There is an inexplicable level of gratification that occurs from seeing a good makeover. Honestly, there’s something fascinating about any kind of transformation, whether it involves a house, a wardrobe, a person or even, a Barbie. When we discovered an entire world of Barbie makeovers, where one of our favorite things from childhood essentially has a baby with one of our fave things from adulthood, we were obsessed. We reached out Rafinha Silva, creator of the plastic influencers dubbed “The Royal Dolls,” to find out everything about his amazing work.
(image via Instagram)
I’M A BARBIE GIRL
Rafinha inspiration is the diversity of woman’s beauty, because the style possibilities are “endless,” he says. These are words to live by, especially if you’re in a rut. “My work is a reflection of the real woman, who can be whoever she wants, however she wants and whenever she wants,” he adds. Preach!
He began working with Barbie dolls in 2013, with Amy Winehouse in mind. Wanting to transform a Barbie into Amy, he decided he would begin customizing dolls and selling them on Etsy. Needless to say, the rest is history.
TINY HAIR TOOLS
Though everything Rafinha does is impressive, the teeny tiny hair tools are giving us feels. “The creation of the tools came from the need to be able to make curls with the correct diameter for the dolls,” says Rafina, who adds, “The industry still does not provide such small tools.” The best way to work around this was to create small modelers of curls, with the same efficiency of those at human scale.
Rafinha is a Barbie mane master, but he has never styled human hair or human length hair—while some dolls have human hair, most are made from synthetic yarns. “Each technique requests a type of hair. It will all depend on the effect you will want for your doll,” he explains.
BARBIE HAIR MAKEOVERS
His favorite thing about transforming the dolls is painting their faces—and it’s no surprise. Each doll is extraordinarily detailed. “I love eyelashes,” he comments, noting the eyebrows and eyelashes are his fave thing to create.
GIVING ROYAL DOLLS LIFE
The devil is in the details. When photographing the dolls, Rafinha advises to never use the camera’s flash. Like with all images, whether it’s a selfie or Barbie makeover, be aware of your lighting.
Ultimately, the dolls are created painstakingly and you can tell Rafinha gives his all every step of the way. “I love every part of my work, from the time the doll arrives in my breeding studio, until delivery. There are many stages that complete this path and many hours of work to give life to The Royal Dolls,” he tells us.