Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Kaeli wrote in and asked about her freckles (check the previous post for her comment). Before I get into what I think you should do about them, let me tell you a story.

I know a woman who I had spoken to many times over the phone for work, but had never actually laid eyes on her until months later. When she came in, I was shocked to see a grayish blue mark around her eye. I asked her, "Oh my goodness, are you okay? You look like you got hit in the face!" She smiled and explained that it was just a birthmark, not a bruise. Of course I felt like a prize idiot. I should have thought to say that a little more sensitively, but I was concerned for her. In any regard, she really took it in stride. I'm sure people ask her about this very obvious birthmark every day, and she must get annoyed answering the question repeatedly. But what I admired most about her was that she didn't try to bleach her skin, graft it off or cover it up. It's a part of her, and she's not making any apologies for it. I hope that I can be that comfortable in my own skin one day.

Now, on to the freckles. I, too, have freckles, and I have found many people (especially guys, as I get older) that find freckles absolutely adorable, and I have been asked not to cover them up. They give the face a little panache, they make you stand out from others, and they certainly aren't ugly by any stretch of the imagination. In the case of yours, they make you memorable. I'll certainly never forget my friend from the story above, and with such distinctive marks as you must have, people will not forget you, either. I would encourage you to wear your freckles with pride, as you may lose them as you age, and wear a good sunblock every day to make sure they don't get any darker or more numerous. Otherwise, just get a foundation that matches your skin tone and slap it on with some finishing powder. Some of the lighter freckles will blend, but most will stay visible, and they will be your mark of distinction. Think of Cindy Crawford and her mole - she almost had that removed. What a mistake that would have been. She might have ended up being just another model at that rate.

Of course, having the freckles, I understand that you may not like having your freckles show, so here's my advice for that. Start with a foundation appropriate for your face, and then follow up with a really excellent concealer. I have no recommendation on this score - some people go with a drugstore brand and love it, others go for a more expensive brand and swear by it. I'd personally recommend at least a higher-end drugstore brand, if not a department store brand. Concealer, like foundation, is often a get what you pay for scenario, and with something like freckles, you're going to really want the product to stay on all day and cover very well. You should get a concealer that matches your skin tone and dab it gently on top of the freckle. Remember that concealer should sit on top of the skin, not absorb into it. Blend the edges so you don't look like you have chicken pox and top it off with a little powder. That should do a pretty good job of hiding them, but remember, the more contrast in color between your freckle and your face, the less likely it will hide well. Don't be surprised if you can't hide them completely. If that's the case, you may have to go for option #1 after all.