The Difference Between Contouring and Strobing

Contouring and strobing are probably phrases you have heard in the beauty world for a while now, but what are they and how can they be used in our makeup application?

Contouring is the process of using light and shade to shape the face.  By using a shade colour which is slightly darker than your skin tone, you can slightly hollow out areas such as the cheek bone, slim the nose and jawline.  Contour can be used to make the forehead appear smaller or narrower.  It is all to do with dark shades falling back and light shades coming forward.  The next step is highlighting, which is applying a shimmer light shade onto the high points of the face, such as the tops of cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose and onthe brow bone.  These give the illusion of younger and dewy skin.

Strobing is a similar idea to contouring, but without the dark shade.  Through using only highligher, the makeup artist can make the face appear slimmer, younger and more angular.  Ideal areas for strobing are the cheekbones, the nose and forehead as well as a touch on top of the cupids bow.  These techniques will add dimension to the face and help to achieve a different shape.