dolls have usually had at least one and maybe two very good baths before I start working on the lashes, and I apply
Vinylex or 303 Protectant to restore the vinyl finish -- so I do that as well before I apply lashes because the sealer might affect the new lashes too. I style the hair and I make the clothes and then, the lashes are the last thing I do. This is because they are so important to the appearance of the doll and I don't want the lashes messed up at all once I've installed them.

SELECT A LASH. For Reborn infants, select a lash that is not very full. If your doll has fair hair, then you need a lash that is not very dark. Light brown or blonde lashes are good if you can find them.

Hold the replacement lash up to the eye and trim off the excess length. Using my
specially selected lashes from my doll shop, I prefer to cut off the end that has longer lashes and leave the shorter side to apply to the inside of the doll’s eyelid. This makes a nice, natural graduated curve in the lashes.

Then, use rubber cement or a white craft glue such as Elmer's Glue-All to apply a thin bead of glue along the edge of the eyelash. Do NOT use superglue or model glue on Baby Face dolls because these glues will damage the doll’s acrylic eye. Elmer's All Purpose glue is not the wimpy School Glue for kids;, it is stronger than that.

I use a very small paintbrush to apply the glue to the lash edge. I have some good
brushes in the smallest sizes. They are a lot smaller than a nail polish brush. I use them for many things when working on my dolls.

Then I push the eyelash into place. I use an exacto style hobby knife to do the final positioning and push the lash into the crevice where eyeball meets eyelid. Fingers are too clumsy... I think the hobby knife makes it very easy to position the lash exactly where I want it. Dental tools are very nice for working in small places, also.

I use damp q-tips to clean the eye while I'm working on the lashes. Just dip the q-tip in water and squeeze it out. Then it's good for cleanup. Clean up the eye while the glue is still fresh but don't get any water near the lash. Just clean up the middle of the eye as needed.

Then I let the doll sit for a few hours until totally dry and then I
trim the lashes a bit because they tend to be a tad too long. I also use a damp q-tip to clean any glue residue off the colored lens of the eyes so they will be shiny again.

In working with the human hair lashes, it's obvious that they are more durable and hold their shape better than the synthetic lashes that the Baby Face dolls came with. The original Baby Face lashes get ruined fairly easily. Just touching them or rubbing at them will make them become twisted forever. It's nice to know we have options for replacement!

Beauty supply lashes do hold up very well. However, if the doll gets soaked they may go limp and lifeless. You will probably need to give the doll new lashes again if she gets soaking wet.


INSET LASHES. Some reborn artists use a hobby knife to slice the vinyl eyelid of the doll, and then insert the lashes into the slice.

GIVE YOUR DOLL ROOTED LASHES. You can use Felting Needles to root eyelashes into the vinyl. See the page on Rooting for instructions. I have not tried this for eyelashes yet. I've only heard about it. That link gives instructions on how to use Felting Needles for rooting doll hair. You will want to select a 38 gauge or 40 gauge felting needle if you are rooting the eyelashes.

Copyright (c) 2002, 2012 Cynthia Stevens All Rights Reserved