Contouring vs Strobing: Which is Better?


Contouring or strobing, which is better? In an article published by Harpers Bazaar, contouring has a strong celebrity following courtesy of the Kardashians but strobing has been used across catwalks since 2015. Here, BeautyPress talks about contouring and strobing. So, whether you are looking for sculpted over dewy, subtlety, or drama, this is a definite read.

Contouring

“Contouring is the art of using make-up to sculpt bone structure. It usually involves selecting powder or cream products that are a couple of shades darker than your skin colour and applying them in the hollows of the face, such as under your cheekbones or under the jaw line,” states MAC Senior Artist Rebecca Butterworth. It combines a mix of darker skin tone shades to chisel your features and lighter shades for highlighting – it’s all about making those cheekbones pop!

What to expect: sculpted, matte and a whole lotta drama.

Do not make the mistake of using bronzer – there is too much shimmer in there. It is all about creating an envious illusion of peaks and valleys on your face…yes really. For this reason, a contour matte must be used in a color slightly darker than your natural skin tone. Top application hack: use a small fluffy eye shadow brush for a precise contour. Use a darker shade of contour matte along the side of your temples, under your cheekbones and jawline. Dab a foundation brush or a damp egg sponge over the contour masterpiece to make sure there are no obvious lines. Less is more!

Strobing

“Strobing is highlighting for the HD age. It’s the yin to the yang of contouring. Strobing uses light-reflective products on all the high points of the face to create skin that looks light, bright and radiant,” says Butterworth. “It’s easier and more flattering than contouring,” states TopShop’s Beauty Consultant Hannah Murray. Strobing is contouring’s simpler and less dramatic sister.

What to expect: Fresh, dewy, subtle.

For a soft, radiant glow, this look uses only light to enhance your face – so forget the bronzers and dark powders here. Head straight for that highlighter stick! Switch your normal primer for a glow primer, or simply mix a bit of luminizer with your foundation to gear up for a top glow. Avoid using anything matte in this routine as it’ll dull down your results. Next, use a highlighter to enhance where the light would naturally hit your face, which, for most of us is your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and across your temples. Don’t apply highlighter to your forehead if you’re scared of looking oily. For light skin, apply a champagne highlighter and for medium to dark – prepare to shine in more golden hues.

Lesson of the day: Contour works best on mixed to oily skin – or for those who want banging cheekbones. Strobing works for those who want a fresher, more subtle glow – less product, less fuss.

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