What Is Strobe Cream?

mac strobe cream

The makeup world is plush with products, one of which is strobe cream. Strobing cream is designed to give dull, flat skin the boost it needs to look radiant again. This makeup product falls into the category of illuminators. However, that leaves most people wondering what is strobe cream and what it’s used for. We’ll help you get to the bottom of it and learn how to use this makeup staple. 

You’ll find tons of products in the category of illuminators. Illuminators are any makeup product designed to give your skin that gorgeous, all-over glow that we’ve come to love. There are illuminating primers, illuminating highlighters, dewy sticks, and more. So, it makes sense that strobe cream would fall into that category. 

Strobe cream is designed to be versatile. It works well with most skin types, and you can use it in various ways to always get the look you want. Some people use MAC strobe cream for that healthy, radiant glow or to give themselves the appearance of glass-like skin. Other people put a dab on their cheeks to use it as a highlighter. Read on to learn everything that you need to know about strobe cream. 

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What Is An Illuminator?

While we’ve all heard of products like highlighter and bronzer, the term illuminators isn’t quite as popular today as it used to be. However, many people still keep their MAC strobe cream on their vanity. If it’s not MAC strobe cream, it’s another nifty product that gives them the same dewy complexion. These have become makeup staples for beauty enthusiasts worldwide, and there’s a good reason everyone loves them. 

That’s because illuminators do something that other products don’t. They create a beautiful, luminous glow over your entire face. However, it’s not so radiant that it makes you look bad in photos. Most illuminators are designed to give you a natural look instead. This makes them perfect for people who have dull skin.

How Do You Apply Strobing Cream?

Now that you know why everyone has some MAC strobe cream on their vanity, it’s essential to know how to use it. This is such a versatile product that there are various ways that you can apply it, making it perfect for anyone who loves to experiment with different looks. 

First, you can use a brush or your fingers to apply strobe cream. Most people prefer to use their fingers, but there’s nothing wrong with a brush, either. Remember that it is liquid and goes on relatively quickly, so a brush isn’t necessary. 

Most people prefer to apply strobe cream before the rest of their makeup, which is perfect if you want a “glow from within” appearance. To do this, start by applying your primer. After applying your primer, put a dab of strobe cream on your fingertips. Then, massage it into your facial skin. Allow plenty of time for the product to dry, and then continue applying your makeup. Make sure you use a light hand when applying foundation and other face makeup to enjoy the radiance of strobe cream. 

Some people enjoy using strobe cream as a primer. While it creates a layer between the skin and foundation, it doesn’t have all the same properties as a primer, which is essential to consider before using strobe cream. Strobing cream isn’t going to smooth uneven texture, minimize pores, or cling to makeup to make your look last longer. It’s best to use a primer underneath strobe cream if you wear a full face of makeup. 

Strobe cream doesn’t have to be worn with makeup. Instead, you can wear it on those no makeup “makeup” days. It creates a soft, dewy look that appears natural. 

MAC Strobe Cream is an exceptional replacement for highlighter, especially if you prefer clear makeup without much pigment. Strobe cream isn’t so pigmented that it will look like you’re wearing blush, but it has just enough color to give you a radiant flush of color, just like a highlighter will. 

Mixing strobe cream with foundation is another exceptional idea! This creates a softer radiance all over your face. For this makeup hack, squeeze a few drops of strobe cream onto your palette. Then, mix it with your foundation. Apply your foundation as you usually would. 

Do You Use Strobe Creams Before Or After Foundation?

You can use it either way. Most people apply strobing cream after applying primer and before applying foundation. However, according to MAC, you can use MAC Strobe Cream after foundation for a more intense effect. MAC strobe cream is also specially formulated for use as a primer. This is an excellent idea if you only have matte foundation left and need to give your look a luminous boost. 

Where Do You Apply Strobe Cream?

There are various opinions on this, and no right or wrong answer. You put strobing cream anywhere you would like to give your skin a glow. 

There are a lot of people who use strobe cream in the areas that they would highlighter. Some opt for a simple dab on their cheekbones. It’s common to put a touch of highlighter on the tip of your nose or forehead. 

Another popular option is to apply strobe cream all over your face. People who use MAC strobe cream as a moisturizer and primer prefer to do this. 

What’s The Difference Between Strobe Creams And Highlighter?

what is strobe cream

While both products give you a gorgeous glow, strobe cream is designed to do that over your entire face. On the other hand, Highlighter is designed only to highlight specific areas. When you use a highlighter, you’ll notice that it tends to make areas lighter than strobing cream. 

