New York City, NY

Gen Z Addicted to Fake Freckles (and we're here for it)

Bryce Gruber

That faux freckle trend that was circulating the internet last year? Bigger than ever now.

Anyone who grew up in the early 2000s or earlier can remember when makeup ads boasted "extreme coverage" and the ability to "hide" and "improve" freckles, but much like everything else Gen Z has tossed to the wayside, freckle hate is OUT and loving the idea of natural imperfection is incredibely en vogue. So much so that beauty lovers in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami are buying freckle-making makeup products in bulk.

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Lottie London

"It actually started in 1995 when CHANEL, the first company to release a product designed to create faux freckles, released Le Crayon Rousseur," New York-based celebrity makeup artist, Allyson Wisel, says of the now-discontinued cult favorite. "The appeal of faux freckles lies in the idea of looking sun-kissed," she says. "We love getting tan, and people often feel their best when they're tan. Freckles typically appear on lighter skintones when we have gotten a fair amount of sun."

The trend has made a major comeback with Gen Z beauty enthusiasts and those stuck at home looking to try relatively simple new ways to enhance their look. "People just love being able to change their appearance so easily, and without commitment," adds Wisel of this now-mainstream look. "It's really been a big deal with Gen Z makeup lovers because it's easy, inexpensive, and quick to try, but also to remove if you're feeling over it."

While the CHANEL sku might've been ripped from store shelves years ago, one affordable brand, Lottie London, has a best-selling Freckle Tint Temporary Skin Tint that's become a modern day budget-friendly essential for Gen Z makeup bags.

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Lottie London Freckle Tint, $7.49 here

The product's description reads, "Achieve that sun-kissed, 'just back from holiday' glow / come back from the beach vibe with Freckle Tint by Lottie London. This temporary skin tint adds instant freshness to any look. Simply dot onto the face and set with translucent powder for a natural look, or go bold and create a look with ALL the freckles you've always dreamt of babe!" and mentions that the singular shade is universal and a sort of one-size-fits-most type approach to added bits of color to lighter-toned skin.

Using the affordable product and achieving the on-trend freckled look is easy, according to Wisel, and just a matter of technique. "I use the applicator to place the Lottie London Faux Freckle on my skin, let it settle for three seconds and then gently press them in with a beauty blender type makeup sponge," she says, adding, "That will deliver a real-looking freckle that you will love."

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Lottie London

The resurfaced trend first caught steam roughly a year ago in early 2020, but was sort of reserved for editorial-seeming beauty campaigns, professional makeup artists, and beauty bloggers, but has since hit the mainstream in a big way, and seems poised to stay for several seasons ahead. It's in line with other simple makeup trends that have emerged since mask use as increased, leading to just about all makeup trends with above-the-nose visibility finding a way to increase in popularity.

"I see the faux freckles trend persisting," Allyson told us with enthusiasm. "It's fast and easy, and makeup is used to enhance your look. Freckles are no different, and a timeless form of natural beauty."

Consumers are on board, too. "I actually have always had freckles and felt insecure," one 22-year-old self-proclaimed beauty product hoarder from Brooklyn, New York told us when asked about the faux freckle trend. "It's really cool to see the thing I felt weird about all through high school being popular enough now that people want to try to recreate the look. A few of my good friends actually have this product, and I'm getting a kick out of them trying to nail my natural face look. I hope it stays popular, because I'm loving this moment."

Lottie London Freckle Tint is available here.

Have you tried this makeup trend yet? Would you? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section below. Your thoughts may be used for a future BEAUTY FILES column here.

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Bryce Gruber covers women's lifestyle content and news ranging from shopping to travel, beauty to parenting, wellness and delicious eating. Find her at @brycegruber on social media, and across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting topics at TheLuxurySpot.com, Readers' Digest, Bravo, Parents.com, Martha Stewart, and on your TV screen through national talk shows including The Tamron Hall Show. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.

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