How to

Why strobing is the new contouring

Gigi Hadid and Chiara Ferragni have both perfected a dewy glow

Model Gigi Hadid (L) and blogger Chiara Ferragni

Is strobing the new contouring? In a nutshell, yes. Forget contouring, there’s a new beauty trick in town and let’s just say it’s a lot less involved, far more conducive to the time-poor among us, and gives you that I’ve-just-spent-three-hours-at-a-day-spa look that heavy contouring can’t pull off. When it comes to natural beauty, strobing is where it’s at.

Both contouring and strobing are all about putting your best face forward, but you could say strobing is the antithesis of the beauty artistry that Kim Kardashian made so famous. Contouring focuses on using matte products two shades lighter or darker than your skin tone to create more obvious angles and structure in the face, whereas strobing – with the help of highlighting products applied only to the high points of your face – aims to give your skin an overall radiant, fresh and healthy glow.

What’s more, this technique is a total cinch to master – it’s like makeup for beginners, or those who simply don’t have the time or patience to spend precious morning minutes getting the perfect cheekbone angle. And all you need is a liquid or cream-based highlighter in your beauty arsenal and you’re good to go.

Here’s how to master strobing:

  1. Hydrate: Highlighters will only serve to, er, highlight any dryness in the skin so make sure you start by applying a moisturiser that is suited to your skin type. If you’re prone to oily skin, stick with an oil-free formula so you don’t end up looking too sheeny.
  2. Colour match: You want to find a highlighter that’s one shade lighter than your natural skin tone – no lighter. The idea is to look glowy, not frosty. Fairer skinned beauties should opt for champagne shades; light-medium skin tones look great in pink champagnes; olive skin is perfect for a more golden-toned glow, while darker skins can get away with richer terracotta/bronze pigments.
  3. Apply your base: Again, if your skin veers more towards the oilier end of the spectrum, choose a matte finish or oil-free foundation to avoid too much shine as the day goes on.
  4. Start strobing: Apply your highlighter to the high points of your face such as the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, cupid’s bow, brow bone (underneath your eyebrows) and the upper centre of your forehead. Remember to blend, blend, blend for a naturally luminous, lit-from-within look.

Remember, you want to glow naturally, not shine like a disco ball, so as with your foundation make sure you choose bronzer, blush and powder with a matte finish and avoid using highlighter on any breakouts or blemishes.

Products to try:

MAC Strobe Cream, $33
Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter, $30
Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand, $55
Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights, $12.99

Strobing products

L-R: MAC Strobe Cream, Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter, Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand, Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights