Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Today I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. This palette retails for $70 CAD, and contains 0.116 oz for each powder. I bought this in November during the VIB sale and have been thoroughly enjoying it. Each of the powders in the palette does a little something different, which I prefer over having three different shades of highlighters. I think of Hourglass as  more luxury brand, so I only use this palette on weekends and special occasions and not just for everyday use for work.



I’ve always been a sucker for highlighters even though I don’t wear them on a day to day basis (and sometimes forget about them even on weekends). At first, I wasn’t completely sure if I wanted to get this palette, because I knew the highlight was pretty subtle whereas I prefer a stronger highlight. However, after reading more into the Ambient Lighting Powders, it seemed like a type of product I was lacking in my collection, so I decided to take the plunge.

The Ambient Lighting Powders are meant to mimic different types of light sources. The powders are supposed to blur imperfections, enhance skin, and give it a soft glow. The texture of each of the powders are extremely silky and finely milled, which makes it hard to over-apply these. The texture also lends itself to sit nicely on the skin without enlarging the look of pores.



From left to right in the palette, the first powder is Dim Light, a neutral peach shade. This has no shimmer in it at all, but has a very natural looking, almost satin-like finish. Even though this powder has colour (as you can see from the swatch above), it is undetectable when applied to my face. Due to the lack of shimmer, I have been using this for an all-over setting powder, and I especially love using this to set my under eye concealer. It is really good at brightening up the complexion, especially the under eye area. I was skeptical of the claim that it blurs imperfections, but found that the satin-like finish really does help to blur imperfections on your skin, as whereas other powders simply mattify the skin.

Dim Light – Swatched and Sheered Out (You can barely even see it!)


The second is Incandescent Light, the only powder in the palette that isn’t sold separately. Incandescent Light is a pearlescent ivory, and is the lightest shade in the palette. It’s also the most shimmery of the three because it is meant to use for highlighting, but it gives a very subtle sheen in comparison to other highlighters such as the ones from Becca. I would not use this all over the skin, as it contains way too much shimmer. It is definitely a product to highlight the cheekbones and other high points of the face. I like using this when I want an understated glow during the daytime.

Incandescent Light Swatched and Sheered Out


The last one is Radiant Light. This shade is a warmer bronze with a sheen that is stronger than Dim Light but not as shimmery as Incandescent Light. Its purpose is to enhance the overall complexion and give it warmth. When applied all over the face, the shimmer is not detectable in indoor lighting, but can be seen in natural lighting. The bronze tone warms up my skin, but not to the point where someone would be able to notice that I’ve applied a warmer colour of powder than usual.

Radiant Light Swatched and Sheered Out


One thing that disappointed me was that my palette does not snap close properly, which means that I probably can’t take it on vacation unless I seal it closed with an elastic band. However, I probably just picked up one with a faulty case, as I haven’t heard anyone else complain about this.


Overall, I really love this palette, although I’m not entirely convinced that one needs all three. If there’s a particular ambient lighting powder that catches your eye, I would say buy just that one. The individual powders retail at $52 for 0.35 oz.


Have you tried any of the Ambient Lighting Powders? What do you think?


10 thoughts on “Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

  1. I’m thinking of the Dim Light for next VIB sale. There are mixed reviews about the powder for all over use, but I think I’ll like it especially for winter time. Have you used MAC’s Mineralize Skin Finish Natural powders? Since they’re both baked powders, I am curious how it compares.
    Oh poo on the packaging fail. You’d think for this much money they’d get THAT right.
    I couldn’t justify the palette though… $70 for around 10g of product. Ugh. That’s why I’ll stick with just the single compact.
    Thanks for the swatches and review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, so you didn’t end up getting it during this VIB sale! I think Dim Light is my favourite of the three. Yes, I have used MAC’s MSF Natural before! I prefer Dim Light better, because it gives a slightly more luminous finish, and the texture is more silky than the MSFs. However, when you factor in the price difference ($37 vs $52, both 0.35 ounces), it may or may not be worth it.
      I know, right? I was like, “I paid $70 for this and it doesn’t close properly?!”
      Yeah, the single compacts are a much better deal than the palette in terms of $/g, which is odd because it’s usually the other way around. I agree with you, if you definitely know which one you want to try, then just go for the single!


      • Nope, I didn’t get it this time around, I was GOOD. I did the one online order and that’s IT (will post next week!) I even went into the Sephora store and got nothing (one of my coworkers wanted to scope out perfumes so that had to be done in person – it was crazy in there during lunch, ugh). Good to know it’s more premium than MSFN – I do really like it but if the Hourglass is better, it might be a nice treat!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, I guess you did say that you were going to get less this time around because you knew you’d go all out in Japan! I avoid the Sephora store near my work during the sales if I can because it’s crazy there too. Whoo, hope you end up enjoying it whenever you buy it!


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