Move Over, Contouring: Strobing Makeup is Changing the Game

Rachel Krause


Common makeup techniques, from brow shading and shadow blending to highlighting and feature sculpting, are pretty much universal knowledge, but every so often one we’re not well-acquainted with will pop up on our radar. Take contouring, for example: The actual technique goes way back, but it didn’t actually make it into everyday beauty vernacular until a few years ago, when Kim Kardashian‘s chiseled cheekbones pushed it into the public eye.

It’s especially rare, in this day and age, that a new technique is actually coined right under our noses. In fact, it’s practically unheard of—so when our awareness was drawn to “strobing,” we were all but skeptical. It’s like this: strobing is being sold as the easier, less severe approach to enhancing your bone structure without contouring. It defines the face without harsh lines, instead drawing the eye to where the light naturally hits.

Strobing is entirely dependent on the power of highlighting products—you apply it on all the high points of your face, so the tops of your cheekbones, brow bones, the center of your forehead, the bridge of the nose, and the center of your chin should all get the highlighter treatment, while the rest of your face, where shadows are naturally cast, recede in the background. Essentially, it’s like contouring lite: In contrast to all of the highlighted points, the hollows of your cheeks seem deeper and sharper by comparison, your cheekbones higher, your nose slimmer.

Whereas contouring requires a masterful understanding of bone structure and a lot of effort devoted to blending, strobing is a fresh, dewy way to take advantage of light and make it work for you. All you need is your favorite highlighter—and maybe some blotting papers, should your skin start to look more greasy than glowy. Hey, we’re just looking out.

Read more from Daily Makeover: Contouring Makeovers: See How This Technique Instantly Transforms