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The Easiest Way to Create Faux Freckles, According to the Jason Wu Runway

Photo: Instagram/@jasonwu

Ushering in a new kind of New York Fashion Week amid the global pandemic, Jason Wu presented his spring 2021 collection at Spring Studios yesterday and took a tiny group of masked showgoers to his “home away from home”: Tulum, Mexico. Above the bright, breezy maxi dresses, layered bra tops, and slouchy Bermuda shorts that came down the palm tree–lined runway, the beauty look worn by Pose star Indya Moore, Hanne Gaby Odiele, and more centered on sun-kissed glows punctuated by smatterings of trompe l’oeil freckles. The secret to making the faux flecks equal parts believable and wearable? A deft, light-handed application.

After creating evening-out complexions with foundation and warming the cheeks with swirls of coral blush and tawny bronzer, makeup artist Erin Parsons dipped her small, flat bristle brush into tubes of Maybelline’s SuperStay Matte Ink liquid lipstick (so it wouldn’t move underneath model masks) in dark brown Espresso Enthusiast or dusty rose Chai Genius, depending on each model’s complexion, then applied a spangling of “fleckles,” as Parsons likes to calls them, across the nose and cheeks. She then tapped a Q-tip over each fleck to further blend it out.

“The whole idea is that we can’t really go on vacation, so Jason brought the vacation to us,” explains Parsons. “We wanted to keep the girls really fresh because if you’re on vacation, you usually don’t do too much makeup.” Fluffy, feathered brows, lashes enhanced with coats of Maybelline’s Great Lash Clear mascara, and lips dabbed with balm finished the look.

Given that a quick jaunt to a far-flung tropical destination for real-life freckles is all but impossible, Wu’s spring 2021 makeup was a welcome dose of pure escapism—a notion that continues to take on new meaning in this time.

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