Body Toning and Blushing

To blush/tone you need:

  • Sandpaper (700-800 grit)
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Craft blade
  • Pastels

Toning can be done on any hard plastic body that is 'close' but does not quite match to make it match perfectly

Blushing can be done on any hard plastic body to make the body look more realistic.

To do both, first you have to sand down the body as instructed in my body matteing tutorial. Cleanse the body with rubbing alcohol.

To Tone:

First you have to decide exactly what it is that you need to change. The example I will show at the end of this tutorial is Nahh-ahto with a Obitsu coconut body. The obitsu body was about the right shade, but too red. I needed a more neutral brown. How do you get that? By adding brown, right?

Nope. Adding brown will only give you a darker red brown. To cut red, you add green. Green is the opposite of red on a color wheel, and will neutralize the effect of red. Here's a quick chart:


This is why some concealers in the makeup aisle are blue or green and not fleshtone.

If you haven't shaved a pastel before, place the blade at a 90 degree right angle to the edge of the pastel and stroke it against the edge. A small amount of fine powder will come off. You do not apply this to the body directly, but you put together a mix on a piece of paper that you will blend first.

The first color to go in my mix was lime green to counter the red. But sanding the body lightened it up a bit, which made it too light. I needed to darken it, so I added a nice neutral chocolate color. Unfortunately, chocolate is way darker than I wanted, so I needed to lighten it up. I added a liberal amount of white into the mix. Stirred with a toothpick, it was all ready. I applied it by dipping my finger into the mix and rubbing down the body. This grinds the pastel into prepped surface very well, and it shouldn't come off. There is a saturation point, so if you just dip your finger and rub all over the body, it will come out evenly once it hits saturation.

The bottom body wearing the swimsuit is the toned body. It's obviously a different color from the orangey 'original' body above it, and it matches my customized Nahh-ahto perfectly in all lighting. I've used a similar recipe for a non-sanded Nahh-ahto, which was essentially the same, but with slightly less white and slightly more dark brown.

Another common matching problem is the girls between Pale and Natural in replacement bodies. Eternia, Papin, Latte, Nina, etc. I recently got a Papin, and she matches neither natural nor pale, but she's slightly closer to natural. She's nothing remotely close to an Obitsu, but a lighter, more neutral toned volks natural might do. For the Papin project I neutralized the slightly more orange tone with a little bit of sky blue, with about a 90% base of white, and a couple of light shavings of lime green (since she's slightly yellow). Sanded, rubbed, and blushed her lightly with some pink in the same color as her cheeks.

Here's Papin posed next to a spare body in the same color her body originally was. Big difference! But now she has a nice perfectly matching body with curves and articulation. You can tweak this recipe to work for all the 'in between' girls with a little more of one color or a little less of another, following my color neutralization chart above.

Toning is limited. It will do best with the closest matches, but all bodies can be modified to match at least a little bit better with toning.

To Blush

Blushing requires the same first steps as toning. It will be applied with a small round-tipped brush for precision, and you'll only be doing certain areas. You can do this on any hard-bodied doll, but for the sake of this experiment, we're going to show an obitsu white body that I had previously toned to lighten and remove the pink undertones.

The body is still slightly pink, and the flash brings this out. So if I use any kind of pink in my blushing, the body will go back to really not matching the head at all. My solution? To use the same golden peach tone I used to richen her stock makeup.

Grind the pastel, and dip the brush tip. Apply to the contours of the body, under the breasts, around the collarbone, under the arms on the torso side and all along the inside of the arms and legs, behind the knees, and blend.

This is the end result. She looks a bit more 'real', and as an added bonus she even matches her head better now that the same color blush contours her body as well as her face. If you want, you can do a light spray over the body with an aerosol matte sealant as the brush doesn't work the pastel in as well.