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"What is the Difference Between Highlighting, Illuminating & Strobing?"

Looking to add a little shimmer into your life? With products marketing themselves as highlighters, illuminators & strobing creams, things can get confusing—I’ll break down the differences and benefits of each!

Highlighting Strobing Illuminating Makeup

makeup strobing highlighter highlighting illuminator illuminating shimmer

What is Highlighter?

Highlighters reflect light and are generally used to accentuate and/or enhance areas of the face or body. They often contain light-reflecting particles, which brighten the skin and create the illusion of depth and angles.


makeup strobing highlighter highlighting illuminator illuminating shimmer

What is Illuminator?

Unlike highlighters, which are generally used for a concentrated area of light, illuminators cast light more generally and are used to give the skin a “lit-from-within” glow.


makeup strobing highlighter highlighting illuminator illuminating shimmer

What is Strobing?

Strobing and highlighting are basically the same. However, the term “strobing” generally refers to the strategic placement of highlighter and/or illuminator, in order to give the appearance of dewey, healthy-looking skin.



Choosing The Right Color For Your Skin Tone

Now that we've covered the main differences between highlighting, illuminating and strobing, the next step is choosing the right color!

Fair-to-Light Skintones

Most people with fair-to-light skintones have pink undertones. Therefore, using cool-toned shades—such as: silver, lilac or pink—will look best!


Light-to-Medium Skintones

When it comes to light-to-medium skintones, stick with peachy or rose gold shades. These warmer tones will give a gorgeous glow to the skin!


Medium-to-Dark Skintones

If you have a medium-to-dark skintone, avoid using cool-toned shades. Cool-toned shades, such as silver or pink, can look ashy on the skin. I recommend looking for warmer colors, including: gold, warm peach or champagne.


Dark-to-Deep Skintones

With dark-to-deep skintones, you want to stick with warm-toned shades. Any cool-toned shade can quickly make the skin appear ashy. Using a bronze or golden shade will give the skin a fresh and glowing effect to the skin.

Whether you're looking for a natural glow or a beaming highlight, there's a product for you!


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