Strobing: The Easy Makeup Trend That’s Taking Over

Lauren Keller
Strobing: The Easy Makeup Trend That’s Taking Over
Photo: heckmannoleg/Getty Images

Move over contouring, it’s strobing’s turn to be the makeup craze that everyone swears by.

If you’re still struggling to master the art and skill it takes to contour your entire face, there’s an easier way to define your features that’s perfect for world-renowned makeup artists and lazy girls alike: Strobing. The technique is all about enhancing your features by using only a highlighter and natural light. You won’t be caking on tons of foundation, so it’s perfect for warmer months when makeup can sweat off easily.

MORE: The 7 Best Highlighters For a Subtle, So-Pretty Glow

It’s time to ditch those expensive contour palettes with too many color options (is this a half shade darker than my skin tone or more like a full shade?) and instead pick up one simple highlighter that’ll do all the work for you. Ok, not all of the work, you’ll still need some technique. But, strobing is all about stripping down your skills to just focusing on where the natural light hits you, and applying highlighter there to really amplify it – and we’re all about that.

Fresh Faced

First and foremost, like we said above, strobing is all about that natural look. We’re not covering up with tons of matte powders here, instead it’s actually the opposite. You’re aiming for a more dewy look that screams “I go to the gym four times a week and love drinking green juices.” Now while that’s obviously just not doable for all of us (because, hello, Netflix), there are ways to take care of your skin to make sure you have a clean canvas and are always looking your best. Another trick? Try mixing a luminzer into your moisturizer for a brighter look all over or use a primer to neutralize red areas or dark spots.


The most important step of strobing is highlighting all the right places. It’s all about brightening up your face, so think of where the light naturally would hit you. Dab a highlighter onto the apples of your cheeks, the bridge of your nose and your cupid’s bow to highlight the main areas of your face. You can also apply it to the inner corners of your eyes, your brow bone, your chin and the center of your forehead (avoid this spot if you tend to get oily) if you really want a bright look all over. MAC has also designed a Strobe Cream made specifically for this technique!

You can simply leave it like that. If you really can’t leave the house without more coverage you can use a sponge to dab a light layer of your normal foundation over the highlighted areas and around the rest of your face. It will appear as if the highlight is naturally coming out of your skin once it’s covered up by the foundation.

Yes, it’s really that easy. So grab your selfie stick and get ready to glow with this amazing new makeup technique that’s trending all over the selfie world. It’ll look so natural, there’s no need to tell anyone your secret. Why yes, the light always does hit us that perfectly.

MORE: The Hilarious Reason You Should NEVER Wear Highlighter For a Driver’s License Photo

Originally published June 2015. Updated March 2017.