Teenage Girl's Face With Freckles

If you were teased as a kid for having freckles, this makeup trend may blow your mind. Young adults and teens are actually applying faux freckles with a variety of makeup products to create the look that you have been trying to hide for years.

Why do natural freckles appear? Freckles are clusters of melanin-producing cells that appear on the skin when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most commonly, they appear on the cheeks of the face, the nose, neck and shoulders. Every person’s freckles are different. For some people, the freckles that appear in the summer will fade in the winter. For others, once freckles appear after initially being exposed to UV, they stay year-round.

Although freckles tend to appear on the skin of people with Celtic heritage (fair eyes and skin), many people can freckle when exposed to the sun. People of African, Asian, Hispanic or Mediterranean descent can also freckle.

After Meghan Markle unabashedly displayed her freckles on her wedding day, tattoo artists began receiving requests from wannabes to apply freckles permanently to their unspotted faces. Few have complied, offering temporary makeup solutions instead for this request. Some use henna tattoos to create the freckle trend without the long-term commitment. Lighter and deeper tones of skin can do this.

As your summer tan begins to fade, you might consider the trend of applying faux freckles to your face to keep that sun-kissed look a little longer. This casual no-makeup, fresh look actually requires quite a bit of makeup to do correctly. Look up “faux freckles” on YouTube to see a variety of young men and women who offer lengthy tutorials outlining the multiple steps to create the fauxfreckled face.

Katrina Spence, a beauty advisor and stylist at Aura Hair and Makeup Salon in Alpharetta, offered some spot-on advice for anyone hoping to create a freckled glow.

“To get the sun-kissed glowing look, use bronzer on the edges of the forehead near the hairline and down to the temples and under the cheekbones,” Spence said. “Dapple highlighter on the bridge of the nose, upper cheekbones and lightly above the eyebrows.

Glossy lips and a light shimmer eyeshadow in the center of the eyelid add to the overall effect. Freckling products are placed over a layer of foundation, blush and highlighter. The faux freckles are a finishing touch to the entire look.”

Many products can achieve the spatter of freckles. Anything with a light brown or taupe color can work. Consider using slim eyebrow pencils, felt tip eyeliner or root touch-up spray used sparingly over the bridge of the nose (practice on your forearm, first). Eyeshadow scraped from the pan with a spoolie brush and scattered lightly over the cheeks by tapping the brush is one suggested method. Faux freckle products such as Freck OG are also available. This is typically a very small vial of light brown liquid with an ultra-slim applicator.

The most important tip, Spence said, is the use of your fingers to dab the color to soften the freckles. Do this immediately after the product is applied for lighter spots. Let the product sit for a minute if more pronounced freckles are desired. Keep dabbing around cheek and nose. The excess product on your fingertip is also imprinted on your skin in lighter shades.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect,” Spence said. “Natural freckles do not appear in perfectly matched constellations on each of the cheeks. They can be different sizes and shades. Place a few on the temples, tip of the nose, upper lip, anywhere freckles can show up on the face. Use setting spray or translucent powder to set the look.” 

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