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Practicing volume lashing can be a little frustrating. There are different stages that you need to perfect so I find it easiest (and less stressful) to practice each stage on a model head or similar setup. Only progressing onto a real model when you feel that you have some confidence in each stage.
Before you start taking on real models I recommend that you spend some time just practicing pickup. Try out the different techniques, different tweezers and alter your angles. Get comfortable with your pickup before you attempt anything else.
When you think you have the hang of it that's when you can try picking up just the right amount of adhesive. You need enough to keep the base together and attach but not so much that it closes your fan.
Practicing on a sponge can be very helpful as the base of the fans will adhere to the surface. Placing them here can give you an idea of how long you need to be holding the fan in place.
You could then move on to practicing on strip lashes. However, I find that a better alternative is to work on human hair. Fans attach differently to synthetic lashes than they do to real hair due to the lack of moisture. If you can find some ethically sourced human hair lash strips you could use those or you can just cut your own, stick them to some double sided sticky foam and practice on those.