Freckles on Face

Makeup can be confusing when you have a face full of freckles. Should you cover them up with heavy layers of
foundation if you want an even complexion? Or should you focus on concealing specific areas that need
coverage? Or skip face makeup all together in lieu of lash-lengthening mascaras, brow-defining pencils, and bold
lip colors?
As someone who has freckles that I want to proudly show off, I personally avoid using foundation to cover them
up—and lots of makeup artists agree with me. However, if you are going to apply face makeup over or around
your freckles, you’ll want to make sure to choose your shades
Eager to learn more, I spoke with other makeup artists for their
best tips on applying makeup on a face with freckles. Read on
for more of their spot-on advice.
Tips for everybody:

  1. Skin prep is crucial.
    Start by cleansing and moisturizing your skin so the makeup you
    apply after goes on more smoothly. When skin is ultra-hydrated
    and exfoliated, your freckles look bright and your skin looks
    glowy, makeup artist Emily Cheng tells SELF. We recommend
    Murad’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, $39, which has glycolic,
    salicylic, and lactic acids for a gentle, yet effective cleanse, and
    follow up in the daytime with La Roche-Posay’s Double Repair Face Moisturizer UV SPF 30, $20. (Of course, it’s
    important to wear sunscreen daily—and reapply throughout the day—to protect your skin from harmful UVA and
    UVB rays. Derms usually recommend sunscreens with at least SPF 30.)
  2. Choose coverage products that match your skin’s undertone, not the tone of your freckles.
    Makeup artist Carly Giglio tells SELF to choose a foundation that complements your skin’s undertone—not the
    undertone of your freckles, which actually tend to be cool-toned. Your skin’s undertones are, generally speaking,
    bluish (cool), yellowish (warm), or, in some cases, neutral. Freckles can sometimes make figuring out your skin’s
    undertone more confusing, makeup artist Delina Medhin tells SELF. In that case, she says, “Take a look at the
    neck and the chest to figure out the right foundation or concealer color.” Some products will helpfully tell you on
    the label which undertones they suit best.
  1. Use smaller brushes—or your fingers—for more precise concealer application.
    The best way to apply concealer is by using your (clean!) fingertips or tapered blending brushes. Giglio also likes
    using a Beautyblender, which comes in several sizes and helps you target areas more precisely.
  2. Give yourself a natural flush by using a cream blush.
    Cream blushes look beautiful on any skin tone because they look like they’re living “in the skin” versus sitting on
    top of it, Medhin says. We recommend RMS Lip2Cheek, $36, which is a cream blush and lip tint in one. The
    product is buildable and blends really nicely in for a subtle glow.
    Tips if you want to show off your freckles:
  3. Pick sheer products that are buildable, as opposed to thick, full-coverage ones.
    The key to letting your freckles show is opting for sheer, buildable products. “Avoid any medium- to full-coverage
    foundations, heavy powders or powder blush,” makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci tells SELF. “Creamy sheer products
    will put your freckles on display,” she adds. This means using lightweight products like tinted primers, tinted
    moisturizers, and spot concealers—the more sheer the better.
  4. Mixing your existing products with moisturizer makes them more sheer.
    Can’t splurge on new makeup right now? No worries. You can sheer-ify heavier foundation with some moisturizer.
    Cheng recommends mixing your moisturizer with a lightweight foundation like Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint,
    $26, or Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Moisture Foundation, $70.
  5. Lightly spot-conceal major blemishes in freckled areas.
    Before spot-concealing freckled areas, blend out the concealer as much as possible over moisturizer so it doesn’t
    look cake-y. Makeup artist Jamie Dorman recommends Rituel de Fille’s Ethereal Veil Conceal and Cover, $34,
    which is a cream concealer that comes in 12 shades and builds to provide more coverage. Another option Cheng
    recommends is NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30, or Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage, $35, which is a
    two-shade concealer that can be customized to address your skin tone.
  1. Enhance your freckles with a brow pencil.
    You can make your freckles pop by emphasizing them with a little bit of makeup, Cheng tells SELF. Lightly
    tapping a brow pencil on your existing freckles can bring them out even more—so long as the shades match up,
    of course. She recommends Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, $21, which has a small tip that’s great for
  2. Play around with warm-toned lip colors.
    Most freckles tend to be cool-toned, which is something to keep in mind when choosing a lip color. However, if
    you like to experiment with contrast, lips are a good place to try it. Dorman tells SELF that when she’s working
    with someone who has freckles, she will choose a warm-toned lip color to juxtapose the cool-toned freckles. She
    recommends an orange-based red, such as Beauty Pie’s Futurelipstick Matte in Hot Saucy, $25 (or $5 with
    Tips if you want to cover up your freckles:
  3. Use a color corrector first.
    Heavy makeup coverage on top of freckles that have not been color-corrected can look odd, but a
    color-correcting primer will help neutralize the colors (in addition to further prepping the skin for more makeup).
    Choose a color corrector based on the shade of the freckles, Giglio explains. If the freckles are more red, a
    green-hued corrector will help even the tone, while a yellow-hued corrector will counteract or neutralize more of
    the deeper purples. (If this sounds familiar, the same technique is used when you want to cover up undereye
    circles or a blemish). Giglio recommends the Stila Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette, $45,
    which is a versatile, creamy palette of five color correctors that can be layered with other powders and creams.
  4. And if you want to create freckles from scratch…
    Want to give yourself even more freckles? Anastasia Beverly Hills’s brow pencils listed above would be great for
    faking freckles, or try BBB London’s Ultra Slim Brow Definer, $20.
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    Talia is the Editorial Assistant at SELF and has been part of the team since January 2018. At SELF, she covers
    beauty and skincare through the lens of wellness. As a reporter, she’s also covered a wide range of topics from
    arts and culture in the Middle East to Italian politics.Talia… Read more
    SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by
    this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before
    consulting with a healthcare professional