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Makeup · June 19, 2015

I Tried It: Fake Freckles

When I first saw fake freckles on the runways and, later, in a handful of YouTube tutorials, I'll admit I was skepticalthe thought of drawing on just one faux Marilyn beauty mark seems risky enough to me. In the name of beauty (and convinced that the few real-life freckles I have could use some company), I decided to test drive the trend using three different types of liner I already had in my makeup bag:

Step 1: Create a Natural Base

For the most natural-looking specks, start with a brow product, which will be less pigmented than a regular eye liner. I used Eyeko's Brow Liner to dot my first layer of faux freckles, starting on the bottom half of my nose and working my outwards along both cheek bones, where the sun would naturally hit the face. As you go, use your finger to gently pat each dot to create a less circular, more realistic shape.

Step 2: Define

Now that you have a good idea of where your freckles will sit (and feel more comfortable drawing all over your face), go back in with a darker liner to add dimension. Smashbox's Always Sharp Kohl Liner in Sumatra's super sharp point will help you control your dots, and the creamy formula is workable enough to smudge as you go, giving you time to blend and lighten any spots if you press down too hard.

Step 3: Add Bold Beauty Marks

To finish the look, I sparingly made a couple dots with Stila Stay All Day Liner in Brown, a dark brown liquid liner, to match some of the darker natural freckles I have. Use the liquid liner last, when you're feeling the most confident in your freckle-faking capabilities, since it will be the most noticeable and hardest to blend. Be sure to lightly tap with your finger immediately after applying before the formula has a chance to dry.

The Verdict

I was pleasantly surprised (as were a few coworkers who watched me repeatedly dot eyeliner all over my face) by how natural this technique looks. While it's not something I'd take the time to sit down and do everyday (I'm what most would call a makeup minimalist), it is a fun way to give your look a fresh, summery vibe. It's also a handy no-makeup makeup trick: When you layer fake freckles over foundation or a BB cream, it makes you look like you're not wearing any coverup at all.


Erica Smith