The shade: Match the overall tone of your skin, not your spots. “I’ve had so many makeup artists try to apply foundation the color of my freckles, not the surrounding skin, and it looks dark and masklike,” says Stephanie Vendetti, coauthor of How to Be a Redhead.

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The brush: Work your formula’s applicator or a flat-top brush, like It Cosmetics Airbrush Buffing Foundation Brush #110 ($24,, in small, quick, circular motions for a thin layer that lets your freckles shine through, says makeup artist Jamie Greenberg, who plays up frecks on herself and client Rashida Jones.

Photograph courtesy of IT Cosmetics

The formula: Sticks and powders create an overly opaque finish. Go with a light-coverage liquid or cream. (Or make any formula more sheer by mixing with untinted lotion.)

For oily skin: Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint SPF 30 ($44, keeps outta-control shine under wraps all day with clear blurring powders and astringent rosefruit extract, but its lightweight quality prevents it from being cakey.

Photograph courtesy of Nars

For normal skin: L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation ($12, is like an ink pad. Press the applicator to release a dose of barely-there tint that’ll cover redness and the scars of acne past, not your freckles.

Photograph courtesy of L’Oreal

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For dry skin: Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup ($39, dispenses a single drop of foundation onto a built-in buffing brush so you’ll never OD on coverage. Muru-muru butter knocks out dryness.

Photograph courtesy of Estee Lauder

Why Blush Matters Too
It’s the color cosmetic most likely to sit right on top of a swath of spots, so yeah, it’s key. To flatter them, choose a cream or gel with a gauze-light finish, in a hue that complements your skin tone.

Fair: Pale Pink
Try Benefit Dandelion Dew Liquid Blush ($28,

Photograph courtesy of Benefit

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Medium: Warm Peach
Try Physicians Formula Contour Trio BB Stick Blush ($10,

Photograph courtesy of Physicians Formula

Dark: Red Wine
Try Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip + Cheek Color in Sunset Wine ($29,

Photograph courtesy of Smashbox