Celebrity Makeup Artist Nick Barose sheds light on strobing.
Lately, you may feel like everywhere you go, there’s a twinkle in your eye—and maybe a little bit of envy—from seeing everyone’s on-point highlight in action. Lancôme’s celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose shares his top tips and tricks for creating a luminous look on deeper skintones. JESSICA VELEZ
Why do you think highlighters are having such a moment?
“Highlighters are the easiest way to add dimension to the face on days you don’t feel like contouring. When placed on the high points of the face, highlighters catch the light in those areas, and the features become more defined in a neutral and subtle way. Not to mention that, with the right formula, highlighters are 100 percent effortless to apply and look beautiful in all types of light. The right highlighter will also look beautiful in photos.”
What are your thoughts on the strobing trend?
“It’s basically a new word for highlighting. With strobing, or highlighting, the goal is to look radiant and lit from within. The key is to start sparingly and build until you create a beautiful, natural highlight. A heavy application will result in a harsh glare, and that is never pretty!”
How are the Lancôme Glow Subtil Silky Creme Highlighters different from any other?
“I love the creamy yet powdery texture, so it’s truly the best of both worlds. The fact that it’s creamy to the touch makes it easier to blend—but then once it touches the skin it has a luminous, velvety finish, and it’s never greasy. It provides just the right amount of versatile sheen for a variety of looks, beginning with a soft-focus glow. It can be layered for a more vibrant and intense look, which would be perfect for a nighttime look.”
What are the general highlighter shade rules for those with deeper skintones?
“Always pick the shade according to your skintone like you would a base color, such as foundation or concealer. It’s important to ensure the highlighter has the right undertone so that it blends seamlessly into the skin. This is where a lot of people go wrong, and often the highlight ends up looking too metallic or silvery with a white cast. In general, rose gold and bronzy tones are best for those with deeper skintones, like Rosegold Lights and Amber Lights. Gold Lights is also great for medium complexions.”
Let’s talk more about the Glow Subtil Silky Creme Highlighter’s rose gold and bronze shades. Why do you think those shades are important to include, and what skintones and undertones work best with them?
“Highlighters are not one shade fits all. All of the different subtle undertones can either look fresh if the shade is correct, or fake if you have the wrong tones. The rose gold highlighter has coppery tones to it, so it works well on deep, dark skintones. Amber Lights is great for medium-deep to truly deep skintones; it adds a soft golden glow for a beautiful, fresh finish.”
What should those with deeper skintones stay away from, highlighter-wise?
“Stay away from a formula that is too silvery, frosty, or pearlized. It will always look harsh and very unnatural on dark skin.”
How do you build a glow from a subtle sheen to a more intense radiance?
“For a soft and subtle effect, I place the highlighter underneath the tinted moisturizer or foundation, so it shines through. I sometimes also dampen a beautyblender or brush with the highlighter and dab it onto the skin for a sheer, veil-like effect. For a more dramatic look, I use a small brush and lightly tap it on top of base makeup and layer from there for more intense shine.”
What are your go-to application techniques?
“On deeper tones, the skin naturally appears to reflect more light. So I tend to control the application more than I would for someone with a lighter skintone. I use a smaller brush or mini beautyblender to dab the highlighter on top of the cheekbones, and usually that’s enough for a daytime look. But for more drama in the evening, or for an event taking place with dim light, I add highlighter onto the bridge of the nose, chin, and temples and then blend well. For nighttime, it is important to always start with foundation and then powder before layering highlighter on top.”
What makes the Glow Subtil Silky Creme Highlighter and Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation the perfect pair?
“The Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation is more matte, so it’s a perfect way to control the shine on your face when adding highlighter. This ensures that the finished look looks fresh and not overly shiny, or even sweaty.”
What’s the most innovative way you’ve used a highlighter before?
“I’ve brushed highlighter over brows to add golden highlight and to soften darker brows. I also sometimes dab it on the center of dark lipstick to bring a bit of light and dimension to a dark lipstick look.”