I’m a little late to the party on this one, but better late than never. And Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder has just been released in a trio palette of shades that will be a permanent part of the product lineup. But I bought mine two days before the trio palette was launched. Isn’t that always the way?
I’ve been hearing about this Holy Grail powder for ages. It’s pricey, and it didn’t seem like a necessity so I waited, and when I got my 15% off coupon for Sephora’s recent Beauty Insiders promotion, I bought it.
So what is Hourglass Ambient Light Powder? Hourglass describes it as “A wardrobe of six universal finishing powders that recreate the most exquisitely flattering light.” It “captures, diffuses and softens the way light reflects on your skin.” It has “photoluminescent technology to filter out harsh light and refine the appearance of the skin”.
Some folks describe Ambient Lighting Powder as a “setting powder” to help your foundation stay on longer and better, while others say it’s not a setting powder, but a powder to apply on top of a setting powder to provide a soft focus, flawless finish. That sounds like a lot of layers to me, but whatever. I’ve tried it both ways: as a finishing powder on top of a setting powder or alone, and it doesn’t seem to matter for me. I have dry skin, but thankfully, it doesn’t settle into my lines.
The Ambient Lighting Powder is very finely milled, and it’s as light as spun sugar. It really does provide a lovely, silky, more flawless looking finish than not using it. I don’t know that I can tell the difference between using this or using a regular setting powder, but I know others believe there is a difference.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder line comes in a variety shades, and I found it difficult to determine which to buy:
- Luminous Light: champagne pearl powder that creates a soft, incandescent candlelit glow—day or night.
- Radiant Light: A sun-kissed golden beige that enhances the overall complexion with believable, subtle warmth
- Mood Light: soft, sheer lavender pink powder that mimics the softest, most forgiving light and brightens the complexion.
- Ethereal Light: opalescent sheer, cool white powder: A sheer, cool tone that eliminates shine and mimics a moonlit glow—even in broad daylight.
- Diffused Light: soft, warm pale yellow powder: A soft, warm, pale yellow that reduces redness, eliminates shine, and gives skin clarity.
- Dim Light: neutral peach beige powder that provides a perfect balance of warm and cool tones to blur imperfections.
Based on the descriptions from Hourglass, I thought I would probably buy Diffused Light since I have naturally pinkish cool skin, and I thought Diffused Light would tone down the pink and warm up my skin. I also liked the sound of Ethereal and Mood Lights. But I wasn’t sure, so I asked one of the SAs at Sephora for help. He is a makeup artist, and he was adamant that I buy Luminous Light.
Luminous Light was not the one I intended to buy based on my own research, but I figured he knows more about makeup application than I do. He was a big believer in the pearliness of Luminous Light (which I think is the most pearlescent in the line) that he thought makes everyone look better. On my skin, the pearl is subtle.
Ambient LIghting Powder singles come in a pretty metallic plastic compact that unfortunately shows fingerprints. The size is 0.35 oz/10 grams. It’s made in Italy. Ambient is free of talc, gluten, fragrance, parabens, and nano particles. The price is $45. It does not come with a brush, but they will gladly sell you the Ambient Powder brush made to go with it for $35. I passed and use a blush brush that I already own.
As I mentioned, shortly after I bought my Luminous Light powder, Hourglass revived a popular limited edition Ambient Light Lighting Palette trio that originally came out during the holiday season. The new trio palette includes Incandescent Light, a shade exclusive to this palette, and two existing shades, Dim Light and Radiant Light.
If I had warm-toned skin, I would definitely go with this palette so I could try out the three shades. The price is $58.
Have you tried Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders? What shade or shades did you try? What do you think?