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5 Must Know Strobing Makeup Tips: Avoid the Glitterball Look

must know strobing makeup tips

So, contouring has been around for a few years now. You can blame it on Kim K and her contouring (she even shared a peek at it on Instagram pre-blending), but it really does have the ability to change how your face looks. But, it has a steep learning curve and while it looks great in pictures, that under cheek contour can really look strange in person if not done correctly.

I do sometimes contour my nose a bit, but due to time and pure laziness, I admit that I rarely contour. What I do is highlight, and apparently that has a fancy new name. Strobing. Which apparently is something many of us, me included, have been doing for years.

When done correctly, strobing can look amazing! It makes you look lit from within, accentuating areas of your face and it just works. In pictures, in real life, and you won’t have people telling you that you have a smudge of dirt on your face. I promise! Follow these must know strobing makeup tips to get the look to work for you!

how to highlight your makeup the right way

1. Best with great skin

This isn’t a look that works with heavy, full coverage foundation. To really pull this off you need to really be paying attention to your skin care routine (no sleeping in your makeup!) and keep your skin well hydrated. Dewy shimmer doesn’t work well with parched and flaky skin!

My tips:

1) Wash your makeup off every night! Check out my favorite eye makeup removers and follow those up with a gentle cleanser.
Cetaphil Skin Cleanser (at Amazon or ULTA)
Lancôme Bi-Facil Makeup Remover (at Lancôme, Sephora or Macy’s)

2) Keep up with exfoliation. It will increase cell turnover, which is great for skin tone and texture. It also cleans out your pores! The goal with exfoliation is to keep your skin smooth and clear. Don’t over do it into the red and irritated realm. Using a Clarisonic when you wash your face a few times a week, an at home peel or a gently scrubbing with a washcloth will do the trick.
Clarisonic Mia (at Clarisonic, Nordstrom or Sephora)
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel (at Sephora and Nordstrom)

3) I like a light moisturizer in the am and something heavier at night. But, listen to your skin! If it feels dry, you need to add extra moisture and use a hydrating treatment. Just a few drops of one of these facial oils under your moisturizer at night is all you need to add some much needed hydration to your face.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (from Kiehl’s or Nordstrom)
L’Oreal Age Perfect Cell Renewal Facial Oil (from ULTA)

best light coverage foundation and bb cream

2. Lighter coverage foundation

Now that you’ve done the hard work of getting your skin to look great, don’t cover it up! Instead of using a heavier foundation, go for a BB/CC Cream or one of the new serum foundations. You want coverage that perfects your skin without hiding it.
Lancôme Miracle Cushion Foundation (my Miracle Cushion review, get it from Lancôme, Bloomingdale’s or Sephora)
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream (from ULTA or It Cosmetics)
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream (from ULTA, Target or Amazon)

best makeup to use with highlighting

3. Keep other shimmer to a minimum

The idea behind strobing is that you’re catching the light and putting the emphasis on those areas. So, it won’t work if your whole face is full of dewy and shimmery makeup. Go for light and natural foundation (a slightly dewy finish is fine), think satin instead of shimmer for your shadows, and stay away from shimmery blushes and overly glossy lips. Let the strobing take center stage.
Too Faced Love Flush Blush (from Too Faced or Sephora)
It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Shadow Palette (from It Cosmetics or ULTA)

How to pick the right color of shimmer for highlighting

4. Use the right shade of highlighter

Not all shades of highlighter work for everyone. While MAC Strobe Cream works for pretty much anyone, you should go lighter for lighter skin tones, darker for darker skin tones. You can strobe with powder products, but the effect is best with liquid and cream highlighters.
Try these shades that work for everyone:
MAC Strobe Cream (from MAC or Nordstrom)
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer (at Sephora or Nordstrom)

Where to highlight for strobing

5. Where to apply your highlighter

This is the easy part–apply to areas that the light hits! You want to apply to areas that light hits naturally to accentuate them. The tops of your cheekbones, your brow bone, down the center of your nose, your cupid’s bow and the center of your chin and forehead. While you’re at it, make your eyes pop! I add a little to the inner corner of my eye and if my shadow is light, I’ll add a bit to the center of my eyelid. Blend it out with a fingertip.

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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