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Strobing | What is it?

Last Updated on by Carly

You may have heard people talking about strobing at some point and wondered what it is, so today I thought I would give my take on the whole thing. Personally I think strobing is a technique that makeup artists have been using for a long time, even way before I started. It’s named after strobe lighting, and is all about making the most of light products (rather than dark) to sculpt the features of your face. As a rule, when strobing you apply your chosen product to all the areas that would naturally catch the light. In turn this will draw attention to all the right places, creating shape to the face. To me this seems to be exactly the same as highlighting. I’m guessing most people would stick to one product for ease of use, and personally I don’t think it matters what you chose as long as it’s lighter than your foundation or natural skin tone. If I was stuck for time and could only use one highlighter I would probably go for Soap & Glory Glow All Out, (that’s because I’m a massive fan of powders – most people would probably go for something liquid or cream) but being a makeup artist I like to use lots of different products….

Strobing | What is it?

Radiant Highlighter: Courtesy of The Body Shop


Here’s some examples of what I focus on when highlighting/strobing:

The Brow Bone

Applying highlighter below the brow bone is like giving yourself an instant face lift (no joke!). It helps to make the area appear brighter, more lifted, and creates the illusion of larger eyes. My personal favourite is YSL Touche Eclat, due to it’s light reflecting pigments. I tend to apply this highlighter with the brush included, and then blend it out with my fingers. However because it’s the eye area we have the luxury of using all sorts of products to create pretty much the same effect. Think light coloured eyeshadows or highlighters designed for the cheeks. The list goes on. Experiment and see what works best for you.

The Corners of my Eyes

I also like to apply Touche Eclat to the tear ducts and inner corners of my eyes, and find using my fingers blends the product really well. Although it probably sounds like I spend ages on strobing, the reality is that highlighting the brow bone and corners of my eyes is probably done in less than 30 seconds. It really is super quick.

My Temples

Another area I focus on is my temples. Something like The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter is great for this. Like most of the products mentioned in this post today, you could use the Radiant Highlighter on any area you want to strobe.

My Cheekbones

This one’s probably the most obvious, but highlighting your cheekbones instantly helps to create a more chiselled look, enhancing your natural features, really making them pop. My favourite product for this is Soap & Glory Glow All Out because it comes as a pressed powder and is really easy to use. I apply it with the brush featured in the pic above, then make sure I blend it out with a blending brush after.

The Bridge of my Nose

Highlighter can be used to sculpt the nose, and just like my cheekbones I tend to use Soap & Glory Glow All Out. Personally I have to be a little bit careful with this area because I have combination skin, so I don’t want to add anything liquid or cream. I prefer my strobing look to be a bit more subtle, which is why the Glow All Out powder is perfect, as it doesn’t produce shine.

Above the Cupid’s Bow

Again, for this area I usually use the warmth of my fingers to apply and blend The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter. The tiniest amount is used, and this creates the illusion that I have much fuller lips!

The examples above have been part of my highlighting routine ever since I learnt how to apply makeup professionally. I think strobing probably is just a re-branded version of this. The main thing to remember is that dark colours make areas appear smaller, and light colours make features look bigger, drawing attention to them. Highlight the areas you want to look larger and more prominent and avoid the ones you don’t. You could go one step further and add some bronzer, but then we are dipping our toes into the world of contouring (again, previously known as corrective makeup, or enhancing our features! – ha ha I’m so old). If that’s something that interests you then check out my contouring post here.

What do you think of strobing? Is it something you do?

Carly x


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