Hourglass is one of the few brands that has never disappointed me. I will be honest and say that I’ve only tried the Ambient range of powders, but everything I’ve used so far has been outstanding. I don’t think I’ve ever used an item from a brand that looks and feels as luxurious as their products do. Just thinking about it gets me even more excited to try out their other products, though I will restrain myself from being swayed by their marketing schemes. For now, I am content with my current collection, but I will begin the lavish praises with my first and favorite product of the Ambient range – the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. This product is the best (and only) trio of powders I’ve ever used as it makes my skin look luminous and as close to flawless as I could ever hope to achieve.
On the Sephora website, the powder is described as a “high-tech, soft-focus finishing powder that recreates the most exquisitely flattering types of light.” It goes on to say that it’s a finishing powder that “captures, diffuses, and softens the way light reflects on the skin”. The powders use a “photoluminescent technology” that helps “filter out harsh light and refine the appearance of the complexion” and makes the skin “appear softer and lit from within”. They are also safe to use in any kind of light, even in flash photography. The palette includes Dim Light and Radiant Light, which are permanent shades in the range, and Incandescent Light, which is exclusive to this palette.
Judging by the photo above, I’ve hit pan on Dim Light, and it is clearly my favorite out of the three shades. It’s described as a “neutral peach beige powder”, though to me, it looks more like a beige powder with a slight pink undertone. Initially, I decided that Diffused Light (another shade in the range which is more of a pale yellow powder) would be a better match for my skin. After continually using this powder, I found that despite its pink undertone, it blends seamlessly into my skin. Its color doesn’t interfere with my natural complexion, though I do remember a significant other pointing out “Why is your face a different color to your body?”. I had to explain to him that I just wasn’t done with my makeup. Ugh, boys. I love to use it all over the face to set my makeup, especially the high points of my face which I like to highlight. Sometimes, I even use it to knock off the excess powder of the areas where I baked my makeup. This, for me, is my ultimate setting powder because it really does blur any imperfections and gives my skin a softer appearance.
Radiant Light, which is a “golden beige powder”, is the second most used powder in the palette. It is fantastic for when I want to look more bronzed or when I want to give a golden glow to my complexion. I use it in a similar way to Dim Light, and its effects are comparable, though I use it more when I have a tan. It does a great job at enhancing the warmth in my skin, and it makes my face look more radiant (duh) without being sparkly a la Edward Cullen. On me, the gold reflects in the powder aren’t visible even in daylight, though I’m sure this varies per person. I would suggest that for those who find that its shimmer particles are too much to use all over the face, it is a really good ‘bronzer enhancer’ – by this I simply mean that you can give your bronzer a bit more glow by using this on top.
The middle shade, which is unfortunately the one most neglected, is Incandescent Light. This “pearlescent powder” is best used a soft highlight for the high points of the face. It certainly does give a white/pink pearl sheen to the skin, and the shimmer is almost completely imperceptible. This is not one that I use often since I prefer a more striking highlight that also has a more warm tone to it. However, on days when I forget to bring a highlighter in my makeup bag (shock horror), this does the trick in giving my face that much-needed luminosity. If you aren’t a huge fan of obnoxious highlighters or prefer a more cool-toned highlight, this is a great option for you.
I was initially hesitant to use this kind of powder because of my oily skin. I thought it would emphasize my oiliness, but since I started using it, it has never drawn attention to any shine. These powders set my makeup without making my skin look too matte, nor do they accentuate any texture on my skin. I have since embraced the beauty of having a more dewy and luminous complexion. It might also be worth noting that it doesn’t add coverage, but I do adore the formula of the powders. It’s a very soft powder, but it’s not too buttery that I worry about it breaking in my makeup bag. I usually use a smaller powder brush to apply the product, and I’ve never found it to look too heavy or cakey. It also lasts about 4 to 7 hours on my skin, though I do accumulate oil on my T-Zone and have to blot or touch up throughout the day.
For all three shades, it costs $62 (or PHP 2, 900) – there was a price hike of $4 since its launch in 2013. Admittedly, it is definitely quite pricey, but it’s a good way of trying out the powders if you’re unsure about splurging on the single compacts. Personally, for the quality of the item, I feel that it is good value for money. The frequency in which I use this palette has proven that it was definitely worth the splurge.
All in all, I would say that the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is a luxurious item that truly delivers when it comes to giving a perfected and illuminated look to the skin. The technology that goes into these powders performs well in reflecting light and fine-tunes the overall appearance – talk about real life filters for your face! Dim Light is the most universal shade out of the three and is the perfect setting powder. Incandescent Light is great for giving a subtle highlight, and Radiant Light is excellent in giving a golden warmth, especially with a tan. It also seems to work on oily skin, and would surely work wonders for those with dry skin. Both skin types would benefit from this powder and can count on it to give life to one’s complexion. With such great value for money, I would definitely consider buying this item again. Or possibly invest in the customizable palette that they’re releasing or have already released (since I feel bad for Incandescent Light).
Have you purchased this item? Do you love it as much as I do, or do you think that it’s not worth the $62?