Artist Olga Kamenetskaya transforms overly made-up dolls into realistic figures that represent beauty in “flaws.” She wipes the exaggerated eyeliner, blush, and eyeshadow off their faces, creating a literal clean slate for their stunning metamorphosis. Kamenetskaya then tweaks their proportions—like drawing smaller eyes—and breathes new life into them with delicate strokes of a paintbrush. When complete, they have freckles and wrinkles just like the rest of us.
Kamenetskaya is so adept at doll repainting that viewers find the figurines’ lifelike features uncanny. “Some people are scared by the realism of my dolls,” she explained. “They find them terrifying.” But, there are those who admire this aesthetic and praise her work for its ability to imbue humanity into inanimate objects.
Kamenetskaya is relatively mum about her exact process, but she does reveal the starting points of her dolls; most are Ever After High and Monster High dolls, with some Barbies, too. Using skills she learned in makeup classes, Kamenetskaya never forgets to include the characteristics that make a human—our imperfections. “I don’t like when the new face of the doll is ideal and perfectly symmetrical, it makes it lifeless,” she said. “I always deliberately leave some flaw that may not be noticeable to everyone, but [gives] the doll invisible charisma. Perhaps, this flawed beauty is the message that my dolls carry.”
In addition to her doll repainting, Kamenetskaya also designs and sews garments for the modified figurines, sharing her impressive before-and-afters on Instagram. She then sells her one-of-a-kind pieces on Etsy.