Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Doll Eyes Debacle

Lately, I have been having issues with Coco's eyes, so after a rampage of researching doll eyes with their quality, characteristics and prices, I decided to make this post and rant a lot, and ask for more opinions.

Allow me to fist explain the situation. The main problem is that Coco has half open eyes, so her upper eyelids are slightly closed. I have never wanted to mod her face, I love how expressive that type of eyelid can be, but it leads to the following issues regarding which type of eyes she can wear:
  • The eyes must be lower dome, or otherwise will get pushed backwards generating gap. This also makes the eyes looks extremely dark.
  • The outer diameter (or sclera must be big), preferably 12mm, but...
  • ...the iris must be smaller! Like one of a 10mm eyes! This is because 1) I prefer smaller irises, and 2) otherwise her eyes loose all white and look weird and unexpressive.
Before knowing all this, I bough 10mm regular glass eyes for her that looked terrible and dark. After that, still in 2013, I researched a lot about eyes, and decided to purchase Eyeco eyes, that are made of silicone and met all the requirements listed above. Her current eyes are 11mm Eyeco Dreamy, and are the ones she currently wears. I have been always OK with the 'perks' of silicone eyes, and have regularly cleaned because they gather dust like crazy!

However, the thing is that lately and whenever I photograph her, the irises looks dull and lack brightness, and the sclera tends to look rosy/pink, instead of white. Plus, I have noticed they gap anyways, and I dislike eye-gaps on my own dolls so much! Don't get me wrong, I love Eyeco eyes, but I don't know if this pair is old or what.

With this, I thought, why not research more about doll eyes? After all, two years have passed since my last 'eyes research' and new brands may have come out!

Mako Eyes:

So,my first stop were the popular Mako Eyes, which are urethane eyes, and according to their site and common knowledge, they have smaller irises. I remember checking on the site, and find a table with the sclera/irises sizes that I compared to the Eyecos.

I really love this eyes, plus they are in-stock and the price is reachable (unreachable to me are those $130+ eyes I've seen on Tumblr second hand), but (there is always a but) after asking people that had Makos, they told me that the dome is still a little high, and... oh well, that almost lefts Makos out.

Enchanted Doll Eyes:

This was a quick stop, to be honest. The shop is here, and as far as I know, they have regular glass-eyes proportions (although they are urethanes) and for the smaller sizes only high dome is available, so... no. I have also read some people saying that ED eyes are somewhat dark, but since I have never seen urethane eyes in person, I cannot say for sure.

Dollbakery Eyes:

Then, frustrated, I went to Dollaholics and asked about eyes, and was told to look for DollBakery Eyes. And then, I was doomed. These seem to be handmade urethane eyes made by a USA-based artist, that -besides having a huge color chart (although not as big as Mako's)- she also makes custom sizes. The basic price is around $55, so it falls on the reachable category xD

I was ecstatic! I sadly found a Group Order on DoA that has just finished, and were grouping to buy the exact eyes-size I need: 12mm sclera, with iris of 10mm eyes (that is 5mm irises) and lower dome! And I had enough Paypal balance to get a pair!! And the GO had just closed. *insert desperate crying here*.

Anyways, I went ahead and stalked the whole DollBakery site, checking for colors I would like. For Coco, I was between Frozen and Denim (click link to go to salespage) but I believe Denim is more close to what she currently has, and I really like the darker rim (all pics belong to DollBakery!):

Then I started thinking that this size (12mm with small iris, and low dome) will also fit Merry perfectly and avoid the gap she has! Also, if you see the listings there is a 10mm-SI (small iris) listed, too, and if that may also fit Cookie which uses regular 8mm eyes that also gap a lot! Yes, I have an doll eyes issue, and a gaping issue too. So, window-shopping, I have liked Silver-Fox, Silver or Storm (links go to the sales pages again!).

Silver-Fox is lovely, but I have half-eyes, and they are hard to make look nice. On the other hand, I believe Silver looks too matte, and Storm has a metallic/blueish undertone. I think that Silver-Fox would look nice on Cookie and Silver on Merry, or I could simply get two pairs of Silver or Storm for both of them xD

In any case, I really hope to be able to jump in the next GO on DoA for this eyes, and get the pair for Coco, since I have had some really good feedback for DollBakery from some Iplehouse owners. If I get Coco's pairs, I will see if I like them and go from there. Will see. If you have any ideas or suggestions let me know!

What type of eyes do you use? Have you ever seen urethane eyes in person?


  1. Hmm...I know your frustrations. I have some half open eyed dolls, and they can not wear anything with high dome.
    I've just gotten some Oscar Doll eyes - urethane - and they do not have nearly as much dome as glass eyes. So I think you should maybe still consider Mako. If you are lucky, you might be able to get a pair for cheap on DoA or such, and see how they fit? :)
    For me, the limitations of ordering from Dollbakery sadly makes them a no go brand for me, but they sure make super cool eyes. I like your choices ^^

    1. Yup, that is the trouble I have. I know about Oscar Doll Eyes, but I originally wanted their Mirror Eyes for my tinies (since they are fairies it would look amazing on them!) but never bothered to know they also had a regular urethane line.
      The thing that Mako I forgot to write down, is that the iris size for the 12mm is still 1mm larger than Eyecos, so I don't know.
      It is true that DollBakery has too many limitations, but I really liked them!

