Summer 2018 is officially over. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting nippier - but if you missed out on ample sun time to get your freckle game on point, fret not. For awhile last year women were drawing on freckles with eyeliner pencils, definitely not the most practical endeavour. Now, you can stop the search for the world’s longest-lasting setting spray and upgrade to something a little more permanent. It’s true, not everyone’s exactly gung-ho to tattoo their face but if you can handle the feeling a stick and poke, you’re already set.
Since May, the spike in freckle tattooing has been linked to Meghan Markle after her wedding beauty moment when she let her natural freckles show through her foundation. The Duchess made it cool for all the freckled girls to let their spots run rampant and inspired the freckle-challenged to hop on the bandwagon.
But there’s nothing new about this. Last August, Fashionista heralded freckle tattoos as the latest microblading trend. A quick scroll through Instagram and you find before and after pictures dating back even earlier.
Freckle tattoos are a semi-permanent option to give you that sun-kissed look all-year round. Excessive sun exposure can cause serious damage, from wrinkles to skin cancer, but this treatment gets you Lindsay Lohan level freckles without sacrificing your skin’s health.
So, how does it all work? Research your nearest cosmetic tattoo artist. The tattoos are hand-poked using an iron-based cosmetic tattoo pigment and should be placed sporadically and asymmetrically on the cheekbones and and the top of the nose. Avoid freckles that look too perfect and always start with less. The goal is to look more beach babe, less porcelain doll.
Don’t plan any big life events the week after your treatment, either. Bare-faced is the way to go for three to seven days while the tattoos heal. Right afterwards, the freckles will look very dark and the skin around them will be red and inflamed but as they soften they become more natural-looking.
Just like microbladed brows, tattoo freckles require periodic upkeep. They need to be touched up every 12 to 18 months as the skin metabolises the pigment. Fun fact: if you’re anemic you’ll need to get touch-ups done more often because the iron-based pigment absorbs faster when you’re iron-deficient. And if you need a quick refresher on tattoo prep or care at any time consult part one of our Path to Permanence series.
One last word to the wise, the Instagram explore page is littered with videos of people using henna tubes to do their freckles but professionals suggest against that. It may seem cheaper than the $200-$300 you’d pay for a treatment but synthetic henna can contain harmful additives and chemicals - it’s not worth the risk.
Tattooed freckles definitely aren’t for everyone and even though they’re only semi-permanent, you’ll still have them for at least a year. If you want another cute, less committal alternative you can opt for one of our semi-permanent tattoos somewhere else on your body. However, if you’re ready for the commitment, as with any sort of tattooing, make sure you look into the artist doing it and the parlour where you’re getting it done. It’s your only face, after all.
Written by Kelsey Adams