Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Hourglass Ambient lighting powder palettehourglass Ambient lighting powder palettehourglass ambient lighting powder paletteHourglass ambient lighting powder palette

4.4

75 reviews

72% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.4

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.4

Price: $$$$

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Age: 36-43

Skin: Oily, Fair, Cool

Hair: Red, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Ladies, if you want this you'd better get it! It sold out at Sephora during the 20% off sale but I just checked and it's still available on Hourglass's website. But you may want to read my comments on the value of this vs. the individual powders below.

I've lemmed these powders since they came out and couldn't justify the price, especially when I couldn't figure out which color to get, and the claims just seem so unbelievable. Unfortunately, you get much less product with this palette (0.116 oz, or 3.3g) for $58.00, vs. a single powder with 0.35 oz, or approximately 11 grams, for $45.00. Personally, I have yet to hit pan on a highlighter since you have to apply them with such a light hand; also, I preferred to have the 3 options. So I don't regret the decision to get the palette.

I find the packaging to be quite chic, in the metallic brown that is Hourglass's packaging hallmark. It does take fingerprints like crazy. It's a heavy duty plastic with a strong closure, and comes with a nicely sized mirror. Btw, the powders don't have any chalkiness of fallout so they don't muck up the mirror much at all.

I found after some experimentation that they do in fact create subtle but different effects on my skin. I have fair-to-light skin, neutral in tone, that has a lot of redness to cover. None of these played a role in camouflaging redness in any way, and they don't claim to. They are all very, very finely milled. You won't find any glitter here, but the shimmery varies from shade to shade. Here's what I discovered about each shade, going from the left to right side of the palette:

Dim Light: the only one of the three that has absolutely no shimmer. A completely neutral beige tone. Of the three, this is probably the one that truly acted as a straight up finishing powder. It blurred away some large pores and texture issues well. I used it over Revlon Colorstay Whipped, and it just puts some radiance back into my skin after the mattifying affect of the foundation. On a good skin day I actually wore this without any foundation and it looked beautiful, just taking the pores down a notch and making me look like I just had sex. Probably my favorite shade in this palette, and the one I'd be most likely to repurchase if I ran out. Love it!

Incandescent Light: pretty much a straight-up highlighter. This has the teeniest bits of microshimmer, and it's a very pale pearly cream color, maybe with the slightest touch of peach. Didn't emphasize pores at all. If you really packed it on, it probably would, but you would have to use a trowel. Definitely my new favorite highlighter, but I don't know if I'd buy it separately for $45.00. Not that it matters, as this shade can only be bought in this palette and isn't sold individually.

Radiant Light: such a cool powder! This had probably the most noticeable color on my skin, as it's a slightly tawny gold and I have absolutely no yellow undertone in my face. It also has some microshimmer, but you won't see "glitter" when you apply it. I kind of use it as a bronzer, as it just warms my skin up a teeny bit.

I will say, this is in no way a must-have. It will not cover blemishes, or completely eliminate pores or do anything dramatic. The effects are very, very subtle. I had to play around with them for a couple of weeks to figure out how each shade would work for me and what role it would play in my makeup routine. I'm sorry, but there's just no easy or definite answer to the question, "Should I get this?" Factor in your own skin type and tone, and divide that by the money factor and maybe you'll get your answer. Or if, like me, you just WANT it, you may find an excuse to treat yourself. :)

32 of 33 people found this helpful.



Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This is a limited edition product & I think a lot of people are excited about this, so here we go...

The first thing you need to know about this palette is that it's extremely SMALL. It's about as wide and only slightly longer than an iPhone 4. The pans of product themselves are only a little larger than, say, a Laura Mercier eye shadow single. Nowhere on any website could I find in the product description exactly how much product each pan contained which I thought was a bit shady. Thankfully Karen over @ Makeupandbeautyblog had the details: "you get three pans of 0.116 ounces for a total of 0.348 ounces of powder for about 20% more that the cost of a single full-sized one". Definitely keep this in mind if you're thinking about purchasing this palette! Also, for $58 the packaging feels quite flimsy, IMO. While the design is beautiful, there's little to no weight to it.

