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What’s The Deal With Strobing?

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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.


Makeup&hair for @alliaalrufai by @eltonjfernandez , shot by @taras84

A photo posted by EltonJFernandez (@eltonjfernandez) on


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.”

Be natural

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.”

The technique

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.



Favourite highlighters

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.

Chanel Eclat Lumiere Highlighting Face Pen_Hauterfly

Chanel Éclat Lumiere Highlighting Face Pen (Rs 3,428)

Colorbar Radiant Glow Face Illuminator Pen_Hauterfly

Colorbar Radiant Glow Face Illuminator Pen (Rs 525)

Inglot AMC Face and Body Illuminator_Hauterfly

Inglot AMC Face and Body Illuminator (Rs 1,600)

Benefit Cosmetics High Beam_Hauterfly

Benefit Cosmetics High Beam (Rs 2,990)

Chambor Light & Sheer Skin Highlighter_Hauterfly

Chambor Light & Sheer Skin Highlighter (Rs 1,315)

NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator_Hauterfly

NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator (Rs 1,090)



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