Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: Review & Swatches


I very rarely buy anything on a whim, including make-up, but all logic flew out the window when I realised the much anticipated Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette was available online and moments after a quick Google of swatches I’d checked out at Space NK online (thank you beauty bloggers everywhere - and Sarah of Saloule for posting a pic of hers on Instagram!). 

I’m so happy to say that this product turned out to be even more beautiful than anticipated and I’ve loved using it daily since it arrived.  I’ve been wanting to try Hourglass products for a while after drooling over them in Space NK and other blogs and almost bought the Dim Light Ambient Powder a few months ago but it was out of stock.  This limited edition trio includes two existing shades (Dim Light and Radiant Light) and one new limited edition shade (Incandescent Light). Also included with the palette is a 5ml-size Veil Mineral Primer, which I haven’t got around to trying yet.

Soft Focus

So what’s it for?  Essentially finishing powders, each Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder has a slightly different function, but what they all have in common is the ability to create a slightly soft focus, lit from within effect on the skin. 

“…diffuse and soften the way light is reflected on skin, brighten the appearance, and conceal imperfections, pores and wrinkles. Unlike traditional powders that use opaque pigments, Ambient utilises "photoluminescent technology"-micron-size, soft-focus particles that refract light and create transparent coverage.”

I’ve never been a huge fan of powders and find many of them make skin look rather flat and lifeless, which is the antithesis of what I try to achieve with make-up and definitely not a good look for me.  Thankfully these have the opposite effect - softening, removing any slight shine and yet simultaneously introducing light to the skin.

Hourglass-Ambient-Lighting-Palette-natural light

I’ve included this image taken in natural light as the top pic was in direct sunlight and makes the powders look particularly golden, which they can do, but it can be so confusing looking at images online - so I wanted to make it clear that these do change slightly in different lights (like most make-up).

How I used each shade

I’ve been using all three at once; they all have a unique effect and are multifunctional, so why not!  Once I’ve finished applying foundation and concealer I sweep Dim Light all over my face - this neutral, beige toned powder has an overall softening and slight mattifying (but not flattening) effect.  It’s so finely milled that it’s almost impossible to overdo.

I then add Radiant Light to contour and add a little warmth across cheekbones, temples and at the top of my forehead (a contouring trick I recently discovered from Nic Pixiwoo, only necessary for fellow massive-foreheaded gals!).  Radiant is very golden in tone and has the effect of warming the complexion, almost functioning as a light Winter bronzer on my skin tone. It does have a slight sheen, but nowhere near as much as you’d expect considering how it looks in the pan - it’s not glittery and completely daytime friendly.  It is yellow based, which is good for counteracting redness, but I do need to use it sparingly to avoid looking slightly jaundiced! This probably would not be an issue on deeper skins.

I normally add a little pink blush on the apples of my cheeks at this point and am currently loving Chantecaille Poudre de Perle in Akoya. I then finish off with Incandescent Light as a highlight on cheekbones and brow bones. This light champagne shade is the most shimmery of the three and best used sparingly, but still doesn’t add glitter or sparkle - it really does just make the high points glow.

Hourglass-Ambient-Lighting-Palette-packaging Hourglass-Ambient-Lighting-Palette-size

The palette is light and slim, but contains what appears to be a generous amount of product, which I imagine will last me for a long time.  (It also tones in quite well with today’s new mani - Dusk til Dawn by SensatioNail!)



Above: Radiant, Incandescent and Dim.  This is a light swatch from each, which shows just how little is needed - literally one sweep of each is enough for my use and the texture is dreamily buttery soft with little if any fallout.


I think you can see above how neutral Dim Light is, making it suitable for allover use, while Incandescent is more pearlescent and Radiant, light golden bronze.  Of course when blended out the colours and effect are much more subtle.

 Hourglass-Ambient-Lighting-Palette-Trio-applied (2)

I took this pic just after I got back from a forest walk today - not quite what I had in mind but I wanted to include one with the powders applied, so please look past the slightly knackered windswept effect and note the glow!  I didn’t use blusher on this occasion and added more of the Radiant (bronze) than I normally would, so that you can see the colours in their natural state.  Imagine me looking slightly paler with a pink cheek for my usual look, which I’ll post a pic of soon, as these beauties are slotting into my everyday stash for the foreseeable!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is available at Space NK here.

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