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Makeup Tips for Freckle-Faced Femmes

Every now and then, I get an e-mail from someone who hates her freckles. Usually these dappled lasses want to cover them up, or find out how to make them disappear. This always baffles me, because I think freckles are beautiful! I saw this picture of America Ferrera and thought, "Wow, she makes freckles look really sophisticated."

If you have freckles, you've probably been conditioned to cover them up. But I think letting them show is a more contemporary and individualistic look. And it doesn't necessarily have to be a "cute" one, either; in this photo, America looks like a fresh-faced young woman, not a little girl. To find out more about freckles and to read makeup tips for freckled faces,

First of all, freckles are not a skin disorder. They're small spots of melanin that usually show up on fair complexions, though they can also appear on darker skin tones as well. Although having freckles is a genetic trait, sun exposure can cause the spots to darken or multiply. If you have freckles, wearing sunscreen every day is imperative, because people with freckles are more susceptible to the sun's rays. Additionally, if you aren't crazy about your freckles, a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 will help them from multiplying.

If you really, really hate your freckles—and I hope you don't!—there are some removal options. A dermatologist can prescribe topical lotions (such as Retin-A) that speed up the process of skin cell renewal, which will minimize the look of freckles. Intensed pulsed light (IPL) treatments, available at med spas, also work to even out skin tone, but they're expensive.

If you do love your freckles, here's how to work with them. In the past, makeup artists used heavy foundation and concealer to cover up freckles. Today, though, this looks dated. A more modern approach is to take a cue from America here, who's wearing a sheer foundation. This evens out her skin tone, but still lets a smattering of freckles show through. If you do have any spots that need to be covered, consider using a mineral foundation such as Neutrogena Mineral Sheers. Because mineral makeup reflects light, it keeps skin from looking flat and cakey like some heavier liquid and stick foundations can. Overall, work with—not against—the gorgeous freckles you've been given!

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