The Latest Trend in Blemishes: Faux Freckles

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Written and Illustrated by Channing Smith, Contributing Writer

It is not difficult to see that my family is related. Traveling in a carrot-topped pack, we share the traits of a pale complexion, curly, thick locks and, of course, the crowning family jewel: freckles. Though we each have a unique spattering of the faint brown dots, it is a common factor among us all.

I have memories of a younger me, glaring into the mirror and wondering if I would be prettier without the imperfections that tainted my cheeks. I wondered if I would look older without the dirt-like specks that emphasized my youth. I swore to my second grade self I would get more Valentine’s Day cards in my classroom mailbox if I just had a clear face. As I stared at my mother, absolutely coated in the marks, I resented the fact that I too would gain more of the speckled stuff with age.

“Am I going look like that, too?” I asked my mother one fateful morning in front of the mirror. Though probably offended, and rightfully so, she laughed and answered, “Yeah.”

Alas, as I grew up, my fear came to life. I am truly polka-dotted.

Accepting defeat, softening my freckles with makeup became part of my daily routine — until a few days ago. While aimlessly paging through a magazine, I came across something that caught my eye. “Get Frecked!” the page shouted, advertising a temporary freckling beauty product. The model had decorated her face — her enviable polka-dot-free face — with faint specks mimicking freckles.

My youthful insecurity has become a commodity.  

Launched in May of 2017, Freck is a California-based brand selling only one product, which they advertise as “The original freckle cosmetic: quick, realistic, buildable.” Despite its recent launch, Freck has gained optimal media attention from YouTubers and beauty bloggers alike.

While I spend time covering these imperfections on my face, other girls, perhaps in a parallel universe, are paying money for a product that imitates the look I am trying to erase.

I trace the constellations on my arms in puzzlement, wondering at the appeal of a littering of brown spots on your skin. But my freckles are just that, constellations; the patterns are unique to only me, like wearing a fingerprint for all to see.

My freckles are not a trend, but a part of who I am. They connect me to my family, heritage and self. As trends come and go, I know soon enough girls will scrub the marks off their face, while mine shall remain. And that’s okay.


“Freck.” Accessed October 31, 2017.

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