NEW Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder REVIEW

Anecdote time: because I knew I wanted all 3 of the new powders (Incandescent is in the Ambient Lighting Palette, which I already own so I chose not to buy it individually), I had originally planned to just buy them on bulk. As I'd been buying quite a lot recently, I'd been putting off this big triple purchase until I really felt the need to splurge. It started off as a late night trip to Space NK on the 1st February, about 20 minutes before it closed when they were stocking the new powders; I was so excited to be one of the first to see them when they were just being stocked, I couldn't help but treat myself to "just one". I loved it! The next day, I went back. "One more wouldn't hurt", right? So I walked away from Space NK the next day with the second. Finally, on the third day, I just couldn't help myself. I went in and bought the third. putting off the bulk purchase just cost me 3 x £3.50 car park charges. I may as well have saved myself £7, went the once and bought them all! My stupid, impulse buying tendencies aside, let's get to the review.

You know right off the bat this review is going to be positive, I've already let you know how addicted I was once I'd bought the first one! So I'll get my only general criticism out the way; the packaging is a bit cheap. It's plastic, and it feels it, being very light. Although the weight is good for travel, as the Ambient Lighting Palette is heavier and the packaging is sturdier, I wasn't quite expecting it to be so obviously plastic. It's a reflective silver with the classic "Hourglass" logo on the front, so it's very pretty to look at.

These are advertised as being "illuminating strobing powders designed to sculpt the face with the light creating depth and dimension for a refined, natural highlight"*. "Natural" is definitely the way I would describe the effect of these products. In the pan they look quite shimmery, but they apply with sparse shimmer and with very subtle colour pigmentation. Although the muted colour is unusual for a highlighter - with others on the market being either distinctively gold, pink, silver or what have you - I definitely consider it a bonus. Iridescent and Euphoric are two of the very limited pink toned highlighters that I don't end up having to use as a blusher because of the intense pink pigmentation! The colour is subtle enough that I would suggest all shades would compliment a range of skin tones.

L-R: Brilliant, Iridescent, Euphoric

Brilliant is a pale champagne colour that adds a beautiful glisten; with one sweep you get a similar 'glow from within' effect that's emulates what you might expect from a radiance primer, but without the oily-ness or thick extra layer! As this is the palest, I'd suggest this is the most universal.

Iridescent is a pale pink, that gives an ever so slightly warmer glow than Brilliant. This really brightens up your face and, because of the pink undertone, really compliments a bronzey look, because of it's gentle warmth. I feel like this is perfect spring highlight shade because it gives the ever so slightly radiant sun-kissed- but-not-tanned effect.

Euphoric is my favourite and has the most shimmer in it. It's a warmer peach that is incredibly feminine, but as I've said, the peach colour isn't overwhelming so it still a perfect highlight for paler folk like myself. It's the warmest of the three new shades, and I honestly can't express enough how amazed I am that it's still a highlight on me rather than a blush!

These are distinctive from other highlighters, at least in my experience. Where the powder is so fine, you can't physically see the powder on your skin. You still get the shine, of course, but you don't actually see the layer of powder. Does that make sense?! For example, as much as I love Becca highlighters, where the formula is quite thick I find you can see the powder, which can sometimes draw attention to texture on your skin. With these strobing powders you don't get that, you just get an ethereal, natural looking glow without any visible excess product on your face. This makes these products very easy to manipulate, being a lot easier to build up whilst still maintaing the natural look.  Because these powders finish a lot more natural looking, it makes strobing/contouring look a lot more natural; it's evident therefore, that these powders were formulated specifically with strobing in mind. I particularly find the finish of these powders a lot easier to highlight my nose. This is the area of my face where texture is usually visible and thicker powders, especially those with thick, shimmery pigments - i.e. highlighters! - can often cling to. Does anybody else have this problem, or is it just me?!

These highlighters are very expensive at £34. It's Hourglass, what do you expect? Unless you're a make-up junkie like myself and get a lot of enjoyment out of having all of a new collection, I would suggest only getting one of the new powders. The colour pigment is so subtle, and they all finish just as beautifully as each other, unless you love playing with make-up and would enjoy all three shades, you really only need one in your life to get essentially the same effect. They're all beautiful, and I love that the colour is so subtle, but they do finish similarly (you can see the difference though, don't get me wrong).


1 comment

  1. Boy oh boy! I LOVE hourglass' ambient lighting blush, so I need (not a matter of want, a matter of need aha) to give these a try! They all look so beautiful. :)

    Christie's Take on Life. x