Whether you have year-round speckles or just a light sprinkle, your freckles
always look best when you embrace them. “There’s something refreshing and real about freckles. It’s a sign of youthfulness,” says Daniel Martin, a celebrity makeup artist for Dior. But freckles aren’t just cute, they’re sexy-without-trying-too-hard, too. Any doubt and look at Victoria Secret bombshell Erin Heatherton’s signature smattering.
No wonder the fashion world is also celebrating the
natural — and surprisingly versatile — look. Faux freckles have been popping up on the runways to complement the no-makeup effect, and were used as a strategy to play down dramatic flourishes. “Freckles make everything else you do, whether it’s a lip or strong feline eye, look a bit more effortless,” says Hannah Murray, a makeup artist and Topshop beauty consultant.
And while sun-kissed spots are trending, makeup tricks to make them shine have been a little less forthcoming. (Hey, it wasn’t so long again when freckles were erased with full-coverage makeup or Photoshop.) Luckily, that’s about to change! Read on for some expert-approved methods to enhance your skin while maintaining your beauty marks. And, if you don’t have freckles but wish you did, keep reading. There’s a crazy-easy trick to
fake 'em here for you, too.
Slather On SPF (Even If You Don’t Feel Like It) Okay, technically this isn’t a makeup tip, but applying a daily sunscreen (even in the winter!) is the most important thing you can do for your freckles. “People who freckle also tend to get a lot more age spots and sunspots,” says Gita Bass, celeb makeup artist at Simple Skincare. Simple Skincare
, $9.99, available at
Remember, hyperpigmentation is triggered by sun exposure, and the melanin in your skin that accumulates will eventually surface. No need to freak, though. If you’re diligent about wearing sun protection, you’ll help protect those cute clusters from morphing into darker and larger splotches in the future. Once you find a daily moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 15 (or more), this step is a total no-brainer.
SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair SPF 34 Tinted, $68, available at SkinMedica. More
This lotion smells clean, sinks into your skin within seconds, and keeps your makeup in place all day.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15, $11.19, available at Target. More
There's a reason this lightweight cream is a cult classic. It protects with powerful zinc oxide, while keeping breakouts at bay.
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, $32, available at Dermstore. More
Know Which Trends To Skip Reality check: The contour craze is risky business for girls with freckles. “Traditional contouring is such a cosmetic-heavy technique. It’s a pointless exercise when you’re trying to show off your freckles. You’re better off highlighting the cheekbones, which sculpt the face naturally,” says Murray.
Use a dab of Vaseline or Egyptian Magic on the orbital bone and bridge of your nose to pop your features. You may not look Kardashian-cut, but you’ll get enough dimension without dulling your freckles.
, $39.00, available at
Egyptian Magic More
Another great option for a highlighter in balm form is this coconut-scented tube from Glossier. It's a multi-tasker, so keep it in your bag to swipe some moisture on your lips or gloss your lids on the go.
Glossier Flavored Balm DotCom in Coconut, $12, available at Glossier. More
Or test out
Zendaya's $12 dewy trick: Dab a little of Aquaphor's healing ointment on your cheekbones in place of highlighter for a non-sparkly sheen, or go extra glowy by layering an illuminator on top. Aquaphor Healing Ointment, $11.79, available at Target. More
Go For The Glow If you're looking for something a little more iridescent, reach for a liquid illuminator like this one. Simply pat the lightweight highlighter onto the tops of your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, and on your Cupid's bow, or mix a drop into your foundation for allover radiance. Nyx Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator, $7.49, available at Ulta. More
A good highlighter, like this one, will never make you shine like a glow stick. Instead, it'll gives your skin an overall brightening effect — without getting in the way of your freckles.
rms Living Luminizer, $38, available at Sephora. More
Lighten Up Your Foundation…A Lot It’s really hard to rock freckles and heavy makeup. Don’t get us wrong, you can definitely use foundation to deal with redness or whatever little issues that bug you, but your formula shouldn’t interfere with your skin’s texture or — much worse — wipe out your spots. The safe bet: a sheer BB cream or tinted moisturizer. Apply it just where you need the coverage, like around the nose and chin, and use a damp sponge (or BeautyBlender) to remove any excess product.
Does your skin get super oily? Avoid piling heavy powder on your T-zone, warns Murray. “The whole point here is fresh, healthy skin. You don’t want a matte finish.” She recommends an oil-absorbing moisturizer or primer layered underneath your foundation to minimize the grease
and preserve your glow.
One final foundation pitfall to avoid: matching your makeup shade to your freckles. “People try to even things out and end up with a really dark face,” says Bass. When you pick a foundation shade, use the lighter skin in between the darker beauty marks as your guide.
