A Pound of Flesh Tattoo Skin Review

*Price at time of publishing

A Pound of Flesh fake skins are thick and more stretchy than most practice skin brands. Lining can be difficult with them, but they work great for black and gray or realism practice. 

Video Transcription: A Pound of Flesh Review

Hey, what is up, YouTube? It's time for another review. Today what I'll be reviewing is Pound of Flesh. This is a fake skin I've been wanting to try out for a while. I actually tried it out one time before, and it was one of the actual hands. I didn't really like it, so I never went back to it, but I've decided to make a purchase and try it out so you guys know exactly how it works compared to ReelSkins and obviously the Frankenskins I did a review on last month. Before we get into the review, if this is your first time here, I'm Brandon from Tattooing 101, and if you like content like this or you're trying to start your journey of becoming a tattoo artist, make sure you like and subscribe down below so you can keep up to date on all the tattooing content we make each week.

I ordered this from Painful Pleasures. I got it for about $50 shipped, but it is a huge piece that I'll be able to use quite a few tattoos on this one, for sure. It is very stretchy, so that's one thing that's super cool. I don't like the very hard fake skins. It's definitely thick. It's thicker than the actual ReelSkins by quite a bit, which is awesome, just like the Frankenskins were. I really liked them as well. So I'm excited to try this out.

When I got this package in the mail, this was actually open. I'm not sure just from the shipping process where it moved around and stuff, but yeah, it just came like this. It was already open in the actual box, which doesn't really affect too much. Another thing I got with it was this little card explaining exactly how to put the stencil on. Roll a generous amount of Speed Stick deodorant. So awesome, they actually tell you to use Speed Stick. That's one thing I did a review on that I liked really, really well that I incorporate with every single tattoo I do on fake skin from now on.

Yeah, everything else is just about the same. Let to dry for five to 10 minutes, allow stencil to dry overnight before tattooing. I recommend sticking it on there for about three to four hours. I don't like to go over that, because then the stencil's just really hard to come off. I would do this, however, if I was working more on realism, something like that, where I don't want the stencil to come off at all. But the traditional stuff, which is the main thing you're going to be focused on when you are first learning, yeah, I'd just recommend to leave it on for about three to four hours.

Let's get into the review. All right, so here is the Pound of Flesh. Obviously, I'm not going to be tattooing all of this today, or we'd be on this YouTube video for five hours. So what I'm going to do is cut off a small section. I'm going to get the design ready. And what I'm going to do is just use scissors and just cut a section off of this, about the size of my actual design, just so we're not wasting a ton of the actual practice skin. And we put this to the side to save for another ton. Then we're just going to do this again, split this in half.

Now we have plenty of different designs that we could do with just this one that we bought, right like that. To start out, we're going to see how this does with an actual stencil. Okay, as always, we had some residual stencil stuff get on this, so we're going to spray it down with alcohol and clean it really good. You can see all that stencil stuff that got on this. You're just going to wipe it off. We're going to do exactly how we have been doing with all the other reviews. I know this said to let it sit overnight, but we're going to set it up exactly how we normally do. We're going to let it dry for three hours.

Let's get it ready. We're going to use our Speed Stick, put a layer down. I will say that this is definitely the stretchiest out of all of the different fake skins that we've tried. If you watch the other review, we did the review on the Frankenskins the other day, which was awesome. I like this stuff a lot. It is stretchy, but this stuff's really, really stretchy. Now we're just going to lay down our design in the middle. And then I always like to use another practice skin. Lay it on top, and then just create some even pressure around the whole design. Then you could just peel it up and there's our design. So it worked actually really good. We will let it dry for three hours and then I'll be back to do the actual review of tattooing this design on.

All right, so here it is three hours later. Let's check out to see how dry it is. It looks like it dried really good. Now, I will say that right away you could see that it smears off almost completely, so it did not dry as well as the other ones do. Frankenskins, I started out three hours after, the ReelSkins, I started out three hours after, and it doesn't do this. This is coming off right away. So keep that in mind. They say that you need to have it dry overnight, and you definitely do. So if this is something you're wanting to pick up to practice when you have spare time, something like that, it might be something to prepare ahead of time, just because it takes so long to dry.

