Life & Culture

The strobe effect


Like most trends these days, it begins with the Kardashian girls. Highlighting or strobing, as the beauty pack like to call it, became a craze in 2015 set off by Kim Kardashian's Instagram post of her make-up being applied with a map of colours to emphasise specific areas of her face.

Strobing, however, takes serious make-up knowledge and a sturdy hand, and boy, can it make a difference to your finished look. In fact, strobing is a technique that has been used for years on set in Hollywood to reshape and refine many a celebrity face, but only now have people taken notice, me included. Strobing uses light-reflective products on the high points of the face to create skin that looks bright and radiant. Your aim is to create the perfect glow to your skin.
Yet, even when armed with pens, creams and powders in varying shades of nude, it’s still tricky to know what to do with them. It’s light years beyond the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat pen of the 1990s; this is proper make-up application, the kind that can’t be rushed, but once you get to grips with the technique, you’ll wonder how you ever went out without strobing.

And then there’s contouring. It’s slightly different than strobing but still comes under the same umbrella. Contouring is the art of using make-up to sculpt bone structure. By applying darker tones than your natural skin colour in the hollows of your face, such as under your cheekbones or under the jaw line, you can create the illusion of definition. So, unlike strobing, you’re creating a shadow (the kind you want) rather than light. It’s never been easier to get your glow on.

Still confused? Here are some tips to help
● Dab highlighter into the inner corners of your eyes and in the tear ducts to make the white of your eyes whiter and your eye colour pop!
● Simply suck in your cheeks and follow the hollow, then paint along the jawline and temples for added definition.
● Sweep highlighter over the arch of your brow, along your cheekbones, in the middle of your chin and down your nose; blend in with a make-up sponge or flat brush.
● Get the highlighter colour right. Choose a cooler, pearl tone for pale skin and a warmer, golden pearl for dark skin.
● If you have naturally oily skin, skip areas like your forehead or chin, which already have some shine.
● Create the perfect pout and a fuller lip with a stroke of highlighter pen on your Cupid’s bow and under your lower lip.
● When you’re sporting a serious strobing look, use brown mascara instead of black. It’s softer against the skin and enhances the glow too.

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