Watch: Here's a Nifty Makeup Trick for Giving Your Actor Realistic Freckles

You don't need Photoshop or After Effects to bespeckle an actor's face.

Freckles are adorable, whether they covering the face of a gorgeous young ingénue or a kid joyously running through a sprinkler. If your vision for one of the characters in a project includes freckles, photographer/filmmaker/weird lens master Mathieu Stern just published a super simple makeup tutorial that shows you how to give them to your subject using a toothbrush and some watercolors. Check it out below: 

So, here's all you're going to need:

  • Water
  • Q-tips
  • Watercolors (orange, red, and brown)
  • A toothbrush

Perhaps the most complicated thing about this technique is mixing the right amount of orange, red, and green watercolors together to get the hue you want for your freckles. But once you have it, all you have to do is get the toothbrush wet, dip it into your mixture, and flick the brush onto your subject's face until you get your desired look.

Stern makes a suggestion on which parts of the face should have high, medium, and low concentration of freckles—the nose and cheeks get the most attention—but you can choose to do it however you want.

This technique is good for more than just freckles, too; you could use it to apply blood splatter or sweat if you don't have a spray bottle on hand. Really, this is just a nifty trick to know, whether you're a makeup artist or a no-budget filmmaker who has to get really good at makeup really fast.

What other applications does this toothbrush technique have? What are some other nifty makeup tricks? Let us know in the comments below.     

Your Comment


Simple, quick, crazy tip.

Thank you.

February 22, 2017 at 11:42PM

Sameir Ali
Director of Photography

Great tips and I'll add a new toothbrush and orb colours to my kit.



February 25, 2017 at 1:00PM


cool for photos. Continuity nightmare for MP

February 27, 2017 at 5:01PM

Spence Nicholson
Writer / Director / Producer