“Honestly, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have freckles. When I was a kid, I had no idea that they were something different, or even notable; in Ukraine, where I grew up, freckles are very common. The first time I began thinking of them at all was after university, when I started modeling. Freckles, said my agents, didn’t resonate in Asia (a popular place for new models to start their careers), but in the U.S. people found them very interesting.
One of my first jobs was this past spring at Milan Fashion Week, where I walked the Gucci show. The makeup artist put on a very translucent, glowy foundation [Gucci Lustrous Glow Foundation SPF 25, $65, gucci.com] with a bit of highlighter on my cheeks—it came out pretty and clean, and really showed off my freckles. Most of the editorial shoots I’ve done have featured a similarly natural look. But occasionally makeup artists don’t know how to work with freckles, or they want to cover them up.
That’s when I barely recognize myself. In my day-to-day life I never hide my freckles, though I always wear SPF to keep them in check. It’s only when I’m working that my freckles seem to matter; here in America people get really excited about them. Back in Ukraine they’re normal—so mostly, my freckles make me proud of where I come from.”
PS: Looking for a foundation that won’t hide your freckles? Lisa Eldridge, YouTube star and international makeup artist for Lancôme, shares what to look for: “The most important thing is choosing the right shade of foundation. Go too light and your freckles can look ashy, but go too dark and that can conceal freckles. Try a tone that’s a fraction warmer than your natural complexion. And apply sparingly: It’s key to let freckles shine through! When choosing a formula, you’ll get a more sheer and blendable finish (which is better if you have freckles) with a liquid or cream, as powders tend to look heavier on skin. Though if you prefer powder, apply a light dusting with a brush (as opposed to a sponge). It’ll keep things looking fresher.