Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders: Don't Call Them A Highlighter!

Hourglass is a small, boutique line with a limited number of products. They don’t waste time with countless palettes, loads of liners or scads of foundation formulas. What they do, they do well. They have one of the best primers, one of the best red lipsticks and one of the best red glosses on the market. It took me a little time to warm up to their new Ambient Lighting Powders, but now I’d add them to their lineup of seriously stellar products.

What are Ambient Lighting Powders? They are all over face powders that give your skin a touch of light. It’s no secret that powders and foundations reflect light differently. Sometimes you look white and chalky, usually because of the SPF reflecting light strangely. Other times, the light reflects in a way that makes you look older, like fluorescent lighting.

Ambient Lighting Powders try to give your skin a little glow to make the best of the light you have. It’s not a highlighter, which is what I had to get past before falling in love. You use it as a setting powder to give you a magazine-like glow. Depending on which powder you use, your look will be different. But just slightly different. You'll know it when you find one that works with your skin tone.

For example, I picked up Mood Light to try. It’s not iridescent, but it kind of is. There is no sparkle, no mica. It’s a lavender glow that makes my very fair skin look dewy, without a true shimmer. I originally thought I wouldn't like this specific powder because I already have enough red and pink in my skin. But once I tried it, I knew it was perfect for me.

The company sent me Diffused Light to try. Diffused Light is slightly more yellow, which means it will help cancel out the red on my skin, ever so slightly. This effect is similar to the look of a little bit of candlelight reflecting on your skin, everywhere you go.

They are available in six shades:
Ethereal: Cool translucent
Diffused: Warm pale yellow
Dim: Neutral beige
Mood: Sheer lavender pink
Luminous: Champagne pearl
Radiant: Golden beige     

These take some playing with to get used to them. The more colors I experiment with, the more I like them. All of the colors are subtle and each do something a little different on everyone. I’ll probably end up picking up Luminous and Ethereal because I want to combine and play with them. At first, I wasn’t excited about these but now, I’m a little bit in love.

(Wearing Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood)

Check them out and see if you like the slight improvement it makes to your skin tone, fine lines and how the light reflects off of your skin. You just may love it. Ambient Lighting Powders by Hourglass retail for $44 each.

Sent for review. I bought one, too. Contains affiliate links.

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  1. I have been thinking of picking up Mood, myself.

  2. I've heard a lot of people raving over these lately and I am so intrigued! How does it perform as a setting powder though - or would you dust this all over on top of your usual powder? Thanks so much!!

  3. Thanks so much for the review! I'm actually in the market for a setting powder and these look right up my alley. They look absolutely amazing on you! Would you have any thoughts on how these (especially diffused) compare to the new Nars setting powder? They both look great on you, so I'm torn! Thanks again for the awesome review!!

  4. They are two different animals. The difference between diffused and the NARS is that the NARS doesn't really offer a radiance or lighting change. The NARS (on me) brightens, mattes and smooths out the foundation. It's an amazing finishing powder. The Diffused light is going to add a touch of glow to the skin and set the makeup. It's not going to smooth out your foundation. The NARS actually blurs your "canvas". Honestly, today, I'm wearing them together and it looks pretty great. (not that helpful, I know.)

    1. Haha, thanks! No, your reply was definitely helpful; I've been leaning toward purchasing both products, each serving a different purpose, and you just helped me confirm my decision =) When you used them together, in what order did you apply them, and do you think it would make a difference either way?

    2. I would think NARS on top - it's going to brighten the skin, but take down the dew-factor slightly, but a little will still come through. If you wanted to add that dew back in, I would try it on top. Both products add such a small difference, it may not be a huge difference to you.

  5. Please forgive me if I'm wrong here but by any chance is your swatch pic backwards in how it's labeled? In reading your desciptions your descibing Mood-soft sheer lavender pink {<<<sephoras words} but in the picture this description matches whats labeled as Diffued Light swatch-soft warm pale yellow {<<<again sephoras words}. I even went over to sephora just to check on what I 'think' I'm seeing? Gosh, I'm sorry.

    I've been 'watching' these for a little while. This week I did get to try on the new Nars powder and I liked it. I'm wondering on how close the Nars is to bareMinerls Perfect Light Mineral Veil. I had the Nars girl do only half of my face and I couldn't tell a difference. I'm thinking they are close so I'd be in the clear to just get one {or two...haha} of the Hourglass's Ambient powders.

    I'm really glad to read you are wearing both right now. It's something I'd been wondering about! I have to go back another day to my Sephora to try on one of Hourglasses. Uh Ooooh trouble is a brewin, haha.

    Oh my btw here. I did get to try the Revlon BB cream today, set it. Had done it as a half n half and I didn't have near the success you'd had. It certainly didn't blur any imperfections enough for me. It also wasn't as hydrating as I'd hoped. Back to the drawing board for me!

    I'm still a bit confused on how to post here. I think yesterday my name did come up. Today it's not giving me that option so anonymous I am again. Ah well.

    Thanks, as always!

  6. Hi Anon! I'm sorry the Revlon didn't work for you. That is a bummer! As for the swatches, they are labeled correctly. The yellow one is Diffused and the other one is Mood. As for the swatches, the one that says Diffused and is touching the yellow swatch is diffused and the one of the bottom, touching the word Mood is mood.

    Check them out and let me know what you think! I'm glad you are liking the NARS - I love how it evens out the skin!

    Oh, for your last question, sometimes, you have to sign in again, so it knows who you are. If you clear your cookies or are on a public computer, it won't remember you!

  7. I'm sure I'd love these... if I could justify $44 for powder.


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