What to Read Next

How to Extend—Or Fake—the Sunkissed Look

Joanna Douglas
Senior Editor
August 29, 2014

Photo: Donna Trope/Trunk Archive

I don’t tan, I freckle. In fact, I rely on a light dusting of freckles across my nose and cheeks to prove to the world that I have, in fact, seen the sun. Not to mention, they lend a youthful appearance to my face. If you pay attention to such things, you might have noticed that the fall runways were full of freckle faces, with makeup artists letting the model’s natural sun spots shine, or even deliberately drawing them on. What better complement to a lightweight sweater than the faint remembrance of warmer days?

ELLE.com points to Sarah Lucero, Stila’s global executive director of creative artistry, who dotted on the brand’s Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color ($21) in a light brown to fake a sun-flecked look at the Skingraft fashion show. “Freckles instantly make the complexion look fresh, as if you have no foundation on,” Lucero told ELLE. “If your foundation or powder looks cake-y, pop a few freckles on top. It will fool everyone into thinking you just have gorgeous, perfect skin, and that you’re not wearing much makeup.” Clearly Lucero was on to something, as freckled skin was the go-to feature for fall thanks to the new “it” model, Magdalena Jasek.

Freckles have come in and out of fashion over the years. In 1910 products like Pond’s Vanishing Cream promised to erase the stubborn spots. In the ‘20s and ‘30s Stillman’s Freckle Cream claimed to remove your freckles “secretly and quickly,” as if they were something to be ashamed of. As tanning began to signify a life of leisure in the ‘50s, women began to embrace their freckles, and by the ‘90s, everyone from Kate Moss to Nicole Kidman was giving them a good name. Chanel even launched Le Crayon Rousseur in 1995, a pencil designed to paint on freckles for those unable to achieve the look naturally. “The `little girl’ look is quite in,” Chanel market development manager Timothy Walcot said at the time. “This is intended as a bit of fun.” Lancome followed suit with their own version in 2003.

Now, stars like Emma Stone, Gisele Bundchen, and Lucy Liu make freckles look good. It’s time to embrace them. Skip foundation, lay off the concealer, and if you don’t have your own, try Topshop’s new Freckle Pencil in the aptly named Forever Young ($7). Dot it across the bridge of your nose and across your cheekbones where you’d normally apply bronzer. Once my natural freckles fade I’m fully prepared to fake it until the next time I can catch some rays.