The highlighter comes with more options. You can opt for a glittery or matte finish. There are sticks, creams, and powder. 

Strobing cream doesn’t come with those same options. Maybelline launched a strobing stick quite a while ago, but this isn’t ideal if you want to use it on your entire face. It’s recommended that people use the strobing stick like a highlighter. There are powder versions, but these don’t have the same effect as creams like MAC strobe cream does. They don’t work as well. 

Do Not Use Strobe Creams If You Have Oily Skin

Strobing cream is a great product, but it’s not a good idea if you have oily skin. People with combination skin need to look at their complexion after wearing strobe cream for three hours to determine if it will work for them. 

People with oily skin naturally have a shine. When you use a product that increases that shine, it can be too much. The result does not always look good. Instead, check out other makeup tips to find the perfect look!


Is strobe cream a good moisturizer?

That depends on the brand that you’re using. Most strobe creams aren’t designed to double as a moisturizer. Instead, think of them more like a highlighter. They are designed to give your face an all-over glow, not to give your skin an intense boost of hydration. 

What is strobe cream used for?

Strobe creams are an illuminator, just like highlighters. Strobing creams and sticks create a beautiful glow, like standing underneath the perfect lighting. They are designed to give you radiant skin without it being too radiant. 

Is strobing cream good for your skin?

Strobe cream can be great for your skin! Many makeup products are infused with ingredients that are good for your skin to help keep your skin healthy while giving you a radiant complexion. Double-check the product description to ensure your strobe cream or stick is good for you!

Can you use MAC strobe cream as a primer?

Yes, you can. MAC strobe cream is designed to be used as a primer. Because of that, you can use it before applying your foundation, just like a face primer. If you’re out of primer, this is a great substitute. 

Can you use strobe cream daily?

You can wear strobe cream as much as you do your other makeup. However, if you’re a daily makeup wearer, ensure your skincare routine is always on point. Makeup sits inside of your pores and can lead to breakouts over time. Double cleanse your face when removing makeup, and always follow a morning and night skincare routine. 

Our Recommendations

Finding the perfect strobe cream or strobing product can be a bit of a hassle. There are so many strobe creams, sticks, etc. on the market that it can be challenging to find your perfect product. Thankfully, we’ve narrowed down the choices for you. These are some of our favorite strobe creams and strobing products. 

Mac Strobe Cream

MAC strobe cream is a classic every makeup maven has heard of or tried. This beautiful strobing cream is available in: 

  • Pinklite: Perfect for pale or fair skin tones
  • Peachlite: Versatile for all skin tones
  • Goldlite: Perfect for medium and dark skin tones

Why We Love It

We love so many things about this strobe cream that it’s hard to name just a few! It’s from one of the most iconic makeup brands known for its high quality. We also love that it’s:

  • Suitable for all skin tone
  • Packed with potent botanicals
  • Gives dry skin a healthy dose of hydration
  • It is infused with good-for-your-skin ingredients like vitamins and green tea
  • Promotes an even skin tone

If you’re unsure which strobe cream or strobing product to try, this versatile product consistently receives rave reviews. 

Check it out here!

L’Oreal Lumi Glotion ($16)

L’Oréal Paris Makeup True Match Lumi Glotion, Natural Glow Enhancer, Illuminator Highlighter Skin Tint, for an All Day Radiant Glow, Medium, 1.35 Ounces

L’oreal truly outdid itself with this Glotion. It hydrates like a lotion, gives you an all-over glow like a strobe cream, and it’s available at a drugstore price!

Why We Love It

There are quite a few things to love about this lotion! One try, and you’ll suddenly understand why it receives so many five-star reviews! A few reasons people love L’Oreal Lumi Glotion are: 

  • Available in shades for various skin tones
  • Infused with moisturizing ingredients, such as Shea Butter, to keep your skin hydrated all day long
  • It can be worn on top of foundation, underneath foundation, or mixed with foundation
  • Gives your skin a serious glow
  • Not greasy
  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting

If you want to get a glow, glotion is the way to go.

Check it out here!

Other Strobing Products To Try

Not a fan of glotion, and strobe cream doesn’t sound like the thing for you? Not to worry! Check out these other strobing products to find the perfect one to give you the radiant skin you want!

In Conclusion

Strobe creams are an illuminator and help give you the appearance of a natural glow that you’re going to love! You can quickly get a sun-kissed look without having to leave the house. Check out the rest of the blogs for more tips and tricks to get a look you’ll love!

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Primer 101: A Complete Guide To Primer For Beginners

How To Get My Skin To Glow

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