  2. I think Makoeyes have a quite low dome D: Most of my dolls require low dome eyes and that leaves out many eye companies, but Makoeyes are my favorites and work well for Soom and Iplehouse dolls. Their eyes are often darker in person than in the promo photos, so I'd suggest going for the lightest possible shades, especially with small sizes. I'm personally not a fan of Enchanted Doll eyes and don't think that they're worth the money... Maybe it's because most of my dolls have 12-14mm eyes and Enchanted Doll eyes look better in 16-18mm+ size? Doll Bakery eyes interest me, but I haven't seen them in person and don't know if I want to take the risk of getting a pair I don't like.

    My Withdoll Angela actually has just cheap acrylic eyes from Ebay :'D I feel like 12mm is too big for her, so I bought 10mm eyes from here. They're pretty cool for acrylic eyes and catch light well, so even though the doll has small eyes, you can still see that she actually has eyes hahah. There are many pretty sparkling shades available and the price is great, I do recommend trying them out. I have photos of my girl here :) I can try some 12mm Makoeyes on her too and take photos if you'd like?

    1. What you say about Makos is really interesting. I have also read that they tend to be darker in person, so I don't know. However, I read the same you are saying regarding Enchanted Doll Eyes: that they look better in bigger sizes, and all I need are such small sizes! But due to the package limit, I can't buy them to try them and sell them to get another pair on the same year =S
      I have tested 12mm acrylics on Coco but they were huge!! It is so kind of you to offer to take pics of your girl for me! I say yes, please!! I would love to see her with the Makos, so I can see them on a more familiar sculpt.

    2. Hi dear! ^.^ Sorry that it took a while on the pictures, I had work shifts on the weekend >.< But here we go~

      First, here is a photo of the two eyes together (top: 12mm Makoeyes in CaPa-016, bottom: 10mm glitter acrylics from Ebay)
      The Mako pair is an older style, but I got it after they changed the way of making their eyes, in case that matters :3

      Comparison of the domes.
      Mako may look high here, but I find they still work really nicely for dolls that have romantic / half-closed eyes :3

      Lisanna with her own acrylic eyes.
      I love the glitter in these, though after taking these photos for you and trying out Makos for her, I did start to think about getting a Mako pair for her XD When I got her Mako didn't have their newer styles (like Amaryllis) which have some glitter in them, so I didn't even consider getting Makos since I wanted glitter lol... But now things are different!

      Lisanna with the Makoeyes.
      Capricornus A is one of the styles that don't really have any pattern in them, but these are really bright and catch light prettily :3

      And finally, both of the eyes on her for comparison :D

      Hope you found these helpful! I have many pairs of Makoeyes (most of them in 12mm), so if there's some specific color you've been looking for Coco, I'd be happy to help more and check if any of mine would be close to that, then I could take more photos for you :) I don't know if you've checked the Makoeyes thread on Den of Angels, but it's a great place to see owner pictures of the eyes, to help with your decision! And there are also threads for many other eye brands, you might find browsing them useful.

    3. Don't worry about the delay, and thank you so much!! I really appreciate the comparative pictures!

      The domes doesn't look that high, but are indeed higher than Eyeco's. Lisanna looks gorgeous with the Makos, and also I believe that the iris is really small compared to acrylics! Those may work, indeed.

      I didn't knew Mako had changed their production style, but the eyes are really gorgeous and don't look that dark either. Mmmm, this is troubling xD

      Thank you again for all the info and comparisons! I will see if there is any color I really like from Mako Eyes' site! And will also check the thread on DoA, those are always so useful!

  3. I'm trying to change all my dolls' eyes to urethane. I'm a big fan of ED, but I don't know a lot about domes tbh. It's never been an issue for me. D: So sorry, I can offer no help in this matter.
    Currently I'm waiting for a second hand pair of Dollshe eyes for Annabelle (SID Marien). Her eye size was listed as 10-12mm, and I bought 12mm, because that's what I found, so I'm hoping they'll fit. >_<
    I hope you'll be able to get those Dollbakery eyes and that they'll fit your dolls wonderfully!

    1. I know a lot of people are fan of ED eyes, and they are gorgeous! I also found Ving eyes, but the price was on my unreachable category xD I willr esearch about Dollshe eyes, too!
      Thanks for the good vibes, too!!

  4. This was honestly amazing to read! I'm sorry that I can't add much, as I need to do my own eye research, but this was helpful! I currently haven't spent more than 5$ on eyes, but I have come across some of the same issues. Mainly, the darkness they they can have.

    1. Glad it helped somehow!
      Yes, eyes are a whole topic! Currently my most expensive are the Eyeco (like $15 the pair, I believe?) but oh well. Time to improve Coco!

  5. I also made an urethane comparison post in my blog: Sadly my usual eye-size is 14mm so all of my notes don't apply to your needs but there are some pointers between Makos, EDs and Dollbakerys. Out of the three I do prefer Dollbakery, but Makos might work for you as well. You know you can add youself to DBs email list and receive info when she opens up preorders again so you don't have to stalk DoA.

    1. Hi there, thank you so much for giving me that link! *rushes to read it*
      I'm also between Makos and DB. I'm registered on DB email list, but since I want a custom size, I may have to wait for another GO, too. I really hope I can get those eyes!
      And thank you again!