Faux Freckles: How To Do Instagram’s Favourite Summer Filter IRL

From fool-proof tips from Nikki Make-up to the TikTok trick that promises faux freckles for up to three days…

How To Get Freckles At Home With Make-Up

by Joely Walker |
Updated on

Ah facial freckles – the scattering of sun-kissed dots that signify summer to so many of us. But what if you’re not blessed with an au naturel set à la Zoe Kravtiz, Meghan Markle or Emma Stone? Ladies and gents, it’s time to fake it. Faking freckles has been big backstage at fashion week for years, with the likes of Jeremy Scott (for Spring/Summer 2012) and Preen (for Spring/Summer 2015) paving the way for that faux freckle look long before it hit mainstream Instagram feeds. Luckily for all, summer 2020 has seen the faux freckle trend go full throttle, with 97.4k #fauxfreckles posts on Instagram and counting, and a wave of new product launches and TikTok hacks set to make achieving the fake freckle look easier than ever before.

Fool-proof Freckles

First up in the art of faking it, the age-old make-up artists’ trick of using a brow pencil the same tone as your eyebrows to dot across the bridge of your nose and on the inner section of your cheeks. ‘Whatever you use on your brows is usually a good tone for creating your own faux freckles. So, take your brow pencil or gel and eyeliner brush and dot softly across the nose and upper cheeks. Next, tap over the dots with your finger and continue tapping along where the sun hits. As well as blending, this technique picks up a little of the product and redistributes it, resulting in an imprint of a freckle that ends up looking far softer,’ advises pro make-up artist and Instagram sensation, Nikki Wolfe of @nikki_makeup fame (with a casual 1.4 million followers following her every word – us included).

New Wave Freckle Tints

Introducing the Barry M Freckle Tint, £4.99, which comes in two shades – Light/Medium and Medium/Dark – and delivers a soft-focus freckle effect. Simply dot the tint onto the area you want to target (remember the bridge of the nose and down onto the inner section of your cheeks is winning placement) and dab in with your fingertips as per Nikki’s tips above. The formula is pretty sturdy (more so than your average brow pencil), but Barry M make-up artists also suggest setting the look with a translucent powder to improve longevity.

Another tint worth trying – Freck Faux Freckle, £17. Back in stock after selling out on Beauty Bay (we told you faux freckles were big business) this savvy formula has racked up its fair share of five-star reviews. Karol says, ‘Best product. Natural results. Will definitely keep buying this. The bottle is tiny but you dont need much so it's gonna last a while.’ Andi goes one step further with the ultimate beauty accolade: ‘I've used loads of fake freckle make-up but this is the best one BY FAR.’

The TikTok Hack

TikTokers are serving up beauty hacks aplenty to keep us going throughout lockdown (check out our favourite beauty TikTok accounts to follow here) and one that we recently stumbled across offered up a smart way to make your faux freckles last that bit longer. The key? Maybelline Tattoo Brow, £12.99. Danielle used the semi-permanent gel to dot a smattering of faux freckles across her cheeks for a two-weeks-in-St-Tropez vibe.

Available in 7 shades, the formula is meant as a brow tint that can last up to a few days at a time, depending on how long you leave it on for to start with. For example, their website guidelines state: ‘For one day of wear, leave to set for 20 minutes. If you’re after super long-lasting results (up to 3 days), leave Tattoo Brow 3-Day Peel-Off Tint on for 2 hours.’

So, if you’re in the market for a faux freckle formula that truly won’t budge, this hack could well be worth a whirl, and could last up to three days.

Double Whammy Faux Glow

Finally, if you’re looking to get experimental, take a leaf out of pro tanner James Harknett’s book and do a double whammy faux glow with a self-tanner. ‘The key to making this look really natural is to use the right brush,’ advises James, ‘I used the Real Techniques Stippling brush, which I’ve been using loads recently. It’s crucial to use a fake tanning formula with a tinted guide colour. Simply spray one pump of tan - I love Fake Bake Flawless, £24.95 - onto a plate and then dipped the top of the brush into the solution, so it evenly soaks into the tips of the brush. Next, press the the brush lightly over the bridge of the nose and cheeks for the desired freckle effect and leave it to set for a good 2/3 hours. Finally, gently cleanse and there’s a faint, natural-looking freckle effect left in place.’ Well we know what we’re trying this weekend...

Shop: Our Favourite Freckle-Faking Buys


Best faux freckles products

Barry M Cosmetics Freckle Tint 2.5ml1 of 3
CREDIT: Look Fantastic

Barry M Cosmetics Freckle Tint 2.5ml

CREDIT: Beauty Bay

Freck Faux Freckle Cosmetics Neutral

Maybelline Tattoo Brow Easy Peel Off Tint 4.6g3 of 3
CREDIT: Feel Unique

Maybelline Tattoo Brow Easy Peel Off Tint 4.6g

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