One of the Most-Coveted Items of 2013
I’m not one who normally gives in to hypes (okay, sometimes I do). Most of the time, it’d have been months or years till I discover a once hyped-up product to be a true gem worthy of all the praises. This particular palette got me all intrigued at first, but when everyone seemed to be love love love for it here, there, everywhere… my initial curiosity ultimately died down and I declared it a pass.
But then I just had to be active on Twitter during the Sephora
Friends & Family sale when people were going crazy for this palette that it actually sold out. I even had it in my cart during the sellout point, but instead of breathing a sigh of relief that maybe it just wasn’t for me, I felt a tiny hint of regret for not checking it out instead. Bea
(a fellow Ambient Palette hunter) and I to the direction of SpaceNk
and the rest is thanks to GCASH-AMEX Virtual Pay*
Follow the Light
Ever wonder why you sometimes look better under warm lighting such as in restaurants as compared to the harsher fluorescent lighting in school or in the office? That’s what the creator of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting palettes had in mind when she created these babies. Her line of powders are made to mimic those lighting effects so you can walk around as if you have a magical lightbox aimed at your face.
The much-coveted Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is a trio of those soft, finely-milled individual powders that are designed to give dimension to the face, after it has been evened out with foundation and further mattified with other products leaving the skin flat. I don’t know what kind of “state-of-the-art technology” they have going on but, these powders are made to simulate different lighting effects by diffusing, softening and tinting the skin. Insert magic lightbox here.
The trio includes two permanent shades in the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders – Dim Light and Radiant Light. The third one included is an all-new, exclusive and limited-edition shade, Incandescent Light. The individual powders cost $45 for 0.35oz, while the palette contains a total of 0.348oz of product with each shade containing 0.116oz or 3.3 g each.
To give you an idea, a Chanel baked blush contains 0.14oz each or 3.9g each. And while I’ve never hit pan on a Chanel blush, I can see why those who plan to use this palette daily may have some qualms on the tiny size. Personally, I find the palette overpriced to begin with, quantity aside.
Dim Light is a neutral beige toned powder that remains to be the only shimmer-free among the the three. To be honest, it doesn’t do much for my skintone. I use it all over and found that there’s not really any significant pore-blurring action. Maybe I’m using it wrong, but so far, Dim Light seems to act like a normal finely-milled powder on me. Updating this if I figure out how to use this one better.
I think what a dear reader and fellow blogger Rae
said rings true to what Dim does for me, too. It brings back a beautiful skin-like sheen after the face is mattified with foundation and other loose powders. Also, I’ve tried not using foundation beneath this, only sunblock and/or tinted moisturizer, and that’s when I saw how beautifully it works in setting the base without being powdery, as well as blurring the pores and super minor blemishes in sight.
Incandescent Light is a straight-up highlighter with a slightly pinkish beige that contains visible but very fine shimmer particles. You can see above how it glistens when the sun hits it directly but from afar, you won’t be able to see those shiny bits at all. On the skin, it almost becomes undetectable. It does give off a pretty visible sheen on the skin, though.
When I first applied it in a dim, not so well-lit room, I was afraid that it looked ashy and patchy on my skin. But stepping out of the darkness, I was surprised at how glowy I looked when I saw my reflection in mirrors wherever I went that day. I like how even my husband complimented me for having good skin that day, when in reality, I was still healing from a derma treatment. So, yes, I’m liking this highlighter more and more as I wear it.
Radiant Light is a golden beige that has slight shimmer particles but aren’t as visible as Incandescent Light. I thought I would like this the least because I’m not really a bronzing girl, but I
made forced it to work as a slight contour shade. Used unsparingly, it gives off a definite sunkissed look.
I like that it gives my tired and sullen face warmth and vibrance as if I’ve just come home from a 2-week Boracay vacation. I definitely use it sparingly, though, because I once used it a little too much and it made me unnaturally darker.
The powders and how they transform on the skin. Check the shimmer particles that are almost undetectable and how the powders meld into the skin.
I wore Dim all over, Incandescent on the top of the cheekbones, browbone and down the center of my nose, Radiant below the cheek area. I love how Incandescent looks barely there, a kind of glow you can’t really pinpoint or detect, but know in your gut is there. Radiant is a little too orangey for my contour tastes, but works for giving warmth that complements the pearly glow of Incandescent. Dim, as I’ve said above, I really can’t make anything of right now.
As if the above photo isn’t close enough, I leave you with an even more close-up photo of the powders in action (look past the bumps and whiteheads plz). See how Incandescent doesn’t enlarge pores and Radiant passing off as a contour shade.
I’m on the fence with this palette. While I do enjoy the beautiful effects it provides, I don’t see how it differs from other beautiful highlighters, powders, bronzers that are currently in the market. I have Burberry Nude Radiance that is much more pigmented than Incandescent, but provides the same glow I enjoy when I use the latter. Maybe I’m just using Dim wrong (see edit above), but if I were to use it as an all-over powder, I’d much rather go with my Meteorites, thank you. And as for Radiant Light, I like it because I don’t have a single bronzer in my stash so I’m enjoying experimenting with it. But if you have, let’s say, any of the Guerlain Terracotta bronzers, then I don’t see why you’d need Radiant still.
However, for those who don’t have a stash of highlighters, powders and bronzers in their collection and are looking for a versatile, all-in-one palette, then this would be a good buy. Not necessarily cheap, but the quality you pay for is definitely there. Also, I’ve been using the palette more often than I imagined because it’s just so convenient that all three powders used to finish, highlight and contour/bronze are all in one place.
One thing to note, how the powder looks vary from skintone to skintone so it is highly suggested you swatch these and try on the counter to see if it will work for you. For others, Dim creates a color cast, while others experience darkening of foundation.
Your thoughts on this Ambient Lighting Palette? Have you tried it? What are your favorite highlighters, finishing powders?
EDIT as of 4/04/2014: Final thoughts – I love this palette! Been using this almost everyday and I bring it with me everywhere, especially when I travel. It’s super convenient and I’ve learned how to properly apply Dim Light.
EDIT as of 08/26/2017: I’ve completely finished up this palette a year and some months ago. I have contemplated on repurchasing it many times as I have grown accustomed to using it as a touch up when I’m out since it’s so light and compact. Definitely one of my well-loved items!
*GCASH-AMEX Virtual Pay made this online purchase possible by giving me a US-based credit card with a US address complete with shipping straight to my doorstep. To know more about the service, I blogged about the process here. **I bought the palette myself at Sephora.com