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GUEST POST: Strobing vs. Highlight and Contour (Tips and Advice Included)

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: MAC makeup artist, Amanda Porter, is back with more advice and goodies to share. This time around, she’s talking about strobing, highlighting and contouring. Grab a notepad and take some notes. You learn something new everyday. Please do us a favor and kindly share this post. All sharing tools are at the bottom of this post. We’d love to receive feedback. Sharing is caring. Let’s get into this post, shall we?

Strobing vs. Highlight & Contour

So we’ve all seen the pretty hilarious highlight and contour videos from you-tubers. There’s the drawing clown faces to hearts and swirls! At the end of the day, it all turns out amazing! But the true battle comes with, “do I strobe or highlight and contour?” Well ladies, it’s pretty much the same – just all about placement and how much work you want to put in it!

QUICK NOTE: Please keep in my mind – the recommended products are the ones that I actually use. For any foundations, blushes or bronzers, make sure to pick colors suitable to your beautiful skin tones.


Let’s get into the strobing!

It’s all about if I can see you from Pluto or not! YES! We want that highlight popping in the dark! When you use the strobing technique, you’re placing the product on the highest points of your face. So when the light reflects off of it, that’s what is brought forth.

During the process, there’s no contour at all. Maybe bronzing, but that’s it – no blush, no extra! Honestly, this is one of my favorite 10-minute makeup routines in the morning.

~ Strobing ~
~ Strobing ~

After applying foundation, I take my current favorite bronzer by Guerlain in the color Terracotta 03, and apply it all over my cheeks (normally where I place blush) and softly around my forehead. I am not contouring, just bronzing the face so I won’t look like a walking disco ball (even though I love to dance)!

After applying MAC Cosmetics Cream Colour Base in Shell, on the highest points of my cheekbones, bridge of my nose and cupids bow, that is when all the steps above take place.

Since it’s a cream base, you can use it either before or after you set your face with powder. Personally, I set my face first, then using my ring finger, rub the product on the tip of my finger and start tapping the product in the skin. Don’t use sweeping motions – you will start to separate your makeup…and you don’t want that!

Once that’s on (I love being extra) I’ll take my MAC #224 brush, swirl it in MAC Mineralize skinfinish in Lightscapade, spray the brush with MAC Fix + and go right on top of the cream highlight to add that extra-from-within-glow!

Another great product I love using is: MAC strobe cream (love this stuff), applying it in the desired highlighted areas and you can top it with your favorite highlighter powder!


Now on to the fan fave and most requested look – highlight and contour!

Okay ladies, let’s FIRST understand what you are doing when you contour –

You are changing the shape of your face! Who needs plastic surgery when we have the tools of makeup?

Contour is what you want to bring inward, and make appear slimmer or narrow. That’s why we contour our FIVE head (haha), our nose, cheekbones and are jawbone. We’re trying to achieve the perfect oval shape. Some choose to use powders, creams, liquids or all of the above. Now do you need it all? Of course not. Can you get away with at least 2 of the techniques? Of course!

Taking a darker concealer, you’ll outline the cheeks around your forehead, down the nose and maybe jaw bone. Taking either a beauty blender or a MAC #130 brush, damping it with Fix +, then start blending it into your foundation. Once it’s blended in, you can next go over it with powder!

There are many contour kits out there to use, but I keep it simple by using MAC sculpting powder in Shadester and Make Up Forever Pro Sculpting Duo! These 2 products are amazing and blends beautifully!

After that is done, you’ll want to take a translucent loose powder to carve out and clean up the contour – making your cheekbones appear more sleek and fierce! And you’re done!

~ Highlight and Contour ~
~ Highlight and Contour ~

So, at the end of the day, between the two, there’s no winner or loser. It just depends on if you want to put in the work that day or not!

Me, personally, I’m strobing every day!  Highlight and contour are my special occasions. There’s no right or wrong in makeup, it’s just what works best for you. As long as you’re bringing out your inner goddess and you are rocking it!

~ Both Strobing and Contour ~
~ Both Strobing and Contour ~

And, as always, this is an open forum blog, if you have questions about techniques, please leave in the comments below and I will happily answer. If you need to book my services, please inbox me on Facebook – my contact information is listed below. Don’t forget to share this post!

Amanda Ellisor

Beauty Contributor/Blogger
Amanda is a wife, mother and a makeup artist for one of the most respected cosmetics brand – MAC Cosmetics. When she’s not contributing her makeup advice, she’s “beating someone’s face for the gawds!”

MISSION STATEMENT: “My mission is to “bring out your inner goddess.” I love making people feel beautiful and confident with and without makeup! Educating women, and even men, so they can first feel beautiful within their own skin and having the knowledge and skills to create any look they desire!”

The links in this post contain affiliate links. I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.







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Veronica Green
Entertainment addict - yes! Celebrity gossip - NO! I blog about all things entertainment and lifestyle , which includes, but not limited to: new music, movies, TV shows, books, parenting, food, finance tips, etc. Blog Xpressions caters to and celebrates women! We like to empower, educate and enrich lives!

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