Strobing for Fair Skin: Good Highlighters (& one miss)

Highlighters for pale skin

Can strobing work on fair skin?

“Strobing” or basically highlighting seems to be the latest makeup trend. When you have very pale skin, finding a foundation light enough is a challenge, let alone finding something even lighter than your skin that could be considered a “highlight” (and don’t even get me started on contouring/bronzing, that’s a whole other post). Nevertheless, pale, I-live-in-a-Northern-climate, Nerdy Librarian Girl set out on a mission to find a highlighter for fair skin to partake of this strobing trend! First stop, Sephora. I literally went around swatching all of the highlighters from different brands, from Becca to Too Faced and a bunch of brands in between. A lot of highlighters are just too dark for me (they would actually work more like a blush) or have pink, peach, yellow or gold undertones that really don’t look natural on cool-toned, light complexions. I finally settled on NARS Albatross ($38 CAD) a cool-toned ivory. Its so white in the pan it almost reminds me of MUFE HD Powder.

NARS Albatross

NARS Albatross

On the skin it does have a bit of a golden sheen to it when the light hits it. I like that you can apply it lightly, or really go full-on for a very noticeable effect. And its NARS, so its amazing quality and has great staying power.

The next highlighter I picked up was a recommendation from my fellow Canadian Beauty Bloggers – MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade ($37 CAD). I was already a fan of the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. I ordered Lightscapade after reading some reviews and when it arrived in the mail, I couldn’t believe how pretty it was! I love the marbling.Β Lightscapade is a very light, cool, off-white with blue, pale yellow, and orangey-gold veining. On pale skin, its a cool-toned ivory highlight and looks very natural.

MAC Lightscapade

MAC Lightscapade

Another MAC highlighting product that I tried that turned out to be a miss, was the MAC Strobing Cream ($40 CAD) which I received a sample of with my order. I tried using this a couple of times, both under and over my MUFE Ultra HD Foundation, but honestly it didn’t show up at all. I couldn’t really notice where I’d applied it. It seemed too close to my natural skin tone and didn’t give enough of a highlighting effect.

MAC Strobe Cream
You can see from the swatches below, the MAC Strobing Cream (left) barely shows up, the NARS Albatross (right) has more of a slightly golden sheen, and MAC Lightscapade (centre) is just right! Lightscapade is my favourite and I think its the best suited for cool, pale skin.

 MAC Strobe Cream, MAC Lightscapade, NARS Albatross swatched

L-R: MAC Strobe Cream, MAC Lightscapade, NARS Albatross

I hope this helped if you’re like me and have such pale skin that you’re tempted to use “highlighters” as foundation because you’ve finally found something light enough to match your skin πŸ™‚ I’d also love to hear is you have any other highlighters that work for you.

Thanks for reading!
Nerdy Librarian Girl


Filed under Bronzers & Highlighters, Face, Reviews

13 responses to “Strobing for Fair Skin: Good Highlighters (& one miss)

  1. Pingback: MAC is Reading My Mind: The Prissy Princess Palette | nerdylibrariangirl

  2. This is great! I always thought the Albatross would be more pure white than gold. Lightscapade is amazing! And it’s not too shimmery either, I love it!


  3. Those MAC Highlighters look fabulous!!! The compact is super pretty, will definitely be adding it to my wish list – great post huni πŸ™‚ Karen XXXX

    Liked by 2 people

  4. lightscapade is on my wish list as well! and Albatross is a favourite of mine! πŸ˜‰ xx, Annie | Annie’s Beauty

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like MAC strobing cream as a mixer for all over radiance, rather than highlighting for targeted areas.
    I’ve not tried Lightscapade but it’s on my radar since it’s really well reviewed – and I love how it looks in the pan. I’m tempted again!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the look of the two MAC highlighters! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I find that the Strobe cream works great when mixed with a to matte foundation it gives it some life making it not so flat.


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