Trend takedown: strobing
Updated: Aug 23, 2019
This article was originally featured on Your New Best Friends; a former lifestyle website.
Before we can get into the (incidentally incredibly basic) basics of Strobing, we must understand her older and more complicated sister; Contouring. Odds are if you have ever heard of the internet, you’ve dabbled in the stuff. Much like Game of Thrones spoilers, it’s unavoidable. Why, then, do I still get asked about contouring more than any other beauty trend? It’s not as cut-and-dry as one would think.
Here’s my basic approach: use a matte bronzer a few shades darker than your skin tone to enhance the structure of your face by mimicking naturally occurring shadows. To be specific, one would blend the product under one’s cheekbones, the top of one’s forehead, under one’s jawline, and even on the sides of one’s nose--if one is feeling extra Kardashian.
The second step is to highlight the opposites. Use a concealer or highlighter a couple of shades lighter than your skin tone to bring out the spots that light catches; specifically the top of the forehead, eyebrows, cheekbones, and along the bridge nose. Below is an example, nay, THE example, of what a perfectly contoured face looks like. Some argue that this is the exact moment that Kim K discovered contouring.
I’ve got to be honest here. I love contouring. The process itself gives me an abundance of confidence that has allowed me to fake-it-till-i’ve-made-it on a number of interviews and even a few dates! Sorry, I don't kiss and tell. But, I mean, if you ask I'll tell. Naturally when I caught word of Strobing, I got v excited. Another way to trick boys and bosses into loving the outer me? Yes, please! However, to my dismay, Strobing meant ditching my favorite part of contouring: the contouring! Sounds pretty dumb, right? How else am I going to banish my double chin without my beloved bronzer?! It’s simple. Highlight ya face and stop there. Drop the bronzer, got it? I didn’t get it, so I tried it. Check out the finished product below.
*Confessions by Usher plays.* I was hasty in my initial hatred, you got me. Strobing, with subtlety as its crowning jewel, is the product of a recent push toward a more naturally sculpted face; a tempting concept to me because I’m lazy as shit and also have like 104 episodes of Seinfeld to binge. Strobing is easy. It takes minimal effort and less product, therefore less time. Great for the mornings I choose sleep over face-prep time. Which, letzbehonest, is damn near every morning. Maybe I’ll use the rearview mirror for driving purposes instead of using it to haphazardly put my face together! Sounds like it’s good for everyone involved, no? Maybe. You see, my dear friend, I am old and set in my ways. For years I’ve used Contouring to enhance my ⅛ Cherokee cheekbones while simultaneously adding color to my ¾ German-French pastyass face and damned if it don’t work! SO. Here’s my personal compromise: I will be reaching for my bronzer to add some color (admittedly, I did dabble in it a bit in the image above), but not with as much product as I normally would. Additionally, I will be switching to a dewier highlight to compensate and, fingers crossed, convince you all that I am cool and #current. If you are looking for a super fast way to add some depth without dealing with the C-word. I encourage you to swing by your local beauty store and play in highlighters.
So, what will you choose? Will you be converted from the Church of Contour to the Science of Strobe? Can you remind me what I’m even talking about? Sound off in the comments!
With Enduring Love and Steadfast Confusion,