Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Review, Swatches, Photos

hourglass ambient light powders - diffused light, mood light

Diffused Light, Mood Light

It’s not like me to buy high end makeup without waiting for reviews first, but the early murmurings I heard about Hourglass’s new Ambient Lighting Powders was all positive, so I decided to take the plunge! Please note that these powders just arrived in the mail today, so this post is swatches and first impressions – if my thoughts on the powders change significantly, I’ll either update this post or write up a new one.

Update! After swatching all the powders, I bought Dim Light, which is by far my favorite. Review of that one is here.

The Hourglass Ambient lighting powders come in six shades (photos from Sephora.com / text from Hourglasscosmetics.com / not quite symmetrical collage by yours truly):

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders

I couldn’t decide between Mood Light (lavender) & Diffused Light (yellow), so I purchased both. Hourglass also has a new brush specifically for the Ambient Lighting Powders, but since I have a variety of brushes of different materials, sizes, shapes, and densities, I decided to just go with what I have for now.

Hourglass Ambient Light Powders - Packaging

The Ambient Lighting powders are packaged in a very reflective plastic compact that does (unfortunately) hold fingerprints.   It’s a fairly solid feeling compact, and I like the aesthetics of it.

Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Diffused Light

Diffused Light is, as described, a pale yellow.  Applied heavily, it’s a very pale yellow-white that is difficult to see on my skin – blending it out makes the color, though not the shimmer, virtually invisible on me. Diffused Light does have visible flecks of shimmer in sunlight. However, it was very difficult to photograph – you’ll have to look quite closely to see anything at all!

Hourglass Diffused Light Swatch

Diffused Light – heavy swatch, blended swatch (in natural light)

Hourglass Diffused Light Swatch

Diffused Light – heavy swatch, blended swatch (in full sun)

Hourglass Mood Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Mood Light

Mood Light is described as a lavender-pink, but I see more of a pink-brown color; I don’t really see the lavender in the pan. I cannot see visible flecks of shimmer in Mood Light – just a sheen.  Well actually, if I get about an inch away in full sunlight, I can maybe detect little flecks of shimmer, but maybe not – but does anyone really examine your face that closely?

Mood Light is easier to see when applied heavily on my skin, and also visible when semi-blended (when fully blended out, it is not intended to have visible color; no one has a lavender face).

Hourglass Mood Light Swatch

Mood Light – heavy swatch, blended swatch (in natural light)

Hourglass Mood Light Swatch

Mood Light – heavy swatch, blended swatch (in full sun)

I also tried each powder on my face.  In the “before” photo, I’m wearing foundation and powder, as well as other makeup – but no face makeup with any hint of shimmer. In the “after” photo, I’ve applied the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder with a clean fluffy brush (I used the ELF Complexion brush, because I have two of them and both were clean). I did remove my makeup and reapply between the photos. I did no retouching of these photos at all.

Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Diffused Light

Before / After – Diffused Light

Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Mood Light

Before / After – Mood Light

I see a difference with each powder, but Mood Light seems to do a better job of softening imperfections and generally improving the look of my skin. Do you see a difference between no powder, Diffused Light, and Mood Light? I’m curious to hear your thoughts!

Overall, I’m really excited about these powders, and I think I prefer Mood Light thus far – it seems to do a better job overall, and it doesn’t have the visible flecks of shimmer that Diffused Light has.  Once the Sephora stores near me have all the shades in stock, I’m definitely going to go swatch all of the shades!

If you’re interested in the other shades, reviews are starting to pop up:
The Beauty Sample has a review & swatches of Radient Light.
The Non-Blonde has a review & swatches of Radient Light.
Beauty Reflections has a review & swatches of Dim Light.
Makeup & Beauty Blog has a review & swatches of Dim Light, Luminous Light, & Radient Light.

And again, my review of Dim Light is here.

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  • Bellyhead

    ALRIGHTIE THEN! oops, I’m screaming. Diffused Light must be mine.

    • http://www.project-swatch.com/ Emi at Project Swatch

      I just checked Sephora’s website and they’re in store now! I am so going to swatch them ALL either today or tomorrow :) You should move to California, then we could go together!

      • bellyhead

        I would love that! :)))

  • http://www.bellachique.be/ Teri

    Wow! I’m actually really amazed what a difference this can make! I was thinking about getting Mood Light too, it looks awesome!

    • http://www.project-swatch.com/ Emi at Project Swatch

      Yay! They’re so pretty.

  • Kate Driveller

    Fantastic review, Emi!

    I agree that Mood seems to make your skin look amazing — but it also (on my screen) makes your face read a little darker/warmer than your neck.

    • http://www.project-swatch.com/ Emi at Project Swatch

      Ah, I see this now that you point it out. Thank you, you have such a good eye! I think that Mood will definitely be too dark for you, then. I will try applying & blending down my neck a bit :)

  • http://www.project-swatch.com/ Emi at Project Swatch

    I was wearing foundation & powder when I took the “before” photo – I then applied Diffused Light, and took that “after” photo. Then, I removed my face makeup & reapplied foundation, powder, and blush. Then I applied Mood Light, and took the other “after” photo. So, I’m wearing foundation + regular powder in all the photos, and then the Hourglass on top in the after photos.

  • http://mybeautysample.com/ Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    Ooh thank you for the link, Emi! And SO glad you have this review up! I have been dying to see swatches of Diffused Light and even Mood Light, to a lesser extent. I was really curious to see whether or not Diffused would have the same micro-shimmer particles that Radiant Light has in it and it sounds like it does. It is VERY subtle though and I think it would would great as a finishing powder. Unfortunately, as I have very oily skin, I was planning on using these more as a highlighter so I will wait until these are in-store to swatch as well (and see if I need Diffused Light or it it’s too subtle for my taste)

  • MakeupWithdrawal

    Oooh! So glad to see these two shades swatched! These were definitely the two shades that I was interested in, I think I’ll go for Mood now rather than Diffused. There’s been so many new powder products recently introduced and I want them all!

  • Bella

    Thank you so much for this review! It was very helpful since these are the exact same shades I have been considering. I am now leaning toward Mood. What lipstick are you wearing?

    • http://www.project-swatch.com/ Emi at Project Swatch

      I’m glad it was helpful! I’m wearing YSL Glossy Stain #4 in all the photos :)

  • Bella

    Thanks so much for this review! It was very helpful since these are the exact shades I have been considering. I am now leaning toward Mood. Which lipstick are you wearing?

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisEl25 Chris El

    I actually think that diffused light makes your skin glow :)

  • Winni

    Wow. Mood light really makes a difference.

  • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

    I really, really need Radiant Light. Mood Light is quite lovely, I do see a difference here. I’m usually pretty perceptive with these things, but to be honest, it’s hard to tell a difference in the Before and After with the light yellow one, taking into account that there’s going to be slightly different lighting b/t two images not taken immediately after each other. Thanks for showing this.

  • http://twitter.com/xbeautyobsessed Latoya

    I think Mood Light totally wins it here, Emi!! It works so, so well for you. I haven’t seen swatches of that one yet so thanks! I’m actually almost regretful that I picked up the Chanel powder, because I want one (or two) of these so much!

  • Icequeen81

    If it is possible to combine shades I would pick moonlight and the sunny one
    to give that perfect balance of radiance and soft sunny look, the trick is How

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  • clara

    mood light looks very pretty on you great swatch work thanks

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  • Olga

    I love mood light on you. Like a baby skin.

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