Different makeup styles

How to Do Strobe Makeup - Tips for all Skin Types

Jane Bertin
By Jane Bertin. Updated: August 3, 2020
How to Do Strobe Makeup - Tips for all Skin Types

If you follow fashion magazines and blogs, you'll surely have noticed a new makeup technique called "strobing". Following the footsteps of contouring, popularized by celebrities like the Kardashians, strobe makeup has taken over runways and social media, especially Instagram.

Good news: Strobing is easier to do than contouring! It's also cheaper, since it requires less material, and it looks more natural. The aim of strobe makeup is to highlight your natural beauty and give you a dewy, softly glowing look.

Stay with us at OneHowTo and learn how to do strobe makeup with our tips for all skin types.

You may also be interested in: The best makeup tips for oily skin

Steps to follow:


How to choose a strobing highlighter:

The best makeup product to do strobe makeup depends on your skin type, including its texture and shade. In general terms, you should look for a creamy highlighter or strobing stick, as liquid highlighter is more difficult to get right. If you have an oily complexion, however, you'll benefit from using powder highlighter instead.

The right highlighter or stick for strobing will reflect the light and have some glimmer to it. However, remember that shimmery is not the same as sparkling, which you should avoid. Do not choose a silver, frosty shade. Instead, we recommend:

  • Fair to light skin: Champagne, light beige and pink shades.
  • Medium to olive skin: Golden, gold rose shades.
  • Dark skin: Terracotta, bronze shades.

You should also take into account the undertone of your skin, regardless of its color:

  • If you have cool undertones, that is, if your skin has pink to blue hues and the veins in your wrist look blue, you should look for a highlighter with a cool, pinkish shimmer.
  • If you have warm undertones, that is, if your skin has yellow to orange hues and the veins in your wrist look green, you should choose strobe makeup with a warm, gold shine.

When you do strobe makeup you're adding shine and dewiness to your face, so the rest of the makeup products you use should be matte or with a velvet finish.

How to Do Strobe Makeup - Tips for all Skin Types - Step 1

Prep your skin for strobe makeup:

Since strobing is all about luminosity, you must work with the help of bright light. Before actually applying the highlighter you should prep your skin with a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. This technique will enhance your natural look, which also means that it will bring attention to shiny or blotchy areas in your face.

You can use primer to brighten your complexion and reduce overall redness. This is very important to avoid looking sweaty. If you use concealer and foundation, choose a light, breathable product.

An easy way to get a light, naturally bright look is to mix your usual foundation with a little liquid highlighter or illuminator and apply it with a brush.


How to do strobe makeup:

Strobing is basically contouring without using any dark shades. You should apply the highlighter or strobing stick on the spots that usually catch the light in a down and outward direction:

  • Temples
  • Below the browbone
  • Cheekbones
  • Center and tip of the nose
  • Above the Cupid's bow
  • Lower jaws

If you have dry skin you can also highlight the middle of the forehead and chin. However, you should avoid doing this if you have combination or oily skin, since you will look too shiny and you might cause acne breakouts.

Here you can learn more about how to apply highlighter makeup.

How to Do Strobe Makeup - Tips for all Skin Types - Step 3
Image: https://beautybinging.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/trend-alert-strobing/

Just like with the contouring technique, strobing requires blending very well. Otherwise, the very artificial lines of the makeup will be obvious. To apply strobe makeup properly, blend it with your fingers or use a fan brush, a flat foundation brush or a damp sponge. For very small areas like the Cupid's bow you can use a Q-tip.

A different way of doing strobe makeup involves substituting the creamy or stick highlighter for matte highlighter and shimmery powder.

No matter what materials you use, don't forget to apply some setting powder so that your glow is maintained throughout the day.

How to Do Strobe Makeup - Tips for all Skin Types - Step 4

How to finish a strobe makeup look:

This makeup technique aims for a natural glow, so you should keep the rest of the makeup subdued. The other products - like eyeshadow or blush - should be matte, especially if your skin is naturally oily.

We recommend using a highlighter pencil in the inner corners of your eyes to make them look bigger, applying a little mascara and natural blush, and leave it at that for day to day wear.


This has been our tutorial on how to do strobe makeup with our tips for all skin types. As always, remember to remove all makeup before going to sleep and make sure to pay attention that your skin is always clean and hydrated.

If you have any questions, tips or strobing favorites, please tell us in the comments section.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Do Strobe Makeup - Tips for all Skin Types, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

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How to Do Strobe Makeup - Tips for all Skin Types