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How To Create Freckles With Self Tanner

by Gabbi

Freckles are the latest beauty feature growing in popularity. You may even flip between pages in a magazine and see most editorial makeup looks involve freckles. However, some people have freckles naturally, and others create them. 

Freckles usually appear due to sun exposure or genetics. They are generally harmless and offer a unique trait to the face. However, even if you don’t have freckles, you can still achieve them using self tanner or makeup.

How can you create freckles with a self tanner? It’s simple to create freckles, and all you need is two products. First, a self tanner of your choice, and a thin detailing makeup brush. These two products will create a natural and fresh finish.

Creating freckles with self tanner will offer a long-lasting result compared to using makeup products. Also, you’ll have complete control of how many freckles you want to add, their intensity, and where you place them.

Overall, you don’t have to overthink drawing freckles with a self tanner. We’ll guide you step by step to creating the ideal self tanner freckles. You can finally achieve a natural finish without looking too cakey or unrealistic.

Where Do Freckles Come From?

Freckles are tiny brown or beige dots that can appear on the skin. You can produce freckles while sitting in the sun, or you may have them year-round. However, they are determined by genetics or, in some cases, your environment.

According to Healthline, “ In most cases, freckles are harmless. They form as a result of overproduction of melanin, which is responsible for skin and hair color (pigmentation). Overall, freckles come from ultraviolet (UV) radiation stimulation.”

How To Draw On Freckles With Self Tanner 

Surprisingly enough, you can mimic or create freckles with a self tanner. This idea is great if you’re looking to enhance your existing freckles, or you want to see how freckles complement your facial features. 

They are temporary but last longer than makeup. You’ll only need two products to create freckles, including your self tanner of choice and an eyeliner brush. These products will help you mimic the look of natural freckles.

Start With A Clean & Exfoliated Base

First, you’ll want to ensure your face is freshly cleaned. You’ll want to provide a smooth and seamless canvas for your freckles. Now would be a great time to exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells and unwanted texture. 

Skin prep is crucial to achieving flawless freckles. Without this step, your self tanner may look patchy or uneven on the skin, which can hinder the natural appearance of your fake freckles. 

Distribute Self Tanner

Next, you’ll want to distribute your self tanner in an accessible manner. For example, dispense a pump or two of self tanner onto a mixing plate or surface that can get messy. This step will ensure you have easy access to your product. 

Most self tanners have a pump, and it can be challenging to pick up product with a tiny brush straight from a nozzle. However, dispensing it on a mixing plate can allow you to keep the brush clean and control how much tanner you use at once.

Pick-Up Product With A Brush 

Now it’s time to pick up the self tanner with your desired makeup brush. You’ll want to use a small amount of product at a time to ensure you maintain control over the self tanner. This will prevent any messes or mishaps from occurring. 

Also, you can always add more product to the face by working in small sections. However, you can’t take away excess product, so it’s ideal to work slowly and in small amounts.

Dot In Clusters 

Finally, it’s time to dot or draw on your freckles! You can work by creating a few small clusters of dots and then slowly spread them out where you see fit. Freckles can appear anywhere, so you don’t have to worry about being too precise.

Also, you can apply self tanner to just the cheeks and bridge of the nose, or you can dot it all over the face and neck. This is where your passion, creativity, and vision come into play. 


Once you’re happy with your freckles placement, it’s time to let the self tanner develop. First, you’ll want to check your self tanner’s instructions to see how long the product needs to develop. Each brand may provide varying directions.

However, it’s crucial to let the tan develop, so the freckles are long-lasting and vivid. Some self tanners need to sit for two hours, while others can stay on overnight.


After the developing time is completed, you can rinse your face with water, so it’s free of self tanner. Then, you can finally reveal your natural-looking freckles. Check your product’s label on how to preserve your self tanner. 

How To Pick The Best Self Tanner

Have you ever shopped for a self tanner? Regardless, it can feel quite overwhelming to see all the options on the market. You should look out for a few key factors when choosing your self tanner to create freckles. 

For example, the shade, formula, and longevity of your self tanner can all affect the outcome of your freckles. These components will help provide a natural and flawless finish. 


How intense do you want your freckles to be? Most self tanning brands formulate in multiple shades like light, medium, deep, or deep dark. You’ll want to choose something one shade darker than your natural skin tone for a natural look.

However, if you’re looking for higher contrast, you can choose a deeper shade. Also, you can mix multiple shades to get freckles with dimensions.


Self tanners are available in various formulas like mousses, spray, drops, and liquids. So, you’ll want to find a formula that works best for you. One of the most popular formulas for self tanners is a mousse/foam texture.


Finally, you’ll want to pick a self tanner that offers longevity. Most self tanners can last for a week or two. However, the face is exposed to more elements like skincare, so it may not be as long-lasting. 

You can even opt for a self tanning formula that’s specifically made for the face. 

What Brush Should You Use To Create Freckles?

Your brush is just as important as your self tanner. Therefore, it’s crucial to pick out the right makeup brush to help achieve realistic-looking freckles. First, it’s best to opt for a thin eyeliner brush so you can control the size and shape of your freckles.

Also, you’ll want to choose a brush that will be dedicated to your self tanner. For example, synthetic bristles are ideal for working with self tanner, and they can be preserved for longer. It will also provide a seamless finish.

Products For The Ideal Self Tanner Freckles 

If you’re looking to simplify your self tanner shopping process, follow along for some beginner-friendly recommendations. With these products below, you’ll be able to mimic the look of freckles in no time! 

1. St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse 

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St. Tropez is a fan-favorite brand and  their Self Tan Bronzing Mousse is a cult classic. This self tanner is well-loved by all skin tones and types. It has a fool-proof and streak-free formula that will help create natural-looking freckles.

This formula will last up to 10 days, and it doesn’t have the typical tanner scent. It’s also available in multiple shades, including Medium Golden Tan. Also, St. Tropez recommends developing this tan for at least 4 to 8 hours.

It can also be layered to add intensity.

2. Vita Liberata Fabulous Gradual Tanning Lotion 

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Are you not a fan of tanning mousses? Instead, you can try Vita Liberata’s Fabulous Gradual Tanning Lotion.

This product is ideal if you want to create the most natural and subtle freckles. This tan gradually develops over time.

Vita Liberata describes this tan as a sun-kissed glow. This transfer-proof and buildable formula will create a flawless effect. You should let this tan develop over eight hours.

Finally, Vita Liberata formulated this product with skin-loving ingredients like shea butter and aloe vera.

3. Jane Iredale Bent Liner Brush Rose Gold

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Your outcome is only as good as your tools, as we mentioned earlier. So, if you’re looking to invest in a great brush to create freckles, try this one from Jane Iredale. The Bent Liner Brush in Rose Gold will provide all the control you need.

This angled eyeliner brush offers versatility and precision. Its bristles are long, thin, and compact, making it perfect for dotting freckles. You can quickly build up how much product you want to apply, or you can keep it more minimal.

Also, the bent brush feature makes it comfortable to hold and navigate. 

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