Laters, contouring: Strobing is the new way to flatter your face.

Carla GS has been strobing – or, in normal terms, using tons of highlighter. Source: Supplied.

Move over, complicated contouring – it’s time to start strobing. What’s strobing? No, you don’t need to go to a high-energy rave to achieve this look, although that would be fun.

Strobing is the newer, fresher and easier version of contouring, using highlighters – shimmering creams and powders which reflect light – to create the impression of intense luminosity.

The difference between strobing and regular ol’ highlighting is the amount of product used. With highlighting, only a dab is used – a dot in the cupid’s bow, a hint on a cheekbone.

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Have I lost you? Why don’t I walk you through how I achieved the look on myself.

How to: Strobing.

Pictured: Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight in Super Starlight (top) and Hefty Highlight (bottom), and Max Factor Earth Spirits Eyeshadow in Wicked White (may be discontinued).

Look, I'll be real with you. Definitely read through my tutorial, but strobing is also a very forgiving technique. Basically, just put on lots and lots of highlighter, especially on your cheekbones and temples, and you'll be good to go.

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But, for those of you who love instructions - and we can all use a little help! - here's a step-by-step guide to strobing. (Post continues after gallery.)

Step 1. Moisturise.

Begin your journey into strobing by applying a moisturiser all over your face, as this look is all about dewy, hydrated skin. Then, apply concealer – I’ve got it under my eyes and over blemishes.

When strobing, it’s best to keep foundation to a minimum, as you don’t want the highlighter to get muddied. I’m not wearing any foundation or blush in these photos. Then, the main event: highlighter!

Step 2. Apply generous amounts of golden-toned highlighter.

Where to apply golden highlighter, when strobing. Source: Supplied.

First, I applied Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight in Super Starlight on the areas of my face that I've shaded yellow in the above diagram, and blended it with my fingers. This product is a solid cream stick, and it’s a golden tone. My application here was rather casual, and I just smeared it around until my face had a golden glow.

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Step 3. Apply white-pink highlighter to selected areas of the face.

SO PRETTY! Where to apply white-pink toned highlighter when strobing. Source: Supplied.

Next, I used Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight in Hefty Highlight to create more concentrated highlights. This time, I drew sharp little lines on the areas I've indicated in purple, and blended them just a little. Hefty Highlight has more of a white-pink tone, and creates more dramatic highlights on the face.

NOTE: For girls with olive skin and darker, like me, I think it’s helpful to use two different tones of highlighter – one golden, and one whiter. The golden highlighter has a “natural” look, and the whiter highlighter can be used to add concentrated points of light to the face.


If you have beautiful, pale skin, one highlighter in a white shade should be fine. Just apply a sheer wash of colour first, and then use the product again to add in more solid areas of highlight.

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Step 4. Add a white powder shimmer to the cheekbones.

I used a blush brush and Max Factor Earth Spirits Eyeshadow in Wicked White to dust extra, white sparkle across my cheekbones.

Step 5. Add mascara, eyeliner, brow products and a tinted lip balm.

Keep the rest of your makeup minimal, although I did add some eyeliner to avoid resembling a snowman. Apologies if you are into that.

The result.

Shine on. Source: Supplied.

The verdict? Even though I packed on the highlighter – honestly, I’ve never worn so much of it in my life – my face wasn’t white or mask-like. I liked how the high planes of my face caught the light, and I felt fairy-like and ethereal.

My strobing attempt looked great in photographs, as beams of light shone from my face. This created the impression of youth and energy.

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Look at that light! Source: Supplied.

However, there is a downside. “You look sweaty,” observed my husband. I ran back to the mirror, and looked through my photos as well. It was true. Where I had piled on the highlighter, it did look like small collections of sweat on my face.

I think that strobing is a fun makeup trend to experiment with, especially if you are going clubbing, to an art gallery, or having brunch with your girlfriends. For other occasions, it may be a good idea to just stick to good, old-fashioned highlighting.

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Forget about being subtle with strobing. To strobe, one must smear highlighter on large areas of the face, and then add even more highlighter in concentrated amounts on the high points of the face, such as the nose and cheekbones.

At The Glow, we’re never content to sit back and watch a trend pass. We like to grab it with both hands and then kiss it right on the mouth. That’s my way of saying that I tried it, okay?

Have you tried strobing? Will you admit that it's better and easier than contouring? Or do you think this is all BS? Tell us in the comments!

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We just can't get enough of highlighting products like these.

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