Tutorial: How to Create Fake Freckles With Eyeliner Pencils

fake freckles for cosplay

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There are many characters that have freckles. If you want to cosplay them accurately and you don’t have any, you’ll need to use makeup to your advantage so you can complete your freckled look. There are multiple ways you can add freckles to your face depending on the tools you have and the type of freckles you are trying to create.

The method you choose will depend on the final look you’re going for. If you only want a few subtle freckles, you might use the first method, whereas if you want a dramatic face full of freckles, the third method might be best for you. 

Before applying freckles with any methods, make sure you’ve already applied your makeup as usual. The freckles will be the last layer you add so that you don’t have to worry about smudging them afterward.

Hand drawn freckles
Hand drawn freckles are more subtle. If you try to make many dramatic freckles, it will look unrealistic.

The easiest method for adding freckles is by drawing them onto your face one by one using an eyeliner pencil. However, it’s not easy to create realistic freckles using this method. It’s best used when you’re trying to create subtle freckles, not dense or dark spots. You can also use this method in addition to the other methods I’ll talk about in this post to create a wider variety of freckles on your face.

You would also use the eyeliner method if you’re trying to create obvious cartoon-ish freckles. For example, it could be used for a character like Izuku Midoriya to create his character-accurate freckles even though they don’t look realistic.

Items you need:

drawing freckles with eyeliner
I recommend using an eyeliner with an actual pencil tip.

1. Use multiple shades of brown to create dots on your face

Start by using your eyeliner pencil to scatter dots throughout your face. Try to be as random as possible and make some larger dots and some smaller. I recommend using eyeliner that has an actual pencil tip since that makes it easier to control the shape and size of the dots you create.

Real freckles are not all consistently the same color, so if you want a more realistic effect, it’s best to use multiple eyeliner pencils in varying shades. I usually make a lot of dots with the lighter shade and then add a few more scattered around with darker shades of pencil.

patting freckles down
Pat down freckles using a sponge so that they don’t smudge easily.

2. Pat your freckles with a blending sponge

At this point, you want to make sure that your freckles are not going to smudge too much on your skin. You’ll want to press your freckles onto your face with a blending sponge. Press your sponge up and down over all of the freckles you created (avoid any wiping motion since this will smudge the freckles). 

subtle hand drawn freckles
Add foundation over your freckles so that they look more realistic.

3. Press foundation over some freckles

To add further variety to your freckles, you’re not going to add some foundation on top of some of them. This will help to make your freckles a little more subtle and melded into your skin. Use a blending sponge with a tiny dab of foundation to lightly cover some freckles. 

Generally, freckles will be more visible where the sun hits your face more. So adding the foundation away from those areas helps the overall look. For example, making the freckles softer under the eyes and nose, but keeping them sharp on the cheekbones.

Emily Joice

My name is Emily, and I have been cosplaying since my very first convention in 2008. Over the years, I've experimented with all different kinds of cosplay costumes, especially loving the process of creating props and styling wigs. I also delved into cosplay photography, and love exploring how to optimize costumes so they look excellent in photos. Most of the photos you find on this site were taken by me over my years at anime conventions.

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