Strobing, Baking & Buffing


Today I will be discussing 3 awesome face makeup techniques called strobing, baking/cooking and buffing. Most of you must have heard about strobing which is essentially a method of extra highlighting, it has been trending for a few months now. Baking is another technique which has been gathering popularity for a few weeks and is mainly a makeup setting technique. Buffing on the other hand is not so commonly talked about but the results are equally amazing.


Strobing is a technique of intense highlighting giving one’s face a dewy, shimmery and a more youthful glow. Even though it’s a highlighting technique it differs from the usual highlighting used for a contoured look because of the products used. You could check my post on contouring and highlighting for a detailed  makeup routine video using a lighter shade concealer for highlighting. In strobing the parts of the face that are highlighted are: top of the cheekbone, under the brow bone, above brow arch, bridge of the nose, inner corner of the eye, cupids bow and the chin.

There are two methods of strobing- you could either use a strobe cream under your foundation or only use highlighting products over the foundation. Strobing’s trending status is often attributed to MAC’s strobe cream and that’s where the first method comes from. The steps are: moisturizer→ primer→ strobe cream on highlighting areas→ foundation. I used the same steps with my Benefit Watt’s Up highlighter and stippled the foundation first on bare parts of the face and then on the highlighted areas. The results are quiet good especially if you need an internal glow without the excess products.

The second method is as shown by Desi Perkins in the video above. The steps include: moisturizer→ primer→ foundation→ liquid/cream highlighter→ powder highlighter. In place of your regular foundation it’s advisable to use illuminating foundations like the You could also use blush and face powder. For the blush use it between both the highlighter applications and for the face powder use it in the end but just under the eye and non-highlighted parts of the face. A dewy setting spray like the MAC fix plus is preferable as it helps add sheen and keep the products in place.

Strobing suits most skin types and face structures. Use it during the summer months for a healthy glow or during wedding sangeets for the added highlights when on stage. The main con is that your skin is in focus and if you don’t have even smooth skin it highlights the flaws in certain parts. I would personally go in for a light strobe using the first method.


Baking is a highlighting technique that helps set your makeup and give the skin a smooth finish that lasts for hours. Whereas in contouring we add depth to our features, in baking we emphasize and bring out the highlighted areas. The technique relies on two products: concealer and translucent powder. The most common areas highlighted are under the eyes till the cheekbone, the t-zone and on the chin. You could also highlight above the jawline and at the cupid’s bow for additional dimensions.

The steps to achieving this look are: moisturizer→ foundation→ highlighting creamy concealer→ excess loose translucent powder on highlighted areas→ brushing off excess powder after 5-10 minutes→ pressed powder over highlighted areas.

Heidi Hamoud highlights the additional benefit of baking which is to prevent creasing, especially under the eyes. She also uses an eye-cream for extra hydration before applying the highlighting concealer. Though the video is a bit long Heidi’s in-depth explanation of the steps is worth watching. I suffer from excess dark-circles and baking is one technique which made a visible difference in dark-circle covering. When baking avoid using a pink based concealer, instead use a yellow toned concealer and translucent powder.

Baking adds a few layers to your makeup, thus is not advisable for everyday wear. If you going for a night out or as a wedding guest where photographs will be involved this should be your go to highlighting and setting technique.


Buffing is a makeup setting technique made famous by beauty vlogger Wayne Goss. He ascribes the origins to makeup artists Sonia and Fyza. Buffing creates a natural-looking even base that seamlessly blends the contours and highlights. Unlike strobing and baking you have to contour and highlight with the standard three product shades and then buff all of it together with pressed powder for a smooth velvety finish.

It is truly said that buffing provides a flawless picture worthy finish removing any harsh contour lines. The steps involved are: moisturizer→ foundation→ concealer→ contouring and highlighting→ blusher→ buffing with a pressed powder. In the video below Wayne does two layers of conoturing: cream contouring→ powder setting→ powder contouring. I tried buffing with just one layer of powder contouring and it works equally well.

After contouring using a dome shaped brush apply pressed powder all over the face in circular motions buffing it into the skin. In the start, like most of us, you might feel it is a lot of products on the skin that might leave you looking cakey and muddy. But it does not. The buffing application gives a airbrushed finish to your skin blending any harsh lines that contouring might have created.

Buffing is a technique you could use often, unlike highlighting and strobing. The matte filter like finish is my go to for evening out with friends, meetings and family get-togethers. Even though I have dry-skin it does not look cakey and maintains the contour for extended hours.


All three techniques differ in their application methods, product usage and purpose. The videos show the basic steps used to achieve the particular look and they can be customized to your face shape, skin type and the final effect you want. Also you do not have to invest in different products, especially if you plan to use the techniques sparingly. You could easily manipulate the look and use existing products from your makeup bag. For example I only use powder contour products for buffing or use my creamy highlighter in place of strobe cream or use pressed powder for baking. Experiment till you are happy with the look. There is no right or wrong as long as it suits you.

Have fun! 🙂