While it’s a great time for those naturally blessed with effortlessly adorable freckles to embrace what melanin gave them, many of us aren’t willing to risk unnecessary UV exposure to achieve them. Enter ‘faux freckles,’ which you can create easily with makeup you may already own.
Step one: Choose your products
“You don’t have to be a pro to try this trend, but when experimenting for the first time, just use your brow pencil,” says makeup artist Katina Nicolaou.
“I like using a waterproof brow pencil, to make sure the look stays put throughout the day.”
Nicolau loves the #BombBrows Microshade Brow Pencil by Huda Beauty. The ultra-fine tip will give you more control and result in tinier dots. Freckles are pigment cells that contain melanin, so use the same colour that you would for your brows. This will appear the most subtle and suited to your natural colouring.
Feeling more confident at the vanity? Opt for a liquid product.
“I find myself most often reaching for an eyebrow pen with a brush tip applicator because they actually have lighter pigmentation than brow pencils, but are still buildable,” says beauty content creator Marissa Roy.
“My favourite is the MAC Shape + Shade Brow Tint because the pigmentation is just right.”
You can also buy products specifically made for creating freckles on the face. Freck Beauty’s Freck The Original Freckle was one of the first, but it usually works best with a little more practice. If you’re feeling playful, have some fun with the Milk Makeup Tattoo Stamp. The small heart and star temporary tattoos are perfect for application on your face or collarbones.
Step two: Prepare your canvas
“Prep your skin how you would for any long-lasting makeup application,” says Roy.
“Everyone should start with a moisturizer. Real freckles vary in pigmentation and size, so for the most natural look, try layering your faux freckles between skin care and coverage steps. Apply a few after you prep your skin, a few after a tinted moisturizer or foundation, a few more after your blush or bronzer.”
For best results, use a sheer foundation that will allow for coverage, but be light enough for the buildable freckle technique that Roy recommends. Try NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer.
Step three: Place your freckles
Dot your pencil or pen over the tops of your cheeks, and across your nose, in a W shape.
“Dab with varying pressure to create different intensities,” says Roy.
“No two freckles are alike, so this will help you avoid all of your dots looking symmetrical and round.”
Stand back to look at your full face in the mirror and go slow. It is always easier to add more than to remove.
Step Four: Blend and set
Once you’re done placing your dots, diffuse the edges of the freckles by tapping them lightly with your finger or a beauty sponge.
“Take your ring finger and lightly dab over your new freckles,” says beauty expert Tracy Peart.
“This will soften the colour, blur the edges and make your freckles look more natural, as opposed to stark, round black spots all over your cheeks.”
Finally, she says, “set your freckles with a translucent powder.”
Peart recommends using a fluffy powder brush, not a puff to apply your powder.
“A brush won’t deposit as much powder as a puff and will soften it and dull your new freckles.”