Strobing, WTF?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

So apparently the age of contour has come to an end and the latest trend is 'strobing'. And if like me, you're sitting there thinking, "great here's yet another technique I need to learn, more products I need to buy and setting my alarm another 30 minutes earlier to get this shit done before work"......fear not!

First off, you don't actually need to 'strobe' (just like there's no real need to contour unless you like it/can be arsed doing it) and secondly, if you're already down with contouring then you already know how to 'strobe' up yo face.

Essentially it's just a fancy tagline for the same highlighting technique you would do with basic contouring. By applying a lighter product to the high points of your face, you add more three dimensionality to your facial planes which achieves a similar effect to that of contouring. This is especially helpful if you want to fake/reshape portions of your face or add back in some of the luminosity you may have lost from the complexion flattening that can happen with a full face of medium/heavy foundation.

~ Technique ~

Generally speaking you want to apply your highlighter product of choice the to places on you face that catch the light/are the high or prominent points such as the top of your cheekbones, your T-section (forehead, bridge of nose and chin) and your brow bone. But there's no set in stone rules for this, whatever works for your face shape is the way to go.

here's my attempt at a face chart showing where I contour (rarely lol!)
and where I 'strobe' or highlight for my face shape

If you're after a natural as possible effect then stick to skin-toned matte shades that are 1-2 shades lighter then your natural colour. If you're after a shimmering, dewy goddess type look then you can try shimmery products but stick to ones that DON'T have glitter - you want more of a pearl/satin finish and in shades close to the undertones already present in your skin tone. Be careful of anything that has a really strong reflect/duochrome as they can leave you looking like a disco ball if applied too heavily.

~ Products ~

As far as strobing products go, the obvious choice is any self proclaimed highlighter that you probably already have, be it powders or creams etc.

powder highlighters from rouge bunny rouge, Lorac, Laura Mercier and FFC

cream highlighters from missha, benefit and rouge bunny rouge

But even foundations or eyeshadows/palettes or even eye pencils can be used to "strobe"! Get creative and mess around with different products you already own!

foundations as highlighter from becca, face atelier, kevin aucoin and revlon

eyeshadows as highlighters from Tom Ford to Coastal Scents

eye pencils as highlighters from urban decay, MAC, NYX, No 7

At the end of the day 'strobing' is yet another recycled technique given new life with a trending name that makeup companies will inevitably jump on to push more of their existing products. Don't feel like you need buy into the hype and if you like the technique/look I'd definitely recommend shopping your own stash first as you probably have something perfectly suitable already!

Bambi xox

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