Your 4-Step Strobing Makeup Tutorial

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Forget complicated contouring-this season, the beauty spotlight is on strobing. The simple new makeup trend is all about radiant, dewy skin, the antithesis to the heavily made-up look of contouring.

“These techniques are complete opposites,” says celebrity and fashion makeup artist Neil Scibelli. “To contour, you use multiple dark tones to create shadows and definition. Strobing involves adding shimmer and strategically highlighting to create a fresh, healthy, glow. “

And whereas contouring gone awry can quickly leave you looking clownish, strobing is simple and fairly foolproof. Follow these simple steps to get your glow on.

1. Apply your makeup as normal. Strobing is a finishing touch. One caveat: If you typically wear a luminous foundation, swap it out for one with a matte or velvet finish. “The contrast of the shimmer set against a matte base accentuates the whole effect,” explains Scibelli. Keep lips and lids fairly matte too, so that your glowy skin really pops. (Find The Best Nude Lipstick to Flatter Your Skin Tone to enhance your glow.)

2. Reach for a cream highlighter. We like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured ($38; or Jouer Highlighter ($22; Consider your skin tone when choosing a color; those with paler complexions should opt for sheer, champagne hues, while richer gold and rose gold are choice for darker skin, advises Scibelli. Regardless, steer clear of silver, which can look frosty and unnatural.

3. Stipple the highlighter on the spots where light naturally hits your face. Use a synthetic foundation brush-it disperses the product evenly without absorbing it. “Start on your brow bone, above the middle of your brow, then work out and down around your temple and across the top of your cheekbone, in a ‘C’ shape,” Scibelli says. Dab a tiny amount down the bridge of your nose and finish with a dot on the cupid’s bow, just above the center of your top lip. Blend thoroughly, until the product is worked seamlessly into your skin. (No highlighter? No problem-concealer can do the trick. Here, 4 Cool Ways to Use Concealer for Face Contouring.)

4. Top the cream highlighter with a powder formula. It’ll help step up the shimmer even further. Scibelli likes Nars Albatross Highlighting Blush ($30;, or try the new L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator ($13; Dip a fan brush into the product, tap to remove any excess, then lightly dust across the same areas where you applied the cream. (You can also use the powder on its own if you have oily skin and are concerned about looking overly shiny).

Prefer a more subdued shimmer? Try a toned-down version of the trend by employing the same application technique using a luminous tinted moisturizer instead of a highlighter. “This adds radiance, but without any color, making the end result much more subtle than full-on strobing,” explains Scibelli. Our pick: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer-Illuminating ($44; (Now, master the rest of your beauty routine by learning How to Apply Makeup, According to a Makeup Artist.)

  • By Melanie Rud Chadwick

Unpopular opinion: Kardashian-style Kontouring has to die.

We can thank Kim Kardashian for the contouring craze.

I’m so over seeing Instagram photos of makeup looks involving dark, stripey jawlines and tanning-goggle white eye sockets.

You know what I’m talking about:

This terrifying paint-by-numbers look has got to go.

Sure, strategic shading has its place for night-out makeup (and drag queens, who basically invented the technique), but I am SO GLAD there’s a new trend that looks much more natural and daytime glam.

Let me introduce you to strobing, the newest technique for making those cheekbones stand out.

What Is Strobing?

Strobing is essentially the application of a shimmery highlighter on the high planes of the face, where light would naturally bounce off. (Ten bucks says you already did this, but now there’s a fancy name for it.)

Unlike the mega concealer-bronzer-contour paint jobs that look great in photos but unnatural and heavy in daylight, strobing works beautifully in real life, because light is always catching and bouncing off your skin. The highlighter simply amps up the reflective glow.

Just look at strobing queens Gigi Hadid:

Gigi Hadid at Maybelline’s 100th anniversary party in 2015.

And Olivia Munn:

Olivia Munn at the 2014 season 3 premiere of ‘The Newsroom’.

And Kerry Washington:

Kerry Washington at the 2014 Baby2Baby Gala.

