There are currently 67,756 posts (and counting) on Instagram with the hashtag "strobing." And it's easy to see why this trend has become so popular -- it's the lazy girl's answer to contouring. It's like highlighter on steroids, and makes your cheekbones look so high and sculpted it's like they were blessed by Beyonce herself. "True strobing uses light-reflective textures like frosts and shimmer to make the skin look like it's glowing from within," says M.A.C. Cosmetics Director of Makeup Artistry Gregory Arlt. "Strobing makes the skin look ethereal and really makes the cheekbones pop."
But scroll through those 70,000-odd Instagram posts, and you'll see that, without the right technique, glowy can quickly turn greasy and generally leave you looking like a hot mess. So while strobing is infinitely easier than contouring, you can't just smear highlighter all over your face and call it good. There's a technique to getting it right, but luckily it's supereasy. Here, we break it down for you.
Strobing Step 1: Prep Your Skin
"Strobing looks best when done on healthy, well-prepped skin," says celebrity makeup artist Kayleen McAdams. She recommends cleansing first with Ponds Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes, $4.69, to create a fresh palette for your makeup. Then, to get that "I'm so healthy and radiant" look, choose a moisturizer that gives you a glow. McAdams likes Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, $100. Let it fully soak in before applying any other makeup.
Strobing Step 2: Apply Your Face Makeup
Because the goal is to be as glowy as possible, you want your base makeup to have a dewy finish versus a matte one. If your skin tends to get oily, choose a semi-matte foundation. That said, your skin should be in really good shape (or at least appear to be in really good shape) to avoid having the highlighter enhance things like acne or scarring, so choose your foundation and concealer coverage accordingly. Keep your blush and bronzer matte to really make the shimmer pop.
Strobing Step 3: Find Your Light
"If contour is about finding the shadows on your face and emphasizing those shadows, strobing is about highlighting all the top points and catching the light to emphasize the high spots," says McAdams. To "find the light," as Tyra would say (R.I.P. "America's Next Top Model"), McAdams says to look at your face in the mirror in natural light and notice where the sun naturally catches it -- those are the high planes of your face that you want to emphasize: your upper cheekbones, brow bone, bridge of your nose, your cupid's bow and your chin.
Strobing Step 4: Choose the Best Shade for Your Skin Tone