With that being said, I'm going to get into the review anyway. I said that I was going to do these reviews like I would any other fake skins that I'm using, so I'm going to just go in, even though I know that the stencil is falling off. We're just going to get in and start the review. That's not something we could take away from them, because literally right in the instructions, they do say, let it wait overnight. So we're not going to take a point off for that.

All right. With the Frankenskins, we did the review with color, so this one we're just going to work on black and gray. Let's see how good we could get the tones in there, because I know ReelSkins, the black and gray goes in here really, really dark. In Frankenskins, it was honestly the closest to actually real skin. We're going to try this out and see how good we could get the tones of the black and gray. As always, we're using Vaseline to put down as a barrier over top of everything before starting the tattoo. And I'm going to be really careful where I put my hands on this design, just so I don't smear the whole design and obviously it disappear and then I'm stuck not knowing what to do.

I'm going to start down here at the bottom. This stuff is pretty thick compared to ReelSkins. It's about the same thickness as the actual Frankenskins, so it is possible to go too deep. If you're practicing on here, you want to practice getting about two millimeters deep into this skin. If you practice going too deep to where you're almost going through this, you're going to really blow out skin whenever you get onto actually human clients.

So far so good. It's able to make clean lines with my machine. Yeah, so it's working really well, just like the ReelSkins or the Frankenskins would. So far so good. It's doing really good with the lining. I'm not really having to fight with it like I do the cheaper ones. And also the price range. I got that huge sheet for about $60, and if you split it up, you make about six sheets this size out of it. It's coming out to about the same price as ReelSkins or the Frankenskins would be, so they're all about the same price range.

What I'm using for this outline is an 11 round liner. And then for my mag, I have a 15 round liner and I'm also going to go in with a 7 round liner to some of the small areas in the candle, and maybe even with the smoke or the fire as well. As you could see, the stencil is definitely coming off. If you are first starting out, I highly recommend that you leave this time to dry. If you are using these, you could be having issues with the stencil coming off and then you'll be left not knowing where anything should go, which could be super frustrating and make you just give up on tattooing before you even get a chance to do everything correctly. So yeah, I highly recommend you let these sit overnight just so you give yourself that time to be able to let it dry efficiently.

I will say, when it comes to the stencil process and everything, I do like how quickly the Frankenskins and the ReelSkins dry. That's one thing that would be compromising when it came to me buying these again, is I don't want to have to wait a whole night for these to dry in order for me to tattoo them. And I'm sure a lot of people out there feel the same way. You want to be able to put your stencil on and be able to practice if you have some spare time and not have to wait for everything to dry on this actual design.

Awesome. So now we're going to get this line work cleaned up and check out what we've done. I will say that it's a lot harder to line with these Pound of Flesh than it is the other two ones that I have been using. That's one thing to keep in mind, that if I was having to tattoo actual people like I am on this, I'm not sure if it's because it's a little bit thicker or they use different material to make it, but you'd really be overworking someone's actual skin. And you could see that there are some areas that lightened up even with tattooing that way. So it is actually harder to tattoo these Pound of Flesh than it is ReelSkins or the Frankenskins.

So far you are able to learn, you're able to practice, but they really aren't something that I probably will order again. They'd be great for working on your needle depth and everything, but you could see right here, I'm having to go back to a couple areas to darken some of these areas up, which I never have to do on the other two. I'm probably going into this fake skin about three millimeters, which is way deeper than I normally would have to, just to get it to stay in some areas. And I'm running my machine exactly how I would on a 10.5, exactly how I do on the other two. So I'm not changing up, I'm using the same machine, so everything is exactly the same. It's just not reacting the same to the way I tattoo, which is kind of annoying.

