Tutorial: The New STROBING Trend!

Hey, Outré loves!

I hate to disappoint you if you’ve finally perfected chiseling your mug, because I have some bad news: Contouring is OUT, and Strobing is IN! Just as quickly as the contouring and highlighting trend exploded on the scene a few years ago, recent make up trends have departed drastically from the heavy matte appearance, bulletproof coverage, and intensely shaded complexion of the contouring trend. Instead, many beauty professionals are opting to favor this new look that, in my personal opinion, is more flattering and more appropriate for everyday wear than heavy contouring.


Stay tuned to find out how to #Stobe4TheGods!

What is Strobing?

Essentially, strobing seeks to accomplish the same task as contouring the face: bringing attention to particular features of the face to add dimension and definition. However, this is where the comparison stops. In a way, you could think of strobing as the anti-contour.

Contouring utilizes the sharp contrast between a dark shading color and a pale highlighting color to chisel the face, allowing for more prominent cheekbones, slimmer features and a more defined appearance. The dark contour colors aid to recede certain features in order to bring out others; for example, applying a contour shade underneath your cheekbones will slim your face while lifting the cheeks and making them look more prominent.

Heavy contouring is not ideal for every day!
Heavy contouring is not ideal for every day!

Strobing, however, focuses on bringing radiance to the face in order to give more definition to the face. Dewy skin, excessive highlighting, and bright color choices are all principle elements of achieving a strobing look. Essentially, the sheen created from strobing will bring more attention to the higher points of the face. This helps create the appearance of a taller nose bridge, higher cheekbones, fuller lips, and a more lifted brow bone. The radiance and dewy complexion brings more light to your complexion, giving it a more youthful and healthy appearance.

Here is a more runway inspired version of Strobing in action!
Here is a more runway inspired version of Strobing in action!

If you think your face looks like a freshly- oiled baby’s ass, you’re probably somewhere in the realm of Strobing.

Why Strobing instead of Contouring?

The way I look at heavy Contouring is the same way I look at shoulder pads from the 80’s: a trend that we will one day retrospectively regret. It may seem like a good idea now, but when you think about it, the trends that become timeless are the ones that enhance natural beauty (i.e. the red lip, the winged eyeliner). Contouring can oftentimes be extremely harsh and mask-like; instead of enhancing the features you have naturally, Contouring can completely change your face structure and make you look like a completely different person. The drastic look that Contouring creates and the amount of time it takes to achieve the look makes it unwearable for day-to-day life. However, although Contouring may not be realistic for everyday wear, it looks beautiful in photos, which makes it great for special events!

Strobing allows your natural skin to breathe through the make up and gives a healthy radiance to your complexion making it more wearable for everyday. The focus on “nude beauty” allows your natural feminine features to come forward, giving a fresh-faced and youthful appearance. Strobing looks less like a disguise and more like an enhanced version of yourself! (Isn’t that the goal of make up anyway?!)

AlexbeforeafterTo find out how I transformed Alex into a Strobing Goddess, keep reading!

How To Strobe!

Step 1: Prep the Skin


In order to reveal the skin’s natural radiance, begin by exfoliating any dry skin off of the face. This will make your complexion brighter and will allow any products placed onto the skin after to be absorbed much more easily. My favorite exfoliating cleanser to use is the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleanser. It’s formulated with minute granules of amazonian clay that remove unwanted impurities from the pores making them smaller, as well as removing any unsightly dry skin on the surface. The best part about it is that it’s gentle enough for daily use!


After your skin is properly cleansed, it’s time to prime in order to prep the skin for foundation. If you have oily skin like Alex, it’s important to prevent any excess oil production now because we will NOT be using powder to mattify the skin in this tutorial. I used the Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray as a primer because it prevents oil from seeping through the make-up, but does not mattify the skin and allows the natural radiance to shine through. The spray also works as a great sticky surface to keep your make up lasting all day! Once the spray dried, I applied Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Illuminate; the pinky tone of this lotion-like primer helps to fight any dullness in the skin, making it appear brighter and radiant.

deslick BlurIlluminate

Step 2: Foundation

AlexStrobe2Alex’s current foundation of choice is the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte, a medium to full coverage make up that’s extremely long wearing. For the purposes of strobing, this particular formula is a little too high coverage and matte, so to adjust it for this tutorial I mixed in a few products.


To dilute the coverage and make the foundation more hydrating, I mixed in the Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Moisturizer. This moisturizer is great for Alex’s skin type, because it absorbs into the skin effortlessly and won’t leave a greasy appearance. To add radiance and illumination, I also mixed in L’Oreal True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator in N201 Rose. This liquid illuminator comes in three different shades, but the rose gold shade compliments Alex’s olive skin tone the best and gives the foundation a much more glowing finish.

blueherbal liquidilluminator

Leave the skin unpowdered to achieve the Strobing look! You want to allow your skin’s natural glow to show through, and powder products will only mask that.

