Consider this before you say no!
Move over, microblading, there’s a new semi-permanent technique in town—freckle tattoos. Just when you thought the beauty industry couldn’t get any quirkier, now women are choosing to give into their freckle fetish for their once bare faces. Once considered “skin imperfections,” freckles have gained new momentum and women everywhere are starting to embrace them in a bigger way. We hit up Montreal-based cosmetic tattoo artist Gabrielle Rainbow to get the skinny on the hottest sun-kissed trend (sans UV damage) of 2017.
Why Are Freckles #Trending Now?
“This is a question I often get asked. I think the best answer is clients wanted a way to get that sun-kissed look all year round,” she shares. “I think now that we know the importance of sunscreen, people are finding it harder to get their freckles to come out in the summertime. So why not get them tattooed on to have that look year-round?”
No Pain (Seriously), No Gain
“The most annoying part of ‘freckling’ is the urge to sneeze without it really happening,” explains Rainbow. “The pain is really tolerable—you could compare it to a tiny pinch.” In total, the process takes roughly an hour and a half (cost is roughly $250), but can last up to three years depending on the person.
“As far as placement, some people prefer only having a few concentrated on the nose/under-eye area; others will want them all over the face,” she says. “I always apply a stencil so my clients see and approve the placement.”
Welcome to the Not-So-Dark Side
“The biggest thing to take into consideration before placement is seeing the work of the artist,” explains Rainbow. “[Plus,] make sure the artist has completed and has good examples of healed work of the procedure.”
Another faux pas? Going too dark. “I would never give someone straight black freckles. [The color] is something the client and I will discuss together depending on their skin tone, desired look, etc.”
Gotta Take It Easy
“Your freckles after they are freshly done will appear dark and swollen—almost like little bee stings,” shares Rainbow. “The swelling in most cases will be gone after a few hours. During the healing process, I ask my clients to avoid makeup on the tattooed area for at least 2 weeks. [To soothe], simply apply a non-scented lotion such as Aveeno and moisturize them a couple times a day.”
Gimme, Gimme More
“Within the next 1-2 months you will notice your freckles will have faded quite a bit, become softer, and look more natural. As time goes on, you will notice some will disappear completely until they are gradually gone,” she adds.
“As far as maintenance, I tell people to come back and just get the color touched up every once in a while whenever they notice them start to fade a lot. Most people come back for more within the year because they end up loving them.”
Got Cold Feet?
If you’re not quite ready to get tattoos on your face (uhh, same), celebrity makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan (clients include Kelsea Ballerini, Halston Sage, and Laura Dern) gave us some more non-committal tips for getting the look yourself.
“The most natural-looking faux freckles can be easily achieved with most eyebrow products,” she shares. “Eye shadows tend to offer complementary shades, therefore giving realistic effects.” According to Deenihan, blondes should use a taupe shade while redheads should veer more toward strawberry territory. For brunettes, a light brown hue works well, and those with raven strands can opt for more cocoa tones.
Her favorite tool? A nail-art pen—but a DIY hack is cutting off the end of a cotton swap for a “flat” tip. When it comes to applying, think about where your sunglasses hit your cheeks to truly mimic those sun-kissed vibes. “Keep them [restricted] to the bridge of the nose and on the high cheeks. There’s no right or wrong amount to faux freckles—start off minimal and build as desired.”