Strobing explained


Strobing has definitely been a very strong trend over the last year and continues to be so. Although to many it sounds new, it is actually going back to the artistry skill of highlighting and contouring – but now with so many more modern make-up formulas and textures it can be done in a much quicker and easier way for everyday wear, whilst before it was maybe just kept for photographic and special occasion make-up.

There are two basic principles with strobing; a light-reflecting bright shade will highlight to heighten and bring forward the feature, and a darker, flesh-tone, matte shade to bring back or hide.

It’s up to you how you want to incorporate it into your regime. You can do it the obvious way with, for example, liquid or powder highlighters. A great one would be from Becca or Laura Geller. When you finish your make-up, apply the highlighter to the tops of the cheekbones, underneath the brows, down the centre of the nose, slightly above the arch of the brow and above the cupid’s bow. For a very modern look these are also sometimes added underneath the contour of the cheekbone up to the top of the jaw. Where traditionally you may put bronzer, a more modern strobe make-up look will put a paler foundation or mix a highlighter in there to help the cheek look rounder.


It’s really fun sometimes to do strobing techniques with two shades of foundation applied in quite graphic stripes without blending – use a paler shade than normal to areas you wish to highlight and then your normal skin tone shade in the other areas. Then blend in so that you merge them, but don’t over blend to muddy them.

This is very much how a celebrity makeover is done to emphasise and correct bone structure. If you don’t want to do it with two shades of foundation, then how about taking your normal shade, mixing it with a little bit of liquid highlighter such as Becca, and applying to the high points of the face; and then with no highlighter mixed in, to the other areas. For a subtle finish you can even use BB and CC creams in this way, using two tones. You can also do this with concealer – the Studio 10 Age Defy Skin Perfector is ideal for this as the palette has several different tones. Or for a long wear finish, you could use your self-tan. For example, mix Tan Luxe Drops into your night cream and apply all over the face as normal, then the next night apply mixed into your night cream or serum but apply with a brush to your contour areas and leave naked the areas that you want highlighted. This is great for holidays, in hot weather, or for those of you that swim or perspire a lot, and also men like this technique because it is not technically make-up!

You can also do strobing in a more subtle way by using two different primers – some brands like Laura Geller and Mally have got primers with highlighter in them and ones without. Or, take your existing primer and apply first with highlighter mixed in to the high points and then with no highlighter to the other areas.

Whichever way you choose to do it, just take a little care to blend. Strobing can take years off you, make you look really fresh, and give the face a lifted look – but if done badly and not blended or checked thoroughly in a daylight mirror can look very obvious – so be careful!

A Cosmetics

You can also find out more about what’s new in make-up with our new Beauty Edit feature – our latest update #HDReady is the perfect way to incorporate strobing.


  1. mrs Spall January 29, 2016 at 8:25 am -  Reply

    I have just purchased the Fillerina Filler treatment but find that after following all the instructions when I pat in the treatment it peels away so I feel its not absorbing into my skin ,is this correct should it be doing this

  2. Elizabeth Donnelly February 1, 2016 at 6:36 pm -  Reply

    I wanted to buy the newest Becca foundation but QVC doesn’t stock fair???

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Never miss a post!

Sign up to our QGossip feed to get the latest posts in your mailbox.

QVC uses first and third party cookies to enhance your use of this website and provide you with a personalised browsing experience. We do so in accordance with our Privacy Statement and our Cookie Policy. To learn more and change your preferences click here. By actively continuing to use this website, closing this banner or clicking the OK button below, you consent to our use of cookies.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.