I purchased this palette because I had never tried any of the Ambient Lighting powders so I thought this would be a great way to try them. These powders are outstanding! They're very silky & smooth and have excellent longevity. Dim light gives a lovely airbrushed look to the skin, Radiant light is great for warming up the skin, and the new shade Incandescent light is a STUNNING highlight. I will absolutely be using these powders in my every day routine so I'm glad I have it. You can definitely carry this palette in your purse for touch ups (it does include a nice mirror) but to be honest the powders set my make-up so well that I didn't need to touch up my face the entire day.

That being said - if I did not fall completely in love with all three of these powders I would return this palette to Sephora because of the above complaints. I think this palette is quite over priced. If I didn't pay for the majority of this item with a gift card I would feel extremely slighted by the size of the product. I think this would be easier to stomach at a $45-50 price point but at nearly $60 you're paying more for less. The palette also comes with a sample of the Mineral Veil primer which comes with quite a generous amount of product & works great - but still, SIXTY DOLLARS. I would highly recommend checking this palette out in stores rather than ordering it online because you may be disappointed in the size.

24 of 26 people found this helpful.


on 6/5/2014 6:31:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I was wary about buying this palette for months. I read dozens of reviews. It is semi-expensive, and as a really pale (NC15) neutrally-complected gal with zero bronzer needs or skills, I was not sure how much I'd actually use it. SO GLAD I FINALLY BOUGHT THIS; HOLY GRAIL STATUS.

I use the darker shade to contour and as other reviewers have mentioned, it works beautifully with no glitter or weird oxidization. The middle shade gives a lovely burnished blend, and the lightest is a subtle, lovely highlight for cheekbones, inner eye corners, and Cupid's bows. I am 46 years-old and have no desire to use glittery makeup, draw attention to flaws, or look oily or obvious in any way. This applies so smoothly and softly it is truly akin to a high-end luxury item. I never go wrong with it. I have used the shades on my eyes, neck, collarbones, and on my dcollet. Always delicate and pretty without looking like I'm headed to the club.

I can't recommend this palette enough. There is an intangible sheen that we ladies have when we are young and though it fades slowly, it does fade. No amount of dermatology procedures, peels, facials, sunscreen, or expensive moisturizers can preserve the glow a 16- to 34- year old wears naturally. The lightest shade here gives me the closest possible result to achieving my lost gleam. The powders all photograph nicely as well, no shiny shocker selfies to embarrass later on. It is a great contour/highlight product, even for PPP girls like me. It is so blendable and soft I can do a blush over top without looking like a clown. If you want to have some color, but look polished, together, and natural, this is a key palette to have.

The only problem with this product is that you will likely feel compelled, as I do, to go and purchase ambient lighting powders and the marvelous ambient blushes in every shade they make. I look forward to seeing what Hourglass comes up with next.

21 of 21 people found this helpful.


on 10/21/2013 1:22:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I own A LOT of highlighters, mostly because I was searching for this one. I couldn't resist the opportunity to try three in a palette, so rushed to Sephora to pick it up.

Dim light is the one I used all over my face as a finishing powder. It blurred fine lines and pores, while giving a bit of a dewy look to my face. I used the other two more specifically...The lighter color as a highlighter and bronzy one under my blush and bronzer. When all three are on my face I am really fabulous. I don't find the quantity small..I think this will last at least 10 months to a year with daily use....The price? Yes it's expensive, but I can justify with all the money I've wasted on lesser products. Mind you I can justify anything I really like, and I really like this. Even the packaging is stellar. Was toying with buying the new Guerlain Crazy in Paris, but I just don't see how it could beat this one...who am I kidding? I know I'll buy the Guerlain one, too. You can't glow enough.

