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Strobing Vs Highlighting: What’s the Difference?

Strobing Vs Highlighting: What’s the Difference?
SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert3 years ago
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Strobing has caused a bit of an online stir, with many makeup fanatics wanting to try out this new trend. On the other hand, many makeup artists are agreeing that strobing actually isn't a new trend- it's essentially highlighting, but with a slight twist.

To clarify the whole Strobing Vs Contouring debate, we have decided to clear up the issues and lay down the difference so we're all on the same page. Sound like a good plan? Great, let's battle them both out!

  • How you want to wear your highlight defines whether or not you're "highlighting" or "strobing."
  • Both techniques utilize highlighting basically everywhere — the tops of your cheekbones, the brow bone and above the eyebrow, the bridge of your nose, your cupid's bow, and your chin.
  • The main difference is that highlighting is usually paired with contouring, whilst strobing is highlighting purely alone and typically has a very dewy finish thanks to illuminating creams, moisturizers, or serums mixed into the foundation to add more depth.
  • The simple way to differentiate is to remember this: highlighting goes hand in hand with contouring, whilst strobing sits solo.
Highlighting goes hand in hand with contouring, whilst strobing sits solo

Now let's look at some facts about the newest of the two make-up techniques:

  • Strobing means 'extreme glow' and is the new 'hottest' technique
  • The technique uses shimmery shades of highlighter to accentuate features, creating the illusion that the face is contoured without actually defining the features. Instead, it brings all of your features forward and leaves a dewy, glowing finish.
  • Strobing is a technique that only uses light to enhance your face; no bronzer or dark powders involved here.
  • This approach to makeup is supposed to mimic what it's like to be under bright, flattering lights, hence using dedicated illuminating products
  • The result should be dewy and fresh like you're being lit up from within. Avoid harsh shimmer or chunky glitter because this is all about creating a soft radiant glow, catching the light, and creating radiance

The below products are brilliant for trying your hand at this new technique:

  • Highlighting is carried out in collaboration with contouring
  • It's carried out by combining a mix of darker skin tone shades to chisel your features, whilst lighter shades are then added for highlighting and making cheekbones pop
  • Highlighting focuses on creating shape, whereas strobing is all about lighting up.
  • Sitting alongside contouring, highlighting enhances your natural facial structure through subtle makeup.
  • Highlight along your forehead, cheekbones, and bridge of your nose

Remember, the beauty of both strobing and contouring is that you don't have to limit yourself to products that are aimed at giving the cheeks a glow. Highlighting eyebrow pencils work just as well blended into the nose, chin, and forehead, as does tapping a light, illuminating cream eyeshadow powder onto the cheeks. The options are endless - and there is no excuse not to get your glow on!

So now you know the difference between the two techniques, have a little play around with both before discovering the one which suits you the best!

Strobing Vs highlighting – which do you prefer?

SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert
View SkinStore Editors's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from skincare to makeup, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the SkinStore blog, and find all your essentials in one place.