How To Strobe

Strobing should be the final step in your makeup, so it goes on top of all the other products you’re wearing (foundation, blush, etc.).

Before you strobe, it’s really important to mattify the areas you don’t want emphasized, such as your forehead, chin and the tip of your nose—otherwise, your whole face will just look greasy. You’ll want to do this before you apply your foundation, tinted moisturizer or BB/CC cream. Laura Mercier Secret Finish Mattifying Gel has been my HG mattifier for years. Here are a few more of my favourite oil-absorbers!

Use a mattifier like Laura Mercier Secret Finish Mattifying Gel to eliminate shine before strobing.

Next, using your highlighter of choice—we’ll talk about what strobing products to use in a sec!—apply a small amount to any areas of your face that light would hit. Like this:

Strobe wherever light would naturally hit your face.

Think: the tops of your cheekbones, your brow bones, a fine line down the bridge of your nose, and in the cupid’s bow “v” of your lips.

Don’t forget to blend, either with your fingers, a buffing brush or a sponge. (Beautyblender Micro Minis are perfect for the job!) See more of my blending tips here.

Use a Beautyblender Micro Mini to blend out your strobing.

Tip: If you’re withdrawing from the contour method and want to boost your glow, first apply a dewy concealer to the areas that you’ll be strobing. I like NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer for this.

Amp up the strobing effect by using NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer first.

After blending, here’s my strobing result. (Don’t mind the sassy expression!) I’m wearing Benefit Watt’s Up! here.

A little strobing goes a long way to create a healthy sheen.

How To Choose a Strobing Product

There are three rules for choosing the perfect strobing product (otherwise known as highlighter):

1. Avoid anything sparkly. I’m looking at you, NARS Orgasm. The point is to create a subtle shimmer that could be mistaken for naturally luminous skin.

2. Keep your skin type in mind. I personally love cream stick formulas for ease of application and portability, although they’re usually best for normal to dry skin types. Powder highlighters will probably last longer on combination or oily complexions.

3. Choose a highlighter that suits your skin tone. Stick with a highlighter that matches your undertones. Cool-toned highlighters on warm skin and warm-toned highlighters on cool skin will look unnatural—and defeat the purpose of strobing, which is meant to look like “no-makeup makeup.”

Keep reading for my product picks by skin tone.

The Best Strobing Products For Your Skin Tone

If your skin is fair to light…

Light pink and light beige highlighters are going to suit you best. Try the cult favourite RMS Beauty Living Luminizer. It’s a cream that comes in an eyeshadow-style pot—so it’s easy to dab on with a fingertip and buff with a stippling brush. Michelle is a fan!

Try RMS Beauty Living Luminizer on fair to light skin.

If your skin is light to medium…

Try champagne colours, such as Benefit Watt’s Up! I wear this almost daily—the colour isn’t too light on my skin, and the cream-to-powder formula stays put. Love! I lightly draw on the product and buff with my fingers.

Try Benefit Watt’s Up on light to medium skin.

If your skin is medium olive to golden…

Burnished gold is your best friend. Benefit Sun Beam is amaaazing for this—just dab on a bit of product using the polish-style brush and blend well with a sponge.

Try Benefit Sun Beam on medium olive to golden skin.

If your skin is golden to deep…

Try a highlighter in a burnished gold, dark peach or terracotta shade. I’m a fan of NARS The Multiple in South Beach for darker skin tones, which pull off the apricot tone beautifully. As with other cream stick formulas, it’s easy to draw on and smudge with your fingertips.

Try NARS The Multiple in South Beach on golden to deep skin.

Strobing Products That Work On Everyone

Here are my top two picks for all skin tones and types:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder is outrageously beautiful and comes in six shades for a range of skin tones. These would work well on any skin type, especially combination and oily skin.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder comes in six shades.

The Cover FX Contour Kit comes in six colour options that would match almost any skin tone. Each kit comes with four cream shades, and I particularly like the two highlighters (one matte, one shimmery) that are designed to suit your respective skin tone. This super-creamy formula will work best on normal to dry skin.