, $35.00, available at
Or Smooth On A Mineral Powder When it comes to mineral makeup, this is the crème de la crème. While the formula is incredibly easy to build up, the first application is sheer enough that freckles can shine through, but blemishes or inflammation is hidden. BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15, $28.50, available at BareMinerals. More
Or Reach For A Tinted Moisturizer Most tinted moisturizers and BB creams offer sheer to medium coverage that will let your freckles shine. Plus, many formulations have added skin-care benefits, too. L'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream, $10.99, available at Ulta Beauty. More
We also love this CC cream, which packs SPF (nothing wrong with two layers of sun protection!) and a light tint that perfects skin without covering freckles.
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+, $38, available at It Cosmetics. More
This tinted formula is lightweight and offers up just enough coverage for day, without hiding the spots you love. An added bonus: The formula does overtime as a moisturizer.
BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream and Moisturizer, $20, available at Sephora. More
Cut Down On Concealer Concealer can look obvious and unnatural against freckled skin, especially if the formula is cakey or opaque, says Bass. Luckily, you can get away with less: “Skin imperfections aren’t as noticeable, which is another advantage to having freckles,” says Bass. When your skin does need some correction, say under the eyes or around the nose and chin, use a sheer concealer, or mix your current formula with a little moisturizer to thin it out. NARS
, $34.00, available at
One concealer caveat: Your eyelids may need full coverage. “Freckles on your eyelids can look like a mistake when you’re wearing complicated eye makeup,” says Bass. In that case, layer a heavy concealer underneath primer to create a blank canvas for eye shadows.
Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer, $70, available at Nordstrom. More
Urban Decay's doe-foot applicator offers precise coverage, and a delivers a lighter application than a lot of the heavy duty, tackier concealers out there.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer, $28, available at Urban Decay. More
Potted concealers often feel too dry to smooth on your face in one fell swoop, but this one is intensely hydrating, too. The pigmented formula stamps out redness, but is sheer enough to let your freckles shine through.
Glossier Stretch Concealer, $18, available at Glossier. More
Bronzer Isn’t Off-Limits If you’re worried that warm tones will wipe out your freckles, relax. As long as you keep it sheer, a little sun-kissed color complements your speckles, which are naturally more prominent post-sun. Get it with a light cream or gel bronzer. “You want to add a little bit of warmth, but you also want the skin to come through,” says Martin.
Powder bronzer has too much pigment and can give freckles an ashy finish, he warns. Blend the color along your cheekbones, forehead and nose, using a stippling brush for a light, feathery application. Your neck always tends to be paler than your face and shoulders, so sweep a bit over that skin too. (Try
Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick or Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronzing Tint).
P.S. No matter which bronzer you pick, avoid anything that has a sparkly finish. Glitter will overpower your freckles, according to our pros.
, $45.00, available at
P.S. Avoid any bronzers with a sparkly finish. Glitter will overpower your freckles, according to our pros. Opt for one that adds warmth, not shimmer.
Becca Bronzing Skin Perfector, $36, available at Sephora. More
This liquid bronzer has a matte finish and can be worn all over the face or on just in the contours for a defined look — all without worry of overshadowing your freckles.
Benefit Dew The Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer, $28, available at Sephora. More
Reach For A Really Bright Blush No need to be shy when picking your cheek color — freckles look extra fresh under a wash of bright pink or coral. In fact, “you need a little pop of color to add contrast. Anything too brown or warm could make your freckles look muddy,” says Bass.
A cream is best, or go with a sheer powder if your skin is super oily. Tap the color over the apples of the checks with your fingers to blend. “Freckles tend to get lighter as you go out toward the cheekbones anyway, so it looks really natural and you don’t have to worry about covering them up,” says Bass.
, $25.00, available at
If bright pink isn't your cup of tea, a creamsicle-colored blush will give you just as much brightening action without
If you're looking for the perfect bright-coral hue, look no further than this one from Bobbi Brown.
Bobbi Brown Blush in Pink Coral, $28, available at Macy's. More
Make Your Mark If you don’t have freckles of your own, you can totally fake it with a pencil. Um…how exactly? Alternate two different shades — taupe and ash brown — to create the most realistic-looking spots. Brow pencils tend to have these tones, or you can use a pencil that swirls two natural shades together.
Now, for your technique: First, soften the tip of the pencil on the back of your hand, then tap the color over the bridge of your nose and over your cheekbones. “The quicker you do it without thinking, the better. The randomness is what makes it work,” says Murray. Press each mark gently with your ring finger to push it into your skin and lighten the color a bit. Set with a very light dusting of translucent powder before you flaunt your newly speckled skin.
Anastasia Beverly Hills
, $23.00, available at
Ulta Beauty More
Worried about staying power? Try adding light, small dots with this Kat Von D Tattoo Liner,
then top with a classic pencil using the tips on the previous slide. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown, $20, available at Sephora. More
Want to make everyone smile? Instead of little dots, stamp on a few miniature smiley faces (Or hearts! Or stars! Or peace signs!) along your cheeks instead.
Milk Tattoo Stamp, $12, available at Milk. More
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