Heat set vs Air Dry?

Hi guys, I’m new to collecting dolls and trying to do the research involved in gifting my elderly Mom her first reborn. Wondering what the difference is between Genesis Heat Set paints and Air Dry. Obviously one is set with heat, but is there any difference in quality or longevity.

Also, what else should I be looking out for in terms of quality and construction?

Finding what I’m looking for is sure a challenge. About the time I’m considering a doll in my budget on reborns.com they get snapped up within hours!

Thanks in advance!


Welcome! What a wonderful gift idea for your mother!

I’m sure if you state your budget there are more likely than not a few artist here who have babies that would fit your needs!

Both heat set paint and air dry paint hold up for collector dolls that are handled gently and cared for properly.

The difference is usually the preference of the artist. Like a painter who works in charcoal, pastels acrylics, or oils on canvas etc or clay etc it is how the artist expresses themselves and can be as easy a decision as what they are used to, ease of availability or maybe they chose not to mess with the heat set part :woman_shrugging:t2:

I’m sure the artists here will be happy to explain :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Good luck in your quest for the perfect baby for your budget!

What are you liking for? Newborn? Bigger baby? Awake? Sleeping? Painted or rooted hair? Does your mother have a pace maker that a magnetic pacifier interfere with?


I’m so glad you asked. I’ve been making my family a little crazy trying to shop for the details since they aren’t into dolls. Lol

Mom is wanting a sleeping baby girl, should look well under a year old. (Not a toddler.)
She wants one hand open and one closed, or both looking relaxed, not fists or splayed out.
Full arms and legs of vinyl.
Painted or combi hair. Rooted eyelashes.
Ideally it would be about in the 5 or 6 pound range or under.
Shouldn’t have magnets since mom is over 75 and could end up in a home.

All her children and grandchildren have had light skin and brown hair, so I think she’ll relate the most to that, but of course she says color doesn’t matter. :blush:

We like the new Ever sculpt from BB, and just missed out on purchasing CajunCuties’ version of her posted about two weeks ago. Right after I sent my mom the pix I saw it had sold. This has also happened to me more recently as well. I need a few hours to think on it, trying to make the right decision, and you know… Early birds.

Mom doesn’t use comps or cell phones, and we live in different states, so I have to text my Dad as a go-between. Haha.

So I’m looking for Ever, or sculpts that may be similar to Ever, the wide set closed eyes, round cheeks, full lips. I saw one called Kate that had a resemblance. Trying to find the right kind of hands complicates things. I can’t just choose a pretty baby by face alone, and I’m not familiar with lots of different sculpts yet.

I feel like any feedback would be so helpful. :hugs:

My budget is around $400. There’s is no deadline of when I need it by.


You might like the Levi sculpt by Bonnie brown! One hand is open, one is closed and they’re very relaxed. Very curled up legs which makes her perfect for cuddling! And she’s only a tougher bigger than Realborn Ever, but she wears newborn perfectly (Vs Ever who wears Preemie!). I love my Realborn Ever though and she’s such a precious kit!!

Also, this sounds like an incredible gift for your mom and I hope she loves her baby! There’s lots of artists here on the forum who do great work!

Oh, I hadn’t even thought about legs being bent, is that what helps them feel more cuddly? I haven’t even held a reborn in my arms yet. That makes sense!
I know some are more slouchy, like a newborn, and others are more stiffly stuffed.
Cuddly is good, I just hadn’t figured out what might make them more so! :smile:

Do you think she would prefer rooted or painted hair? Rooted would be fun to style but it does require some upkeep with conditioning and care when dressing and handling so it doesn’t rub off (though my kids all had bald spots from rubbing the backs of their heads in car seats crib mattresses and bouncer seats etc lol)


Here’s my Levi (painted/rooted by me) and my Realborn Ever (painted by @chloelv ) and basically, yes the legs tend to make a difference! Levi sort of just balled up into your arms, so does Ever though, for newborn sized babies I personally look for more curled up legs, they just seem to make a baby cuddle in a way that’s so so real feeling!

Btw, things I look for when purchasing a baby are, clean smooth looking creases, non chalky looking painting, detailed photos that show creases, mouth, nose, ears, hands, feet, nails and hair, photos without a pacifier, photos where you can see the full limbs and head (diaper only or naked photos), shading that seems to be in the right spots, well blended paint, clean looking hands and feet, that don’t look dirty, paint that is stray hairs in it, and skin texture. Most artists will gladly share detailed photos if they aren’t listed on a listing, so you can see these details. Just pay attention closely to the details of a baby and ask any questions you might have before purchasing!


Both are equally long lasting and good quality. But with GHSP the vinyl gives off fumes, when baking, which, over time, can damage health. Also there’s the added expense of buying an oven. And I’d worry about getting the right temperature, personally. I’m team air dry, lol.


She first wanted rooted hair, but after showing her some really nice painted hair and telling her that hand rooted mohair really shouldn’t be combed, she said painted was ok. I think sometimes the best has both painted and some rooted at the top. Adds personality!


Kate is precious and has a special place in my heart but her hands and feet aren’t as realistic as Ever’s are so that is something to consider. She’s also has 3/4 limbs. I do love her 20” length compared to a preemie sized just for ease of finding clothing, especially if your mom doesn’t use a computer.
@cajuncuties makes some of the most beautiful dolls I’ve seen. You could message her and ask what she has available, what she will soon have available, or even for a custom (if she does them).


@Christen Thank you so much!:slight_smile: I don’t do customs. I list on Reborns when I get one completed and I usually post pics here, too.


She mentioned that she missed one of yours on reborns. :blush:


My WIP Ever

Still needs blushing on hands feet, nails
To be varnished
Rooted lashes
And hair.
Unfortunately I don’t paint hair.

Rooted hair CAN be combed gently with a toothbrush. But yes combi hair would prob be the best of both worlds


I should probably list what I’m looking for in the “wanted” section.:thinking:

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So pretty!

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Just make sure she is not allergic to mohair(goat hair) if you get a rooted baby or combi. Mohair allergies are pretty common from what I have gathered from my customers over the years.


Good point!!!

Welcome @EmOh and good luck on finding the perfect baby for your Mom, you are in the right place.

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Now that you mention it, I think Mom had a mohair sweater once that made her itch… Glad you reminded me!

What are the alternatives for hair? I’ve heard of a faux mohair, are there other common types of hair for reborns?

Human hair can be used but unless you can find toddler hair, it would be too coarse usually for a newborn. If it was my mother, I would go with painted or prisma hair.

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