In the past month the hottest beauty buzzword (and oh how I despise those) has most definitely been strobing. If you haven’t yet figured out what it’s about, I’m here to break it down for you in simple terms.
Strobing is essentially reverse-contouring that’s achieved by exaggerated highlighter placement. So instead of creating shadows, you just highlight to the max. The aim is to accentuate certain areas by making them ultra-dewy and highlighted, thereby still creating contours and ‘hiding’ other areas without actually doing anything to them.
If you’re keen on a little strobing yourself, I’d say the key is in layering products and aiming for the right areas. Go for the bonier and curved areas, as they’re where the light would naturally hit you anyway – cheekbones, temples, forehead (not the whole forehead, but rather an upside down triangle in the centre), the length of your nose, tip of your chin and cupid’s bow (although that sometimes just looks like upper lip sweat to me).
As for products, I like to start layering under foundation already – something like Soap & Glory’s Hocus Focus or MAC Strobe Cream/Strobe Liquid (see more on both of those here). I’ll then apply a not-too-heavy foundation and buff it in really well, and dab one of those same products on again, or MAC Cream Color Base in Shell – cream formulas tend to look more dewy.
If I’m feeling frisky I’ll then take a super fluffy brush and gently ‘set’ the already highlighted areas with a slightly shimmery highlighting powder – it sits well on the cream highlighters and makes it last all night (or day, if you’re so inclined).
I feel a more natural makeup look goes best with strobing or any kind of excessive highlighting, so I’ll keep the rest of my face fairly toned down. Definitely avoid bronzer and if you’re going for blush, keep it subtle – you don’t want to detract from your ethereal glow after all.
While strobing might require a practice run or two, I think it’s less intimidating than contouring. Make sure your products are dewy and glowy rather than shimmery and glittery, and be mindful of which areas you apply it to. You will very literally highlight pores, breakouts, fine lines or any other imperfections so stick to skin that has fairly even texture.
Have you tried strobing? Are we just giving good old highlighting a new name? Let me know what you think.