Frankenskins Review

*Price at time of publishing

Frankenskins are thick, high-quality practice skins that we recommend for beginners and seasoned tattoo artists alike.

Video Transcription: Frankenskins Review

What's up, everybody? I'm super pumped about this video today, because we're going to be testing something out that I've had in mind for the past couple of weeks. With anyone that watches my videos, they know that I'm a firm believer in ReelSkins. They've worked really great for me, but I also haven't tried a ton of new products since I found ReelSkins. What I'm going to be doing for everyone is going over some of the top quality fake skins on the market right now. The first ones that I have gotten in the mail are these Frankenskins.

I've received two of these in the mail. I decided to go with the regular skin and also the clear version. I feel like these are going to be awesome to tattoo. I'm going to go into detail, showing you beside the ReelSkins and everything, in just a second. If you're new to this channel, I'm Brandon from Tattooing 101 and make sure you're liking and subscribing down below so you can keep up to date on all the new content we make each week.

Before we get into actually tattooing this, we're going to talk about price. For the Frankenskins, each one of these are $10 and you can see they're way, way thicker than the ReelSkins. For the ReelSkins, this big sheet is $15, but you can see it's really, really floppy and very, very thin. They are about three millimeters thick, which is great for tattooing, of course. Using big pieces like this, I notice when I'm trying to move around, it'll crunch up and things like that. You don't have to worry about that with the Frankenskins.

The price point for these, you can get these for $10 each and they come in different colors, as well. Right off the bat, you can definitely tell that these are way thicker than the ReelSkins. You can see that these are about, I'd say about a half inch thick, which is super cool. I know it's probably hard to see on that clear one. You can see right there how thick they actually are. Which, ReelSkins are perfectly fine, because they're about three millimeters thick. You only really need to go into the skin about two millimeters unless it's like over bone and things like that.

ReelSkins are great when it comes to practice skins. I'm super pumped to try out new products just because you should never get complacent with the things you're working with. Always try to find something better, that works a little bit better for you, so that's what I'm doing. I'm going to be doing some reviews on new fake skins that I've found and lets you know if they are worth it and even if they are better than the ReelSkins that I've loved for so many years.

Just looking at these, you can see that they are definitely, the skin-like texture, pretty close to what ReelSkin is. Not as stretchy, I would say. ReelSkin is pretty, pretty stretchy. It's not anywhere close, and like the Amazon review that I did, to where the skin just felt terrible, like plastic. It definitely stretches, which is awesome. I'm excited to see how it takes a stencil, which will be the first step to this review. Let's get into it.

What I'm using today is going to be in an 11 round liner and these are the Prime+ Flex cartridges. I do use these all the time. I really enjoy them. I'm using a 11 curved mag. I'm going to be tattooing this exactly how I normally would with any other tattoo fake skins, exactly how I would with the actual ReelSkins, and just see the difference between the two. As everyone watching this knows, if you seen my other videos then you, obviously, know how much I really like the ReelSkins, they've worked really great for me. I'm super pumped to actually see some other brands and just to see how they work with the tattoo process, as well.

With this stencil, I let this dry for three hours, exactly how I normally would, and it looks really great. It looks like it's dry. I'm actually rubbing a little bit, rubbing this lotion onto the fake skin and it doesn't seem to be smearing anywhere, some of the other ones would. That's awesome to see. So far, so good. Let's get into an actual line. We'll start over here. I always start on the right-hand side, at the bottom, just so I don't smear my stencil everywhere. I will say with this fake skin, it really holds to the table a lot better than that really thin stuff. I like how thick it is, as well.

First line, it feels really, really good. The line goes in there really well, no issues with that. So far, I really like it.

One cool thing with this is it's a lot thicker so you can really focus on your depth. With the other fake skins they seem to be really thin or about three millimeters thick so you're, kind of, just hovering right in the middle. With these, it actually lets you focus on exactly how deep you're going because you can go super deep in this. So far, so good. I really like these Frankenskins. They're working just about the same as the ReelSkins would, like how great the ink's going into the skin, how it's reacting, how stretchy it is. One plus with this is it is actually thicker. That's one cool thing that you can actually practice with thicker skins to get used to the depth that you really want to get to. That's definitely something that has the advantage over ReelSkins.

You can see that it is staying really nice and neat. I am using Vaseline, which helps, but the ink's coming off really easily, you don't have to, kind of, fight with it, which is really important whenever you are first starting out is being able to have a clean stencil so you can see exactly you're doing,

I feel like I need some Mandalorian theme music playing in the background when I'm tattooing this.