Okay. Now we're going to go into doing some shading on the candle. We're just going to do some pepper shading, so I'm going to turn my machine way down. I'm going to get my small liner out. I'm going to do some stipple shading for the actual candle. I'm just going to start here. I like doing stipple shading in candles, just because it looks really cool. The ink's showing up really dark. Normally when I would do stipple shading, I would use different tones and everything, but I actually have to go into a darker tone, because it's just going in really, really light in this fake skin. So I'm actually dipping straight into black, which I normally would not do.

Okay. Now that we're back with the actual mag, I'm using a 15 curved mag right here. Let's see how dark we could get this black to go into this fake skin right here. Turning my voltage back up, because I'm not doing stipple shading anymore. When it comes to gray wash, this is working really, really well. It's going in there really smoothly. I actually like this kind a little bit better for black and gray, I'd say. I know it's a little bit early to say that, but yeah, it's working really well. What that might mean is this is just fake skin for more of a realism or something with outlines to practice on, which would be cool, so you have different brands of fake skins that would be good for different things, which sounds like that sucks having to buy multiple, but it's actually a good thing being able to practice on different fake skins that work differently for each one.

Now we're going to dip into some of our gray wash and get some different tones in here. This is the difference between the black and my eight drops. Clean it over real good so we could see the difference. Cool. It definitely is going into the skin lighter than the actual black, which is good to see. It's also going in there really smooth, which is awesome. Yeah, so I'd say this is a safe bet to say that this skin is definitely made more for realistic tattoos. If you're wanting to get really nice transitions, this is definitely the one to go with. If you're looking more for neo-traditional or doing color, things like that, I would not recommend getting this kind for that.

Yeah. This is working really well for the black and gray. I really like it so far. Now what we're going to do is just work on the smoke a little bit. I like to incorporate smoke with my designs quite a bit, so I just want to see how it does. Okay. We're going to dip in some lighter gray wash. Now obviously, blood lining and using light lines is a little bit harder on fake skin, just because the pigment just kind of hangs out in there.

You can't do actual blood lines, because obviously there's no blood in fake skin, so you have to do just a really light gray wash with this [inaudible 00:14:36], which is obviously going to show up. So that's one thing to keep in mind whenever you are doing these fake skins for this process, be it your blood lines or what you're using are going to show a little bit with your actual final design.

All right. The final thing we're going to do to this is switch back to our liner and fill in some of the areas that I want to be a little bit darker on some of the very, very thin areas. I'm just going through my gray wash. I started out with my black, then my six drops, then my three drops, about like that.

All right. We'll get this cleaned up and check it out. When it came to these fake skins, it wasn't super hard. It wasn't like the cheap fake skins to be able to tattoo it, but it is very, very hard to get clean line work. More than likely, you're going to have to go over an area, because you have one area that's too light. Overall, the line work worked out really good, besides a few areas that I showed you earlier. And some of the areas are just still light. It's just really hard to get perfect line work, into these fake skins at least.

Now, when it came to shading, this stuff works great, so I'm definitely going to use this when I do the video on realism, because the shading goes in there really nice and smooth. It worked awesome. So yeah, if you are wanting some of these fake skins or you have some at home, definitely try out some realism on them, or just black and gray, things like that, because it worked out awesome for that. Big line work, not so much.

As always, if this helped you out and you learned something about these fake skins, make sure you like and subscribe down below so you can keep up to date on all the videos we come out with. And as always, I hope you guys have a wonderful day.

Our Score

7.0/10

GOOD

Price: $15+/each (8/10)

Current Progress
Current Progress
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We bought a large sheet of practice skin from Pound of Flesh for about $50.

While this is a bigger payment up front, you can cut it into small sheets (about 5-7” inches), which would end up being the same cost as similar sizes of Reelskins or Frankenskins.

Quality (8/10)

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Current Progress
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A Pound of Flesh is very thick, and you can easily practice getting a good stretch.

However, stencils come off of the skin pretty easily. (A Pound of Flesh even recommends leaving the stencil on overnight before tattooing.)