Step 3: Correct, Conceal, Brighten

AlexStrobe3Dark circles are a big no-no when going for the Strobing look, so a bright under eye  area is key! Because Alex gets blueish tones on her inner corner area, I chose a concealer with a very yellow undertone (Maybelline Fit Me in shade 20) to correct any discoloration. Yellow and blue are opposites on the color wheel and will neutralize one another creating a more even complexion; however, if you have more purplish darkness around your eyes, you may want to try something with a salmon or orangey undertone to correct.


To eliminate the appearance of under eye Prada bags, I used a slightly paler concealer; the brighter concealer color with brighten any shadows created by fine lines. Because this concealer is slightly more pink (the opposite of Alex’s yellowy olive skin tone), it will also act to brighten the under eye area. Applying your concealer in an upside down triangle like this will help to lift the cheek area and give a more polished appearance. Here, I used MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20. This concealer is a holy grail because it is creaseless and budge proof!


AlexStrobe5To brighten the high points of Alex’s face, I used the L’Oreal Magic Lumi Highlighter Pen in shade Light. This product is very thin in texture and won’t give any coverage, but will help brighten and bring more radiance to the face. Again, the pinky tone will act against Alex’s skin tone to give a more illuminated appearance. (If you naturally have a pinky undertone, try using something more yellow based.)


AlexStrobe6The under eye is the only place on the face that you will want to apply a setting powder because you want to avoid having any concealer crease into your fine lines. Because I wanted to avoid an overly powdered appearance, I used the Revlon Photo Ready Powder in Lift. This is a translucent powder that’s extremely sheer and very brightening; applying a very small amount under your eyes will give a brighter appearance and prevent your concealer from sliding around.


Step 4: Blush

AlexStrobe7When trying to achieve a Strobing look, bronzers and other dark powders used to define the cheeks must be heavily avoided. Instead, give your cheeks some definition with a generous amount of blush. For a more defined appearance, apply the blush to the back of the cheek area and blend back and up toward the hairline, reducing pressure on the brush as go back to diffuse the product. First, I applied the Maybelline Master Glaze cream blush in Pinched Pink and then a generous amount of the L’Oreal liquid illuminator over top with a stippling brush. Using these cream products underneath your powder blush will give it a glower appearance and as well as prolong the wear of it. With a lighter hand, I applied Milani blush in Coralina. This blush is quite shimmery and brings more radiance to the face— matte blushes must be avoided!


Step 5: Bigger Eyes

AlexStrobe8Using pale and shimmery eyeshadows will help to brighten the eyes and make them look much larger. Avoid dark colors and super defined eyeshadow shapes– they will close off the eyes and detract from the brightness of the look. To increase the vibrancy and wear time of the shadows, I applied a sheer layer NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk from lash line to brow bone. Next, apply a shimmering white eyeshadow lightly from lash line to brow bone– MAC Shroom eyeshadow is perfect for this. To add slight dimension, apply a slightly darker shimmering color over the top from the lash line to the crease of the eye. I used Urban Decay Midnight Cowgirl eyeshadow.

NyxMilk shroom midnightcowgirl

**If you’re not a fan of super bright eyeshadow, you can make this more wearable by applying a light brown shadow directly into the crease or a black winged eyeliner.

Give your brows a natural fill with a pencil and set them with brow gel to ensure they stay in place and then apply generous amounts of black mascara to top and bottom lashes. I used NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Ash Brown, Maybelline Great Lash in Clear, and L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes.

nyxmicro greatlash millionlashes

Step 6: Glossy Lips

AlexStrobe9You can wear virtually any lip color with this look, but I wanted to keep with the “nude beauty” theme, so I picked a very sheer lipstick and gloss combo. For Alex’s pout, I used Revlon Lip Butter in Cupcake and a matching pink Covergirl lipgloss.

lipbutter covergirl

Step 7: #HighlightOnFleek

AlexStrobe10To take your radiant complexion from glowy to Strobing, apply generous amounts of a shimmering powder highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones, nose bridge, cupid’s bow, above the brow, and to the chin. I used MAC Mineralize SkinFinish in Soft and Gentle.

And to kick up the look a little bit, I applied a small amount of  NYX Roll On Shimmer to the brow bone and inner corner with a brush.

softandgentle nyxshimmer

And voila! You’re ready to #Stobe4TheGods!

I hope you enjoyed learning how to achieve this new trending look! If you would like to see me do more make up tutorials tweet us @outre_mode and let us know what kind of look you want to see next!

-xoxox, Thomas


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