How to Fake Freckles: One Editor’s Quest

Kristen Bateman
how to get freckles2 How to Fake Freckles: One Editors Quest

Photos: Getty

Here’s something most people don’t know about me: I’ve always wanted freckles. Something about the way they make anyone instantly look more interesting and add a more effortless and carefree vibe has always been enchanting to me. It’s the more appealing¬†version of the sun-kissed tan.

As a natural redhead, my mom was blessed with more freckles than anyone else I’ve ever seen. Looking back at photos of her from the ’70s, her freckles contrasted with her long center parted hair to make her a beauty icon for the ages. And she’s not the only woman whose freckles amplified her style. Just look¬†at old images of Twiggy, Mia Farrow, Charlotte Rampling and Sade. Obviously very cool girls with their own sort of style. Their spots may be minimal, but they’re high-impact and give a little extra edge to a look.

With my fair skin and freckle-less face, I’ve dreamed about spots and dots scattered on my nose and cheeks forever. I’d never attempted the look with makeup before, but I decided I had to shortly after I read about Freck Yourself, a temporary tattoo created specifically for getting the freckle look, back in November. Sadly, the kit is still not available for purchase, but it inspired me to achieve freckles another way.

It turns out, the internet has a lot of resources for people who want freckles. Two of my favorite findings are a very detailed, somewhat hilarious Wikihow page, and this very detailed beauty blogger’s video. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a product hoarder and had hoped to get the look using some tools I already had at home (and mentioned in the video) such a a stipple brush, sponges, eyebrow pencils and, in one case, a lip liner. For me, the look wasn’t natural enough for me to want to wear out. It felt clownish and I couldn’t get an even consistency.

Photo: Topshop

But then, I realized Topshop sold a Freckle Pencil, basically made for people like me. Though its reviews are mixed on the website, it’s the best thing I’ve found so far for achieving the look. After some trial and error, I’ve learned two important lessons in using it. 1) The tip has to be very sharp to avoid getting “freckles” that look like little lines rather than small dots and blobs. 2) Blending a translucent or skin colored powder under and over the fake freckles not only gives it staying power, but it also makes it look more natural and softer.

Because of the time and effort, it’s not something I’d wear everyday. But when I do see a gorgeous photo of Sade, Mia, or even model-of-the-moment Natalie Westling (all of which incite major freckle lust), I know I’ll be reaching for my freckle pencil.