Trend Takedown: Strobing

By Christly Guedry

What is it?

Before we can get into the (incidentally incredibly basic) basics of Strobing, we must understand her older and more complicated sister; Contouring. Odds are if you have ever heard of the internet, you’ve dabbled in the stuff. If not, here’s the skinny: you take a matte bronzer (or a powder or a cream–there are a bazillion palettes out there of all varieties), a few shades darker than your skin tone, and use it to enhance the structure of your face by mimicking naturally occurring shadows. To be specific, one would blend the product under one’s cheekbones, the top of one’s forehead, under one’s jawline, and even on the sides of one’s nose–if one is feeling extra Kardashian. The second step is to highlight the opposites. Use a concealer or highlighter a couple of shades lighter than your skin tone to bring out the spots that light catches; specifically the top of the forehead, eyebrows, cheekbones, and along the bridge of the nose. 


Here’s a fake me showing you where to contour (taupey color) and where to highlight (pinky color):

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Here’s a real me who is contoured for the saints and angels:

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I’ve got to be honest here. I love contouring. It makes me feel like a freakin’ supermodel on vacation in Maui, giving me an abundance of confidence that has allowed me to fake-it-till-i’ve-made-it on a number of interviews and even a few dates! (Sorry, I don’t kiss and tell. But I mean, if you ask I’ll tell.) Naturally when I caught word of Strobing, I got v excited. Another way to trick boys and bosses into loving the outer me? Yes, please! However, to my dismay, Strobing meant ditching my favorite part of contouring: the contouring! Sounds pretty dumb, right? How else am I going to banish my double chin without my beloved bronzer?! I mean, I would go to the gym but I just started re-watching Seinfeld, so I have zero free time GET OFF ME…anyway….Strobing is simple. Highlight ya face and stop there. Drop the bronzer, got it? I didn’t get it, so I tried it.. Check out the finished product:

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*Usher plays* “These are my confessions.”  Umm, I like it? I do. I do like it. I was hasty in my initial hatred and I am woman enough to admit it. Strobing, with subtlety as its crowning jewel, is the product of a recent push toward a more naturally sculpted face; a tempting concept to me because I’m lazy as shit and, again, I have like 104 episodes of  Seinfeld to binge. Ultimately, for me, it comes down to this: Strobing is easy. It takes minimal effort and less product, therefore less time. Great for the mornings I choose sleep over face-prep time. Which, letzbehonest, is damn near every morning. Maybe I’ll use the rearview mirror for driving purposes instead of using it to haphazardly put my face together! Sounds like it’s good for everyone involved, no? Maybe. You see besties, I’m old and set in my ways. For years I’ve used Contouring to enhance my ⅛ Cherokee cheekbones while simultaneously adding color to my ¾ German-French pastyass face and damned if it don’t work! SO. Here’s my personal compromise: I will be reaching for my bronzer to add some color, but not with as much product as I normally would. Additionally, I will be switching to a dewier highlight to compensate and, fingers crossed, convince you all that I am cool and #current. If you are looking for a super fast way to add some depth without dealing with the C-word (contouring, duh. Why? What C-word were you thinking?) I encourage you to swing by your local beauty store and play in highlighters. Here are my recommendations:


Additional Tips

For an extra strobey (totes a word) look like mine, layer both a liquid and a powder highlight; the powder being used to set the liquid. If you tend to be more oily, stick to a powder. If you’re very dry I recommend doubling up or forgetting the powder. It’s about trial and error! P.S: both Sephora and Ulta have very lenient return policies. Buy it. I am enabling you. If you hate any of my recommendations go get your money back and don’t be a jerk about it.

Have you Strobed? Will you Strobe? Will you be converted from the Church of Contour to the Science of Strobe? Can you remind me what I’m even talking about? Sound off in the comments!

With Enduring Love and Steadfast Confusion,