Navigating Micropigmentation Practice Skin: Options and Expert Tips

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Article by Gemma Hutchings | Date Published 4th July 2024

Perfect Your Craft with Practice Skins

As the saying goes, "Practice makes perfect," and this is especially true in the field of micropigmentation. Even seasoned professionals find time to practice on mats to hone their skills, experiment with new needles, and try out new techniques.

Although synthetic/latex skins cannot perfectly mimic the touch and feel of human skin, they still allow you to replicate your art. Remember micropigmentation is an art form that requires time, patience, and practice.

Practice is crucial for mastering any skill, and micropigmentation is no different. It enables practitioners to:

Refine Techniques: Continual practice helps in perfecting various techniques, ensuring precision and excellence in real procedures.

Experiment with Tools: Practicing with different needles and equipment helps in understanding their impact on skin and outcomes.

Build Confidence: Regular practice builds confidence, allowing practitioners to perform procedures with a steady hand and calm mind.

Stay Updated: It keeps professionals updated with the latest trends and techniques in the industry.

We asked 2 industry experts about their experience -  Andrew Stassi, and Kelly Smith-Forshaw

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Andrew Stassi - Owner of Smudge Free Training Academy

Smudge Free was founded by Andrew Stassi in 2003. Since entering the industry, Andrew has trained with the highest accredited educators and pioneers in the field and gained a wealth of knowledge and experience and taken his skills to the next level. Andrew has developed and mastered techniques which have proved over the years to give a more realistic and aesthetically pleasing result, and this can be evidenced by testimonials and references from both clients and students alike.

How often do you practice on fake skin?

Throughout my 22 years in the industry, I have always practiced on fake skins 2 -3 times a week.

Are you using practice skin to try out new skills or to reinforce existing techniques?

Both. I’m using the skins to improve upon as well as recreate new techniques.

What do you believe are the greatest benefits of practicing on fake skin?

To keep your skills and techniques fluid as well as the motion and feel - muscle memory is very important!

Do you have a favorite type of fake skin that you would recommend to other technicians?

I prefer latex skins for hair strokes as that medium is firmer and showcases finer and crisper hair strokes. The silicone skins are fabulous for medical micropigmentation as they create a slight blurring, which is perfect for both areola and camouflage techniques. Silicone gives a softer finish.

Can you share any tips for technicians on how to get the most out of their practice sessions on fake skin?

The drawing part is crucial as it’s sets the foundation for the final outcome. Skin practice is essential for your technique development and accuracy, especially when it comes to the hair strokes. Keep the skins dated and numbered so as to check on improvement.

Have you noticed any improvements in your work that you attribute directly to practicing on fake skin?

Yes 100%! Practicing has significantly helped hone my tecnqiue 

How do you integrate practice on fake skin into your regular professional routine?

I wake up with the buzz to practice so this has always been an itch for me. If the student doesn’t have the itch to practice they need to make it happen as you cannot practice on clients.

Do you believe there are any limitations to practicing on fake skin compared to real skin? If so, what are they, and how do you overcome these challenges?

There are limitations to practicing on fake skin as opposed to real skin as real skin will get traumatised and over-saturated and will result in pigment migration. However, this does not negate the reason to practice. For me this is an absolute must. Keep practicing, get it right. The latex will show hard wear and tear if the technique is too aggressive or overworked.

How do you stay motivated to continue practicing on fake skin, even as an experienced professional?

I love what I do so much that I’m always itching to get my skins out and practice and develop. I’ve never been a copy cat. I see myself as an innovator and leader so my aim is to create something new and as a business I want to share what I create.

Kelly Smith-Forshaw - Medical & Cosmetic Micropigmentation

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Kelly’s passion for micropigmentation began initially in semi-permanent make up before she entered the world of medical micropigmenation. Kelly is a widely respected trainer and specialist in 3D Nipple & Areola, Scar and Skin Camouflage.

Having taught for Finishing Touches both in the UK and across the world, Kelly is always broadening her skill set and returning back to her skins to master her innovations.

How often do you practice on fake skin?

As much as I possibly can! I am a very busy business owner and Mum of two so finding time for myself can be a challenge but practicing on skins is my happy place, so I try to find the time as much as possible.

Are you using practice skin to try out new skills or to reinforce existing techniques?

Both really, I will get an idea of a new technique and want to try it out, but it's great for reinforcing too.

What do you believe are the greatest benefits of practicing on fake skin?

Muscle memory without a doubt - the more you practice the more second nature the movements become.

Do you have a favourite type of fake skin that you would recommend to other technicians?

I really like the Reelskin - lovely soft feel and good implantation of pigment.

Can you share any tips for technicians on how to get the most out of their practice sessions on fake skin?

I would say enjoy it! For me, it's creating art and I love seeing the end results. 

Something that has helped me in my areola artistry has been creating a matching pair of areola's with the correct nipple drop shadow and highlights.

How do you integrate practice on fake skin into your regular professional routine?

In-between clients is the best time for me. My equipment is out and ready and I am in my work headspace, which works great for me.

Do you believe there are any limitations to practicing on fake skin compared to real skin? If so, what are they, and how do you overcome these challenges?

Fake skin doesn't allow you to feel the full stretch, especially for areola work but the positive is its a blank canvas, that you use to be as artistic as you wish. 

How do you stay motivated to continue practicing on fake skin, even as an experienced professional?

It is the only way to improve, it doesn't matter that I have been doing this for over 20 years. You need to adapt and try new things. Better to try them out on skins rather than patients!

At Finishing Touches (FTG), we offer a range of practice skin options tailored for different micropigmentation techniques. These tools are designed to help you advance your skills and perfect your art.

Finishing Touches launched the world’s first training tool for Skin Camouflage—the Skin Camouflage Practice Stencil, designed by Kelly Forshaw-Smith. This innovative stencil allows you to perfect your skin camouflaging technique and colour matching skills by practicing on fake skin.

Versatility: The stencil features 6 different Fitzpatrick skin tones, allowing you to use various pigments against different skin tones.
Durability: It is built to last, enabling hours of non-stop practice at home or in the clinic.
Variety: Includes 6 tones from light stretch marks to skin tones with moles, providing a comprehensive practice experience.

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The "Head Simulation Kit" offers a realistic feel of working on a real client.

Realistic Design: The gender-neutral design and hard shell emulate the structure and contour of a real head.
Interchangeable Skins: The kit includes silicone skins in various Fitzpatrick skin tones, each with unique characteristics to help perfect different aspects of your artistry.
Practicality: The kit is easily transportable and practical, allowing you to practice anywhere and under any conditions.

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Little Book of Boob: Designed by Kelly Smith-Forshaw, this book is perfect for areola practitioners wanting to perfect their craft across a number of different mediums.

Artistic design - Emulate each areola by putting pencil to paper to build colour and the illusion of texture and 3d attributes.
Colour matching - replicate different areolas in the book to build your pigment colour selection choices.
Machine practice - Transfer your art from book to skins, using the images as your guide to emulate artistry.

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Reelskin sheets offer a hyper-realistic experience, closely mimicking real skin. The material feels, looks, and stretches like real skin, making it an ideal practice canvas for all micropigmentation techniques.

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Our own unique hair stroke brow practice skins are a great tool to help you practice and update your techniques.The kit includes:

1 x A4 Eyebrow designs (2 designs on either side of skin)
1 x A4 Exercise sheet
1 x A4 Bulb templates

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