The Rise of Faux Freckles
By Jill Kligler
With over-lined lips, nose contouring and similar artistic trends gaining popularity comes the rise of faux freckles. Whether enhancing the freckles you already have, or entirely adding your own, faux freckles are making appearances everywhere. Chances are you’ve seen this trend in YouTube tutorials, magazine spreads, catwalks, Pinterest and on celebrities like James Charles and Emily Ratajkowski. Once considered a flaw, and often concealed, freckles are now being embraced and imitated throughout the makeup world.
It’s difficult to pinpoint where exactly this trend began. In 1995, Chanel was one of the first cosmetics brands to market a product made specifically for creating freckles, named Le Crayon Rousseur. Eight years later, Lancôme released a freckle pencil in their summer collection. The trend quickly picked up as celebrities and numerous runway shows, from Moschino to D&G, caught on to the growing craze. In the past few years it’s been more popular than ever, going from a high-fashion statement to a step in someone’s everyday makeup routine
You might be wondering what is so alluring about faux freckles. In recent years, natural makeup has gained headway in the cosmetics sphere, where the “no makeup makeup look” became popular. Freckles create the illusion of minimal face makeup, giving a natural and sun-kissed appearance even while wearing a full face of makeup. Another possible appeal is the desire to look younger. Well-known makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury, who frequently applied faux freckles at runway shows and on her clients, referred to the MAC pencil she uses for freckles as a “youth stick.” So is it the youthful, babyface or natural no makeup look that makes faux freckles so appealing? Both? You decide.
As someone who is all about embracing individuality and expressing yourself, I’m all for this trend. When I was younger, I would cover up my freckles with layers of foundation and concealer. I was jealous of those who had spotless, and therefore, in my mind, “flawless” complexions. As I grew older, I came to accept and eventually love my freckles, so I was excited when I found out about this trend because it made me appreciate my freckles even more. I’ve added and darkened my own freckles on several occasions and have always loved the result.
However, not everyone is as fond of the rising trend. One main reason being that the technique is faking a feature that many people naturally have, making it offensive to some who naturally have freckles since others can simply wash them off at the end of the day. Another common criticism is that it’s unnatural and gives a false impression of what someone actually looks like without any makeup. But then again, isn’t that the point if you wear makeup?
Want to recreate the trend? Graze the bristles of a spoolie over a brown eyeshadow and lightly pat it over your nose and cheeks. Touch up with an eyebrow pencil or eyeliner. Then gently dab a stippling brush over the faux freckles to blend and make them look more natural, or opt to use your finger instead. Finally, follow up with a loose translucent powder to set the freckles in place.
As faux freckles rise in popularity, makeup artists and enthusiasts have been getting creative with the trend. I’ve seen glitter, neon and sticker freckles in magazines, runways and social media. The artistic and expressive recreations of this trend are endless, and it makes me curious to how the makeup world will continue to amaze. Features that are traditionally considered to be “flaws” are becoming more and more accepted, and even desired. So what’s next? Faux stretch-marks? Scars? The world of makeup has no limits.