One reason I love strobing is because it's all about embracing our faces and highlighting our favorite features. But even though this makeup technique is more beginner-friendly than, say, contouring, there are still some strobing techniques to avoid to nail that lit-from-within glow. Because even though strobing is (almost!) as simple as slapping on highlighter wherever you want some extra radiance, making sure to stay away from certain products and application techniques will keep your highlight out of disco-ball territory and in the realm of natural and ethereal-looking.
And while, generally speaking, it's best to keep highlighter limited to the center and high-points of the face, there are some other tips worth knowing. So to get a better grasp on the dos and don'ts of strobing, I talked with a couple of makeup artists. Lead makeup artist at Hourglass Abbot Kinney, Vanessa Eckels; and celebrity makeup artist, Jenny Patinkin, gave me some much-needed advice on what techniques to avoid when you're going for the glow. You know, so things that can go wrong while strobing don't. Because no one wants to end up looking like an oil-slick. Here are six strobing techniques to avoid to get your best glow on, according to makeup artists:
1. Applying Everywhere
BECCA Backlight Priming Filter, $38, beccacosmetics.com
Eckels warns against applying highlighter all over the face, as this could just make you look oily. Instead, she says, "focus just on the high points of the face to bring those features forward." If you're still looking for an all-over glow though, try using an illuminating primer underneath your foundation.
2. Using A Big Brush
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, $22, hourglasscosmetics.com
To help keep product from straying all over the face, Eckels suggests using a tool that provides more control and precision than a bigger, fluffy brush. This way, highlighter only ends up exactly where you want it to.
3. Layering It On
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder, $38, hourglasscosmetics.com
"When strobing, you still want your skin to look natural, not masked," says Eckels. So instead of layering a bunch of illuminating products or selecting a heavier highlighter, she suggests choosing something semi-sheer so your skin can still show through.
4. Highlighting The Forehead
Benefit Dandelion Shy Beam Liquid Highlighter, $26, benefitcosmetics.com
Especially if you plan on being photographed, Patinkin advises steering clear of highlighting the forehead. "Since it's a larger and flatter surface than other areas of our face, light naturally reflects off of it." And that natural reflection plus highlighter can easily look oily instead of glowy.
5. Going Too Close To The Eyes Or Nose
Jenny Patinkin Kitten-Paw Multi Brush, $40, jennypatinkin.com
Another area of the face to strobe with care is the cheeks. "If you apply [highlighter] too close to the nose, it can distort the shape of your cheeks. If you get it too close to the under-eyes, it can make any puffiness look more pronounced." Patinkin suggests instead to line up highlighter with the outer corner or outer-half of the eye, as this will help give the cheeks a lifted appearance.
6. Choosing A Glitter Highlighter
NARS The Multiple, $39, narscosmetics.com
When it comes to selecting your actual strobing medium, both makeup artists warn against products with visible glitter in them. As pretty as they might seem, flecks of glitter can magnify pores and draw attention to any uneven texture on the skin. Instead, Patinkin suggests choosing "finely-milled powders or creams that have a satiny finish" for the most natural and enviable glow.
Images: Courtesy of Brands