Growing up as a red headed kid with freckles, I always hated freckles. People wanted to connect them all with sharpie markers, and my face became covered in the little splotches of pigment every summer. I was glad when I stopped getting freckles on my face in my late teens, but apparently freckle tattoos are coming into fashion. There are other types of tattoo beauty modifications such as tattoo eyebrows, eyelash enhancement tattoos, and now we can add freckles to the list. A Montreal-based artist named Gabrielle Rainbow is credited with sparking the trend after she tattooed freckles on her friend’s face because she was tired of drawing them on with makeup. Now, you can sport that sun-kissed freckled look all year long.
According to Gabrielle Rainbow, the whole process takes about an hour. She says, "When they are ‘freshly done,’ they will appear swollen almost like bee stings, and the swelling will go down within a couple hours and you'll be left with your cute, fresh freckles." Most of the tattooed freckles I’ve seen are very sparse, and not anything like the freckles I had as a kid. They are small and spaced out and very bold, but over time they will start to fade, giving them a more natural look. However, if that darker bold look is what you are after, you can always get them touched up.
Keep in mind that this is primarily a cosmetic beautification tattoo, and not all artists are created equal. You will want to do some research on the person you choose to tattoo your face. If someone makes a mistake with permanent makeup, you will not be able to wash it off. Gabrielle Rainbow charges $250 for the one hour session, so use that as a guide when you find your artist. I would suggest finding someone who charges in that range; you don’t want to go after the cheapest artist available when we’re talking about semi-permanent facial modifications. But to each their own — if you want cheap, you’ll get cheap.
It’s interesting that this skin condition, once considered a “flaw” or an “aberration," is now coming into style. Women used to do whatever they could to get rid of freckles. From covering them with makeup, to slathering on sunscreen to block the UV rays that cause them, there were all sorts of “freckle cures.” Now there are all sorts of ways to give yourself freckles. There are freckle pencils, freckle adhesives, and now freckle tattoos. It is worth mentioning that freckle tattoos only last about three years, but that is by far the longest lasting method of getting freckles. It lasts longer than the natural method of standing or laying out in the sun.
Currently, there are only four artists in North America who are known to offer this unique service, so if you want nice looking tattooed freckles from a reputable artist, you may have to book a flight or a train or take a long car ride. But for some people, the trip is worth it. Whether this cosmetic tattoo will have any longevity has yet to be seen, but they do seem to be a good option for helping to cover acne or scars, and I’m sure it’s better than drawing them on everyday with a freckle pencil. What do you think? Are tattooed freckles here to stay, or is it a silly fad that will burn out as quickly as shoulder pads?