Strobing: Return of the 90’s Glow

As is the case with all trends, beauty – like fashion – is cyclical and often favors extremes from one to the next (like those of us who finally gathered up the courage to try a lob, only to read the next season that long, flowy boho hair is the new must-have look). For the last few years women have been all over You Tube and Instagram trying to tackle the contour craze – a trend set off by Kim Kardashian’s sculpted cheekbones, thanks to her makeup artist’s shadow/highlight wizardry. Sure, looked easy enough, except that (a) very few of us have a MUA on our payroll (2) the at home version ends up making us look like an extra from “Braveheart” (3) and, when finally mastered, takes a morning ritual commitment that is not realistic for women who don’t have a personal assistant/nanny on same said payroll. So it’s with open arms that along with chokers and matte nude lips, a 90’s favorite makeup trend has been reincarnated as “strobing”.

“In the 90’s, we were all about getting that dewy glow,” explains celebrity makeup artist Shannique Austin, and a memory of frosty, opalescent cheeks, lids, and eyes comes flooding back. From Kate Moss to Clueless, the look perfectly complemented cotton candy hued sweaters and patent Mary Janes. Just as this followed the severe lines and bright colors of the 80’s, strobing was the natural progression from razor sharp contoured lines. Today’s it girls like Kendall and Gigi have forgone older sis Kim K’s chiseled cheekbones for an angelic glow, opting instead for a flushed look.

The key to strobing is highlighting the highest points on the face, including tops of cheekbones, brows, nose, and chin, where natural light illuminates, to define. MUA Austin likes to use MODULO’s Ovale makeup brushes to sweep on her favorite highlighters on clients, and recommends using a circular, upward and outward motion to avoid harsh lines. “My celebrity clients are all asking for that youthful glow when hitting the red carpet, so I use my MODULO Ovale Brushes to really blend in my favorite Glo-Minerals highlighter. And if you have a rounder face, by all means, you can slim a little by using a darker shade along cheekbones and jawline, just make sure to blend.”

The benefits of using a contoured brush like MODULO’s Ovale are not only the ability to blend seamlessly along the face’s natural curves, but its bristles allows the user to choose the right highlighter for their skin – liquid or cream for dry skin, or powder for normal to oily complexions.

Given that strobing requires one product (highlighter), and is less fussy to apply, it’s more realistic for every day women. “The heavy contouring we have seen for the last couple of years just isn’t reality,” adds Austin…ironic given the trend’s reality tv star origins.