Each Cover FX Contour Kit has four cream shades.

And there you have it. Instead of trying to fake shadows with contour, come into the light with strobing!

Shop the Story

Do you prefer the contoured look or the strobing technique? Have you tried strobing yet? What’s your favourite highlighter?

Strobing Makeup Tutorial Esha Saxena Hyderabd040-395603080 March 7, 2019

If you fancy a soft and dewy complexion, strobing is one makeup technique you absolutely need to try out. But first, let’s get down to the basics and understand what this trend is all about. Strobing is a highlighting technique that is used to create an illuminated complexion. There’s no contouring or bronzing involved, and it’s all about that glow! It focuses on creating healthy-looking skin rather than the sculpted look that contouring gives you. If you think strobing is your jam, read on because we’ve put together a simple tutorial along with everything you need to know about the strobe effect.

Strobing Makeup Tutorial

Generally, you ‘strobe’ your face using liquid or cream highlighters. You simply accentuate the areas of your face that bounce off light, such as your brow bones, the top of your cheekbones, and your cupid’s bow.

Just a heads-up – strobing is not suitable for oily skin. However, if you still want to give it a shot, make sure you apply a mattifying primer before doing your base makeup.

What You Need For Your Strobe Kit

  • Hydrating moisturizer
  • Primer
  • BB cream or foundation
  • Setting powder
  • Liquid illuminating highlighter
  • Powder highlighter
  • Makeup brushes

Step By Step Tutorial With Pictures

Step 1: Prep Your Skin

The first thing you want to do is cleanse and moisturize your face thoroughly. Apply a pea-sized amount of primer to even out your skin tone and eradicate any redness.

Step 2: Do Your Base

Apply a lightweight, dewy finish foundation or a BB cream using a rounded foundation brush. The trick here is to give your skin a light wash of color, rather than a full coverage finish. You can also add some concealer if you want to cover any under eye circles and blemishes. Set your foundation with a little bit of powder, so your base does not move through the day.

Tip: You can apply your best strobe cream instead of a BB cream or foundation, or you can mix it with either of the products for added glow.

Step 3: Strobe Away!

This is where the real strobing happens. Use a liquid illuminator, like the All Over Glow Luminizer Gel from Jelly Pong Pong, and apply it on the top of your cheekbones, down the bridge, and at the tip of your nose. Blend it out with a makeup sponge.

Tip: You can also dab some illuminator on areas like your forehead and chin for an even glow.

Step 4: Add Some Powder Highlight

Use a tapered highlighter brush to go over the areas you applied the liquid illuminator on. Add some to your cupid’s bow, above your eyebrows, your chin, and down the bridge of your nose. Finally, layer on the final highlighter – M.A.C Soft & Gentle Highlighter is a great choice – with a fan brush. Make sure you add some to the inner corners of your eyes.

Step 5: Do Your Lips

Apply a creme-sheen lipstick and top it up with a bit of lip gloss.

Here’s the final look!

If you’re trying the strobing technique for the first time, remember – practice makes perfect. You might not get it right the first time, but you actually get better with time. We’ve listed out a bunch of easy tips that will come in handy for all you strobing enthusiasts.

Tips: The Strobing Makeup Tips You Need To Know

  • Find The Right Shade For You

Strobing is basically highlighting, so choose a color that is paler than your skin.

For light to medium skin, a pale pearl would work best. For dark skin, use a golden, rose gold, or bronze hue.

  • Choose An Appropriate Finish

Choose your finish wisely, keeping in mind the time of the day. Use soft shimmers and mattes during the day and go crazy with glitter in the evenings.

  • Follow A Face Map When Strobing

You only want to strobe the high points of your face. These include your cheekbones, brow bones, above the arches of your brows, your cupid’s bow, chin, and the bridge of your nose.

  • Follow The Three Golden Steps

Moisturize your skin, apply a clean foundation base, and brighten up your features using a liquid illuminator or a highlighting stick. That’s basically all you need to do!