Handling (6/10)

Current Progress
Current Progress
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What style you tattoo will make a big difference in how well A Pound of Flesh works for you.

We had a hard time getting fully-saturated lines, and had to go 3mm deep in some areas. However, it’s great with black and gray and lets you make smooth transitions, which makes it perfect for realism.
PROS:
  • Super thick and stretchy
  • Easy to make smooth transitions with black and gray
CONS:
  • Difficult to practice lining with (have to go much deeper than on human skin)
  • Takes a long time for stencil to dry

Product Details

Measurements

10.5” x 22” (for $52; other sizes available)

Thickness

~3-4mm

Shades

4 skin tone shades + clear and white

Product Details

Measurements

10.5” x 22” (for $52; other sizes available)

Thickness

~3-4mm

Shades

4 skin tone shades + clear and white

A Pound of Flesh Tattoo Practice Skin - Our Review:

A Pound of Flesh offers the thickest and most stretchy fake skins we’ve come across. You get a lot of product for the money, which is great for new tattoo artists looking for plenty of practice. 

While this is a high-quality synthetic skin, it isn’t our favorite because it was more difficult to practice linework than expected. However, if you’re looking to practice realism, A Pound of Flesh is perfect for working on black and gray shading.
synthetic skin for practice tattooing techniques professionals

Note:

In the past, our artists tried out A Pound of Flesh’s synthetic tattooable hand. It wasn’t our favorite, but if you’re looking for practice on a canvas that doesn’t lie flat on your massage table, A Pound of Flesh does offer a wide variety of limbs, dolls, etc. for practice.

Heavy-Duty Fake Skin

A Pound of Flesh (APOF) has the two key features we look for when it comes to fake skins: it’s thick and it’s stretchy. This makes it much closer to tattooing real skin than the ultra-thin stuff that often comes in tattoo kits. It also allows you to practice stretching the skin and hitting the right needle depth so you’re prepared when you start tattooing actual skin.

rubber based materials apprentices use for practicing with new equipment
preparing to practice tattooing techniques professionals

Even though it’s high quality, the price seemed high…at first. Most artists - beginners and professionals alike - don’t want to spend $50+ on a single sheet of fake skin. However, these large sheets can easily be cut to custom sizes so you aren’t wasting any space, and you can get lots of practice. With this in mind, APOF is right at the same price point as its competitors. 

Harder to Practice Lining

While lining the tattoo, we found it difficult to get fully-saturated lines. In some areas, we had to go up to 3mm into the skin to get the linework to look right. Because 3mm is too deep for real people, APOF isn’t the best choice for practicing lining techniques

closely recreate tattoos on potential clients

For artists that want to practice styles that rely heavily on linework (like Traditional, Neotraditional, etc.), we recommend Reelskin or Frankenskins.

Black and Gray Goes in Smoothly

One issue we’ve found with other fake skin brands is that black ink and gray wash goes in very dark. However, when using different gray washes on APOF, we were easily able to see the different shades.

artist’s work on silicone rectangle shape

It’s also easy to get good transitions with APOF, which is why we would recommend it for artists that want to practice smooth black and gray or realism. 

Note:

Realism requires detailed stencils, and the APOF website suggests waiting overnight for the stencil to dry. We recommend following these instructions to a T. We waited only a few hours after applying the stencil to tattoo, and it easily rubbed off wherever the stencil was touched or wiped.

Who A Pound of Flesh Synthetic Skins Are (and Aren’t) For:

While we still prefer Reelskin or Frankenskins for all styles of tattooing, beginners and professionals alike who want to focus on realism should consider giving APOF a try. They’re thick and reasonably priced, which makes them a good choice for practicing existing skills or building up new techniques. 

We do not recommend these tattoo practice skins for artists who want to focus on Traditional, Neotraditional, or their lining skills.

Get A Pound of Flesh Practice Skins

practice tattooing actual skin
fake skin for trying new techniques and existing skills
tattoo practice skin at regular price
silicone doll to practice before tattooing customer
left like like arm with rubber based hand

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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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