This week I was kindly alerted by most social media outlets that a new craze has arrived called 'Strobing'. This is when makeup is applied to the high points of the face with a highlighter or luminizer. The highlighters' purpose is to reflect light drawing attention to whatever area it is applied to and in effect recedes the area in which it is not. This is the 'replacement' for the more harsh and confusing makeup trend called Contouring.
As a professional makeup artist, 'Strobing' is not new, it is actually called 'Highlighting' and artists have been doing it since the dawn of time. Now before you go out and buy every new product makeup companies are going to sell to you that caters to this 'New, Hot Trend' I did some of the dirty work for you and you might even have some of these guys already. Here is my trial of 6 different makeup products that achieve this hot, sexy, new trend no one has ever heard of before... (Cough Cough..)
'Strobing' (Highlighting) Application: In this image is the winner in my opinion for a natural highlight in person and on camera. Now BE AWARE that any additional reflection off your skin will cause any imperfections, blemishes, and wrinkles to be highlighted since you are in fact drawing light to an uneven surface.
Regular Makeup Application: In this image no additional highlight or contour was used. Concealer, Foundation, Powder, Blush, Shadow, Mascara and Brow Pencil.
Natural Highlight and Contour: Contour is a more distinct way to draw out your features and create shadows to enhance natural depressions in the face. It looks great in pictures but when done improperly can be extremely intense in person. I'm sure we have all seen the contour fails, if not here is a link to one that just kills me every time! Feel free to pull this up when you are having a down day, works like a charm.
Now on to the reviews!
1. Benefit Watt's Up! $30: This highlighter comes in a stick form, was creamy to apply and melted into the skin like a dream. I had also applied it after powdering the skin and it blended quite well, it was just slightly grainy looking.
Good for everyday? Yes.
Good for Mature/Textured skin? Yes.
Worth the expense? Yes. If you're going to do it, do it right.
2. Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Aura ($29): Now this packaging I adored, but I don't enjoy the glitter that was left on the face when applied with the fingers. If you use a brush (I applied it with the Becca The One Perfecting Brush) then the sparkles settle down and you're left with a soft but powdery glow. My thought on glitter is that I am a grown woman and I probably shouldn't look like Tinkerbells' assistant, but to each their own.
Natural? No. I'd wear this to my niece's 6th birthday party then give to her.
Good For Everyday? Yes, if you don't dislike glitter dusted on your skin.
Good For Mature/Textured Skin? No.
Worth the Money? Not to me.
3. Smashbox LA Lights Hollywood Highlighter ($29): I truly love this one as well so apparently I am a fan of the sticks. Smooth to apply and wasn't sticky, again I placed this on top of a fully powdered and made up face.
Good for everyday? Yes!!
Good for Mature/Textured skin? Yes!!
Worth the expense? Go! Buy this now!
4. Revlon Photo Ready Skin Lights ($13.99): This is my favorite of the drugstore brands! Smooth application when dabbed on the skin and patted in since it is a liquid.
Good for everyday? Definitely.
Good for Mature/Textured skin? The best out of all the products I tried.
Worth the expense? Yes.
5. Too Faced Candlelight Duo ($30): So this one is tricky because it is a blush and highlighter. Apply the two colors separately and in small amounts! Too Faced does a good job of making smooth powders but things can get real crazy quickly. This one made any imperfections the most visible on the skin.
Good for everyday? I would recommend for special events.
Good for Mature/Textured skin? No.
Worth the expense? Not my favorite.
6. L'Oreal True Match Lumi ($12.99): Another drugstore liquid I was directed to from a magazine. This applies well on top of makeup but is very obvious if you use more than a pea sized amount on the tops of the cheeks. The gold color was too obvious and it would have worked better on me if I was more tan. Also my sensitive skin reacted to this as it was sitting for a few minutes.
Good for everyday? If you have olive/tanned skin.
Good for Mature/Textured skin? When applied in specific areas, not all over the face.
Worth the expense? I would rather save for the Smashbox or Benefit.
So there you have it! My order of preference is: Smashbox, Benefit, Revlon, L'Oreal, Too Faced, Urban Decay. Strobe away and leave comments if you try out the highlighting technique!