Why This Model’s Freckles Make Her Proud

Mari Kyianytsia. (Photo: https://www.instagram.com/mariyak1_/)

The first inkling I had that my freckles were anything but adorable was when Jan Brady, in a desperate fit of vanity, tried to scrub them clean off her face with lemon juice. Should I hate my freckles, too, I wondered? The worry was short-lived, though, and while they’ve mostly faded today, I look forward to them reappearing each summer when my face gets kissed by the sun.

Now a bona fide model has spoken out about the virtues of freckles — Mari Kyianytsia, who told Glamour this week, “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.“

While famous freckle faces are not all that common in the glamour world, there are some notable exceptions: Jessica Chastain, Emma Watson, Sienna Miller, Emma Stone, Olivia Munn, and Lindsay Lohan, just for starters.

“Honestly, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have freckles,” Kyianytsia noted. “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, but in the U.S. people found them very interesting.”

Sometimes makeup artists don’t know what to do with Kyianytsia’s freckles, she says, and wind up covering them with foundation. “That’s when I barely recognize myself,” she said. “In my day-to-day life I never hide my freckles, though I always wear SPF to keep them in check.”

Most makeup artists do get, it, though, starting with the one who worked on her this past spring at Milan Fashion Week, when she 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,” Kyianytsia said. “Most of the editorial shoots I’ve done have featured a similarly natural look.”

To keep your own freckled complexion looking unique, even under a layer of foundation, stick to these tips from stylist Vanessa Ungaro of New York City’s Lauren + Vanessa:

“Moisturize all over your face, then take a few drops of liquid foundation and mix with a luminizer,” Ungaro tells Yahoo Beauty. “Press into skin. And make sure the shade you choose is matched correctly to your skin tone. I tend to go a bit warmer for most clients, because if freckles are covered with a too light of a foundation they will turn ashy.”

 “If there is any redness in the T-Zone area, dot with straight foundation — or you can use a wet beauty blender and dab it into a tinted moisturizer, then stipple into the skin,” she says. “When the beauty blender is wet, it presses on the skin and releases just the lightest amount of coverage.”

“Remember, you’re mixing just a little foundation with luminizer,” she warns. “We want to show [the freckled skin] off and give it a healthy glow.”

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