Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Review

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Review

Sometime last year, Hourglass released Ambient Lighting Powders – finishing powders with a “play of lights” theme. The powders come in 6 hues – to create effect of different light on your skin surface. Something which would make people turn around and ask you – hey, what’s your skincare secret? When they released, it created quite a buzz, but all hysteria broke lose when they released a limited edition palette with 3 different shades of powder for the Holiday collection. It was quickly sold-out! Which made Hourglass think again and re-release the palette again – this time as a permanent piece! And all of us who were dying to get our hands on it, took a collective sigh of relief! I finally got my hands on this 2 weeks back and kept playing with it and I feel I am ready to review it now.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Product Details:

What it is:

A palette featuring three shades of Ambient Lighting Powder, the high-tech, soft-focus finishing powder that recreates the most exquisitely flattering types of light.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

What it does:

Ambient Lighting Powder is a groundbreaking collection of finishing powders that capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on skin. Unlike traditional powders, which merely cloak imperfections, Ambient Lighting Powder utilizes photoluminescent technology to filter out harsh light and refine the appearance of the complexion. The powders deliver a multidimensional luminescence to every skintone, making it appear softer and lit from within. The finishing powders enhance skin in any type of light, including flash photography. With three universal shades available in the Ambient palette, you can create any desired effect. It is formulated without parabens.


$58.00 in US for 3.3gms X 3.  I paid about INR 5800 for procuring it from US.


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette


The compact is a metallic looking plastic case – sleek and shiny like a new toy. It is very light since it’s plastic.  It’s pretty much a fingerprint magnet – which is irritating. Wish it came with a velvet pouch to keep it scratch and fingerprint free! The palette has a big mirror, however, no brush.  Overall, the packaging looks sleek and luxe, but does not have the heft which is generally associated with a luxe product.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

My Experience with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette:

Ambient lighting powders fall in a whole new category of products, it’s not a setting powder (though can be used as one), it’s not a highlighter (though can be used as one again). It’s a finishing powder, something you apply after you have applied all else on your face – to bring “light” back to your skin.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

The only other product which comes to mind in this category is Guerlain Meteorite Voyage compact or the Guerlain Meteorite Pearls. While the Guerlain compact comes in one universal colour, Ambient lights powder is different in the sense that it has various shades creating various effects on face. The effect is very very subtle. So, don’t expect a landmark change.

The palette has three shades:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette 5


Dim Light: It’s a neutral peach beige powder that blurs imperfections and highlights the complexion. This one is totally devoid of any shimmer. The peachiness is barely there, it’s in comparison to other shades. On its own, it’s translucent and blurs the skin making it looked photo-shopped. This can be used all over the face for a barely their light, something which just says that your skin is better than it actually is.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Incandescent Light: It’s an opalescent pearl powder that brightens the complexion with a celestial glow. This shade is exclusive to the palette and is not available in individual pan. It’s the brightest amongst the three. There is extremely fine – when I say extremely, it’s minutest – of shimmer. The pearly shimmer instantly brightens the face. This one can be used all over the face or on high points of the face like bridge of the nose, arc of the eyebrow and high point of the cheeks.  This does not mean that it is a highlighter, it isn’t.  It’s still a finishing powder, but can be used as a subtle highlighter due to its subtly bright pearly shimmer.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Radiant Light:  It’s a sun-kissed golden beige powder that enhances the complexion with believable, subtle warmth. This one is my favorite amongst the three – it’s a GORGEOUS golden beige hue with minute golden shimmer. On our medium tan skin (I am NC 30-35 in MAC), it can be used all over the face to give a translucent barely-there sun-kissed look. On the fairer, Caucasian skin tones, this could work as a very subtle highlighter. Alternatively, it can be used over a bronzer to add dimension to it and brighten the face and make it look – well – radiant!! In terms of texture, the product is extremely finely milled and smooth.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette 5


To sum this up for you:

Pros of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette:

  • Extremely finely-milled and smooth.
  • Gives a “lit from within” look.
  • Blurs imperfections.
  • Makes the face look brighter.
  • Brings back life to the skin, especially if you have been using a lot of mattifying products.
  • Easy to apply with a fluffy brush, I use my MAC 109.
  • Can be used as a finishing powder, a subtle highlighter or a setting powder and for Caucasian skin, even a subtle bronzer.
  • It does not make the skin look dry, patchy, blotchy or white.
  • Did not break me out.
  • You get to try 3 products through a single palette.
  • Talc free.
  • Paraben free.
  • Nano particle free.
  • Fragrance free, gluten free.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Cons of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette:

  • Not available in India.
  • Wish it came with a velvet pouch, to avoid scratches on the case.
  • Only 9.9 gm of product.
  • Kicks up a little dust in the pan, which might be due to the brush being used. The recommended brush is another Hourglass product made especially to apply these. Priced at $35, I don’t think I am trying it any time soon!!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette 5


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette 5



IMBB Rating:


I am enjoying this play of lights! It’s as lovely as it’s intriguing. The results are obviously very subtle, so don’t expect a bam! Is it absolutely necessary to have this – NO. It’s a product to buy if you have extra cash to splurge on.  It’s not a need to have product. As a palette, it’s expensive, it’s per gm cost is absurd. However, you do get to try 3 products here. Individual shades cost about $45 each.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder – Dim Light
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Diffused Heat
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure
L’Oreal Color Infaillible Eyeshadow in Hourglass Beige
Clinique Up-lighting Liquid Illuminator- Natural
L’Oreal White Perfect Re-Lighting Whitening Toner
MUA Professional Heaven and Earth Eyeshadow Palette
Coastal Scents 88 Color Eye Shadow Palette
Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette in Naked
Urban Decay Naked Palette
Sleek Makeup Oh So Special Eyeshadow Palette


20 thoughts on “Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Review

  1. KK, thanks for introducing such a variety of new products to us. This is a very interesting product. *clap* Enjoyed the review as always.

  2. Great idea for a radiant powder sort of thing and all three colors are absolutely loveable. i really liked your honest verdict that this isn’t a must have, it is all about your fondness for makeup and new products. however, things are getting too pricey, isn’t it specially when we procure from USA or Europe…great review KK and clicks are extra ordinarily good *clap*

    1. Thanks Sumera for your sweet words! Yes, procuring things from US and Europe is getting easier but much more expensive. Sometimes i wonder if its worth it all!! 🙁

      1. exactly KK, i am also feeling that i am making purchases as an addiction only!! btw, which cam do you use, such a professional photography, need tips from you 🙂

  3. Woooow…theis looks so pretty and i haven’t heard of a finishing powder…thanku so much for makin me aware of this product *jai ho*

  4. Was waiting on a review on this for so long… This is such an amazing product..m soo tempted to get these in every shade .. Great review but its a little confusing since ur reviews say Radiant light but ur photo captions say Diffused Light…

    1. Thanks for pointing it out Neha! Its a miss from my end…I think I had Diffused Light on my mind!! The shade in the palette is Radiant Light – I have requested IMBB to update the review with fresh pics that i have sent them.

  5. Aah much awaited product kk. *clap* u totally convinced me to try it. N hats off for ur detailed review n superb clicks.. *clap* *clap* superb post as always kk.

      1. Sure dear though am not getting it before 2014 btw… *haan ji* am just loving their pics n reviews *happydance*

  6. Superb review n clicks are really awesume….. *clap* but the product isn’t for me as I don’t use such things…. *nababana*

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