The current obsession with faux freckles has been steadily ramping up over the past couple of years. First, there was the release makeup products specifically designed to help draw on faux freckles, like cult-favorite product, Freck. Next, henna freckles went viral on TikTok, with over 132 million views on the hashtag #HennaFreckles. Now, the trend has ramped up to a whole new (and more serious) level. Faux freckle tattoos–with, you guessed it, semi-permanent ink– are currently trending on the TikTok.
We can probably relate this trend to the fact that cosmetic tattooing in different forms has also been increasing in popularity recently. Microblading a.k.a. eyebrow tattooing and lip blushing a.k.a lip tattooing are becoming more commonplace forms of modern semi-permanent makeup, unlike hard tattooed eyeliner of years past. Just like other cosmetic tattoo procedures, faux freckles are created by a cosmetic tattoo artist, who maps out the small sporadic spots to imitate natural freckles and uses semi-permanent ink in the application process. They’ll often start with a small amount and add more depending on the desired final look.
The faux freckle tattooing process is more akin to microblading than a tradtional tattooing with the use of shallower strokes. On TikTok, people who have undergone the treatment are documenting the recovery process, as they fade to look more natural over a two-week period. Some people are also showing their touch-ups, as they require regular upkeep due to the fading nature of the treatment. Like micro-blading, habits like scratching or using retinol can lead to earlier fading.
In a creative twist, there are even people who are tattooing freckles in the pattern of specific star constellations. These can be zodiac star constellations and even heart or star-shaped beauty spots. While it may seem like a risky commitment to what could be a fleeting trend, freckle tattoos performed by a cosmetic tattooist only last up to five years (depending on how your skin type and how you take care of your complexion).
Like so many TikTok trends, there have already been fails posted on the app. “It doesn’t look natural the way she placed them,” commented one user on a video showing final results. One creator shared her results after using the traditional tattooing method, saying “it’s fine they will fade” before realizing the black spots would be permanent. Like other cosmetic procedures, the viral video serves as a reminder to go to a professional if you’re considering any beauty treatment including faux freckle tattoos. There’s also always the option of opting for less permanent ways to take part in the trend. DIY henna freckles aren’t looking so risky now after all.