3 Ways to Create Fake Freckles for Cosplay

fake freckles for cosplay (3 methods)

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 easiest way to apply freckles for cosplay is by using an eyeliner pencil and drawing them onto your face. However, this is also the least realistic method. You can also apply powder makeup by flicking it onto your face with a brush, or use a stipple brush to press freckles onto your face. 

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 of these 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.

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

Method 1: Use eyeliner pencils

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.

powder foundation
dark powder flicked on your face can create more realistic freckles with varying shapes and sizes.

Method 2: Use a spooly brush

The idea of this second method is to flick powder onto your face to create a truly random array of dark spots. You’ll get the widest variety in freckle size using this method since the powder can fall into very fine dots or larger spots. In my opinion, this is the method that looks the most natural. However, it will also take a little bit of practice before you get the technique correct. 

Items you need:

flick powder on your face
Use a spooly brush to flick dark powder onto different areas of your face.

1. Collect eyeshadow on a spooly brush and flick it at your face.

Swirl your spooly brush in a dark brown shade of eyeshadow (or bronzer). You want to make sure you get quite a bit of loose powder onto the brush so you can effectively flick it at your face. You may need to work the surface of your eyeshadow for a bit to get enough loose powder to use. 

Tip your head back and hold the spooly brush over your face. Then flick the brush so the powder falls onto you (make sure to keep your eyes closed). Usually, there is only enough powder to cover a small section of the face, so you’ll want to collect more eyeshadow and repeat the process several times until you’re happy with the result.

The flicking technique can be a little difficult to get right, so it’s best to practice a few times before you’re at the convention putting freckles on. 

press the powder into your skin
Use a blending sponge to press the powder freckles onto your skin.

2. Press the powder onto your face using a blending sponge

After you’re happy with the result, you’ll need to press the freckles into your face. At this point, the powder is only loosely on the surface of your skin. If you don’t take the time to press them, the freckles will easily fall away or smudge.

Use a blending sponge to press down on all of the powder spots. Avoid wiping or rubbing with the sponge so that you don’t blur the freckles. This step will immediately make the freckles look lighter, so you may want to go back to step and add more powder if you want a more dramatic look.

add foundation
Add foundation to make the freckles look even more realistic.

3. Use foundation to blend some areas into your skin

Once you are happy with the result, it’s time to go back in with foundation and clean it up a little. Using very small dabs of foundation and a blending sponge, lightly cover areas of freckles that you want to be less dark or dramatic. Usually, it’s best to keep areas like cheekbones, brow bones, and your nose as the most prominently freckled parts of your face.

stipple sponge freckles
Using a stipple sponge can make dramatic freckles for cosplay.

Method 3: Use a stipple sponge

For this method, you will use a stipple sponge (often used for stage makeup) to press a pattern of freckles onto your face. It’s best to use cream makeup for this method, but you can also get decent results if all you have is powder makeup.

This method will create the most dramatic freckles. You can very easily press freckles across your entire face. They’re not going to hold up to close-up scrutiny, but the effect of the freckles will look excellent in photos.

What you will need:

trim your stipple sponge
Cut your stipple sponge so that there are no hard angles.

1. Cut your sponge into a round shape

Before you get started, you need to cut your sponge into a round-ish shape. Most of the time they will automatically come in a rectangular cuboid shape, but that will create harsh edges to your freckles that don’t look natural at all. Use a regular pair of scissors and cut off all the edges so that you get a round shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you don’t want any hard edges.

press freckles with a stipple sponge
Press cream makeup onto your face using your stipple sponge.

2. Collect cream makeup on your sponge and press it on your face

Collect a dark brown cream makeup onto your sponge. You will then press the sponge onto your face to create the freckles. Make sure to only press the sponge up and down so that you avoid smudging the makeup as you apply it. 

Repeat this process all over your face to create a random pattern of dark and dramatic freckles. I like to start at areas of the face where the freckles would likely be darkest (nose, cheekbones, etc.) and then move to other areas without putting more makeup on the sponge. This will create more prominent freckles in the areas where the sun would be touching your face more.

press freckles into their face
Use a blending sponge to press your freckles into your skin so they don’t smudge.

3. Press the makeup with a blending sponge

Just like with the other two methods, you want to use a blending sponge to press the makeup into your face to make it less likely to smudge during the day. Make sure you don’t rub or wipe your face so that you don’t smear the freckles around.

add foundation
Add foundation to further blend the freckles into your skin.

4. Add foundation to create greater variation in color

Now it’s time to add a little bit of foundation to make the freckles look a little more natural. This will help to blend out the edges and add more variation in the color of the freckles. Take a little dab of your regular foundation and use a blending sponge to apply it to your face. Try not to over blend so you can make sure the freckles stay sharp.

Once you’re finished, it’s a good idea to apply translucent powder to your face to keep the cream makeup from smudging or running throughout the day. It’s a good idea for the other methods in this article too, but cream makeup is the most likely to smudge, so I highly recommend it here.

Emily Joice

My name is Emily, and I have been Cosplaying Since my very first convention in 2008. Over the years I've learned a lot of new skills that have helped me become better and making cosplay and looking good for the camera.

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