15 of 16 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Green

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is possibly the most decadent, over the top, unnecessary make up product in all of my make up collection, but since everybody and their mother seems to be talking about these right now I felt compelled to go and buy it.
I know that a lot of people love the powders and the blushes but from most of the reviews I read a lot of people suggested buying this palette first to get an idea of what to expect, so I did exactly that. You get three beautiful shades called Dim Light, Incandescent Light (limited edition) & Radiant Light.
At first, like most others, I assumed this to be a highlighter palette, but it is in fact finishing powders designed to enhance and flatter your skin. The 'healthy glow effect' if you will. I was a little bit scared when I first found out they were finishing powders, I like dewy glowy skin as much as the next person but the sheer amount of shimmer in them made me feel a little like I was going to look as though I'd been smacked in the face with glitter. I could not be more wrong though.
Pretty much what they are designed to do is bring the life back into the face after you've done all your make up. They are not setting powders; seeing as setting powders are mostly designed to mattify and keep the make up in place. They simply finish the face to give you a subtle glow that sometimes we take away by using matte products all the time.
Anyway, the shades themselves are as follows:
. Dim Light- This is a very neutral toned pale beige shade, with very pale subtle satiny sheen. When applied to the skin, in neither darkened nor lightened my face at all, hence the neutral tone making it almost translucent. It just gives you a little bit of 'health' back into the face, it is also the least shimmery of the three in the palette.
. Incandescent Light- Again a very pale beige ivory shade with white shimmer running through it, and very neutral toned once again. This is probably the only shade in the palette designed to be placed on the high points of the face like cheekbones, nose bridge and cupids bow. Its pearlescent shimmer makes it one of the prettiest highlighters I own.
. Radiant Light- This is a peachy orange shade that looks a little like it could be a very pale bronzer for a fair person like me but it is still a finishing powder. It a light to medium tone, so for fair skinned people this will make you look a bit warmer, because again it blends out so it doesn't make you look orange or anything like that. I actually find this accompanies a bronzer very well though, it makes it look more glowy and sheeny and beautiful.
The main reason why I say this palette is 'decadent' is because you don't need a finishing powder, although it has changed my make up dramatically, its not necessary for use every day. Plus it is ridiculously expensive, if I were on a budget this would be the first thing I'd cut out, but on the flip side the quality is unreal. The powders are so soft and delicate to the touch and you don't need a lot of the product so it should last you a good while, seeing as you don't need to pack it on to make a difference.
Overall, I love it. It gives a gorgeous glow and people have commented that my skin looks healthier and radiant on more than one occasion which makes me feel good about having spent the money on it. Would most definitely recommend, not sure if I'd be able to afford repurchase all the time but I probably will be buying more from the line.

14 of 14 people found this helpful.


on 2/7/2015 4:31:00 AM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

Love it! No animal testing (thankyou Hourglass as this has started to be a dealbreaker for me) and all three colours in the palette are purrrfect! I purchased it with a Christmas voucher and if I could walk around with a handmirror to admire myself - I would! But don't/can't. I use the Radiant Light ( hope I'm reading the names underneath in the correct order) lightly over my foundation with a big powder brush which wipes a few years off, then the middle one Incandescent across my eyelids with a fat eyeshadow brush and top of my cheekbones and cupid's bow then the Dim Light as a contour using a buffing brush. Takes 2 minutes, looks amazing and lasts all day. Someone at work actually said " what have you done? you look good" ( thanks I think!). I'm delighted! My skin colour is basic beige ( Chanel #30 usually during our Aussie summer), combination - oh forgot to say I'm not shining at lunchtime either now but I did reapply one night when I got home just to see it caked/got heavy/looked dreadful and it didn't. Its FABULOUS!

12 of 13 people found this helpful.


on 4/22/2014 3:07:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

The one reviewer gave a great description of the product but I'm going to take this a little different for us gals a bit older and a little more afraid of too much shimmer. I've been wanting to try the Dim light powder as the color and effect appealed to me. But at $45 I kept balking. Then I came across this beauty on Sephora and getting 3 for $59 especially with the one color only being available in the pallet sold me. I think this product is the bomb for mature skin and gives radiance without making you look like a disco ball.

The pallet is long a beautiful brown metallic in look and very sturdy. The product itself is small but you do not need to use a lot and unless you are covering your body in this it should last quite a while the colors are:

Dim light - a beige non shimmer that I won't say mattifies because would indicate the look is flat it's not. It's a VERY subtle illumination of the skin. I use it after makeup and even take it down into my decolletage if I want something subtle. The only skin tone that might have a little trouble with this is olive but then again I think it depends on the individual.