I'm going to speed this up a little bit. Obviously, this video will take an hour if I went through every single second of it. I'm going to speed this up and we'll get through the linework and then start on the actual shading. Okay, now that we have our outline done, we're going to go through here and clean it up. One thing I've noticed doing the outline, that this stuff is definitely, one thing it's thicker, but another thing is it's a little bit tougher than the ReelSkins. Now, that being said, I'm not necessarily mad about it, it's just one thing. If you are working with these, you're going to have to press a little bit harder just because it is a little bit thicker and a little bit more tough than the actual ReelSkins. I really like this stuff, it's been working really well for me.

Now that we're done with the outline, let's get into seeing how it does with shading and then, obviously, we'll throw some color in it, too. One thing I would like to show you, before we get into the shading, is there is one mark in here, it's a little inconsistency with the actual Frankenskins to where you can see that it's lighter and when I went into that area, it was actually lighter. There's another one, right here. You can see that's a different color than the actual skins. Those little inconsistencies will lighten up your linework for some reason. I actually went over that line again and it just won't go in that area because of the inconsistency in there. Other than that, it worked out really good. Like I said, I also got a clear one to try out, which will be cool for another video, as well.

Which, there doesn't look like there's any inconsistencies on that one. This might have just been a one off fluke with this one. While I'm getting prepared for the shading part, I have a question for you guys. What skins would you like me to try out? I did order a couple that I got off Amazon, so they should be on their way. Let me know what you're using. I definitely ordered some skins from PainfulPleasures, Pound of Flesh, that's what I ordered. They'll be here soon, as well. What else do you guys got? Just comment down below and I'll check them out and see what I can do. Let's get into the shading.

Right off the bat, I can say I like shading this stuff more than I even do the ReelSkins. It just goes in there really smoothly. You can get really nice transitions. It just goes in there really great. With shading, right off the bat, I would say that this stuff is awesome. If the color goes in this well, this is going to be a game changer. I might start using this stuff from now on, we'll see. Let's take it one step at a time, but so far, man, this stuff's awesome. By no means, am I sponsored by these guys or ReelSkins for that matter. I'm just giving an honest opinion on if I like it or if I don't and if I don't like it, I will definitely tell you guys.

Sorry I haven't been talking. I've been, honestly, just enjoying, been enjoying tattooing this stuff. It's been a really long time since I actually got to tattoo on a really nice fake skin besides ReelSkins. Everything else I've tried I immediately did not like. It wasn't, it didn't even, it wasn't even good enough to give it a chance. It was just immediately, "Wow, this stuff was terrible." This is the first time I actually found one that's working really, really well for the way that I tattoo, putting in the shading, it's working out great. It's not ripping up at all, which is another thing you'll see. Other fake skins have problems with a clumpiness and pieces will just rip out, off of it for some reason. This is just doing awesome. For new tattooers and stuff, I bet you this stuff can hold up to a beating. If you're just trying to learn and just trying to get the fundamentals down, this stuff won't just break down on you, it'll actually hold up. It lets you practice on it, which is really great.

One thing I will say with the ReelSkins, the ink goes in really dark. This is more like it would be on actual skin. It goes in way lighter than it would on actual ReelSkin. ReelSkin, you put this in there and it's super dark. This actually works better getting used to doing gray wash on actual human skin than ReelSkin would. All right, let's get into blacking in this face shield. Surprisingly, it's going in really well. Like I said, everything's going into the fake skin really light, but when you're trying to get it saturated, it goes in nice and dark without having to overwork it. That's awesome to see. This stuff is definitely working way better than I thought it would. For sure, if it holds up as good as it has been with the color, this is something I'm definitely going to introduce to my tattooing, for sure. The color's going in there really well, just like the gray wash did, which is awesome. I don't have to fight with it. It's going in there really nicely, making transitions.

Which I was curious on because colored ink is definitely thicker than black ink so it can be harder to get into the actual fake skin sometimes, but this is working out perfect. No issues at all. One trick I'm going to show you right now, is how I mix in the tube with white. I want a different transition of green, I want it to go into a light green in a couple of these areas, but I don't want to have to mix it in the cup. What I'm going to do is dip into my green right here. I have a little bit on the top and I'm going to dip in my white and it's going to mix right in there and make a different tone of green without me having to dip it in or without having to make a different ink cap.

If I want to keep going lighter, I just got to dip it in again. That's how I mix ink in the tube. This does take some practice. If you are first starting out I recommend just sticking to some colors that you know, but this is definitely a game changer after you get some experience. Definitely something that you should check out at some point in your career.

