Did anyone else grow up thinking that freckles were "angel kisses"? I think it was either my mom or my cousin Romy who told me the fantastical story. Neither have freckles. With all sorts of connotations from quirky, to fiery redheads, and an aversion to the sun, facial constellations as I like to think of them, are provoking discussions.
My current collection that's forgotten every winter and then returns with the first blaze of sunlight is in full swing, and I love it. Truly. But when you google the term "freckles," the first listing after Wikipedia's description is, "Freckles: Can You Get Rid of Them?" followed by a KidsHealth posting on what precisely freckles are and a boy who buys a recipe to grow them—with disastrous results!
The path to self-esteem can be interesting when your icon is Pippi Longstocking, but not everyone sees these random spots of melanin as a self-conscious thing. Whether it's models-of-the-moment Adwoa Aboah's and Sabrina Karlsson's staggering smatterings, or innovative makeup artists like Gucci Westman and Charlotte Tilbury, who love to draw extra freckles onto models' cheeks and noses, it seems that speckles are a new kind of mark, one that evokes and inspires. I'm girl-crushing all over Coralie Jouhier, the Martiniquan-French model turned vegan chef's beautiful array.
While we're at it, let's not forget the role the sun (and not only genes) plays in these pigment proteins. Melanin shows up when ultraviolet radiation (UV) hits the skin. UV is damaging, and melanin protects the skin from that damage by darkening it—think of it like your skin slipping on a pair of shades. Melanin is produced in a type of cell called melanocytes. In some people, melanocytes are spread out evenly, and sun exposure produces a smooth wash of melanin, also known as a tan. In others, melanocytes are bunched up, and the sun produces crazy balls of melanin, aka freckles.
If you have freckles, make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, since the areas where the freckles aren't located will be especially susceptible to sunburn: You can think of them as spelling out your own little reminder system. To that end, would you draw on freckles? If you haven't been blessed with a haphazard sprinkling, fear not. To fake a freckle or two, gently dot on with a brown-hued eye pencil like W3ll People's Hypnotist Eyeliner—it's brilliantly un-smudgy. Topshop Beauty has a cute and ultrarealistic Freckle Pencil too.
Freckles instantly make the complexion look fresh, as if you have no foundation on, and right now in the height of summer, when covering creams and powder can look too one-dimensional, pop a few freckles on—it will fool everyone into thinking you have beautiful skin and that you're not wearing much makeup. A derm's worst nightmare, a romantic delight, or a sign of individuality? It's totally up to you!