Hourglass: Ambient Lighting Palette

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Hourglass is a high end brand that does not reach the Philippines yet, they are known to create remarkable highlighters and blushes. I got this pre-loved slightly used palette from a friend. It did not came with a box and the primer but still...a palette is still a palette! 

Its my first high-end highlighter. I usually use The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer for everyday use (that I haven't shared my review yet because I got mine broken and its now in pieces and I was not able to take a picture while it is still brand new...lol). However, Hourglass is really not designed to highlight, its actually used for setting the makeup like a finishing powder but of course, creativity comes with beauty junkies and it was discovered that it also works as a great highlighter and that is how it became a hit. 

Anyway, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is actually a limited edition palette because they combined two regular shades and one limited edition shade which is the Incandescent Light in this one palette.  This palette is considered one of the most coveted makeup for the year 2013. 

The owner of Hourglass designed this palette to create dimensions of for the face and each powder has its own unique lighting effect. Depending on what powder you use and the light that hits your face, it all has a different outcome. 

Left to right: Dim Light, Incandescent Light and Radiant Light

Are you excited to check it out now? Let us get into details with my review. 

Brand: Hourglass

Type: Ambient Lighting Palette

Edition: Limited

Weight: 3.3g each powder

Product Description: (From Hourglass' Website) Create your perfect light with this palette featuring three shades of Ambient® Lighting Powder, which utilize Photoluminescent Technology to filter out harsh light and refine the appearance of the complexion. Each of these high-tech, soft-focus finishing powders recreate an exquisitely flattering light source. The powders can be applied individually or layered to imbue skin with a multidimensional glow.

Palette includes 3 shades:
• DIM LIGHT: A neutral peach beige powder that blurs imperfections and highlights a radiant complexion with the perfect balance of warm and cool tones. 
• INCANDESCENT LIGHT (exclusive to the palette): An opalescent pearl powder that brightens the complexion with a celestial glow. 
• RADIANT LIGHT: A sun-kissed golden beige that enhances the overall complexion with believable, subtle warmth, and also extends a summer glow.

Ingredients: (From Hourglass Website) Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Silica, Octyldodecanol, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sorbitan Sesquioleate,Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Potassium Sorbate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Laureth-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Iron Oxide (CI 77499), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850)

How To Use: (From Hourglass Website) 
1. Dust Dim Light all over the complexion but focus on the center of the face to soften imperfections. 2. Add Radiant Light as a contour under the cheekbones, on the temples and on either side of the bridge of the nose. 
3. Finish off with a light dusting of Incandescent Light on the tops of the cheekbones, under the brow, on the center of the eyelids, the bridge of the nose and the cupid’s bow to brighten the complexion. 

*For deeper skin tones, test the product on your skin and make adjustments by adding Radiant Light for more warmth.


I get three different variants in one palette. Depending on my mood, I can play around with the shades that can match it. I can use it both on day and night. Since it has three different shades, I can use them too all at once. Each part of my face can use different lighting powder. Like what Hourglass stated, this powder is multi-dimensional. Since it has three shades, it can work for all skin types and tones. 

I get compliments whenever I use it, some always asks me on what skincare routine I am practicing when in fact this is the only difference that I add on my usual makeup everyday. 

The illuminating properties of this powder when I apply it on my face looks natural. Unlike my Mary-Lou Manizer which looks that I obviously used a strobing technique, this Hourglass Ambient makes it looks like its your natural skin. The way it glows and absorbed by the skin looks subtle that it makes my skin look like its naturally beautiful. It also does not react harshly to flashes of camera. I tried to capture it with my camera but its hard to get the right angle but when seen actual, its really nice. (photos below)

I did not experience any breakouts nor oiliness on my face while I am using this. 

The powder is free from parabens, fragrance, talc, nanoparticles, gluten and most importantly its not tested on animals. 

Among the three shades, the Dim Light looks most natural and it also has the least shimmery effect on it. According to Hourglass, this is designed to blur imperfections. This shade is actually the one that can be used as a finishing powder. It reminded me of Guerlain Meteorites. 

The Incandescent Light, which is exclusive to this palette only has the most shimmering look when applied on my skin. This one is closer to what The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer looks like when applied. It has a usual strobing powder look. Hourglass describes it to create a celestial glow. 

The last powder, Radiant Light reminds me of a bronzer. It has a shimmer but more golden that it looks like a regular bronzer. It has a slight shimmer on it. This powder creates a warm radiance. 

The powder feels silky smooth on skin. 


Expensive. Limited edition. Hourglass is not yet readily available in the Philippines. 

It does not last long. It sets the skin right but the glow actually disappears after at least four hours. If I wanted to maintain that glowing look, I needed to take this with me for re-touch. The package originally came with a primer, so I guess it will last longer if I use one. However, I got this as a pre-loved and it did not came with the primer. 

The powder is so soft that when I use a brush with hard bristles, it damages the powder and takes too much product. So be careful in using it. Even though I already use a soft bristled brush, the dust powders gets all over the palette that it looks messy and I need to clean it every after use. 


According to my swatches, what powder is your favorite and what is the one that looks actually nice on me? :)

Buy again? 100%

Overall Rating: 5/5

Price: $58 (Around 2500php+)

Where to buy? Try looking for online re-sellers. Its already sold out at Hourglass. 

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