Cast your mind back to the magazines you used to flip through in the Nineties and Noughties. Full of tiny eyebrows, dodgy trends and extra-shiny lip gloss, there’s one thing largely missing from these editorials: freckles.
For years, freckles have been airbrushed or make-upped out of existence – even though, for the most part, they’re totally normal and harmless. Freckles are darker spots of skin caused by pigmented cells – and back in the day, they were seen by some as ‘blemishes’ and something to be hidden.
Nowadays, thankfully, our perception of freckles has shifted significantly. They’ve had something of an image overhaul, and the hashtag #freckles has over 4.5 million hits on Instagram High fashion is even getting involved – not only will you see natural freckles on the pages of magazines, but make-up artists will even sometimes paint them on.
These are some of the celebs spearheading the trend for skin positivity and embracing their freckles…
1. Adwoa Aboah
With her close cropped hair and face dotted with freckles, Adwoa Aboah is one of the world’s most recognisable models. She told Harper’s Bazaar she avoids foundation because she doesn’t want to hide her freckles, and added: “It was never something I’ve been insecure about so I think it’s quite cool that fashion is embracing them.”
This isn’t the only way Aboah champions her natural skin – she’s also been open about her struggles with acne .
2. The Duchess of Sussex
In 2017, the Duchess of Sussex told Allure: “To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot.”
She encouraged others to embrace their freckles too, saying: “For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: ‘A face without freckles is a night without stars’.”
You might not have known Kesha had a face full of freckles – they’re often hidden in her music videos. However, in 2019 she said on Instagram that one of her New Year’s resolutions was to “let my freckles liiiiiiiive” – proudly showing off her bare face.
Halsey’s never been shy about posting unfiltered, make-up-free photos of her face, freckles and all.
5. Jonathan Van Ness
As Queer Eye’s resident beauty expert, Jonathan Van Ness knows a thing or two about skincare and make-up – but you won’t catch him covering up his freckles any time soon. In one Instagram post he explained why he uses colour correcting primer instead of foundation: “Freckles, mommy loves to keep a freckle,” he wrote.
6. Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu now loves her skin, but she’s been on a journey to acceptance. She told Women’s Health: “I used to sort of wish I didn’t have freckles because my mum was like, ‘You’re skin has freckles!’ and she tried to give me some sort of cream to erase them – but they’re in my body, so there’s no way to erase them.
“But I really love my body and my face the way that it is, and I realise that it’s part of me and I don’t try to fight that because it’s crazy – I’m not going to erase my freckles and it’s part of my personality, I guess.”
7. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato is no stranger to keeping things real on Instagram, proudly showing off their cellulite and unretouched curves. They’re also keen on a barefaced selfie, freckles on display – in one post they wrote: “Haven’t done a #NoMakeupMonday in yearssss but I figured after posting so many glamorous pics with tons of makeup and hair pieces, it’s important to show myself underneath it all. This is what I look like 85%-90% of the time. Proud of my freckles, proud of booty chin and proud of myself for loving and accepting myself the way I am.”