Ladies, looking like a delicious glazed donut is a real thing now. Strobing has indeed won our hearts with its minimalistic technique and ease factor (as opposed to contouring). It also has more to do with replenishing dull skin and creating an ethereal glow on your face rather than defining and sculpting it. We hope this article helps you achieve that perfect glow. What do you think about strobing makeup technique? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Esha Saxena

Esha Saxena is a writer, journalist, and a full-time wallflower. She holds a Master’s degree in Media and Mass Communication and firmly believes that makeup is nothing less than art. Combining her love for writing with her passion for makeup, she brings to you reviews, techniques, and her ever-growing knowledge on this form of art. In her spare time, she loves reading, listening to obscure indie bands, and writing poetry – all of this while being a crazy dog lady.

Everything You Need To Know About “Strobing”

If you’re beauty-obsessed and have an Instagram account, you’ve probably seen the hashtag #strobing a lot in the past few weeks. “Strobing,” which is essentially highlighting to the max, is a makeup technique that creates a “healthy glow at the highest voltage,” to use the words of professional makeup artist, Jorjee Douglass. According to Douglass, a “strobed” face is achieved by applying highlighter where the sun would naturally hit your face — including the bridge of the nose, tip of the chin, center of the forehead, cupid’s bow, brow bones, and cheekbones. The process can even begin under your foundation with a radiance-boosting primer or a very emollient moisturizer. Some have dismissed it as another marketing ploy for contouring — but strobing is actually the opposite of that. “Contouring is adding lowlights and shadows to your face by using a bronzer that’s a shade or two darker than your natural skin tone,” says Douglass. “Strobing, however, is focusing on the light.” And while those who contour their face typically also highlight it, those who strobe often skip the bronzing step and let the highlighter alone define their features. “Strobing has absolutely less margin for error than contouring does,” says professional makeup artist Wayne Goss, who has a video on his YouTube channel where you can see the technique in action.

So, you have special night out? Many of you are out shopping for the perfect gown, shoes, hairstyle, and makeup products to complete your perfect night. What you may not be thinking about is all the pictures that are about to be taken and you definitely want your skin to look the healthiest it ever has. So you might be wondering, “How can I make my skin look so great?” Well, the answer is as simple as this; a new makeup trend called Strobing.

What is Strobing?

Strobing is the new contouring. Unlike contouring, strobing is all about highlighting your skin in certain areas of your face which light focuses on. By using the strobing method instead of contouring, you will give your skin that perfect dewy, illuminating, healthy glow for any special occasion.

Step 1: Choosing a Product

The first step in strobing is finding the right highlighter for your skin. Choose a highlighter stick if you use a liquid foundation and go with a powder if you use a pressed or loose powder foundation; it is best to stick with the same consistency. Many of us know how hard it is to find the most effective makeup products on the market so here are just a few, for example:

If you prefer to use a highlighting stick you can use these products:

  • Benefit’s Watt’s Up! Cream highlighter: $30
  • Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick: $11
  • Maybe you prefer a liquid highlighter like these:
  • Kevin Aucoin Celestial Liquid: $52
  • Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Wonderglow’ Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash: $55

Some of you may prefer to use an illuminating powder like these:

  • Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed – Champagne Pop: $38
  • Nar’s Dual-Intensity Blush – Jubilation: $45
  • For oily skin, you should use a shimmery highlighter along with other matte make-up products to avoid the dewy glow from turning into a sweaty look.

Step 2: Where to Apply

Now that you have chosen a highlighter it is time to highlight the areas of your skin necessary to get the strobing effect.

  1. The first step you need to take in strobing is to cover the bridge of your nose.
  2. Next, highlight below the lips and also above the lips in your cupid’s bow.
  3. Then, go over the cheeks with your highlighter. Try to find the highest point on your cheeks for the best result. This should be above your cheekbone but under your eye, and then up to your temples.
  4. Lastly, you need to blend. The best way to blend your highlighter is to use your fingers for liquid or stick products and a fan brush for powders. Please note that as you are just starting out, it is easier to use your fingers. Blending is an essential step so you don’t go out looking like a disco ball.

