A Completely Honest Review of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes

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h2h3hourglass ambient lighting blush review swatches

Most hyped up range of blushes, yes?

Are you tired of reading reviews and seeing swatches of these marbly things already? I am. But I still read through them, nevertheless. I wasn’t at all enticed by these as I know they’re just ordinary blushes with the massive hype to back them up. In my mind, blush is blush – how else can you revolutionize it? (Watch as I eat my words when xx years from now, some kind of formula is concocted wherein your blush changes with your mood with no reapplication or removal necessary)
Instead, I had a “blogger” moment and was overcome with the feeling of wanting to “try it out” so I could confirm or dispel what’s being said. One of the very few times I felt compelled to buy and tell myself – “it’s for the sake of the blog!” This happens rarely as I don’t buy things I’m hesitant I would like. Usually, it’s the other way around – I’m confident I’ll love the product so I dive right in to purchase yet end up hating it or feeling as it’s a total waste of $$.
P.S. – Don’t you love~ my always-conflicted consumer decisions and ramblings at the beginning of these reviews? I know they’re pointless but that’s the heart of this blog. Those irrational consumer choices and the hopes of someday rehabilitating them. Though having this blog is actually reinforcing the former. Acknowledgment is the first step, Shari.
P.P.S – Picture and swatch heavy after the jump!
hourglass ambient lighting blush review swatcheshourglass ambient lighting blush review swatcheshourglass ambient lighting blush review swatcheshourglass ambient lighting blushes

The Lowdown

Shades. It seems like I am always doomed to choose the lightest shades, no? Which in this range would be redundant as the blushes are designed to be toned down with the powder infusion happening (except Radiant Magenta which is just POP!). For my medium olive-ish skintone, I already knew Ethereal Glow (light cool pink) would be too light… but I’ve been wanting to try the Ethereal Light Ambient Powder so that’s that.
Dim Infusion (subdued peach coral) is the only shade which I really wanted as it looks unlike all the rest. Diffused Heat (vibrant poppy) is the ‘compensate’ shade – just in case the first two don’t show up on me. Seeing a pattern on my blush choices here. Cue in the Rouge Bunny Rouge blushes scenario.
Packaging. A shiny thing of plastic gold. I wish it were made of metal so you’d feel the weight of your purchase, but then that would be a hassle to take with everywhere so I guess its lightness and compactness is a good thing here. I mean, I could just imagine if they weighed like the Guerlain Rouge Gs and L’Extraits…
Texture & Finish. It is a dense dry powder that verges on chalky, to be real honest, but I guess that’s the whole concept of this blush — as each shade has an Ambient Lighting Powder base with the blush color swirled in. However, the chalky powdery-ness is salvaged by the ease of blending and building up. It’s fairly easy to use, in my opinion. The real downer is it kicks up a whole lot of powder with each use so tapping off the excess is quite wasteful. Dim Infusion is the least chalky of the group.
As for the finish, despite being powdery, this does not look or register powdery on the skin at all. They are actually quite smooth and soft-looking on the cheeks once applied. Although I think it lacks the candlelight glow that these blushes were marketed to have. For some reason, swirling in the blush and the powder didn’t/couldn’t yield the same effects the powders alone could give.
What I do see is that the finish looks very natural and seamless, thanks to the powder base. It also does not have the tendency to apply patchily, which is another plus. But is it extraordinary / revolutionary / earth-shattering? NOPE. Also, despite being dry – they are quite forgiving on the dry patches of my cheeks. Go figure.
hourglass diffused heat review swatch
Diffused Heat is a vibrant poppy mixed in with the Ambient Lighting powder in Diffused Light, which is a warm pale yellow.
hourglass dim infusion review swatch
Dim Infusion is a subdued coral mixed in with the Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light, a neutral beige peach.
hourglass ethereal light review swatch
Ethereal Glow is a cool pink mixed in with the Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light, an opalescent sheer cool white.
hswatchBhourglass ambient lighting blushes swatches
Pigmentation. These are pigmented in the sense that when swatched, you get a dense and opaque layer of powder on with one swipe. However, since it’s swirled in with powders – the color isn’t too saturated, more toned-down and natural-looking. With the shades I chose, the colors would be very hard to overdo despite the density of powder in one application. Also, since it blends really well and easily, clown-cheek territory isn’t a close encounter.
Longevity. These are fairly long-lasting but not impressive long-lasting. They stay on my cheeks for around 5-6 hours before fading, especially Diffused Heat.

Comparison Swatches

hswatches3hcomp1 hcomp2 hcomp3

Final Thoughts

So my final verdict on these Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes? I’m not blown away or impressed at all. Sure, they give off a lovely natural finish that I’m very drawn to, but I can get that from other blushes too. They are dry and powdery, but not to the point that they are hard to work with because I have to credit the fact that they are very easy to blend and won’t leave you looking like a powdered clown. Also, it applies evenly without any tendency to appear patchy. It’s a blush that gets the job done but is it anything revolutionary? As I said above, nope.
I think these are so pretty in pan that we all expected them to do something more than the usual blush does. Sadly, they don’t. Question is, what else could they have done differently that we’d imagined them to anyway? These Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes are more hype than anything. Sure, they are a thing of beauty but they’re just blushes. Period. I would rather spend on their powders that deliver the soft-focused effects and all that candlelit hooha better than these blushes.
To be honest, with all the blush releases coming out… this is one range I would’ve skipped (or purchased just one) had I swatched them in person and saw for myself their formula, texture and everything else. I would definitely go for the Clinique Cheek Pops over these. But if you’re still lemming for these beauties, I would suggest buy one shade that you really like and then go from there if you do like the formula. Also, to the oily skinned ladies afraid of ‘glowy blushes’ for fear of looking oilier than usual, give these blushes a try!
Overall, I would say that this is not a total letdown as it does leave a beautiful, natural color on the cheeks but that’s about it. Is it worth the $35? I’ll leave you with the marbling and packaging to ponder on that.

