Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Product Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

At the end of last year, Hourglass introduced this little trio of their Ambient Lighting Powder.  I delayed writing this review a bit too long--since it's release this particular palette has been sold out everywhere and I don't believe Hourglass will release it again.  However, I still think this is a worthwhile review.  While you can't get them in a set, the ambient lighting powders are sold individually at Sephora and many other retailers.  The uniqueness of this product and what it does is certainly worth a mention as it's easily a staple in my make-up routine on the daily.

It is hard to articulate exactly what this does so bear with me here.  For all intents and purposes, this is a finishing powder.  I would not call this a setting powder since I found that it doesn't do anything for the longevity of my make up or shine control.  I apply this after foundation with a dense powder brush so in that aspect yes, I set my liquid foundation with it.  The real magic of this product is the effect it gives you.  While each powder works differently, they each give the skin a lit-from-within look.  It's not matte but it's not shimmery either.  The result is a radiant, youthful complexion.  When I wear the ambient lighting powders, I always get compliments on how good my skin looks that day.  It's something you can't quite put your finger on but gives you the softest glow without looking like a second grader's glitter project.  If you are really oily, you may find that you need an additional setting powder.  The ambient lighting powders will breathe life back into your skin, especially if you are using another powder.

There is a whole science behind this photoluminescent technology that filters out harsh light and refines the appearance of the complexion.  There are a range of different shades to create your desired effect from very pearl to not pearl so you can easily match your skin tone and preferences.  As a amateur photographer, lighting is everything and Hourglass managed to capture universally flattering "lighting" with these powders.

Each powder is soft and creamy.  They're very easy to blend.  Some are finer than others and can be a little "dusty."  The trick is to use a dense powder brush, one that is soft but has a lot of actual bristles to keep the product from merely dispersing in the air--excess powder can be kicked up (and wasted).  The shimmer in these are so subtle, I can barely see the glitter particles and only know they are there when the light catches them as you move. 

The palette also came with a sample of their Veil Mineral Primer.

My favorite of the three, Dim Light is probably the most universal shade.  It's a neutral toned beige that will work with warm and cool tones.  I use this one under the eyes and all over the face.  It's just pretty and I love how it looks.  It gives slight coverage to further blur imperfections, especially any visible pores. 
This is more of a "highlighter" pearlescent shade.  Of the three, I use this one the least.  It's also the only one not available individually as it was a limited edition for this palette.  If you were looking for one similar, this one is closest to Ethereal Light in their permanent collection.  I use this one on the tops of my cheekbone and as a light wash on my eyes as an eyeshadow.  It's more shimmery than the others but still not chunky.  My only complaint is that it is extra powder-y and a bit chalky.

This sun-kissed beauty fits it's name perfectly--it's radiant and perfect for adding bit of warmth.  You can use this all over for a golden glow or more frequently, I use this in place of a bronze or blush.  It's a subtle warmth that I find especially flattering on my tan skin.

A hard product to swatch, I strongly recommend trying it on in-store to find the most flattering shade for your skin tone.

This is easily one of my most used palettes and sits out on my vanity every day.  It's the kind of product that you didn't know you needed it until after you have used it.  The most noticable effect the completely natural glow it gives on the skin.  I've noticed a huge difference in photos for this blog--my face is much smoother than previous photos.  All in all, I'm glad I splurged on this and definitely plan on buying more Ambient Lighting powders separately in the future.

Available at Sephora, $45 each.

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