Nothing makes me feel as confident as my freckles. But here's the thing: they're completely fake. I wasn't born with them, nor are they the works of a tattooist or makeup stamps. Instead, I use a liquid pen meant for eyebrows to meticulously apply individual dots one by one every single day. Within five minutes, my face is full of faux freckles.
That's right: I've sipped the same Kool-Aid as everyone else on Pinterest and Instagram — even Selena Gomez has recently hopped on the speckled bandwagon. Earlier this week, the singer released the lyric video for her newest single "Fetish," and while the camera's focus was mainly on her lips, it was the freckles scattered across her cheeks and nose that had everyone talking. Within hours, Twitter exploded with negative tweets, primarily geared toward her makeup artist Hung Vanngo, for putting faux dots on the singer. It sparked the question: Why would someone draw on freckles they don't naturally have?
Of course, stencils, stamps, tattoos, and other forms of makeup have been responsible for faux freckles in the past, but it wasn't until recently that models all over social media have turned the fad into a beauty mainstay. Some are more dramatic and colourful, while others remain a natural-looking brown that could fool even the biggest skeptic.
What's more, people are searching for freckles on Pinterest now more than ever. The brand tells us that glitter freckles have been pinned 90% more times within the last year alone, and you'd be surprised at just how many boards of "faux, fresh freckles" exist (hint: too many to count). People are no longer interested in covering them up — they want to recreate them.
So that's what I do every day. I apply my dots, pat the pigment down with a Beautyblender to make it look more realistic, and then head out the door — and I don't see anything wrong with that. How is it any different from me swiping on a killer cat-eye or red lipstick whenever I need a boost of confidence? I don't wear faux freckles because it's trendy; I wear it because it makes me feel damn good about myself. And isn't that the whole point of makeup in the first place?
We have a series here at Refinery29 called Power Faces that highlights someone with a signature beauty look. That look, which is almost always due to the magic of makeup, is so engrained in their being, they can't imagine themselves without it. Well, I can finally relate. While I've only been dotting a brown eyeliner onto my cheeks and nose for a few months, I feel more "me" than ever before.
It makes sense: When I was in elementary school, I used to steal my mother's kohl eyeliner pencil to apply a fake beauty mark on my cheek every day. My brother was born with a real one, but I wasn't, and I was endlessly jealous. Any time I wore that dot to class, I felt unstoppable. I felt powerful. It was a feature I had always wanted, and finally, I could have it with just a few swipes of makeup. My drawn-on freckles have the same effect — and there's no way in hell I'm ever going back.