Just when you thought you had finally mastered the fine art of contouring, along comes a glowing must-try beauty look in the form of the highlight-only makeup trend called, “Strobing.” Truthfully, strobing is an existing technique masquerading as a new concept but it’s still one of our favourite ways to add some dewy dimension in all the right places, not to mention being a fresh alternative to the heavy contouring culture of the selfie set.
A ‘strobed’ face is achieved by dabbing cream or liquid illuminators where the light naturally hits your face — including high points of the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, bow of the lips, tip of the chin, centre of the forehead, brow bones and on the inner corners of the eyes. To get the look, start with a moisturized face and then try mixing in a bit of luminizer with your foundation to get a glowing look right out of the gate. The application can even begin under your foundation with a radiance-boosting primer or enhanced with an iridescent blush on the apples.
So what, pray tell, is the difference between the two? After all, those who contour their face typically also highlight it. Well, it’s not just semantics, people. Yes, strobing is like highlighting to the max but, unlike contouring, those who strobe often skip the sculpting step and let the highlighter alone define their features. So, while contouring is all about adding lowlights and shadow to your face, strobing is the opposite of that — one that is entirely focused on the light.
But the biggest difference is, arguably, the actual appearance of the skin. Because strobing tends to be created with more cream products, the result is skin that gives off a fresh, glowing, almost wet-look finish, like you’re being lit-up from within. The key is to only highlight areas where you want to add dimension, because (obvi) it will bring more attention to them. This means avoiding using anything matte in your routine as this will just dull down the results. Be sure to avoid shimmer or chunky glitter because this is all about creating a soft radiant glow. (If you're afraid of looking oily — because yes, this is a lot of shine, folks — simply forgo adding any highlighter on your forehead.) If you're lighter- skinned, opt for champagne colours, while darker skin tones look stunning in more golden hues.
If our current one-two punch weather predicament of bone-dry air and overcast days has you daydreaming about the steamy, luminous, post-facial glow (because, really, who isn’t), then start strobing, ‘stat.