Strobing is everywhere right now and for good reason. Add a little glow in the right place and you can make cheekbones appear out of nowhere, add definition to brows, make a nose look slimmer, and add a pouty upturn to lips. I’m addicted to the glow and rarely leave the house without one these days. I’ve had the opportunity to try a high version, Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powder in Incandescent ($48 CAD) and NYX Strobe Of Genius ($26.99 CAD).
First – what is strobing, besides a new word for highlighting? Strobing seems to be the natural progression from contouring. Contouring is done by using cosmetics (bronzer, powder, blush, shadow etc) two shades darker and lighter than your skin tone, allowing your facial features to recede and pop as desired. But in practice, contouring can be tricky. Unless you have the genius Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Palette, but that’s a new post….
Strobing on the other hand, is much simpler and requires less product, which I’m all for. Strobing simply uses light to enhance your face, mimicking what being in a ray of sunshine or flattering candlelight does to our skin. Contrary to what Instagram may tell you, strobing requires a light hand – no disco balls here! The beauty of strobing – or highlighting, really – is that it’s simple to add to your current beauty routine. A simple palette of lightly made up skin, concealer where needed, tinted moisturizer or powder, blush, eye make up etc, is where you start. Then, look at where the light would hit if you were standing below a beam of sunshine. That is where the highlighting powder and “strobing” happens.
The high end strobing powder is simply perfection. Hourglass is one of my favourite cosmetic lines of all time – full stop. Yes it is more costly than drugstore makeup but their products are flawless. Their Ambient Lighting Palette is one of my beauty staples and now the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is too. Hourglass uses a sheer base that’s infused with concentrated, ultra-fine mico-pearl particles with different refraction levels for natural-looking luminescence—without leaving a heavy metallic disco ball finish on skin. The formula is more concentrated than the Ambient Light Powder. I have both and use them differently. The colour pay off is excellent, and this powder will last ages!
The Ambient Light Powder can work as a glowy bronzer/blusher hybrid, whereas the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder adds a magical glow. Hourglass created a special applicator sponge for their Strobe Lighting Powder – the Strobe Light Sculptor – and it’s awesome. It makes it easy to apply exactly how much you want, where you want. The angles are so cool – the rounded tip fits into the inner corner of the eye perfectly for a glowy pop! And the base is a soft velvety pad that makes blending a dream. Verdict? LOVE!
To be fair, the NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette is a different animal – mostly because it’s a palette vs one powder. But this pallette has everything you could ever want in a strobing palette and more! Not only can you strobe and highlight with this, but the shades can double as a soft bronzer, blush and eye shadow. So that’s a lot! I love every shade in this palette and had fun playing with them. I can see this having lots of mileage in anyone’s makeup kit.
It’s not quite as pigmented as the Hourglass but makes up for it in shimmer, and just needs a slightly lighter hand to avoid too much shimmer. The is pretty big, so I recommend caution or you will pick My favourite shades for strobing highlights are Cool Toned Pink and True Champagne – which are pretty close to Hourglass but not actual dupes. The NYX powders are more shimmery and the Hourglass is more glowy. But, honestly, they are all gorgeous! Using the NYX Pro Fan Brush means taking a tiny bit of powder on the brush and dusting it on the skin, then blending blending blending. It’s a gorgeous lush brush that seems a bit thick and big for a fan brush, but I love thick fluffy brushes so…