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Freckles have gone from being something to hide, to a mark of fresh-faced youthfulness

The joys of summer skin: a subtle tan, a radiant complexion and that all-important bit of sun-kissed freckles.

Freckles are having a moment in the sun, with women who once desperately tried to cover up their makeup — or had it lasered — embracing their natural pigmentation.

Famous faces with freckles include Meghan Markle, who made sure her bridal makeup didn’t hide her ‘favorite feature’. She also says she hates them being removed in photos, telling a magazine, “My hobbyhorse is when my skin color changes and my freckles are brushed away.”

Kylie Jenner and Lindsay Lohan also reveal theirs.

Thalia Khadi's inspiration for getting freckles tattooed on her face four months ago was her mother.  Thalia is a mixed breed and has a few natural freckles, but wanted more

Thalia Khadi’s inspiration for getting freckles tattooed on her face four months ago was her mother. Thalia is a mixed breed and has a few natural freckles, but wanted more

Some have gone even further, using artificial freckles, with beauty experts claiming they can impart a fresh, youthful look.

And most radical of all, others — like the ones pictured above — spend hundreds to get semi-permanent freckles tattooed on their faces.

It’s a dramatic change from the days when freckles were considered blemishes, and often the focus of playground bullying.

Take redhead Paula Jones. Although she naturally has freckles, she misses them when they fade in the winter, which is why she has them tattooed on her nose and cheeks for a year-round look.

“Growing up with red hair and freckles I had to be bullied a bit, but as I got older I embraced both, especially my freckles,” says Paula, 33, who works in the hospitality industry and lives in Manchester with her two children aged 11 and two.

“But they’re only visible for a few months out of the year, then they fade, which makes me feel a lot less confident.”

Perri Allington-Green, 28, is an independent hairdresser with some pretty freckles on his face.  But they're not hers - she got them tattooed a year ago

Perri Allington-Green, 28, is an independent hairdresser with some pretty freckles on his face. But they’re not hers – she got them tattooed a year ago

Paula has been tattooing her blonde eyebrows with semi-permanent makeup since she was 21. So she reasoned that someone should definitely offer freckle tattoos.

She insists she wasn’t worried about the risks of tattooing the delicate skin of her face.

“If I didn’t like them, the worst scenario would be that they fade after a year or two,” she says.

Luckily, she loved the result and wouldn’t want to be without it.

‘The therapist I go to also does tattooed nipples for breast cancer patients who have undergone reconstructive surgery. She has a lot of experience and understands that skin is never just one shade.

“At my consultation, she got an eyebrow pencil and made dots that I had asked for freckles. She then used three different colors to tattoo about 40 of them for a natural look. When fresh they were very clear and a bit blotchy but she had warned me this would be the case initially so I was prepared. Now that they are fully settled, people assume they are natural.”

The treatment costs around £150, depending on the practitioner, and Paula reports that the tattoo needle feels like ‘pin pricks’.

“I get so many compliments,” she adds. “I don’t really wear makeup, just mascara and my gorgeous freckles. I’ll be sure to have them refilled when they fade.” Usually that would be after a year, but 18 months later, Paula is fine. But what exactly are freckles? They are caused by an overproduction of melanin, the pigment in our skin. There are two different types.

The most common is the ephelide – a flat, light brown spot that tends to fluctuate with the seasons. Then there are lentigines, also known as liver or age spots, where the skin contains more melanin-producing cells and usually doesn’t change with sunlight.

Practitioner Kseniia Vasileva has seen a rising demand for freckle tattoos at her private clinic in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.

“It’s become trendy to have freckles, natural or not,” says Kseniia, who has a degree in fine arts and qualified as a semi-permanent makeup artist after the birth of her second child.

“Some customers already have them and want more, others love the look or want to hide skin pigmentation. Shoulders, décolletage, eyelids, cheeks and lips are popular areas.’

Of course, getting something tattooed on your face comes with risks. Anyone can advertise semi-permanent makeup application, so it’s vital that you check a practitioner’s credentials first.

Kseniia’s customers complete a health questionnaire and patch test the dye they use in case of an allergic reaction. Like other semi-permanent makeup, freckle tattoos are not suitable for women with conditions such as eczema, diabetes, cancer or who are pregnant.

Redhead: Paula Jones enhanced her natural freckles.  She says she misses her freckles in the winter

Redhead: Paula Jones enhanced her natural freckles. She says she misses her freckles in the winter

“Where freckles are placed and how much you’ve tattooed can make the difference between a natural look and one that’s artificial,” she says. “I don’t recommend them for people with oily skin either, because they tend not to take in well.” Perri Allington-Green, 28, is an independent hairdresser with some pretty freckles on his face. But they’re not hers – she got them tattooed a year ago.

“I don’t wear a lot of makeup, just mascara, and I get my eyebrows professionally cleaned, but I loved the idea of ​​freckles to give me a healthier look,” says Perri, who lives in Manchester.

Perri started drawing freckles with eye pencil for a year – and loved it so much that she decided to go for a semi-permanent sprinkling of £150 last spring.

“They didn’t do very well the first time around, so I had an upgrade six weeks later and they’ve held up really well,” added Perri. “The practitioner used numbing cream on my skin, but it still felt a little painful.

“I asked for random placement to make them look natural, including on my nose, under my eyes and a few on my forehead and cheeks.

“The therapist drew them first, to show where they were going. She had warned that when I first saw them in the mirror after the trial, it might look like I had dot to dot on my face and I was like, “Oh my god, will they stay like this?”

Freckles have a moment in the sun, with women embracing pigmentation.  The latest trend is to have freckles permanently tattooed on your skin

Freckles have a moment in the sun, with women embracing pigmentation. The latest trend is to have freckles permanently tattooed on your skin

‘But after a week they had calmed down. They have given me a huge boost in my confidence and I look healthier all year round.’

Thalia Khadi’s inspiration for getting freckles tattooed on her face four months ago was her mother. Like Meghan, Thalia is a mixed race and has some natural freckles, but she wanted more.

“I never saw anyone with brown skin like mine and freckles before, so I covered them up with makeup when I was younger,” says Thalia, 22, who studies English literature at King’s College, London.

“But slowly my relationship with my freckles changed. Part of the reason is that my mother, who has a lot of freckles, is white and people often don’t realize that we are mother and daughter.

‘I realized that my freckles are actually quite special. I loved them when they came out in the summer and missed them when they disappeared in the winter.”

Thalia went to Kseniia’s clinic last January and had ten freckles tattooed on her face. Completely sold, she returned a month later for another 20. Each of the sessions lasted an hour. The total costs were €250.

‘When I told Mom my plan, she was shocked,’ continues Thalia. “But she loves the results — and I’m finally more like her.

‘In the winter I didn’t have to wear makeup either because the freckles give me such a fresh look.

“It’s so wonderful to have summers all year round. I’ll definitely have them upgraded in a year’s time.’

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