Saturday, 28 February 2015

Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder & Blush

I've been lusting over Hourglass' products ever since they first became popular with the beauty blogger & vlogger crowd, but being a student at the time meant they were miles out of my price range. Now though, I'm working full-time, & have a little bit of disposable income, so I decided to treat myself - & boy, was it worth it!

Hourglass launched in 2004 & are firmly placed at the luxury end of the market. Their Ambient Lighting Powders & Blushes are probably their best known products, although their Mineral Veil Primer has something of a cult following too.

For a while I was convinced that the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette was the one for me, but when it came to buying it, I discovered it was limited addition, & with such an expensive product, there was no way I was running the gambit of eBay re-sellers. So, I decided to spend a bit more & buy one of the single Ambient Lighting Blushes & one of the Powders, since I'd heard rave reviews of those too.

I purchased both products off the SpaceNK website & despite it being my first time using the site I'd absolutely recommend it if you're looking to buy high end beauty products online in the UK. The service was flawless & the delivery was super quick - plus the packing was top notch, something that's so important when you're receiving more expensive products.

The first thing that struck me when I opened my parcel was the Hourglass packaging - it looks & feels incredibly luxurious. Both the blush & the powder come in square compacts with curved corners which make them comfortable to hold, & the chrome effect is beautiful (although it does hold finger prints like a fucker). 

The compacts are pretty chunky, but that's because you get a generous amount of product: 4.2g of blush & 10g of powder. The size also means you get a good sized mirror inside the compact, & they feel robust - if it weren't for the cost I'd be perfectly happy carrying these round in my bag without worrying about them getting broken.

Another thing I love about this packaging is the fastening. One of my pet peeves is when compacts have little slots you have to squeeze a nail into in order to prise them open - I can chip my nails perfectly easily on my own, thanks - but these compacts simply have a little lip on the right-hand side which you can easily pop open using your thumb. Perfect.

All the information on the products is listed on a sticker on the bottom of the compact, meaning the top is left looking clean & sleek. I also appreciate the fact that the shade is written in a large type, meaning it's easy to see at a glance what the product is called.

When it came to picking a blush shade, I simply went for the one I was most excited by from the palette & that was Mood Exposure (RRP £28). In the pan it's a cool-toned - almost lavender - plum, marbled with the Ambient Powder in Mood Light for that signature luminous glow. 

I honestly can't get over how beautiful these blushes look in the compact - there's just something about that marbled effect that pulls you in, & as you can see in the second photo, although the effect is softened through use, it's still clearly visible.

When swatched, the pigment & powder combine to create a stunning - almost metallic - finish. On the cheeks Mood Exposure gives a lovely natural pop of colour, with a hint of highlight that's really flattering, particularly if you're a fan of more matte foundations. 

Since purchasing this it's been my go-to blush - nothing else I own has this combination of buildable colour, silky soft texture, & radiant glow. I know these blushes are pricey but if you can afford it, I'd definitely recommend checking them out.

The packaging on the Ambient Lighting Powder is almost identical to the blush, except larger & with a slightly darker chrome finish.

The concept of the Ambient Lighting Powders is that they're intended to mimic some of the most flattering lighting around, from moon light to candle light, warm summer sun to the first rays of morning. It's pretty gimmicky but a sweet idea, & I'd be interested see if there's any visible difference between them when applied. 

I struggled a little to pick which shade to purchase - it was hard to be logical & not get drawn into the romantic descriptions Hourglass has written up for each powder. In the end I went with Mood Light (RRP £38), partly because it's the same shade featured in the Mood Exposure blush & partly because the word "forgiving" was too much to resist.

On the website, Mood Light is a pale but definite lavender, but once it arrived it became clear the the colour variance between the powders online is exaggerated. In person, it's a neutral-toned opalescent powder with just a hint of pink. I haven't included a swatch because honestly, on my skin all you can see is a very slight glow, but then again that's exactly what I wanted from this powder.

Just like with the blush, the powder is silky smooth & completely weightless on the skin - it applies like a dream, especially when combined with a duo-fibre brush.

In the photo above I'm wearing both the powder & the blush. I find the powder gives a beautiful glow when applied all over (without being shimmery or sparkling, meaning you can still rock it during the day) but those of you with darker skin tones might find it works better as a subtle highlight. As I said before, the blush gives a lovely natural luminosity, & combining it with the powder just kicks it up another notch.

In conclusion, these are two fantastic products which genuinely feel like they're worth their luxury price tag. The Ambient Lighting Blush has definitely become a holy grail product for me, & if I had the money I would absolutely buy more of the shades. The Ambient Lighting Powder hasn't been such an instant hit, but I still think it's stunning, & perfect for adding that little extra something to your look.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these products, whether you own them or not, so please do leave a comment below.

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