How to Apply Fake Freckles With Makeup So They Look Natural and Cute

How to Apply Fake Freckles With Makeup So They Look Natural and Cute

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With barely there, no-makeup-makeup continuing to reign supreme among beauty’s elite, it was only a matter of time before freckles became a bonafide trend. After all, there’s something about a healthy smattering of freckles that makes for a particularly fresh-looking complexion. So much so that even those who aren’t naturally bespeckled are finding ways to get in on the action—sans sun damage, that is. Enter the faux freckle. While nothing new, faux freckles have seen a major mainstream resurgence over the last several months, and are showing no signs of stopping.

It’s worth noting that faux freckles aren’t just a fun add-on, if used correctly, they can also act as tricks of the eye. For example, applying fake freckles on top of a full-coverage foundation can help it appear a bit more natural by giving the illusion of natural freckles peaking through makeup. They can also help camouflage breakouts, transforming an unfortunate-looking zit into a sun-kissed after effect.

While you can certainly experiment with a brow pencil or self tanner to achieve the perfect smattering of freckles, we prefer to use a product specifically made for the task. And lucky for us, we’re in the midst of a freckle pen renaissance—today’s options are easier to use and offer more natural-looking effects than ever before, complete with freckle shade ranges and countless tip iterations.

Our Favorite Fake Freckle Picks

1. Salty Face Freckle Paint

The Salty Face Freckle Paint ($22) features a tapered brush tip and almost henna-like consistency that creates a sun-kissed effect that stays put all day. The flexible brush makes it easy to control the depth of color and size for a customizable look. Pro tip: If you have particularly oily skin, try priming your face with powder before applying to prolong wear time.

2. Freck Beauty’s Freck OG 

Freck Beauty’s Freck OG ($22) makes application a breeze with its buildable formula and customizable approach. After applying to the skin, allow the formula to sit on the skin and develop naturally before tapping them out across the skin. The longer you let the formula develop, the bolder the freckles. 

3. Beaubble Berry Freckled Pen

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Instagram-famous Beaubble Berry Freckled Pen ($22) made in collaboration with content creator Rudi Berry. It’s quickly become a favorite among beauty’s best and brightest, including Hailey Bieber, thanks to its revolutionary ball-shaped type and stain-like staying power. It also features a true-brown hue, meaning you don’t have to worry about it pulling too orange or red and taking away from the natural-looking effect.

4. Tarte Go With the Faux Freckle Pen

Perhaps the most unique freckle pen on the market, the Tarte Go With the Faux Freckle Pen ($22) features a fiber-bristle brush (think a mini mascara wand) with an angled tip for easy-to-apply freckles. The bristles ensure a variety of depth and shape among freckles, making for an ultra-natural effect. The waterproof formula makes midday touch ups a thing of the past, and, best of all, it comes in three different shades so you’re sure to find your perfect hue.

5. Colourpop Freckle Pen

Colourpop’s Freckle Pen ($9) features a flexible felt tip applicator that’s particularly great at creating buildable color and variable shapes. The smudge-proof formula works as well over makeup as it does on its own and imparts a sunkissed look that feels breezy and effortless. While it comes in a soft brown hue meant for lighter skin tones and dark brown one for medium to dark tones, we suggest picking up both and interspersing the colors across the face for an even more natural, dimensional look.

6. Lime Crime Freckle Pen

Whether you like your freckles looking au naturale or you’re going for more of a pop, the Lime Crime Freckle Pen ($15) is a great choice thanks to its shade range and lightweight formula. The shade range is easily the most impressive, with three different skin-toned shades and a bold magenta option that’s especially fun. It has a tapered, slightly chubby felt tip applicator that offers a range of color payoff and freckle size depending on the pressure used—though it might not be the best for achieving ultra-light, tiny freckles. The formula even works on the lips for those interested.

How to Apply Fake Freckles

  1. If using a pen, be sure to give the product a good shake before opening, with the applicator facing the floor. This will help distribute the formula to the pen tip and allow for lighter pressure.
  2. Use the applicator to stipple a few dots on the face  in spots where you’d naturally get the most sun exposure, like the bridge of the nose and the cheekbones. Be sure to employ varying pressure to create different sizes and saturations of color—this will give the most natural-looking freckles. Also, avoid making them too balanced or evenly spaced; any sort of intentional pattern will take away from the natural effect.
  3. Depending on the desired depth of color, wait between 15 and 45 seconds to give the pigment time to settle. For the most natural effect, vary your waiting time with each application.
  4. Using a clean fingertip, lightly tap the dots of pigment to diffuse the color and disperse the dots.
  5. Repeat until you achieve the desired effect. For the most natural, dimensional finish, do several passes using varying amounts of pressure and waiting for different amounts of time before blending out.
  6. For long wear, set freckles with a light dusting of setting powder.


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