Take a minute to look closely to these celebrities and you will be AMAZED!

Let's face it — the mass-produced dolls of your favorite celebrities sometimes leave a lot to be desired. Their outfits may be on the money, but sometimes they only look like the person they are modeled after if you squint and tilt your head.

Noel Cruz poses with one of his masterpiece
Noel Cruz poses with one of his masterpiece

That's where Noel Cruz steps in.

Noel Cruz is an artist born and raised in Manila, Philippines who immigrated to the United States to pursue a better life for his wife and child. He began his artistry very simply by collecting dolls and repainting them. This hobby quickly turned into a mastery of epic proportions.

The Philippine-born portrait artist takes those factory dolls and transforms them from figurines that vaguely resemble the characters to stunningly realistic-looking one-of-a-kind collectibles.

Cruz removes the existing paint on the face of each doll, which gives him a blank canvas. With patience, a steady hand and careful attention to detail, he gives them a lifelike facelift so there is no question whose doll it is.

"It's about placing the features in the right place on the face," he told the Daily News. "The movements have to be very precise. If one little movement is off with your brush stroke, it is going to look funny."

He also styles their hair and photographs each doll before puts them up for sale on eBay.

The dolls can take anywhere from two days to a couple of weeks to complete, and creating them is now Cruz's fulltime job.

He got his start back in 2001 when he was looking for a doll to get his wife and stumbled upon some more-realistic looking figurines.

I looked into it and it dawned on me that they were dolls that already existed and the factory paint was removed," he said. "It piqued my interest, and the prospect of doing something like that appealed to me."

He quickly learned that working on a small, three-dimensional surface required a different strategy than painting portraits did, so he tried and tried until he was satisfied.

Cruz said he has lost count of the exact number of dolls he has made over the years, but it has to be "a few hundred."

During the first couple of years, Cruz said he was cranking out commissions almost non-stop, but has since been able to shift his primary focus to painting celebrities and characters of his own choosing.

He said he sells about 90% of the dolls he paints. He has kept a few, including one of Princess Diana he made for his wife and another he modeled after his mother, but most of them are now residing in private collections in different parts of the world.

While it can be hard to part with the dolls, Cruz said he is happy to be able to share a part of him with others through his work.

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Take a minute to look closely to these celebrities and you will be AMAZED! Take a minute to look closely to these celebrities and you will be AMAZED! Reviewed by TrendSpot on Sunday, July 26, 2015 Rating: 5

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