Nothing says summer skin quite like a bold smattering of freckles across the cheeks and nose. But what should you do when you want the look, but you're not interested in the sun damage? Faux freckles to the rescue! If your skin doesn't freckle naturally, or if you heed our warnings and practice “safe sun” by slathering on the SPF 30, then you'll need to “go faux” and add freckles with a makeup pencil. Here's an easy guide to fake freckles that look just like the real thing!
If you find it helpful, please share my fake freckle tutorial on Pinterest!
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Step 1: Prep Your Skin
Since freckles pair best with a natural look, make sure skin is fresh and radiant by exfoliating and then moisturizing well. Clean & Clear “Morning Burst” Hydrating Facial Cleanser is a mild exfoliant that's good for sensitive skin. I'm a huge fan of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel because it's gel based and helps keep my oily skin under control.
Step 2: Add Foundation or BB Cream (optional)
If you're blessed with beautiful skin, you may want to skip this step. For those who prefer some coverage, I suggest using a lightly tinted moisturizing cream or a BB cream as a base layer. Two I really like are the Tinted Beauty Balm by Too Faced and Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. (I use Medium Sheer during summer when I'm tanner and Light/Medium Sheer during the winter months.)
Step 3: “Option 1”: Dot Freckles on using Makeup Pencils
You can use eyeliner or brow pencils to draw freckles. I use 2 or 3 brushes in varying shades of brown. It works better if the tip is blunt, so don't sharpen them too much! To apply, touch the pencil to your skin and twist. Spread the fake freckles across the bridge of your nose and upper cheekbones where they'd appear naturally from the sun.
I used my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz pencils in “Soft Brown”, “Medium Brown” and “Taupe” for this look. Topshop even created a pencil specifically made for the purpose of drawing freckles, the Freckle Pencil (looks like it's currently out-of-stock).
Step 3: “Option 2”: Dot Freckles on Using Makeup Pens
December 15, 2016 Update: Since I'm always experimenting with makeup, I often discover improved methods of application. The freckles in all of the photos on this page were created using Anastasia Brow Wiz pencils, but I've been experimenting with pens to draw them on recently and like the results even better! I just uploaded a video to my YouTube channel showing exactly how I apply the freckles now using brow PENS instead of pencils. See below for product links.
Go faux with my fake freckles tutorial! Click here to view it full size on YouTube.
The NYX Cosmetics Eyebrow Marker is a great tool for drawing fake freckles. I combine it with Anastasia's Brow Pen in the shade “Universal Light”. When adding freckles with a pen, move to Step 4 quickly and “smush” them into your skin while the ink is still damp.
Step 4: Blend and Smush (is that even a word?!)
To blend freckles into skin, lightly press your finger over each one. This will warm the product so it spreads out better and the edges won't look too defined.
Step 5: Set with Translucent Powder or Bronzer
To ensure freckles remain in place all day, use a large brush and set with a light dusting of translucent powder. I use Maybelline Master Fix Setting + Perfecting Loose Powder because it's a great dupe for the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in “Translucent”. An even better alternative is to add a very light dusting of bronzer! That way you'll look like you've been enjoying the sun! I use Benefit's Hoola Bronzer. Watch my bronzer video if you want tips on applying bronzer so it looks natural.
Salt in my hair…sand between my toes…sunkissed skin…that's how it goes!
Any person with freckles automatically seems to have a more carefree and fun personality, don't you think?! I'm not sure why, but I guess it gives the illusion that they're outdoors a lot. Or maybe it says they don't feel the need to hide under a ton of makeup?
If you need more inspiration, here's a shot of Kendall Jenner showing off her faux freckles on Instagram and here's my gallery of Celebrities with Beautiful Freckles. I also added dramatic freckles to my Rapunzel costume for Halloween. 🙂 Finally, here's a recent post of me, and if you scroll to the last photo you can see how I look in winter with my hair dyed darker and fake freckles on pale skin!