There’s not much that I miss about my youth, but if I could permanently restore my lost smattering of nose freckles, I would.
Few things are as attractive as a constellation of pigment clusters imprinted across the face, and the more densely they’re packed, the less makeup you’ll need to wear (a girlfriend of mine is covered completely in freckles and it’s as though she wakes up each morning in a perfect face of foundation).
That said, women with freckles will simultaneously have other skin concerns and may crave coverage, but I’d urge them not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. A thick foundation will send freckles grey and dull. Better to unify the surrounding skin tone with a clean, more transparent base like Chanel’s Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint (£50) or, for a little more coverage, MAC Cosmetics Face & Body Foundation (£32 for a bottle four times the size of most). Then use a full coverage concealer to camouflage any spots or dark circles.
Those bereft of their former freckles, or those who’ve never known the joy at all, can fake them if they’ve the inclination. There are now several faux freckle pens on the market, Freck (£17) being the original and most famous, but for something so novelty, I’d suggest Lottie London Freckle Tint, for a less risky £6.95. Whichever you choose, the most natural application method is to get as many freckles from each brush-to-pot dip as possible – this mimics the naturally varied shade density of real melanin dots – some lighter or smaller, some darker or bigger.
When the dotted-on freckles are semi-dry, tap your finger on to them, and then again on to the unmarked surrounding skin, effectively copy and pasting your freckles across the nose and cheeks. This haphazard, blurry approach gives an authentically scattered freckle pattern, as opposed to the uniformly dotted brow pencil method that unfailingly looks too St Trinian’s fancy dress.
It’s a fun, pretty look to try once in a while, though its wash-off nature makes it a faff for anything approaching daily wear. That said, do not make like a TikToker and use longer lasting henna, unless you’ve got your technique down and are absolutely sure it’s natural henna sold specifically for skin, not hair. Never, ever use “black henna” (PPD dye that can trigger a reaction and kickstart lifelong allergies), and remember any errors will take days to fade.