Im a living doll with tattooed joints – trolls slam my style but I dont care

Toshi Salvino has always stood out from the crowd, thanks to her unconventional style and makeup transformations,

And although people used to stare in her hometown of Pennsylvania, US, she has found her spiritual home in New York after moving there to pursue her career as an artist.

Toshi found inspiration from her older brother, who shares the same creative path. Her mum, an art teacher, and her dad, a PhD who served as a Scientific Director at The Wistar Institute.

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Her family provided a supportive environment that nurtured her passion for both art and intellectual pursuits.

Now working as a colour specialist at Hello Beautiful Salon in Brooklyn, Toshi first began sharing her makeup-driven content through Instagram in July of 2012.

Today, her 72.5,000 Instagram followers are a testament to the fascination her personality ignites.

As an hair and makeup artist and interactive performance artist, she has breathed life into the concept of a living doll, complete with tattooed doll joints.

Her talent and allure caught the attention of renowned fashion designer Sebastian Masuda, who invited her to model for the Harajuku fashion brand, 6% Doki Doki.

Toshi's style, heavily influenced by Japanese fashion, has undergone a metamorphosis throughout her life, with each phase reflecting a distinct chapter of her remarkable journey.

From her early years as a baby, clad in Lolita dresses and matching outfits with her American Girl doll, to her tomboyish adventures as a dirt-covered child, Toshi's path to self-discovery was already evident.

Toshi reminisced: "I would love to wear my pink Power Rangers costume casually. When I was around nine years old, I stumbled upon Fruits Magazine, and it felt like a revelation.

"I remember flipping through its colourful pages and exclaiming: 'Oh my God, there are people who dress like me!'

"It was a powerful realisation that there were others out there who understood and embraced my unique sense of style. From that moment on, Japan and Harajuku fashion became an incredibly significant influence in my life."

Toshi continued: "Growing up in the 'middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania, I often faced criticism and was told to tone down my style.

"But now that I'm living in New York, I've discovered a place where it's completely normal to express yourself in an alternative way.

"That's one of the things I absolutely adore about this city – the freedom to be yourself and embrace your individuality without judgment. It's a haven where creativity and uniqueness are celebrated, and I couldn't be happier to call it my home."

During her preteen years, Toshi embraced her gothic fairy princess phase, donning ripped tutu skirts, mismatched shoes, and an array of belts worn in a harness style.

During this period, she discovered her love for makeup and began experimenting with blue lipstick, and fairy swirls around her eyes.

"I was still doing fairy swirls and stuff, lots of bright red cheeks and too much eyeliner smudged across my face," she explained.

Toshi's style continued to transform as she entered her late teens and early 20s.

Influenced by the doll aesthetic, she embraced the world of gothic Lolita and doll fashion. Her daily ensembles consisted of petticoats, skirts, platform shoes, doll-inspired makeup, and accessories.

Toshi vividly recalled this phase: "I wore a corset almost daily and indulged in the doll character as a professional SFX makeup artist and actress."

In her mid-20s, Toshi's style took a more refined yet eclectic turn. While still retaining her love for black, she began incorporating bright patterns and colours into her wardrobe. Demonia boots became a staple, adding an edgy touch to her ensembles.

"While I appreciate a simpler aesthetic for everyday life now, I still dress up in intense and hardcore styles for gigs, work, and events," she added.

"Daily, I plan out three hours to become my doll self and wear my full doll look four to six days a week.

"I think my look is really about self-expression, and I like being a doll because that means I can be whatever I want that day. I love using my body as the canvas to express how I am feeling."

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The 30-year-old's signature look involves the meticulous application of vibrant eyeshadows and precise white liner, creating the illusion of enchanting, doll-like eyes.

However, she doesn't stop there.

With her ever-changing rainbow-hued hair, Toshi constantly pushes the boundaries of her appearance. Recently, she took her transformation to the next level by adding tattooed doll joints on her knees, complete with intricate screw hinges.

And she plans to extend these matching joints to her elbows as well.

Reflecting on her decision, Toshi shared: "I've wanted these tattoos for a really long time. Aesthetically, they represent doll joints on my knees with screw hinges, which holds deep significance for me.

"Not only does it align perfectly with my living doll style, but it also symbolises my journey with Lyme disease. It's like having arthritis throughout my entire body."

Throughout her a remarkable journey, Toshi has faced her fair share of critics.

However, she has developed a resilient approach to handling criticism, choosing to ignore negativity and focus on her own creative expression.

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