The word “strobe” usually conjures up images of rapidly flashing lights – and in a sense, that’s what this makeup technique is all about. Whereas contouring is about strategically blending layers of color to create shadow and definition, strobing is about adding light and shimmer to areas where you want a little glow – and it’s much easier to do.

Strobing creates an effect that’s fun and youthful. This technique is a big attention getter, but you have to be careful not to overdo it or the effect can become overpowering, which defeats the purpose. Here’s how to get a just-right glow:

  1. Don’t Forget to Moisturize!

To create a look with just the right amount of shimmer, start with a moisturizer that’s right for your skin type. Dry spots are difficult to highlight, so be sure to take time to smooth and hydrate before applying any makeup. If you tend to have oily skin, choose a product that’s water-based to avoid creating a greasy look.

  1. Be Sure to Match Your Skin Tone

You want to highlight, not paint by numbers. To make sure your glow blends in seamlessly, your highlighting makeup should be just a shade brighter than your natural skin tone. Champagne hues work best for very light skin, while just a hint of pink is perfect for a light to medium complexion. Golden tones work best for skin that’s closer to an olive shade. For dark skin, a terracotta highlighter – the color of clay, with a hint of glittery sparkle – is the best choice.

  1. Don’t Overdo It

You only want to highlight spots that catch the light: arch of your eyebrows, the bridge of your nose, the inner corners of your eyes, your temples, and the areas just above your cheekbones and upper lip are great spots for strobing. Experiment with different areas depending on which features you want to emphasize, but remember that less is usually more – you want to achieve a look that brightens without overwhelming or making you look sweaty or washed out. Avoid highlighting any problem spots or blemishes; choose a good cover-up makeup that matches your skin tone, and use strobing to draw attention to other areas.

4. Blend

To make sure your strobed areas stand out, choose a matte finish for your other products. Blend your highlighter gently using a damp makeup sponge or your fingers, making sure not to smear it beyond the area where you want to glow. Finally, double check for any makeup lines or harsh contrasts.

Strobing is an easy technique to learn, and it doesn’t have to add a lot of extra time to your makeup routine. A couple minutes is all it takes to add a vibrant glow that can make you look years younger.

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