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I for one, have always longed for an adorable sunkissed patch of freckles across the bridge of my nose and cheeks. I’ve been naturally “blessed” with a couple of large sunspots on my face thanks to a childhood spent growing up on the beach without proper SPF habits. However, my time spent in the sun has never quite mimicked the adorable spots I find ever so charming. I know many people born with freckles who have tried nearly everything under the sun to get rid of or conceal them –a cosmetic pursuit that’s always left me puzzled and envious.
And while the obvious remark that embracing your natural beauty — “flaws” and all — certainly warrants being addressed here, I find freckles to be an asset, not a flaw. Moles, over-sized birthmarks, and blemishes are nothing to hide in my book. I’ve learned the phrase ” you always want what you don’t have,” is astonishingly accurate when it comes to our personal views on beauty. When I was young, I prayed that I would be granted with the voluptuous curves (and cleavage) of Marilyn Monroe when I grew up, but instead was dealt a different set of cards — an awkwardly lengthy frame and a modest (aka flat) chest.
I’ve come to embrace without ever being tempted to correct these traits with surgery — though I will admit to wearing a ridiculously padded bra from time to time. While I realize this is an arguably trite cliche in the age of body positivity, my point is that enhancing your features with makeup and hair changes can be a fun way to play with certain features you find attractive, without concealing the beauty you were born with, and for me, fake freckles are the prime example of this ethos. And, clearly, I’m not alone here, seeing as how nearly every Instagram filter comes with a subtle set of freckles and all the cool beauty TikTokers are giving tutorials on how to get faux freckles.
After conducting even more research on the blossoming beauty trend, I found a lofty collection of YouTube tutorials and beauty how-to’s offering step-by-step guides for achieving the look. Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes is a fan of the look, as are YouTubers like James Charles and even supermodel Candice Swanepoel.
With that being said, when I discovered a freckle-feigning beauty product called Freck, I was immediately intrigued at the idea of coloring on faux freckles over my base for a “natural” look. Aside from their undeniable adorable factor, adding a couple of spots on top of your makeup can help an over-powdered or full coverage look appear more natural and skin-like. It’s the ultimate hack for “no-makeup makeup.”
Freck is an excellent fool-proof product that allows you to create long-lasting and natural-looking spots. I waited a month for it to get restocked before I was able to purchase it, and yes, it was worth the wait. But it’s also super easy to add them on using an eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, or eyeshadow that’s a few shades darker than your skin color and has a cool or neutral undertone. There are even stick-on products to give you a super intense look too. Here’s how to fake freckles for a quintessentially sunkissed look at any time of the year.
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Freck O.G. Freckle Pen
If I didn’t make it obvious earlier, I am clearly obsessed with this freckle-faking pen. It’s a liquid formula that dries down matte (almost like a long-wearing lip stain) after a couple of minutes, giving you time to pat in the product for a more natural look. I simply press the applicator directly on the bridge of my nose and cheeks and use my finger to soften them a bit, but you can also use a beauty sponge for extra precision.
I like to add this on top of foundation and a good setting powder for extra longevity, but you also wear it alone or under a tinted moisturizer or BB cream for a more subtle effect. Also, the O.G. Pen now comes in an XL size, and darker hue, Freck Noir to suit a wider range of skin tones.
ColourPop Faux Freckle Pen
This easy-to-use faux freckle pen comes in two shades—light brown and dark to cater to different skin tones. The pen is designed with a foolproof felt-tip applicator and a super-long-wearing ink formula that stays put all day long.
Lottie London Freckle Tint
This newly debuted drugstore freckle pen is great for quickly adding some spots to your look. It has a similar application design to Freck’s and allows you to build up your faux freckled look to your desired liking, whether you’re going for subtle or aiming to look like an Instagram filter.
Lime Crime Freckle Pen
Just like a felt tip eyeliner marker, this Faux Freckle pen is easy to use thanks to large but precise applicator tip. The long-wearing formula dries down quickly, but too fast so that you can’t pat down any accidents before it sets into place for the day. I also love that it’s available in two different shades to accommodate more skin tones: amber and cocoa.
Pseudo Labs PHreckles
This genius liquid formula applies similarly to the way the sun would “apply” natural freckles to the skin. Basically, you flick the freckles onto your skin using the spoolie-like brush, working in sections of the face. It also features a fine-tip applicator allowing you to add precise or more prominent spots as well. PHreckles are waterproof and transfer-resistant for up to eighty minutes or wear, and they last about four to six hours. Also, the leather packaging the kit comes with couldn’t be any chicer.
L’oreal Infallible Long-Lasting Eyeliner Pen
This long-wearing felt tip eyeliner is a great alternative to the Freck Pen because it has a pointed tip for precise application when you’re adding dots by hand and dries down almost instantly for a full day of fade-resistant wear. Simply tap the applicator onto the areas where you want to add some dots, and quickly pat with a finger, brush, or sponge to soften the look to your liking.
Wunderbrow Dual Precision Brow Liner
If you’re looking for a more forgiving (i.e. error-proof) option for fake freckles, this long-wearing eyebrow pencil is a solid choice. It’s creamy enough to give you plenty of blending power in case you mess up in the process, but not overly waxy, so you don’t have to worry about it smudging or transferring throughout the course of the day.
NYX Nude Matte Eyeshadow
Using a taupe or cool-toned brow powdered eyeshadow is another more forgiving product for adding fake specks. However, this method requires a bit more prep than others. You’ll want to grab an angled or super-tiny shadow/inner corner brush and add a generous amount of powder. Then, you’ll use your finger to create flicking motions to apply the product over your nose and cheeks. It may sound a little daunting, but it results in an ultra-natural effect, which you can choose to wear alone or build up with a pencil afterward.