Incandescent - a subtle shimmer and the brightest of the 3. It doesn't show up white on me but a creamy slightly shimmer. I use it under my eyes around my hairline in my cupids bow or under my lower lip. I've also use this in my decolletage for a little punch. This is not chunky glitter but more of a bright glow. This shade is exclusive to the pallet only.

Radiant - a peachy warm toned shimmer. I love it on my neutral skin over my blush and in my hair line. This one I will probably use the least but I'm experimenting still. Again the shimmer is so subtle mature skin can use it without feeling like they've overdone the shimmer

I love this pallet and glad I decided to try the hour glass products this way. If the pallet is available when I need a refill I will repurchase it. If not I will probably purchase Dim light only. I agree with the other reviewer it's not necessarily a must have however if you are looking for a highlighter the 3 of these if you split them down are about the cost of a regular good highlighter and you will not need to use much to get the desired effect.

12 of 13 people found this helpful.


on 11/12/2014 2:00:00 PM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I bought this, and the Ambient Blush palette during the Sephora VIB sale. The price --- very steep. This is probably one of the most expensive makeup products I've ever bought, but I decided to splurge. When I first opened it up, I was a little skeptical. The packaging is plastic; durable, but I feel that for the price, it should be more sturdy. It does collect fingerprints. But, it's pretty and sleek.

The powders themselves don't look like much, even when swatched. HOWEVER, when I tried this on my face... really beautiful. The first color, Dim Light, is what I use all over my face to set my foundation. I use a fluffy blush, and a little goes a long way. Next, I use Luminous Light to highlight (using the same fluffy brush) and it just adds a really pretty glow. If you're looking for a really intense, noticeable highlighter -- this is not it. It seems like people are expecting this to be very intense, but it's not. I also use a bit of this under my eyes to set my concealer. Next, I use Radiant Light as a bronzer of sorts, to sort of warm up my face (under cheekbones, down my nose, around temples) and it adds a lovely warmth to my fair skin, while still looking nice and not muddy, like most bronzers look on me.

This is about the 5th day I've used this stuff, and I can't get over how NICE it makes my skin look. I look so polished. I use it with the Ambient Lighting Blushes, and I think the combo is awesome.

So, like I said: Pricey, but I don't regret buying this stuff for a minute. It really makes my makeup look awesome. If you want to treat yourself, buy this! I feel that with daily use, it will last quite a while because a little really does go a long way.

11 of 12 people found this helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Grey

I use every one of these powders and love the quality of each. Dim is an amazing all-over finishing powder for my fair, aging skin that appreciates the slight blurring effect. Luminous is my only favored highlighter, as it is subtle and doesn't emphasize the fine lines. Radiant is too warm for a winter bronzer or contour for me but worked great as blush/ bronzer in summer, and I'm looking forward to seeing if it continues to provide a subtle nude blush in winter. It has a pink tinge that I much prefer to more orange-skewing bronzers.

I will likely use up Dim first and will absolutely repurchase, as it's really exceptional and the one "must have" of the palette.

My only complaint about the palette is minor: I find the pan sizes to be too small to accommodate most of my powder brushes without dipping into the neighboring pans. Not a deal breaker, but it does make it less convenient than individual compacts would be.

11 of 12 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

I did not want to love this palette, and because I already own the "Ethereal Light" ambient powder, which is pretty, but I rarely use it, I was planning on ignoring it....HOWever, I was in Sephora the other day and while walking out, it caught my eye (Like a shining beacon of light!) and I felt myself floating over to the display. I slapped on the "Incandescent Light" under my eyes (think cheekbone area) and left the store. The whole way home and all day long, I kept looking in the mirror admiring my skin, which looked absolutely flawless, radiant and poreless. I kept trying to talk myself out of returning to Sephora, and telling myself that I had dupes available (i.e. Smashbox Halo powder, Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight, etc etc), but that did not convince me. Nothing I have ever seen imitates the beautiful pinkish/yellowish/glowing product. SO, long story short, I went back and owned this palette. I absolutely LOVE it, the Incandescent light goes with anything I am wearing on my face (foundation, powder, or nothing), the Dim Light melts into my skin and works as a setting powder, making my skin flawless. The only thing is that I haven't quite figured out how to use the third color, however I am sure I will. Great product, expensive, yes, but way worth it!!

9 of 9 people found this helpful.


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