The History of Faux Beauty Marks and How to Wear Them Now

The YesStyle Beauty Lab

Like everything in beauty and fashion, faux beauty marks have been revived over and over with each reincarnation proving a more interesting than the last. Moles have been the symbol of everything under the sun, from a fate-determining mark in ancient Greece and China to symbols of witchcraft during the medieval times. Patches on the face have been used for various reasons for centuries, but we’ll focus on the ones used for cosmetic reasons otherwise this list will go on forever!

18th Century French Aristocrats

Face patches were used well before the trend-obsessed Marie Antoinette, but their use peaked during her time. The main purpose of the decals, or mouche meaning flies in French, was to cover up blemishes caused by smallpox, the use of unwittingly chemical-laden cosmetics, or other diseases. These patches were made with the finest of materials, such as silk, and became so elaborate that some even depicted horse-drawn coaches and full-rigged ships.

Wearing the decals was a trend that spread among the aristocrats to the lower echelon with a fervor. It was a symbol that carried sensual implications and various historians believed it was to imitate the goddess of love herself, Venus.

20’s Flapper Girls

We take a leap into the Roaring 20s with the flapper girls. The Victorian period saw the use of makeup to naturally enhance a person’s features and birthed the ideology of the feminine Gibson Girls. However, with the rise of suffragettes in previous years, women in the 20s became more self-aware and self-reliant pertaining to the construction of their image.

Several silent film stars of this time such as Joan Crawford, Mae Murray and Clara Bow took an indignant view of sweet and meek femininity. Flappers of this era sought to emulate this new and bold image, and Clara Bow’s mole became a symbol of their attitude. Countless women wore paper beauty marks that came in various shapes like hearts and diamonds.

50’s Movie Stars

The film industry continued to influence fashion and beauty with Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren becoming iconic figures. With movies such as the 1954 film Madame du Barry reviving the fascination with French royalty, and actresses with natural moles like Monroe, faux beauty marks were a trendy addition that added sex appeal to any makeup look.

Magazines urged women to use paint and other cosmetics to draw in the marks to secure a look that was as alluring as the women on the screen.

00’s Revitalized Icons

After the 50s obsession with Marilyn Monroe, many marked beauties came after such as Madonna in the 80s and Cindy Crawford in the 90s. The early aughts brought about a new way of adding faux marks.

Late singer Amy Winehouse popularized the piercing known as the “Marilyn Monroe piercing” located near the upper lip, usually with a metallic or rhinestone stud. Although the original bombshell’s mole was located closer to the cheek, it’s safe to say that it’s much more convenient to pierce near the mouth than the cheek.

How To Wear The Faux Beauty Mark Now

Skin Care

You could start off with what the French aristocrats had in mind, which was to cover blemishes! COSRX’s Acne Pimple and Clear Fit Master Patches not only cover pimples but also treat them. Both lightweight patches are available in a range of sizes that easily and strongly adhere to skin.

Glitter & Sequins

Often seen on the grounds of Coachella or other music festivals, glitter and sequins are another way the beauty mark has been revamped this century. Sequins can come in original faux beauty mark shapes such as hearts, stars or moons. Many opt to use glitter as sparkly faux freckles or as the base for the sequins.

You can apply glitter by lathering desired areas with a thin coat of hair gel before brushing glitter on top. Use lash glue for the sequins to make sure they stay put even during all the dancing and sweating.

Stickers & Temporary Tattoos

Like glitter and sequins, stickers and temporary tattoos are frequent makeup additions at festivals. Temporary tattoos come in many colorful and intricate designs, from flowers and planets to even animals! Most of these decals are made of silicone which means they have better chance of lasting on your sweat-bathed face during a festival.

MISSHA’s Jewel Pop Sticker set can be used on your nails as well. Stick the stickers onto your nails, then swipe on a clear top coat and you’ve got yourself matching bedazzled face and nails.

Stamp Eyeliner

My faux beauty mark recommendations are definitely extra and out there. This stamp eyeliner is close enough to create the minimal moles seen in the 1920s and 50s. From the same MISSHA’s Star Pop Festa Edition, these eyeliners feature a moon and star stamp on the other end for those who want a small pop in their makeup. The star shape is perfect for the New Year and can be paired with star sequins for a dimensional look!

Stamp Blush

This is the most subtle look of all, as it gives you the choice of either a vibrant heart-shaped blush or blending it out for a subtle everyday blush. Heart On The Cheek from A’PIEU has a natural look and a creamy texture that’s perfect for blending. Opt for MEMEBOX’s I’M MEME I’m Heart Stamp Blusher and go for dual heart-stamped cheeks for a cute look. Or, you can blend it out for a casual look.

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