Just when you’ve finally mastered contouring, along comes strobing.
For many it seems makeup just continues to get more complicated! Well luckily this isn’t really the case and, whilst strobing seems to be the hottest makeup trend of the moment, it is relatively easy to follow and get right. And I’m going to tell you exactly how…
Anyone who’s ever been on one of my courses or seen me work will tell you just what a fan I am of creating beautiful ‘lit from within’ skin; and strobing is one of my favourite techniques to achieve this. It’s nothing new, makeup artists have been doing it for years in the same way we have been using contouring techniques to delicately sculpt model faces.
So what exactly is strobing I hear you ask. Quite simply strobing is the art of cleverly highlighting the skin to create light and draw attention to the high planes of the face. It’s similar to highlighting, except that we use more products and techniques to further shape the face than we would with simple highlighting. It’s the reverse of contouring. With strobing we don’t use any darker contour shades at all. We just use products to draw attention to the high planes of the face, creating a natural contour without actually contouring. Simple, right!?
Well, yes. It’s not as complicated as contouring. You don’t have to worry about blending dark shades with your skin, however getting a flawless base does require some work to make it look effortless, and not greasy! It’s also important to understand exactly what you are trying to achieve, it’s not just about following a ‘strobing map’ it’s useful to understand your facial architecture.
A simple way to start experimenting with strobing is to remember that dark colours recede to the eye and light colours advance to the eye. Basically any areas you want to create space and draw the eye to should be ‘strobed’. Areas to start enhancing are those where light naturally hits your face including your temples, cheekbones and bridge of your nose. When it’s done correctly it can make you look like you have the most beautiful ethereal skin. In my mind strobing is the holy grail of youthful, glowing, healthy skin and summer is the perfect time to embrace it.
To achieve a naturally highlighted/strobed face start with a well moisturised face. Next try mixing a bit of a luminising product with your foundation to achieve a dewy finish. Alternatively, use a radiance boosting primer prior to your foundation application. Avoid anything that is matte. Next, use a highlighter to add light to the areas you want to highlight.
When strobing the skin I personally like to work with liquid or cream textures so they melt into the skin and look really real. This is just personal preference and you can achieve a similar effect with powder textures o don’t feel you have to go out and buy liquid or cream highlighters if you don’t already have them. Just use the highlighters you already have in your makeup bag or the lighter shades in your contouring palette.
Champagne colours work well on fairer skin while golds look great on dark complexions. Look for products with a subtle sheen or shimmer, strictly no glitter!
My hero products for strobing;
Laura Mercier Radiance Primer
Chanel Vitalumiere Foundation
MAC Strobe cream – a great all round highlighting liquid
Benefit High Beam – a pink toned highlighting liquid, use cautiously if you have pink tones in your skin
Illamasqua Aurora Cream Highlighter – a lovely champagne toned highlighting cream, simply dab and blend with fingers for a beautiful sheen.
So that’s my quick guide to strobing. Move over Kardashian-style contouring, there’s a new look in town and I love it!