How to Try Strobing and Not Look Like a Hot Mess
Yes, strobing, otherwise known as highlighting, is a hot trend, but when I tried it…well, I looked like a hot mess. My face shined like a disco ball, all of my blemishes stood out, and I swear I saw wrinkles I never had before. I knew I had to be doing something wrong, so I sounded the alarm and reached out to celebrity makeup artist Kelley Baker with an S.O.S. She’s best known for her eyebrow work here in Los Angeles (check her out on Instagram and you’ll see why), and a big part of what makes her signature brows so special is the highlight she does.
“Strobing is just highlighting to the max,” she says. “It’s a glam look, and it’s definitely better for photos and events when you want to get that J.Lo glow.”
But if you’re like me and just want to look a little more healthy every day, she says it’s really simple to do (and a must for everyone). “Highlighter camouflages imperfections, lifts the brows and eyes, and makes us look younger and well-rested.”
First, she gave me a lesson on the products to use, including brushes. While she personally likes to use a regular highlighting brush, she says smaller brushes can help you get precise application for areas like the upper cheekbone and Cupid’s bow.
If you have oily skin, she says to use a powder highlighter. For dry skin, go with a liquid or cream. Or you can get the best of both and layer: liquid first, then top with powder. “The powder will set the look, make it stand out more, and help it last longer,” she says.
Here’s where she applied it:
She started with Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation Illuminator and, with a BeautyBlender, applied it to the tops of my cheekbones, on my forehead above the brows and between them, and my chin. Though she warns that highlighter on the forehead and chin makes them look larger, so keep that in mind if you’re going for the opposite effect.
Next, she applied her Kelley Baker Brows Highlighter Pencil under my brows and smoothed it out with her Highlighter Smudge Brush.
Finally, she topped off the liquid highlight with powder. First, she applied Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight using the Morphe M441 Brush to my cheekbones, brow bones, forehead, and tip of my nose. Then she finished off the look with NYX Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow in Lavish using the Morphe M326 Brush on my Cupid’s bow and at the inner corners of my eyes.
And 10 minutes later, the look was complete! Do you like my glow?