Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

If you’re really into makeup you will definitely have heard of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. I wasn’t sure about mentioning them here because they aren’t available in SA, but I got my hands on the Ambient Lighting Palette and it has become such an everyday necessity to me that I thought I might as well write a bit about it.


The Ambient Lighting Palette contains three shades, dim light, radiant light and incandescent light. The incandescent light is limited to this palette, and turns out it’s my favourite of the three. I opted for the palette because it was the best way to try more than one shade of the powder without buying three individual large-sized ones, and although they’re smaller than the single powders they will last for ages.

They are described as ‘soft focus finishing powders’ and aren’t exactly meant for setting your makeup and controlling oil. I usually use my Bourjois Healthy Balance powder on my nose and chin and then use these afterwards. I still have to touch up my nose around lunch time anyway.


Here is what the Hourglass website says about the lighting powders:

  • Powders mimic universally flattering light sources, not unlike having a personal lighting technician at your disposal.
  • By manipulating and filtering out harsh light, powders conceal skin imperfections, pores and wrinkles
  • State-of-the-art formula delivers a multi-dimensional luminescence to every skin tone, making it appear softer, younger and perfectly lit.
  • Universal powders make them suitable for every skin tone, while each can be worn day and night.


Do they live up to the hype?

This seems to be a product that people either think is the holy grail, or they think is useless and unnecessary. I happen to fall into the first category. I do not agree that they are universal and suitable for every skin tone – both dim light and radiant light look like subtle bronzers on me so I can’t use either all over my face – but they definitely have different uses depending on your skin tone and there is a shade for everyone. I think dim light will be a great all-over powder for me in the summer when I am less ghostly. I love that you can mix the powders and use them together to conjure up some little skin illusions.

They really are remarkably good at blurring imperfections and just making your skin look better. They’re not matte, or flat, or noticeable on the skin, or cakey, or shimmery. They just give your skin a three-dimensional glow, and the key is subtlety. Incandescent light makes a beautiful subtle highlighter, while radiant light gives a very subtle sun-kissed glow. I think the palette is great for people who prefer a natural and ‘less is more’ method of contouring (if you’re fair like me this palette becomes a kind of Charlotte Tilbury bronze and glow type of contour palette).


The palette is $58 so it’s pretty pricey. The individual powders, which are larger in size, are $45 which equates to R661 at today’s exchange rate *wince*. If you don’t think the three shades in the palette are really for you and you’re looking for one all-over finishing powder, then there are six individual shades to pick from… but do your homework first because with shipping these are very expensive. You can order these from the Hourglass website and they ship to SA, but you’re looking at R450 in shipping cost!! So in a nutshell, definitely a splurge, but one I personally think is worth it if you have money burning a hole in your pocket *wink*.


2 thoughts on “Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

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