When I was in the UK, Dee very kindly took me to Toys R Us after the Chat n Snap and before we went for our lovely Italian meal. I wanted to have a look at the play dolls called Journey Girls which are exclusive to them. Although the Stevenage Toys R Us didn't have a very big selection (I understand this is not uncommon in the UK, compared to the US stores who have loads of dolls and outfits available), I decided to get a tanned skin Kyla because I'd been looking at her on the internet. At £30 each, I thought this doll was a good candidate for a 'makeover' because as I've mentioned previously here in my blog, I really do enjoy customising dolls.
I won't do a box opening because I left all the packaging in the UK, but will just show you the dolls face before and afterwards. I had thought about removing her eyes before working on her, not to replace the eyes, because I wanted to keep them as they are pretty, but to make it easier using the sealant on her face, but having discussed it with the owner of Journey Girl Adventures Blogspot
I decided to leave the eyes in place and just cover them. This made attaching new eyelashes a bit more of a challenge but I was able to do it in the end!
Journey Girls are about 18 inches tall and are made of vinyl except for their waist, hips and bottom area which is made of cloth. They have the usual 5 points of articulation and the head can be moved up and down slightly. Their hair is rooted and in the case of my doll is very soft and silky. I like that the doll has a vinyl chest plate, she looks so much nicer in strappy tops and anything that has a slightly lower neckline. If there's one thing I really cannot stand and that is where a soft bodied doll has an outfit that shows their cloth body!
So here are some before photos. The first photos show her as she came, you can see that she is already a pretty little thing! Her lips were quite 'solid' and dark, a sort of dark plummy colour. I didn't think they looked horrible but I just wanted a different colour with more definition.
Here you can see a close up of her lips:
I also wanted to do something with her eyebrows which were very simply done, with thin 'hairs' going in one direction and very sparsely drawn. Also her eyelashes were the stiff plasticy ones that a lot of play dolls come with. I decided they needed to go too. I like her eyes, they are acrylic but are very detailed and a pretty colour which really suits her:
I wanted to keep her eyebrows in the same position so decided to enhance them rather than start from scratch. Here she is with her eyelashes and her lip paint removed:
As you can see she has tiny bottom lashes and, as well as the plasticy lashes that I'd removed, she has some painted on upper lashes too.
Before using any sealant I covered her hair with a plastic bag to protect it and then put some masking tape over her eyes. If the sealant were to go on the acrylic eyes it would make them very dull, which I didn't want!
I intended taking photos as I went along but as luck would have it, a friend of ours arrived and I forgot! So I will tell you what I did and show the final results.
After spraying the dolls face with a thin layer of sealant, (I like to use Mr Super Clear Flat but be sure to always use in a very well ventilated area.....I only ever use mine outside) I used a deep brown artist quality chalk pastel and a thin brush and filled in the eyebrows with shading. I wanted them to look denser, like real eyebrows. Normally at this stage I would spray again with sealant but I wanted to keep the layers to a minimum as the sealant can make the darker vinyl look paler and I didn't want to risk that. So then, taking a very sharp watercolour pencil, I added extra eyelashes, drawing the fine lines in a different direction to the existing eyebrows.
Then using a black watercolour pencil, I added more bottom eyelashes (I am actually going to add some more tomorrow but took the 'after' photos prematurely!).
I used finely shaved chalk pastels to shade the lips, I used several shades of reds and pink and built the colour up in layers. I added a little bit of white to the middle of the top and bottom lips. I then added fine lines in white watercolour pencil, these are supposed to replicate the lines in human lips! ;) I dusted the lips again with rosy shades just to soften the pencil lines. I didn't want them to look too 'obvious'.
After I was happy with the lips I blushed her face, again using fine chalk pastels. I used a flat but wide brush and did the usual places, chin, bridge of nose, forehead, temples, around the nostrils (just a little, you don't want your doll to look like she has a cold) and finally the cheeks.
Once I was happy with the depth of shading and blush, I sealed it all again.
And finally I added human false eyelashes. One human eyelash strip will do the two eyes, you just fold it in half length wise and cut in half. I used Ailene's Tacky Glue and used the tiniest bit on the innermost edge of the upper lids, let the glue go slightly tacky and then apply the lashes with a cocktail stick. Any glue that got on the acrylic eyes was easily wiped away with a cotton bud.
And here is the end result, I hope you like how she looks! She is wearing a Gotz outfit that I got on Ebay last year. I think it suits her. Her sandals are her default ones, I didn't have shoes that both fitted her AND went with her outfit! (The lines you see on her face in some of my photos are just shadows from the fence, which unfortunately were unavoidable when the sun was low in the sky this evening, but I thought I'd use them regardless!)
I hope you've enjoyed seeing Kyla getting her makeover. She was fun to do and I'm happy with how she has turned out!
I hope you all have a lovely weekend, thank you for visiting!