Master Highlighting like a Pro

First of all, if you still aren’t sure what strobing is, simply put it’s highlighting or luminizing. This buzzword is being thrown around as if it’s something new. Highlighting is a part of contouring they go together because where you have light you have shadow, but used on it’s own has always sorta been my lazy way to contour. Now there’s a cute term for it. Back when I wasn’t a Makeup Artist I was strobing and didn’t know it because I didn’t know how to place the dark contour lines. Strobing or highlighting provides a soft contour, adding a little chisel to the bone structure. When working on darker skin tones at the makeup counter this is a technique I have always employed due to the fact that you can’t always find the right shades for deep complexions with certain brands. I would instead just create emphasis with the highlight.

e.l.f. cosmeticsSo that being said, how does one become one with the strobing trend? Because now that strobing is so hot, I’ve seen a few people out there strobing so excessively that They look as if they sleep in a vat of highlighter, take highlighter showers then drink highlighter in their morning coffee before they step out everyday. They have literally transformed into a nightclub strobe light. Highlighting or Strobing should look as if the illumination is coming from within and is done on CERTAIN areas so the face and body to achieve that ethereal glow. You always hear folks say to highlight the high points of the face. This means the points where the sun would naturally hit your face.  To really achieve this effect you need a great highlighter or luminizing product. One that blends well and will give a glow or soft sheen to the skin. Simply using a cream concealer or light matte powder in the areas you want to highlight won’t give you that strobed out illuminated glow. You need to go that extra step and use a luminizing product to turn up the wattage on the glow factor. Take a look below for a list of my favorite products and brands to get the job done.

Becca Cosmetics: Skin Perfector

This is a top notch, quality highlighter product in shades for EVERY skin tone.  My go to shades are moonstone and rose gold. I love using both a cool shade and a warmed up shade. Sometimes I mix them together, sometimes I use a cool in certain places and warm in different areas and sometimes one or the other depending on the makeup look I’m rocking that day. This product comes in both liquid and pressed compact forms. I use the liquid but truly love both. Just a little of either goes a very long way and the texture of the of the compact is so silky and creamy it melts into the skin just as easily as a liquid.

Bobbi Brown: Shimmer or Brightening Brick

The shimmer bricks are to die for!!! These are also a multi use product. Great for eyeshadow or blush or adding a bit of color to the complexion the usefulness of these products is endless. The great thing is that the Bobbi Brown line is known for being a line which caters to everyday women. Women who are busy and working and may not want a super made up look on a daily basis so there are options. If you are into lots of shimmer you can purchase the Shimmer Brick and if u are a bit more conservative you can choose instead the Brightening Blocks. Both options are available in multiple shades for just about any skin tone.


Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick

Laura Mercier 

Where do I begin with this brand? O-M-G!!!! From the Bon Mine palette to the Mineral Illuminating Powder to The Shimmer Block…every single thing this brand makes in this category is simply OUTSTANDING. I dare not recommend a single product because they are all fantastic and multiple use. Head to a Laura Mercier counter right away!!!

The Balm: Mary Lou -Manizer & Cindy Lou-Manizer

I love these highlighter products because they give such a natural “from within” glow which is just what you want out of your highlighter product. These products also do double duty as blush. The Mary Lou-Manizer is more of a taupe or honey shade while the Cindy Lou-Manizer is pink. There is also a Betty Lou-Manizer which is more of a bronzer but can work as a highlighter for deeper skin tones.


Kevyn Aucoin: The Contour Book

Kevyn Aucoin:The Contour Book

Right now my prized possession /obsession is the The Contour Book by Kevyn Aucoin. It comes 5 great shades for highlighting, contouring and natural eye shadow looks or to fill in brows, but it comes with instructions form the genius himself!!! I carry this book with me everywhere and there is a nice sized mirror inside for on the go touch ups. There isn’t a day that goes by when I do not use the book it was an awesome investment. THe contour book is a powerhouse of a product.


Apani Smith is a professional licensed cosmetologist, avid beauty junkie, also a revered Indie Hip-Hop Icon, sleep deprived mom and foodie extraordinaire.  Get social with  @apaniclassic on Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest  to book a hair or makeup consultation/appointment, see more original work and life imitating art. 


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