Strobing: The Easy Makeup Trick You Should Be Doing

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You know those girls you see on Instagram whose faces are glowing?  Their cheekbones look super high and their skin looks youthful, dewey . . . kind of like they’re lit-from-within?  Yeah, me too.  I want that.  I’m a huge fan of highlighting and contouring (using light and dark shades to sculpt the features of your face), but it’s definitely more of a special occasion look.  So, how do you get that glow and defined features without all the extra time and effort?


Strobing focuses solely on highlighting the areas of your face that the light would naturally hit.  The top of your cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, cupid’s bow, brow bones and inner corner of your eyes can all be highlighted (depending on how much time you want to take).  You’re left with that glow and enhanced features in a fraction of the time (and skill) it takes to do a full highlight/contour to your face.  AND . . . you can do it over makeup or over bare skin.  It works either way.

There are a ton of highlighters out there, and it can get overwhelming to try to choose between them all.  From liquids to powders to creams, I’ve rounded up my favorites to help you decide which one is right for you.  (How-to videos below!) Best-Highlighters

1. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed (my favorite color is Opal): This is my absolute favorite highlighter ever.  Just tap your brush into the powder and swipe onto the tops of your cheekbones.  I barely have to use any product to get a high shine glow on the tops of my cheekbones . . . one compact will last you forever and they have shades to match all skin tones.

2. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish (my favorite color is Soft & Gentle): This was my first highlighter and is very user-friendly.  The pigment isn’t as intense as the BECCA powders, and adds a more subtle sheen to skin.

3. Benefit High Beam Liquid Highlighter (also available in Sun Beamfor darker skin tones): I use High Beam in the winter (a great color for paler skin tones) and Sun Beam in the summer when my skin is tanner.  This liquid is formulated like Benefit’s lip & cheek tints and comes with a brush applicator . . . see the how-to video below for more details on how to apply it!

4. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector: This is available in the same shades as the powder, but is a liquid that you can wear on your entire face (mixed with moisturizer or foundation) for an all over dewy finish, use as a spotlight highlighter over makeup, or mix with lotion for a glow anywhere.

All of these highlighters can be used over bare skin or over foundation . . . they add a gorgeous glow either way!

How-To Videos

Pressed Powders


For more makeup tips and tricks, check out our beauty blog section!




About Author

Meet Scotti, the contributor with our most-loved beauty advice. When Scotti's not giving us the scoop on the latest products and techniques she's dishing out some of TME's most loved looks. It's not easy to look so cute in the U.P. of Michigan (i.e. crazy cold and snow) but she always makes it happen.

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  1. Thanks Scotti!!!!! Can i ask a semi-obvious question? This is after bronzer but if you’re supposed to use bronzer where the sun hits you do you just apply your highlighter over it?

    • Julia! Definitely not an obvious question . . . it gets confusing! Don’t apply bronzer where the sun hits, even though we’ve been told that over and over . . . it will make your face look muddy or flat. The main thing to remember is that dark colors minimize features and light colors enhance or “pop” them out. So highlighters go on top of the cheekbones, under the brow bone and maybe a little down the bridge of the nose and the cupid’s bow. Bronzers should be applied across the forehead (blended into the hairline), under the cheekbones and down the jawline (think of the number “3” and use that shape to apply on either side of your face). I also use bronzer on my neck and/or chest if they’re exposed to avoid different colors on my face and skin. The most important thing (IMO) is to choose a bronzer that is NOT sparkly or shimmery and leave that to the highlighters. Let me know if this helps!!

  2. I bought the high beam stuff last year hoping to be able to get that glowy look. I ended up putting it away thinking it just didn’t look all that great on me but this looks doable.

    Quick question for you Scotti. Is there a point where women are too errr, ummm mature (ahem) to do the glowy skin thing? I’m 38 and don’t want to over do it, you know?

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