Microblading is super easy to learn.
You can learn microblading with a quick 2-day course.
You can start working in just a couple of weeks.
Wrong! Microblading courses are often advertised as quick workshops that will teach you everything you need to know about microblading and have you working right afterwards, earning thousands of dollars a week.
In reality, microblading is a skill that takes time to get a hang of. Yes, courses will give you a solid basis and you can’t get into the industry without taking a course with an accredited academy or trainer.
But before you’re ready to start taking clients, you need to practice practice practice. And even when you start working, the only way to develop a signature style is to keep practicing when you’re not taking clients.
We’ve prepared a list of tips and tricks to help you achieve a realistic microblading practice experience.
Why Is Microblading Practice Important?
Okay, you’ve taken a microblading workshop and you may have even gotten the opportunity to work on a live model there. You may be thinking you’re ready to start giving people the brows of their dreams.
But the truth is, you’re not ready. That’s why many courses include an extended training period before they certify you.
You have to practice all aspects of the treatment before you take on a client, primarily mapping, stroke patterns and implementation depth. If you don’t master all these on props before you work on actual skin, you can leave your first clients with a botched pair of brows, unsatisfied and frustrated.
This may discourage you and make you think you’re simply not good at microblading, when in reality, you just weren’t ready.
So, if you’re just getting into microblading, plan ahead and allow yourself a few months of dedicated microblading practice. Here’s what points you need to pay special attention to, and how to master them.
Image source: Instagram @mayhielink_phibrows
How to Practice Mapping
Most students jump straight into practicing their strokes – we agree this sounds like the most interesting part. But mapping is perhaps the most important step in the microblading process. You can create the most beautiful pattern ever, but it’ll go to waste if the shape of the arches isn’t right for the client’s face or if the brows are asymmetrical.
So, get all your family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, anyone who’s willing to help you and practice mapping on them. There are many props out there which can also help, but nothing beats realistic mapping practice on an actual, 3D face. Try to find as many different faces, genders, age groups, style preferences – you never know who your first clients will be.
If you’re already taking clients and want to prepare for each one, you can ask them to send you a picture of their face, especially if you think they’ll be tricky. Print it out and practice drawing an outline for them. Try different shapes and see what works and what definitely doesn’t.
Of course, things may change when you actually map them, but getting a sense of which direction to go in will cut your mapping time during the appointment. You can even show the client the different versions and see what they like best.
You can find some mapping tips in this article.
Image source: Instagram @fussybrowstudio
How to Practice Stroke Patterns
With stroke patterns, the good old pencil and paper is a good start. Spend as much time as possible sketching different brows, and repeat one pattern as many times as necessary to get it right.
Then, you can switch to microblading practice on latex.
There are so many practice props out there now it can get hard to choose. Try to find a high-quality latex that resembles the qualities of actual skin as much as possible. There are latex sheets with outlines already drawn, but a blank sheet allows you to practice the shape, too, not just the pattern.
Make sure to thoroughly practice different spines. You will often have to follow the client’s natural brow growth pattern, and you need to know how to create a number of different spines.
Image source: Instagram @amyjoielene.artistry
How to Practice Depth
Learning the proper microblading depth is the trickiest thing to get the hang of, so you should devote a significant portion of your microblading practice time to it. You need to practice it over and over again to develop muscle memory – it will do a huge part of the work for you.
You can practice your depth on fruit and pig skin, and when you’re comfortable with your progress, try it on your own skin.
Different types of fruit make great microblading practice props. Banana skins are the go-to option – if you leave the fruit inside the peel, you’ll get a simulation of the brow bone. Plus, the darkening of the peel once you cut into it can be a good indicator of the consistency of your depth – if all the strokes turn the same shade, it means your depth was consistent.
Different fruits mimic different skin types:
- An orange gives you a feel of thicker, textured skin with larger pores.
- An apple is smooth, average thickness skin.
- A grape mimics thin skin.
- The membrane of a boiled egg (underneath the shell) mimics extremely thin skin.
- A potato mimics mature skin.
You can also try a balloon! Inflate a balloon so it has shape but isn’t too firm. Practice your pressure on it – if you pop it, your pressure is excessive. This is the depth you should strive for on the tails of the brows, since skin there is the thinnest.
But fruit and balloons are still far from human skin. Pig skin gives you a feel as close as possible to working on human skin, although it is thicker. It’s one of the best practice props, because it’s very cheap and you can find it in any butcher shop, but you need to prepare it properly.
How to prepare pig skin for microblading practice:
- Remove as much fat as you can.
- Rinse the skin thoroughly.
- Boil it in water (this gets rid of the smell).
- Dry it.
When you’ve done your practice on fruits and pig skin and you feel your depth is okay, try to do a few strokes on yourself or somebody who will let you do that. They don’t have to be in the brows area. Try the hidden creases, like behind the ears.
You should aim for the sweet spot, and you’ll know you’ve found it if there’s very slight, pinpoint bleeding, and if the pigment doesn’t fan out under the skin when the strokes have healed.
If all this goes fine, you can start considering taking clients. It would be great if you can reach out to your trainer and have them review your practice work.
Image source: Instagram @divabrowsbyphim
Extra Tips for Microblading Practice
- While you can definitely use a cheap pigment you wouldn’t use on a client for practice, make sure you try using the pigments you’ll actually use on a client before their appointment. Different pigments have different consistencies (some are thicker than others), and you should know what to expect.
- The same goes for blades! When you get a new blade, try it on props first.
- If you’re practicing on banana skins, you don’t need pigments. The spots where you cut into the banana skin will turn brows quickly and you’ll see your work.
- The best option for cleaning your latex is probably baby oil, just make sure you blot it off thoroughly before your next microblading practice session. Alternatively, try micellar water, or for persistent inks, try nail polish remover.
All these microblading practice props will help you prepare for working on clients, but when you actually do someone’s brows for the first time, it will still be a new experience. So if your first client isn’t going as smoothly as you’d hoped, don’t get discouraged. Take your time and know it’ll get easier with every pair you do.