Figuring Out The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette

hourglass ambient lighting palette review and how to use it

To say the hourglass ambient lighting powder is a hit product in 2014 is an understatement. It’s more like the “it product” in the beauty community, and its glory has never really faded away even throughout 2015. You see it being featured everywhere in the blogosphere and YouTube videos, with people swear by its magic, which to be honest, I didn’t understand for a very long time. For 6 months straight, it has been sitting in my makeup drawer without seeing any daylight. I even regretted getting it and was thinking of giving it away.

About a month ago, I decided to give it a try again after seeing it appears in multiple YouTuers’ videos repeatedly. And I finally get it now, I finally understand how to use every single shade in the palette and learned the key for me is to find the right brush for different purposes. I have been using it every day for the last couple of weeks straight, and now I cannot be happier to have this in my collection.  

hourglass ambient lighting palette review

hourglass ambient lighting palette review

Start with the radiant light, this is the shade I have used the most in the past with a big fluffy brush as an all-over-the-face finishing powder, and under eye setting powder. I wasn’t particularly happy with the result. Even though it indeed is a super finely milled powder, it still settles into my under eye fine lines (disclaimer: I do have extremely annoying dry under eye) towards the second half of the day. As for the all-over-the-face part, I didn’t see the ambient lighting effect on my face either, I cannot pinpoint what’s not good about it, it just didn’t wow me.

Now, I replaced the big fluffy brush with the Sephora Pro contour brush #79 (I’m in love with this brush) and changed up the application. Instead of dusting it all over the face, I use this brush to only lightly tap on the center of my forehead, by the side of my nose, around the chin and dust it over blushes as a blush topper. This just gives the most subtle radiant lighting effect ever. It doesn’t mattify my face, but prevents it from getting too shiny or oily in the late afternoon.

For the incandescent light, it has been my go to everyday highlighter ever since I found its match in heaven – the Inglot 4SS brush. It’s a very subtle highlighter and contains no shimmer (or or glitter, so without the right brush, it can be too subtle to make a difference. The Inglot 4SS brush is designed for eyeshadow application, but I find to be perfect for cheek bone highlighting. It’s small enough to place the highlighting powder exactly where you want it to be, dense enough to pick the right amount of product, and fluffy enough to blend out and distribute the powder beautifully. Together, they are the dream highlighting team.

Dim light was the most challenging shade for me to find its use, it’s too dark to be setting powder and too light to be bronzer. So for the longest time, I have neglected it completely. Until the other day I was chatting to a sales associate in Mecca cosmetica when I was in Sydney, she told me she uses this as a bronzer topper along the hairline. I was like, that’s brilliant, cannot believe I have never thought of that! So I tried it immediately after getting back home, paired it with the large Bobbi Brown bronzer brush and applied it just the way she advised me to (along the hairline), and also lightly dusted it on my nose. It’s very subtle but makes a huge difference. Needless to say, now I have been doing this every day when I apply makeup.

And it gets even better! Just two weeks, I found another way of using the palette – as eyeshadows. With M.A.C 217 brush, I would either take only the dim light, or mix the dim light together with the radiant light and swipe them all over eyelids as one wash of eyeshadow. It just gives the most subtle, yet noticeable difference (perhaps only noticeable to myself) to my eyes. I’m so addicted to the effect of it that I just want to sing every time I use it.

Now I’m completely hooked on this palette, and having been thinking that if I go to the States next time, I may need to pick up the ethereal light. Or even better, visit the hourglass store and get a customized ambient lighting palette!