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):
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.