Strobing can be used in your everyday makeup routine! Because of its natural looking effect on the skin and quick application, it is both perfect and possible to pull off for any special occasion or just your everyday look. If contouring appears to be a bit too strong of a look, strobing is a great alternative to get that extra definition in the most natural looking way possible. Strobing is a much easier makeup method to complete and it will give your skin an extra illuminating glow. So why not try it and fall in love just like I did!

Now that you have learned the ins and outs of strobing, you can try it out for yourself. Do not get discouraged if your attempt does not turn out perfectly the first time. Set some time aside on the weekends to practice.

I hope that I have helped you in making your evening out as special as possible. Enjoy! Additionally, share with us your strobing looks by tagging us on Instagram @glamandgowns, and Faviana’s Instagram @Faviana, Snapchat @Faviana_NY, and Twitter @FavianaNY. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel for more fun vlogs!



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Glam & Gowns is a blog curated with content written by authors from Faviana. Here you will get the latest tips and trends on all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

Strobing Vs Highlighting: What’s the Difference?

Strobing has caused a bit of an online stir, with many makeup fanatics wanting to try out this new trend. On the other hand, many makeup artists are agreeing that strobing actually isn’t a new trend- it’s essentially highlighting, but with a slight twist.

To clarify the whole Strobing Vs Contouring debate, we have decided to clear up the issues and lay down the difference so we’re all the same page. Sound like a good plan? Great, lets battle them both out!


  • How you want to wear your highlight defines whether or not you’re “highlighting” or “strobing.”
  • Both techniques utilize highlighting basically everywhere — the tops of your cheekbones, the brow bone and above the eyebrow, the bridge of your nose, your cupid’s bow, and chin.
  • The main difference is that highlighting is usually paired with contouring, whilst strobing is highlighting purely alone and typically has a very dewy finish thanks to illuminating creams, moisturizers or serums mixed into the foundation to add more depth.
  • The simple way to differentiate is to remeber this: highlighting goes hand in hand with contouring, whilst strobing sits solo.

Highlighting goes hand in hand with contouring, whilst strobing sits solo


Now lets look at some facts about the newest of the two make-up techniques:

  • Strobing means ‘extreme glow’ and is the new ‘hottest’ technique
  • The technique uses shimmery shades of highlighter to accentuate features, creating the illusion that the face is contoured without actually defining the features. Instead, it brings all of your features forward and leaves a dewy, glowing finish.
  • Strobing is a technique that only uses light to enhance your face; no bronzer or dark powders involved here.
  • This approach to makeup is supposed to mimic what it’s like to be under bright, flattering lights, hence using dedicated illuminating products
  • The result should be dewy and fresh, like you’re being lit-up from within. Avoid harsh shimmer or chunky glitter because this is all about creating a soft radiant glow, catching the light and creating radiance

The below products are brilliant for trying your hand at this new technique:

It’s official, strobing is in, contouring is out. We could never master the sculpting look anyway, and who has time in the morning to shade in a smaller nose? Enter strobing. The new (and much quicker) way to define your features, using light and light only.

Strobing is just a fancier word for highlighting, and lots of it. But that desired dewy look can soon turn into a sweaty mess, so here are a few steps to take to make sure you keep that glow all day long. Leave your content kit at home.


The key to strobing is a good base. Start by replenishing dull, dry skin with good moisturiser, ideally one that’s oil free to avoid a melting situation later on in the day.

Find the right shade

To avoid the whole silvery frosted look, find a highlighter which compliments your skin tone for a subtle sheen. Fairer skin needs a champagne tone highlighter. For light-medium skin tone, choose pink champagne colours. Go gold for olive skin and terracotta shades for darker skin tones.


To really nail the strobing look, only use highlighter in spots that catch the light. Focus on your cheekbones, along your temples, down the bridge of your nose, below your brows, corner of your eyes and just above your top lip. This will enhance your natural features, so whatever you do, don’t spread highlighter all over your face because you will end up resembling a disco ball, and nobody needs that in their life.

Shop the look:

How to strobe makeup?

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