Fake freckle make-up is officially a thing: here’s how to do it and which products to use.
My summer has been absolutely chock-a-block with weddings. Each one bringing with it the pressure to look more fabulous than at the last, as me and my best friends discuss the never ending outfits, make-up looks and hair ideas we’re going to try.
But a few weeks ago, at the fourth wedding of the season (just two more to go, people) one of my friends looked positively glowing, prompting me to ask her what she had done differently with her make-up that looked so bloody cute.
“It’s my freckles,” she whispered. “They’re fake!”
The more I looked I realised she was right, this dainty splattering of adorable freckles across her nose and cheeks was new, and suited the summer vibes perfectly. Naturally, I wanted the look for my own.
As soon as I’d registered the possibility of fake freckles in my mind, I seemed to notice them everywhere.
On Instagram, global make-up artist and beauty influencer @nikki_makeup regularly uses them in her tutorials on a range of models and as popularity grows, more brands offering the tool have started to come out of the woodwork.
Which brands do fake freckle make-up?
Freck is the tool of choice for @nikki_makeup who uses it consistently. The brand is American, but you can buy it on Beauty Bay in the UK for £17. It claims to be run by women and to have the interests of creatives and entrepreneurs at its heart, also running a blog and podcast next to its stylishly packaged range of cool-girl products.
Freck describes its OG product as “buildable, quick and realistic” and advises those using it to “hold the brush vertically, apply Freck to your face in small constellations of three to five dots and blot with your fingertip to soften the shape of your freckles, before setting with powder.”
I tried Freck and I would say that although the brush is appropriately dainty, the consistency is good and the colour is a nice warm, brown that seems right for freckles, the product itself is strangely small. Freck is about as big as your thumb, if not a little bit smaller, and although I can see why the brush would need to be fine I don’t think it makes economical sense to re-buy.
Looking on Beauty Bay it seems other people were as surprised as I was to see how small the product is, with one user writing a review that reads: “I knew this was going to be a small product, but it still managed to shock me how small it was. Especially for the price!”
While another says: “I’m a little bit disappointed with this product. It’s not good value for money. Even though I knew it was a small product I was quite shocked at how small it really is. Because of that I think this product is way to expensive.”
Lottie London is like heaven for Gen-Z, with fun, glossy packaging and of-the-moment-trend products. They have just launched Freckle Tint for £6.95, which calls itself a temporary skin tint to add “freshness to any look”.
Lottie London’s instructions are much simpler than Frecks, and would be less effective if you were to follow them and hope for a natural look, advising customers to “simply dot onto the face and set with translucent powder for a natural look”.
Freckle Tint is very similar to Freck OG, except that it’s twice the size and three times less expensive, making it much better value for money. The consistency is very similar and the hue is a deep brown with a slight warmth which makes it realistic. Again, it’s blendable and buildable to use, so you can create just the right amount of freckles for your face.
How do I use fake freckle make-up?
After testing out both freckle products for over a week I would say that both of them work in the same way, and that the technique you master for one can be used with pretty much any faux freckle pen. First of all do all of your make-up like usual, including your base, any powders or highlights and your eye make-up – freckle make-up should be the finishing touch.
As you can see in the below picture, I already have a few freckles which are half-evident, just below the surface of my foundation making it easy to decide where to put my fake ones.
If you don’t already have an outline of natural freckles to follow, though, be careful not to go too neat or too focused in one area. Although it might be tempting just to scatter them on your nose, a friend of mine noticed they were fake because they looked “too perfectly placed”. Once I started spreading them underneath my eyes and along the top half of my cheeks they looked more natural.
After deciding where you’d like your freckles to go, ensure the brush is neither too loaded with product nor too dry. If the brush has any clots of liquid on it you’ll get huge splodges on your face, but also if it’s not slick enough there won’t be enough product to pick up on your finger and dot around, to create a more natural flurry and random look. I’d suggest giving the brush one wipe on the inner edge of the barrel before you start dotting.
Now that you’re ready to dot, go for one area at a time, and make a mini constellation. I like to start with one cheek and spread them down from my nose to my pupil, in around five dots. Give them a couple of seconds and then using one finger, tap a dot and pick up a little of the product from it, and try to recreate two more dots with that extra product. Do this to all of the dots you’ve created, making more dots in the closely surrounding areas.
It’s okay if the dots are slightly different colours, but if any look really obvious just give them a little tap (no product should be left to pick up at this stage) and they should fade. Next move on to another area, for example the rest of your cheek, and do the whole thing again.
I would recommend continuing to build on your freckles section by section until you’re completely happy with the effect. Remember, you can keep tapping and gently rubbing them until they fade so that it looks just right.
What’s the verdict?
I, for one, am actually completely sold. I like my freckles so it can be annoying when, if I want a full coverage look, they disappear under my foundation so this is a great way to bring them back. When done correctly I also think the effect is really cute and makes a case for more natural looking make-up, which for someone who always felt embarrassed of having gingery hair and freckles at school, is really encouraging.
Everyone in the office liked them, too. As I sat down at my desk, junior digital writer Lauren Geall looked at me and exclaimed, “they look cute!” While features writer Hannah Keegan offered, “they look really nice, so much more natural than I thought they would be.”
This could be a trend I’ll jumping aboard, and staying faithful to, for a while to come.
Images: Unsplash - Erik Mclean / Instagram