with Oil Paints
or Lip Colors

Everyone has their favorite tools. Lipcolor pencils are my favorite tools for blushing dolls, old or new.

I have several jars filled with all sorts of reds and pink pencils. True red is my favorite: it seems to be the most versatile color in my box. It works very well for vintage dolls as well as new dolls and reborns.

DURABLE. Lipliner wipes off of vinyl easily when it's fresh but it is durable color if allowed to "set." Because they are oil based pigments, it is necessary to allow them more time to dry. Oil paintings also take more time to dry, for example.

WORKABLE. Makeup colors are very workable because you can rub them into the vinyl and blend and shade them. On cheeks for example, I build up the color in the center and blend it out at the edges. I can actually work the color into the vinyl to some degree. Makeup is oil based and so is vinyl, so the two are very compatible.

BLENDING & CLEANING. I use our Plastic Cleaner when working with makeup colors on dolls. If I don't like what I see, then I wipe it off with plastic cleaner on a cotton pad, and start over. A little bit of plastic cleaner on my finger or cotton pad can help me to blend or spread the color on a doll if the color is being stubborn.

I do not use Acetone on my vinyl dolls because acetone does damage many plastic materials. I use plastic cleaner because it won't harm the doll eyes or the vinyl. (Plastic cleaner is available in the doll shop also.)

If you don't have plastic cleaner, you can use mineral oil on your fingertip to blend the makeup color or apply a little mineral oil to a cotton pad to wipe the color off and start over. Skin So Soft by Avon also works well because it is mostly mineral oil anyway. And it smells nice too.

Traditionally, SPIT has been the most popular way of blending makeup but since we live in an age that is concerned about diseases, I use plastic cleaner or oil now rather than ol' reliable spit. :)

REPAIRING OLD COLOR. Sometimes I am able to touch up the original cheek color without removing it. One of our Baby Face collectors discovered that you can smooth damaged cheek color by dipping your finger in non-acetone polish remover and rubbing the affected area. You can even smooth out chips in the face paint.

Or, I have also tried coloring in the center of a cheek rub and then rub it a bit with my finger. Sometimes this makes the cheek rub disappear, you can't see it. Doesn't work every time but when it does it's almost miraculous. So it's worth a try rather than removing the original color on a vintage doll.

REMOVING OLD COLOR. It may be necessary at times to remove the old cheek color if it is chipped or has gouges in the paint. I use non-acetone nail polish polish remover to remove damaged cheek color. Avoid using acetone on vinyl or plastics. Then replace the color using the lipliner pencils.

BLUSH THE BODY OF THE DOLL. I use lip crayons for blushing on the body. Crayons are softer and spread easier. Oil paints are also a good choice. Be sure to use gloves if you are working with the oil paints.

I rub the color on my fingers and then rub it into the doll. I use makeup sponge pads also, and plastic cleaner to blend and spread. It's fun to rub the color on the doll. She really does come to life as I apply color to the tops of the ears, across the fatty folds, the backs of the hands, the soles of the feet. It's amazing to see the vinyl spring to life under my hands. If I don't like what I've done, I use Plastic Cleaner to clean it off and then try again.

Less is more!! You don't want to blush the entire surface of the doll. Just go over the tops of folds and wrinkles. Stay in the center of the cheeks and toward the front of the face rather than the sides. Hit the high points. ...Makeup colors will soak in and spread out a bit, so you need to keep this in mind also.

Besides lipliner pencils, I also use pink stencil cream on dolls, but it is more opaque and doesn't work into the vinyl as much. I use stencil cream when I want to cover over a blemish or a cheek rub on a doll that was played with.

BLENDING & SHADING. I like to use several colors on Reborns. The doll's skintone looks better if you mix colors, rather than using the same color all over. For example, Cabernet makes a good undertone. You can brighten some areas with Fuschia highlights. Use your favorite colors to make your own unique look.

The results are not garish, in fact these colors are very subtle unless they are applied heavily (which I don't recommend.) Sometimes the best results are accomplished with understatements.

An artist does not use one color alone on his paintings. In the same way, the skin tone of the Berenguers does benefit from artistic blending.

It's important to have a dark red such as burgundy or cabernet. Brick red is terrific for AA blushing. Fuschia is lovely when used carefully for highlights. True Red is the all time favorite staple color... you definitely need a true red. I also like rose and mauve for mixing and blending.

Our Prussian Blue oil paint is very popular for blue undertones at the temples.

DRYING & CURING. As with all paints on vinyl, the lipcolors will soak in and take some time to dry and cure. Within two or three weeks you will notice that the colors brighten up a lot. After that they settle down and tone down as they dry and stabilize. Although the curing time may take many weeks, the doll can be handled during this time. The lipcolors do dry within a day or two.

Keep in mind that the colors will intensify somewhat after they are applied, so you may want to be cautious now, and touch up a bit later if you think more color is needed in some areas.

Disclaimer: The methods for making Reborn vinyl dolls are experimental. We try to offer the best materials that are available. Some of our selections are offered at customers' requests. We cannot make any guarantees or warrantees about results, partly because methods and results are in your hands. And, the long term affects of these colors on vinyl are not yet known. Therefore, use of these products is subject to your own discretion and your own risk.

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