I tried the popular beauty hack that turns pimples into fake freckles — here’s why I wouldn’t recommend it

The experiment could have gone better, but it also could have gone worse. Marilyn La Jeunesse

When I was younger, all the adults in my life lied to me and told me my acne would go away. But, here I am nearly a decade after puberty sporting fresh acne scars and one too many zits. While I’ve gotten pretty good at hiding my unwanted breakouts (shout-out to green concealer), sometimes wearing a full face of makeup is just … too much.

Thankfully, the beauty gurus have come to my rescue, providing me with the seemingly perfect way to disguise my whiteheads and cysts: transforming pimples into freckles.

To start, I watched Daisy Jerrell’s fake freckle makeup tutorial from 2016 to learn the technique used to create fake freckles. Jerrell has since updated the tutorial, but the premise is that you should use either an eyebrow pen or eyeliner pencil to apply the pseudo-freckles. I tried both techniques to see which was better.

To start, I strategised where I wanted to place my face freckles by locating the zits I wanted to disguise.

The location of my zits weren’t ideal for this experiment. Marilyn La Jeunesse

My skin is currently recovering from a breakout, so I mostly have a few scars on my cheeks and a giant zit in between my eyes. The location of these zits make it a bit difficult to follow Jerrell’s freckle pattern, so I’m not sure how the application process will go.

Before applying the freckles, I use green concealer, a thin layer of foundation, and a brush of tinted powder as a base for acne coverage.

Green concealer is my go-to. Marilyn La Jeunesse

It’s best to apply your usual normal foundation and concealer before putting on your fake freckles aren’t hidden beneath layers of cover-up. I used green concealer to eliminate redness and help lighten the scars on my cheeks before applying my foundation and tinted powder.

The first freckle method I try is using a dull brown eyeliner pencil to make petite dots across the bridge of my nose and cheeks.

It looked unnatural to me. Marilyn La Jeunesse

It took a few tries, but the eyeliner freckle application seemed to be successful. I covered them with a thin layer of tinted powder to make them seem more natural. Ultimately, I found that my application was asymmetric and that the location of my zits made my freckles seem even more unnatural than they already were.

After removing my first batch of freckles, I reapplied a layer of foundation to my nose and cheeks and tried a new application technique.

This didn’t work out too well for me. Marilyn La Jeunesse

Jerrell noted in her updated tutorial that using an eyebrow pen was better than an eyeliner pencil, which makes sense when you consider the fact that pencils can break and create freckles a little too big. I used Maybelline Studio Eye Liquid Eyeliner in forest brown solely because I couldn’t find a single eyebrow pen in my local CVS.

As I began applying the liquid freckles, I noticed that the application is much smoother and the pen has the ability to create freckles of varying sizes. I used a makeup sponge to blot the freckles after application to make them look more natural and cover them with a tinted powder for a more natural look.

I took a step back to admire my work and realised I will never have a future as a beauty guru. I went a little overboard with the freckles and created an absolutely unnatural train of freckles across my face. Plus, my freckles were uneven and the colour I used to create the freckles was too dark for my skin tone. To spare you from part of the mess I created, I put my hand over my face to show off the better fake freckles I applied.

Fake freckles don’t seem to cover the zits I need hidden, so I try turning my acne into beauty marks.

These worked better than freckles. Marilyn La Jeunesse

In a 2013 tutorial by Tanya Chisholm and Laurel-Manette, the duo showed viewers how to disguise acne as beauty marks a la Marilyn Monroe. In the video, the two used eyeliner pencils to lightly create a beauty mark on their breakouts. I decided to recreate this look using the brown eyeliner pen instead.

Because my breakouts are spread out across my face, using beauty marks as opposed to freckles is a much better way to disguise my acne. Although the beauty marks look better than the freckles, it seems unnatural to apply multiple marks to my face since I typically don’t draw them on.

When it comes down to it, the popular freckle beauty hack seems like a good idea if you have a concentrated breakout on your nose and cheeks (although you could definitely get away with a full face of freckles).

But, before applying the specks of colour to your face, make sure you have the right colour for your skin tone and practice beforehand. If you have one or two giant zits, however, I’d recommend creating fake beauty marks instead, as they will help disguise your zit in a more natural way.


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