Jan Brady started a freckle-removing frenzy when she used lemon juice in an effort to make hers disappear. Granted, it didn’t work (and how could it?), but that doesn’t mean that freckle-faced girls around the country didn’t give it a try. Thirty years later, even I attempted this “technique.” Until the age of 25—which, coincidentally, is this year—I tried anything and everything that promised to remove or hide my freckles, from makeup marketed to conceal them to lasers that healed sun damage. In a world where tan, spot-free complexions are the ideal, my pale, freckled skin always felt out of place. It turns out that, just as I’ve finally learned to accept them (I still wouldn’t say I love them, but I do go foundation-free more than not), freckles are now trending on the runway.
At Spring 2015 Fashion Week, freckles were painted on the models’ faces at Milly, Richard Chai, Adam Selman, Creatures of the Wind and Preen. Topshop even sells a designated Freckle Pencil ($7, us.topshop.com) specifically for drawing little flecks of color along the cheeks and the bridge of the nose. As a girl who has always looked young for her age (at 25, I still get asked if I’m over 18), I always placed the blame on my freckles for contributing to that youthful appearance. Lo and behold, that’s one reason they’re trending: The addition of freckles takes years off in seconds. Another plus? They breathe new life into the ever-popular “no makeup” makeup trend.
Pulling off the look yourself is surprisingly simple and can look realistic when done right. The first rule is to concentrate on where the sun hits the face—mostly on the nose, cheeks and forehead near the hairline. Lightly tap the pencil or brush onto the skin quickly and randomly. The key is not to focus on each freckle because naturally, they’re not perfectly shaped or perfectly separated. (Many of mine actually overlap.) You can also feel free to use more than one color because, depending on how much sun damage it’s accrued, each freckle is a different shade.
Trends may come and go, but my freckles are here to stay. And now that I finally see their good qualities (at 40, I won’t mind looking seven years younger), I won’t jump at the chance to try the next lightening cream or full-coverage foundation. I’m going bare-faced and I’ll be proud of it.