Strobing may be a relatively new make-up term but in no way is it a new technique. You’ve probably already been doing it for ages. The name was coined last summer and is a gentler approach to bringing out facial features, as opposed to the bold contouring famed by Kim Kardashian. Instead of using matt darker colours to carve out the face, strobing involves lighter brighter colours on the high points of the face AKA highlighting. Now, I bet you’ve all done a bit of that before..
Highlighting has been around forever and is much easier to master than contouring, it is also much more flattering. The filters of Instagram can give much appeal to heavy contouring, however in real life it can be harsh and too obvious. Strobing came into play as a bit of a backlash to the contouring craze, and is about skin looking bright and luminous while enhancing bone structure.
(photo by Klas Strom, make-up by me)
There is of course still a technique to it, placement and blending are key in getting the look right. As are the right products – beware of anything shimmery or glittery, and definitely no frost, we’re not looking for 80’s disco. They are also a fast way to ageing the skin and drawing the wrong attention.
I like to use creamy products RMS Living Luminizer is amazing for this look. It gives skin a gorgeous glow and makes it look radiant and rested, even if it isn’t. W3LL PEOPLE’s Bio Brightener Stick is also a favourite, it’s a cream stick but drier in texture than RMS. Inika’s Light Reflect Highlighting Creme works really well too and is a great vegan option.
Apply your chosen product to any area of the face that you would like to bring out. Cheekbones, browbones, eyelids, inner corners of eyes and the cupids bow are always winning places. A little down the centre of the nose and a touch on the forehead and chin can be nice too – remember though, you’re highlighting which means bringing attention too – if you think you have a big forehead for example (like me) you might not want to draw attention.
Also in the summer when complexions may be naturally more glowy anyway, adding more sheen does run the risk of looking sweaty, especially in photographs. Never strobe everywhere, always keep it high on the cheekbones – if you bring it too far towards the nose, you will look shiny rather than luminous. Think about keeping other products like your blusher matter. If you’re prone to shine then keep the T-Zone matt for sure.
I like to use my fingers to apply to areas like the cheek bones but then a brush for smaller areas like eyes and cupids bow. Apply to a bare skin for a really quick brightener or over foundation if using. Blend well, you want it to be part of the skin. It should be seamless – definitely no edges where the product stops. You don’t want to see any product, just when you turn your head for example, the area where you have applied it will catch the light and glow.
Are you a fan of strobing? What are your favourite products to use?