To those who have tried these, I would love to hear your thoughts!

I purchased the products on my own at Sephora with my GCASH-AMEX Virtual Pay card. Details of the service can be found here.
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  1. Sania Akbar
    March 14, 2014 / 1:28 pm

    Lovely shades and great packaging but i think it is expensive 🙁

  2. silverkis
    March 14, 2014 / 2:15 pm

    Hey Shari, refreshing to hear a diff take!!! I think the lighter shades may be a bit problematic as you described. But actually on me, I found the blushes last all day, surpassing even Tom Ford! How interesting that diff things work for diff people!! Xx

  3. Raven Ang
    March 14, 2014 / 4:29 pm

    I absolutely love the powders but I decided to skip out on these. Though I may try Radiant Magenta.. If they come out with an Ambient Lighting Bronzer, TAKE MY MONEY RIGHT NOW. I do think that the amount you get seems so.. unfair.

  4. March 14, 2014 / 5:01 pm

    When I fell for the hype (yes me too!) I picked up Radiant Magenta without even realising that Radiant (the powder) would be far too deep for my skintone. As a blush, I think it’s pretty but like you, I’m underwhelmed. For the price and for the hype I expect to look like God’s gift to mankind. Instead I just look like me… with blush. But it’s pretty and it’s nice to have and once I scratched that itch, I’m moving along 🙂

  5. March 14, 2014 / 6:13 pm

    Ohhhh. I’m glad I haven’t bought any of these! Well, I’m not a fan of anything that promised to make your skin glow anyway. And looking at your swatches, they really are powdery. I did like the color of Diffused Heat, though! But there are more affordable blushes with better quality. Gonna skip on these instead. </3

  6. March 14, 2014 / 8:45 pm

    I really like Diffused heat the best, although dim infussion is a close call too, I’m sort of sad that worn on most ladies the color is so light. If the pigmentation when blended out remained like when swatched I’d love one. RBR gracilis looks soooo good! i think I might need that blush!

  7. March 14, 2014 / 10:30 pm

    Didn’t like what I had (ethereal) and ended up giving it to my mom. On to Rouge Bunny Rouge. 🙂

  8. March 14, 2014 / 10:39 pm

    I’ve heard such mixed reviews for these blushes. Some people rave about them, and others like you are just disappointed. And with a higher price point, I really can’t justify taking the plunge. I’d rather just buy more Milani or MAC Baked Blushes.

  9. March 15, 2014 / 2:08 am

    Ok, now I see more beauty bloggers talking sensibly.
    First I hear nothing but the raves, but now more honest reviews. I believe it was the same case when their ambient powder came out. I personally think the brand itself is much hyped.
    They are totally beautiful to look at, but quality wise, I believe we have many more of better options.
    Your swatches are amazing and I really appreciate the comparison swatches..cause now I want both Orgasm and Opheline. ;p

  10. March 15, 2014 / 12:56 pm

    I love how the hourglass ambient powders look in pan and packaging yet I’m not drawn to them to splurge or even just buy it to have it. I like my blushes bold and I’m afraid these are just sheerer than I’d like. Love your review and photos!! Oxo

  11. Lily
    March 15, 2014 / 5:47 pm

    LOL at your disclaimer and your take on the blush revolution. I love to read ramblings, but when I write, I’m more of a straight shooter 😛 I haven’t been taken with these, because I didn’t think their powder was that great in the first place. I bought Diffused Light, and it’s ok. I’m not blown away. Great to hear someone on the same level, instead of another overly positive review 🙂

  12. March 15, 2014 / 8:25 pm

    I am still trying Radiant Magenta to see what the fuss is all about. I’m hoping that will last longer than 6 hours.

  13. Lippie Hippie
    March 17, 2014 / 4:37 am

    I love ramblings and this kind of written thoughts 😀
    I also got this blushes and I’m really happy I did, because they actually last longer on me than other ones. These on me last 8 hours and I’m sure they could go even longer, but I usually remove my make up in 8 hours 😀 I’m really sorry they don’t work for you as well.

  14. March 18, 2014 / 10:57 am

    I was a bit turned off by the whole LEGENDARY LIFE-CHANGING campaign of these. I mean, I have an Ambient Lighting Powder and it’s great, but I don’t reach for it on a daily basis. I am still curious enough to go to a Sephora and swatch them and see how I feel, but I am still kind of waiting for a new blush for spring to be unveiled that knocks my powdered clowns off! LOL!

  15. March 18, 2014 / 1:41 pm

    Buti nalang. I was about to purchase one solely because of the packaging. It looks so pretty and I was so attracted to it. Oh well. Maybe someday I’ll still get one 🙂

  16. Fred Gervacio
    March 26, 2014 / 8:04 am

    I think i still like the Diffused Heat. 😐 But the Ethereal Glow looks soooo light to be a blush. Hihi.

  17. Claudia
    March 27, 2014 / 5:31 pm

    Such a shame you aren’t impressed by them, I love mine so much, I picked up Diffused Heat and it’s so pretty. I want more shades now and want the powders even more. I have to say though, this is an amazing post, I love how honest you are and your photographs and swatches are incredible!

    Claudia xx | Beauty and the Chic

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