Oh Freck Yeah: Semi-Permanent Freckle Tattoos 101

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Oh Freck Yeah: Semi-Permanent Freckle Tattoos 101

We asked artist Shaughnessy Keely everything you ever wanted to know about freckle tattoos

Faux-freckles are having a moment right now in the cosmetic tattoo world. Everywhere we turn it seems there’s another artist or client diving head first into the trend, and resurfacing looking like a Lindsay Lohan clone circa The Parent Trap era.


It comes as no surprise as the cosmetic industry has seen an influx of faux-freckles in the last few years, with companies like Freck Yourself leading the way with temporary tattoo inspired kits to aid in your absurd quest for a fresh face. For some, temporary freckle kits are just the tip of the iceberg. Cosmetic tattoo artists like Shaughnessy Keely have been serving up semi-permanent freckle tattoos for a few years now, and there are a few things to consider before you go under the needle.

Working out of Studio Sashiko in Langley, British Columbia, Keely creates beautiful smatterings of perfect imperfections using only a tattoo machine and a bit of pigment. While the actual process of tattooing freckles is relatively similar to receiving a normal tattoo, the artistic process is a bit more collaborative. “I design the freckles based on the client's preference, keeping them as random and natural looking as possible,” says Keely. “Clients usually come in with a picture or an idea in mind. We base the color on the client's skin undertones and usually they like to match or darken any existing freckles they may have.”

As with any tattoo, there are a few aftercare guidelines that you’ll need to follow, as the healing process can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks. There are general guidelines to follow for all cosmetic tattoos, like letting the dead skin flake off instead of picking, and forgoing makeup and exercise for the first 10-14 days, there are a few freckle specific aftercare tips — like avoiding soaps and any petroleum based products.

When making the decision to freck yourself, there are a few other contributing factors to take into account, like skin tone and sensitivity. Keely says that when it comes to skin tone, there is a bigger contrast on lighter skin versus dark, so freckles may appear to last longer on those with a fairer complexion. As for skin sensitivity, it's important to know and trust in your body’s limitations. The pigment and method is safe for sensitive skin, but if you know you know your body is particularly prone to swelling, or takes a longer time to heal, then you can expect a similar reaction. While an allergic reaction is possible with any foreign substance being placed into the body, Keely has yet to see one actually happen. “There are organic dyes but we don’t use them. They're made of vegetable dyes and people tend to be more sensitive to those.”

Keely's number one recommendation for anyone considering cosmetic tattoos is to trust yourself and do your homework. “Being confident in your decision is usually what leads to the most satisfying results," Keely says. "You can gain confidence by becoming familiar with your artist’s work — follow them on social media — and by checking out a variety of different types of freckles. The more you know, the more confident you’ll be.”


You can inquire about booking an appointment with Keely here.

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