BEAUTY: Strobe your way into spring with new technique
Newsflash: strobing is not just for faces. Lisa Haynes reveals how to highlight from top-to-toe
STROBING is the beauty technique you probably didn't know you needed. Still not fully au fait with what it means? It might sound like something out of a Star Wars movie, and strobing, you could say, is a bit like having a magic lightsaber in your beauty kit.
It's basically highlighting trickery – think of it as the more subtle, flattering sister of contouring – and though the trend started with faces, it's now transcended to hair, body, and even fingernails.
Because strobing is all about achieving that elusive lit-from-within look, it's the perfect trend to master for spring. Time to get glowing...
Goodbye balayage and babylights, hair strobing is the hottest new brightening technique for tresses.
"The idea of strobing is to accent hair with subtle strobes of colour to illuminate the face," explains Georgie Mathers, Toni&Guy technical artistic director.
"In the right places, it can diminish areas of width or widen a narrow face shape."
You can now strobe your strands at home too, using quick-fixes like spray-on highlighting toners or brush-on 'hairshadow' (like eyeshadow for hair). Find them in typical hair tone shades, or more daring statement colours.
"Limit the placement to a few key areas you wish to highlight," Georgie advises. "You can use the colour accents in so many ways - to add depth, create a root ombre effect, a colour top-up, or even disguising greys."
STROBING KIT: label.m Highlighting Toner, available in Blonde, Brunette, Red or Blue, £10.95 each (labelm.com/uk); Batiste Root Concealer, available in five shades, £12.99 each (boots.com); Bleach London Balayage Hair Kit Beach Lights, £7 (boots.com)
Limb-baring season is approaching, and body strobing is the ultimate shortcut for honed and toned limbs. Michelle Obama arms, anyone?
"Highlighting the areas of the body where light naturally reflects gives an instant sculpted effect," says James Harknett, tanning guru and Fake Bake ambassador.
"The easiest parts of the body to strobe for spring are the shoulders, arms and shins - just always focus on areas the sun would hit and naturally tan."
James recommends using self-tan 24 hours before strobing, to up the contrast of your finish. Don't limit yourself to body specific products – some of the best strobing sticks and palettes are designed for the face but work just as well gleamed onto shins and shoulders.
STROBING KIT: Iconic London Strobing Stick, £24.99 (iconiclondoninc.com); Smashbox Spotlight Highlighting Palette in Pearl, £26 (smashbox.co.uk); Madame LA LA Bronzing Ball, £14 (madamelala.com)
Sure, it's subtle – but nail strobing is still a thing. Pearlised, sheeny manis were on repeat backstage for SS17, to top off all that healthy-looking strobed hair and skin.
"Highlighting, or nail strobing, gives you a dewy, shimmery, healthy finish to the nails," says Jenni Draper, nail expert and OPI brand ambassador, who adds that even lengthened talons can be yours, with some clever strobing trickery: "Using an iridescent polish will create highlights down the length of the nail, giving the illusion of longer nails."
For low-key nail strobing, she recommends sticking to champagne tones for fair skin, golden tones for olive skin, and terracotta tones for darker skin. If you want to up the nail ante, make an impact with high-shine holographic or chrome finishes.
STROBING KIT: Mavala Delicate collection, £4.95 each (johnlewis.com); OPI Nail Lacquer in Altar Ego, £12.50 (johnlewis.com); iZ Beauty Mirror Chrome Powder, £6 (izbeauty.co.uk)
TRIED & TESTED
:: Can anything combat those post-50 droopy jowls? Ann Parker puts a handheld device to the test...
I'm not quite sure when it happened (ahem; probably along with the menopause!), but the tautness seemed to disappear from my skin almost overnight, replaced with a slacker complexion and some serious jowls. Oh, and a wobbly chin – joy.
Seriously contemplating the scalpel, I decided to try out the Opatra Dermisonic Device. It has three light therapy modes – anti-ageing, anti-bacterial, or anti-pigmentation - but you can perform 21 different combinations of facial treatments, so it's not a gadget you get bored with easily. Of course, I was all about the red LED light, aka the anti-ager, which stimulates the cells that produce collagen. Using my own anti-ageing creams and serums (Opatra has their own but I used my trusty favourites), the red light helps push the product into deeper layers of your skin and boost blood circulation.
After a few months of religiously regular use – a minimum three times a week, for 10-15 minutes a time – there's a big improvement in my skin's bounciness and my facial silhouette looks noticeably more defined. At £495, this is a serious investment product, but it's super-charged my beauty regime, and if it continues to keep considerations of the dreaded surgeon's purple pen markings at bay, it's worth it.
:: Opatra Dermisonic Device, £495 (opatra.com)
BUY IT NOW
The favourite beauty classic now has your name on it – literally. For £2.99 (plus £1.49 p&p), the clever bods at Vaseline will personalise your Vaseline Lip Therapy tin adding up to 11 characters max. So make it clear it's yours, or gift a BFF or family member who can't get enough of the stuff. Available while stocks last from personalised-tin.vaseline.co.uk
:: Acne Angst
As if GCSE revision isn't bad enough, acne affects around 80 per cent of teens at some point. Three out of five 13-18-year-olds say the biggest impact acne has on their lives is a lack of self-confidence, according to a recent survey by the British Skin Foundation. More than half (52 per cent) of those surveyed revealed they had tried five or more treatments for their acne.
STEAL OF THE WEEK
Time to get in the know about Know Cosmetics. The four-piece capsule collection, featuring 'No Bleeding Lips' Lip Liner, 'No Dark Shadows' Wow, 'No Bare Brows' Brow Fix and 'No Thin Lips' Lip Plumper, is already a hit stateside, with some lines selling every two minutes. Now available in the UK, jump on the Know beauty bandwagon at Superdrug, who are celebrating with a third off usual prices until April 4, and then a 3-for-2 offer from April 5-May 2. Currently from £8.33 each ( www.superdrug.com)