It was just a regular Tuesday night when I stumbled upon an Instagram story by beauty blogger, Mariela Pena from A Good Skin Day, giving herself semi-permanent fake freckles in the back of her car.
And I thought the process was absolutely genius.
You see, freckles are having a bit of a moment and unless you were born with sun kissed genes, no amount of incidental sun damage will give you that speckled visage.
Also the sun is bad, and you shouldn’t go outside without a good slathering of SPF 30+. Your future self will thank you.
This means we must resort to artificial measures, and while a brow pencil or eyeliner pen will do the job, when correctly applied, a brow tattoo tint is the more natural looking, smudge-proof option… should you ever have the hankering for some faux freckle goodness or find the need to attend a fancy dress up party as Pippi Longstocking or Twiggy. You never know.
Speaking to Mariela herself, I asked her to share her tips on putting your best faked freckle forward.
Sharing her wisdom, she said that while at first she picked up a ‘dark brown’ shade, she soon realised that colour gave her freckles a blue / green tint, and instead recommends using lighter tones.
“It was disappointing when I saw the green dots on my face instead of the warm brown I had envisioned,” she told Mamamia.
“So I went back a few days later and got their lightest shade in blonde. Fortunately that worked perfectly!”
So with her natural, speckled work of art as my goal, I tried my hardest to mimic her.
While Mariela used an Almay semi-permanent brow tint product - which is not available in Australia - I used the Maybelline Tatoo Brow Gel Tint in Light Brown ($24.95), and it worked perfectly. After testing all the shades in-store, I picked up the colour 'Light Brown' which was a light cool-toned brown shade which mimicked the colour of faded, natural freckles.
It's also a good idea to test the product on your hand before applying the stuff to your face. This way you can get a feel for how to get your desired freckle size and roughly how long you'll want to leave the product on before you wipe off - just keep in mind your face is naturally oilier than the back of your palm, so you'll need to leave the product on for longer.
Also, it should be noted that I added the freckles without taking off my existing makeup - which was sitting around the five-hour mark - and didn't have any issues with the colour not taking.
Next up, the process.
I found that most of my reference photos (see Mariela's example) had the highest concentration of freckles around the nose bridge, before they faded out along the cheeks, with a few more scattered along the tops of the cheekbones. In hindsight I might have placed too many freckles on the inner third of my cheek - but alas, that's a learning for next time.
If you like, you could also dot a few more along the high points of your forehead and chin. For the most natural look just remember to mimic the spots were the sun naturally hits your face - ie not the inner third of your cheeks (oops).
You could also substitute the Gel Tint brush with a fine eyeliner brush or pointed Q-tips (like these from Swisspers) for more precision. For reference I stuck to the built-in brush, and while I feel like a smaller tip could have made the freckles look more natural, it wasn't a major issue.
Next up you want to dot on your fake freckles with a VERY light hand, wait for around 30 seconds to a minute maximum, and then simply wipe the product away with your finger. The tint dries almost immediately when applied the skin and peels off when you removed, meaning you don't have to worry about anything smudging.
To my surprise, as long as you nail the actual tint placement, the rest of the process is a breeze. If you wanted darker freckles you could leave the product on for a bit longer, but remember it's always better to build up the colour instead of mistakenly leaving the tint on for too long.
Here's what the final result looked like...
Overall, I'm pretty happy with my new found freckles. Does my technique need a bit of fine tuning? Yes, but my colleagues said the end result look au natural. The tint is also light enough that if you did truly mess up, or just didn't like the results, you could cover your handiwork with some concealer or a medium-to-high coverage foundation.
Either that or go over your failed freckle fiasco (alliteration intended) with a round, or three, of micellar water.
What are your thoughts on fake freckles? A bit ridiculous or would you give it a try? Tell us in a comment!
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