What’s The Deal With Strobing?
Browse the internet or Instagram these days, and there’s no escaping images of women with overly-chiselled cheekbones and jawlines, pert noses, pronounced cupid bows and perfectly pouty lips. And if you have even the slightest interest in beauty trends and tricks, then like me you’ve tried your hand at contouring and pulled your hair out in frustration when the results are far from flawless. And just when I was ready to give up, strobing made an entry on to the scene and piqued the collective curiosity of beauty enthusiasts everywhere.
Strobing – or anti-contouring – is the stuff every amateur make-up addict’s dreams are made of. A fancier name for highlighting, strobing is a subtler way to give you dewy complexion without using the harsh shadows and time-consuming art of contouring. But before you reach out for your favourite highlighter, here’s what celebrity make-up artist and YouTube star Elton J Fernandez has to say about the trend of the moment.
His No. 1 piece of advice
Avoid mixing textures. “For example, you can’t use a powder blush on your cheeks and then strobe with a cream highlighter. When you mix textures and don’t have a steady hand, your make-up ends up looking streaky,” he says.
Start with clear skin
Clean, healthy skin is the perfect base for strobing. Adds Elton, “You should strobe when you know you’re going to be photographed, which come to think of it is pretty often…because SELFIES! Strobing makes your face look luminous and your skin healthy.”
Strobe only where light naturally hits your face, i.e. the high points. The idea is to give your face the illusion of definition and a glowing, radiant finish. But does everyone need to strobe their cheekbones, chin, forehead and bridge of the nose? Apparently not, says Elton. “If you have sharp bone structure and say, well defined cheekbones, you don’t need to strobe that area. Instead, just highlight your inner brow bones and the inner corner of your eyes. Keep things natural and fresh. Don’t go overboard.”
Always start with well-moisturised, hydrated skin. Either wear tinted moisturiser for medium coverage or foundation for full coverage. Follow this up with concealer and a wash of colour across your cheeks. Dab a little highlighter on the bridge of your nose, cheekbones, forehead, under the arc of your eyebrows and chin. Use your fingers to blend it in, or a make-up sponge like the Beauty Blender.
The make-up pro’s favourite strobing products include Radiance Boost Liquid Luminizer from Bodyography and MAC’s Strobe Cream. No matter what your skin type is though, liquid and cream highlighters work best because they are easy to blend and have a natural-looking effect. If you have oily skin, choose matte formulas for your foundation, concealer, and blush.
Strobing and humidity aren’t BFFs.
“Our country’s climate is warm and sticky and we’re always sweating, so you could end up looking like a HOT MESS if you’re not careful! My advise? Try strobing only when you’re going to be in a controlled (read: air-conditioned) environment.”
Keep scrolling to shop some of our favourite strobing products.
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