You guys remember the rage with contouring right? Then when you finally learned how to, strobing came out. Can a girl who doesn’t have professional makeup artists on hand perfect one thing at a time? Now you’ve probably only heard of strobing when it is bashing contouring. Saying it’s too unnatural, to fake looking, too heavy, etc. Well did you know there are other ways of contouring without looking like a drag queen?!?! Well there is. There is such a thing as a more natural contour which I actually prefer over strobing. The picture above contains the products I use for contour/highlighting and strobing.
What is contour? Contour is a technique used to make the face shape seem different. It’s used to hide your jaw line or create more predominant cheek bones. They achieve these looks by using darker and lighter shades to hide and bring out certain features. Contour being the darker and highlighting being the lighter. Contouring “hides” while highlighting “brings out”.
Strobing is where you use ONLY highlighter. You use it to bring out your features like your cheek bones, inner eye, tip of your nose, etc. it’s a “more natural” look. You’re using the lighter shades to bring forward features.
For myself personally I like contour and highlighting much better than strobing. The reason is because my cheeks are a little on the chubbier side. So I like to make my cheekbones pop a little bit more. With strobing, as pretty as it is I like to have my cheekbones stand out. I like to use the strobing technique when I’m going for a really, really, natural look. AKA, I’m running late or too lazy to do my makeup lol.
*Side note: when I say highlighting with contouring I mean using my banana powder. I don’t mean the really pretty highlighters with shimmer. I use that separately in different areas.* But we’ll get to that shortly!
Now I don’t go all celebrity style of contouring. I simple use darker shades to enhance the appearance of my cheek bones and to hide the appearance of my jaw line. I have an underbite so I like to cast a “shadow” to make it look smaller. So as far as contouring and highlighting goes I only create two lines right under my cheekbones and then I blend the darker shade onto my jawline. I also don’t make mine very dramatic.
To the left is my very sad attempt of drawing a face shape (and my guest appearance: Pebbles)and showing you where I place the light and dark. It’s really hard to get banana powder to show up on white paper so I resorted to a cream highlighter that I no longer use. But for the picture purposes, you get the point.
Then for highlighting I only use it on my undereye area, under the cheekbone contour, and my chin. I use it more as the “baking” method for my undereyes since I use so much concealer, I need the highlight to help set it. I use it under the contour on my cheekbones to clean up the lines, then my chin just cause I like how it looks. 🙂
I’m sorry I don’t have better pictures to demonstrate. My skin is going through a random/bad breakout and I don’t want to put makeup on it unless I have to. I think some new products I’ve been trying messed me up.
When I contour and highlight I start with my under eye area with my banana powder. Then I go in and use my darker shades from Kat Von D under my cheek bone and on my jawline and then I blend those out. I didn’t do that on the picture because I wanted you guys to get a visual idea of what I was talking about. Then I got back in with my banana powder and clean up the lines on my cheeks. Then I go to my chin and let it “bake” while I do my eyebrows.
Now back to the pretty and fun highlighter. I use highlighter like I’m a fairy or something. I love it! I use it on the top of my check bones, tip of my nose, and Cupid’s bow. I love the look and the glow it gives me since everything I use is a matte product. It makes me not look so flat or dull. It adds a nice dewy look without me being extra greasy/oily. In the picture below I did swatches of all the highlighters/illuminators I have. The only editing I did to this picture aside from the text was sharpen the image to give a better look at the shades.
I hope this helped clarify what contouring and what strobing is! Tell me your favorite techniques to use! Try them both and see what works best for you! Thanks for reading!!