This skin is awesome. I would highly recommend this stuff. If you are first starting out or wanting to practice, get better, or trying out a new style, this stuff is by far, gone above my expectations a ton. This is definitely something I'm going to be using in the future and definitely will be buying some more from them soon. I would even say that I like them more than the ReelSkins. Definitely something to check out, for sure. Just because it's thick now, the tattooing process is just about the same as actual ReelSkins. The only downfall to this was this little inconsistency. I wasn't super happy about that, but that can be a one off. I don't want to mark them for that just in case it was just a fluke that I got that one. It doesn't look like there's anything like that in the clear one I got.

But you know, I want to be serious with you guys that that is a thing. Definitely watch out for that. Awesome. This is my review on the Frankenskins. They worked out awesome. I loved them. I'm going to order more soon. I did this coming in thinking I wasn't going to like them as much as ReelSkins and turned out that I like them more, honestly. I definitely will be using these in the future for tattooing. This is the design. I think I'm going to go back right now and do a background on it, add some smoke and stuff so I can put it up in the shop. This is what you can do with the Frankenskins. Awesome stuff. Definitely check them out. If you like content like this, make sure you're liking and subscribing down below so you can keep up to date on all the new content I make each week. Also, don't forget to comment down below. Let me know what you want me to try out next. As always, thank you guys for watching and I hope you guys have a wonderful day.

Our Score

8.0/10

GOOD

Price: $10/each (7/10)

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Frankenskins are slightly more expensive than Reelskins (our usual favorite when it comes to fake skins). However, Frankenskins are the thickest fake skins we’ve come across, and we think their high quality material is worth the extra cost. 

Quality (9/10)

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Frankenskins are extra thick, stretchy like real skin, and ink goes into them perfectly. We came across one inconsistency in the skin but saw no issues in the second skin we ordered.

Handling (10/10)

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Tattooing Frankenskins is about as close to real human skin as you can get. Ink goes into them easily - including color inks, which tend to be thicker. You can practice getting a good stretch with these fake skins.
PROS:
  • Super thick
  • Black ink goes in lighter than Reelskin, making it easier to practice shading with gray wash
  • Comes in multiple skin tones with the option to get “textured” skin for realistic practice
CONS:
  • Found an inconsistency in the skin we used
  • They’re a little tougher than expected, so you’ll need to press harder while tattooing

Product Details

Measurements

3” per side/ 6” point to point

Thickness

0.5”

Shades

5 skin tone shades + clear

Product Details

Measurements

3” per side/ 6” point to point

Thickness

0.5”

Shades

5 skin tone shades + clear

Frankenskins Practice Skins - Our Review:

Frankenskins are our favorite tattoo practice skins so far. They’re thicker and tougher than Reelskins. (Frankenskins are about a half inch thick, while Reelskins are 3mm thick.) While you’ll usually keep your needle depth around 2mm on clients, the extra thickness does allow for great depth practice. 

We tested lining, packing, and shading on these skins, and they worked great for practicing each technique.

fake skin made with similar technologies to Reelskin

Perfect Shading Practice

Reelskins have certain features that make them great practice - like the ability to get a great stretch on the material. However, Frankenskins proved to work better for practicing the actual tattooing process.

A major problem with fake skins is that black ink goes in super dark, making it difficult to get good practice with gray wash and shading techniques. However, black ink goes in lighter on Frankenskins, so you can get a better idea of what your shading will look like on a real client.

shading videos on YouTube
Star Wars tattoo ideas

And while ink does go in lighter, we had no issues getting full saturation in areas that needed heavy shadows. We also had no problems working with color ink, which is thicker than black ink and usually doesn’t go into fake skin well. Because of this, we were able to make smooth transitions between black and skin tone as well as between colors.

Blemish in Fake Skin

The only problem we ran into with Frankenskins was an imperfection in one area of the skin. It made linework lighter and had a hard time taking color.

sign of blemish in fake skin

Because we didn’t see any blemishes in the other skin we ordered, we’re guessing this was just a one-off problem.

Different Practice Options

Frankenskins has 5 shade options, as well as a clear skin.

image of fake skins from an instagram account
clear tattoo skin for additional services

On their site, they advertise the clear fake skin as a way to practice technique without worrying about a stencil. Instead of putting the stencil on the skin, you can slip the image beneath the clear fake skin and start tattooing with the design protected by the skin above it.

You can also choose to get “textured” skin as a way to make your practice more realistic (especially for clients who have rougher skin).

textured skin
textured tattoo skin web image

Who the Frankenskins Are (and Aren’t) For:

These fake skins blew us away, and we recommend them to all artists. They’ll hold up against a beating (when most other fake skins start to disintegrate), and give you good practice with needle depth, which is great for beginners. 

They’ll also allow more experienced artists to practice new techniques and get as close to real skin as possible while they perfect their skills.

Get Frankenskins Practice Skins

youtube video of tattoo practice
fake skin advertising

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AUTHOR
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain. When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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