Every season, we see new trends in beauty pop up online and millions of us watch multiple how-to videos in an attempt to perfect that trend via every hack imaginable. If you’re a beauty geek, you were most likely one of the 5.4 million views received in the first 30 days from when MetDaan uploaded this ombré lip tutorial from @amadea_dashurie. Or maybe you were learning about which rainbow highlighter to purchase from ChaosMakeupArtist.

Whatever the specific hack may be, if you’re into beauty you’re probably looking online to find the latest trends and how to rock them. You’ve also probably come across the fake freckle phenomenon. This beauty look has been growing steadily in popularity since winter and shows no signs of slowing down. After all, who doesn’t want a fresh, dewy face full of freckles for summer? The answer is no one. How did faux freckles become so popular online? What type of fake freckle videos are finding success on various online platforms? Which brands and influencers are uploading the most viewed and most engaging freckle-faced videos? Using data from Tubular, we take a closer look at this beauty trend to see how it became so popular among travelers through the worldwide web.

Fake Freckles: A Beauty Phenomenon

Fake freckle videos started appearing online around November, 2016. The most viewed freckle video uploaded in the last 365 days on Facebook comes from INSIDER beauty and was uploaded on December 6, 2016. The video is essentially a tutorial but also introduces fake freckles as a new trend on several different models, telling you how to apply the faux dots that are sold in the form of temporary tattoos (sort of like a reverse blackhead-removing nasal strip). This video received a total of 16.9 million views with 8.6 million of those views occurring in the first 30 days since the video was uploaded.

Also interesting, the third most-viewed video with the word “freckle” in it uploaded to Facebook in the last 365 days is titled “Why Are Women With Freckles So Sexy.” The video, which received 9.3 million total views, was uploaded by UpVee on November 29, 2016 and features images of freckle-faced celebrities and “regular women” set to music. The copy that runs over the images explains that freckles make a person look entirely unique and that’s one of the reasons why they’re so attractive. The unique-factor associated with freckles could also be a reason why this trend has been a hit online. Individuality is valued on social media platforms and freckles look different on everyone; this is a beauty trend with a built-in audience.

Evolution of the Fake Freckle Fad

Now let’s review the most-viewed freckle videos uploaded in just the last 90 days. The most-viewed freckle video uploaded in the last 90 days on Facebook was a product recommendation to get the most natural looking fake freckles. The video uploaded by BuzzFeed’s Top Knot just 5 days ago received 3.6 million views. The thing about fake freckles and the unique look they create is that no one wants the freckles to actually look false. So now that the trend has been around for a while and several different companies offer products that help create a freckled face, people are starting to look for the best option for the most realistic looking faux spots. The video depicts several different models with different skin tones all using the same product with the same natural effect.

The second most viewed freckle video uploaded to Facebook in the last 90 days is an “improvement” or new spin on this trend. INSIDER beauty, one of the earliest reporters of the fake freckles phenomenon online as we mentioned earlier, uploaded a video on April 26, 2017 depicting metallic freckles:

Really upping the ante, this video received a total of 3.3 million views with all 3.3 million of those views occurring in the first 30 days from when the video was uploaded. It’s an incredibly simple tutorial showing a few different women rocking the glittery dots and yet it’s a perfect example of understanding a trend and then taking it one step further.

Influencers Take Advantage of Online Trends

A successful online influencer always knows how to make the most of something popular. Huda Kattan is one of the most savvy beauty influencers online, with over 20 million followers on Instagram alone. She’s also turned her online fame into a real life beauty line sold at stores like Sephora. Her recent Instagram video post asking what her followers thought of faux freckles received 2.6 million views. It was smart of Huda to pose a question about a trend that’s been around for a while in the title of a social post, essentially asking for engagement.

Beauty influencer @YunnieRose received 1.5 million views for the video she uploaded to Facebook on May 30th depicting a total beauty transformation:

Yunnie took the fake freckle trend to the next level by turning herself into a redhead with a smattering of natural-looking freckles. Not only that, she showed her followers a fascinating, DIY method for getting freckles (who knew that bobby pins had so many uses?). A great influencer knows how to take a trend and personalize it, bringing something extra to a hack that they know will excite their followers.

Fake Freckles Teach Us All a Lesson

It’s clear that the faux freckle trend is still thriving online, but what’s more important are the takeaways from the success of this particular beauty hack. The trend lends itself to making people feel special and unique, something that online audiences crave. Brands and influencers who posted about this fad in its early days realized that this is a look that would be a hit on social media. These posters used popular video types like how-to and product reviews to make this new idea digestible via social media. Then once fake freckles became popular, brands and influencers played with the style in innovative ways, building off of that solid audience base by taking the trend to the next level. Now please excuse us as we’re determined to master metallic freckles by the 4th of July!