mannequin [mánnikin] n. [Mid-18th century. Via French from Dutch manneken]
Clothes dummy for displaying clothes: a usually life-size model of the human body used to display or fit clothes. Also called manikin
Mannequins are all around us in everyday life: in shops, on the Internet, on television, and even in the movies. They are used to display clothes, jewellery, wigs, sporting goods, etc. and come in a variety of poses and degrees of realism, from highly realistic to featureless or abstract. For the most part they are overlooked, which is a shame as they can be beautiful works of art in their own right. Some of the top mannequin manufacturers actually sculpt their mannequins directly from real people. However, even the best mannequins still look like... mannequins.
Just to eliminate any possible misunderstanding, Mannequin Makeovers does not make mannequins. There's no shortage of mannequins already in existence with beautiful sculpts and poses, but there's a complete lack of mannequins that actually look lifelike. That's where Mannequin Makeovers comes in. By taking a mannequin with a good sculpt, accurate features and nice pose, and giving it a complete makeover, the result is a mannequin that looks realistic, lifelike, and more beautiful than ever.
The makeover process usually includes inserting good quality glass eyes (although I sometimes paint the eyes, particularly if it's the customer's preference). I usually give the mannequins sculpted nipples, to add to the overall realism. The next stage is to apply a realistic skin colour, ranging from natural to deep suntan or African-American, using a special paint mix that is durable, dirt and water resistant, and with a very realistic matt finish. A small pot of the skin colour paint is provided with each mannequin, in case of any small scratches that may occur during usage.
The next stage is applying the makeup, using a combination of acrylic and oil paints, as well as adding facial shading and contouring (I even drill out and paint the inside of the nostrils).
For the finishing touches I apply lacquer to the lips in gloss, satin or matt. The fingernails and toenails are sometimes painted and lacquered to match the lips, or with a French manicure effect. Lastly I apply upper and lower eyelashes. The end result is a stunningly life-like, beautiful model, perfect for displaying clothes, lingerie, bikinis, jewellery, wigs, or even as a work of art in its own right.