Beauty

Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Review & Swatches

Sculpture

Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($ 80.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a new, limited edition six-pan face palette that features three existing shades and three new shades. The palette contained two finishing powders, one highlighter, one bronzer, and two blushes. It performed consistently with past Hourglass’ palette releases with the finishing powders being very consistent and meet their claims. The blushes aren’t quite as buildable as marketed, though using a lighter hand/picking up less product could achieve that, but they are definitely not lacking in pigment.

The Hourglass palettes are not a “value” kind of palette–you aren’t getting a ton of product for your money, but you are able to get six products for less than the cost of purchasing six, individual and full-sized products, which is really the upside. If you’re someone who expects to mix between the two finishing powders, then the size of each palette may not be a big deal, but using them alone is a pain point for those who like working with a traditional powder brush. I just find they get over-applied by using smaller brushes and/or take forever to apply.

The Ambient Lighting formulas are really lovely, and the finish of some shades can be hard to replicate with other formulas, which is why so many people have taken the time to give feedback to the brand by asking for more diverse product offerings–they want the brand to do better. At this point, I’m probably less surprised as I am disappointed by this year’s offerings. I thought last year’s blush quad was a move in the right direction, but alas, they did not continue in a forward trajectory.

9.5

Product

9.5

Pigmentation

9.5

Texture

9

Longevity

5

Application

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Dim Light

Dim Light is a light, peachy beige with warm, muted undertones and a semi-matte finish. It was consistent with past releases of this shade, both in palettes as well as the standalone shade. It is frequently included in the brand’s various palettes, so for those who have indulged previously, you may find you have this one already. It’s a finishing powder, so it is recommended to be applied at the end of the routine (likely before setting spray), and it can add a bit of light and luminosity back after a setting powder may mattify it. Alternatively, it can help to mattify a dewier base without completely mattifying it.

It’s often less matte than a setting powder and is finer and more translucent (though there are illuminating setting powders that exist, too). I’ve personally used this as a setting powder, and I find the additional powder does extend the wear of base products by an hour or two. The consistency was finely-milled, silky, and smooth, though a smidgen dusty in the pan.

This particular shade can make my skin appear slightly darker if I can’t use a larger powder brush with it, which I struggle to use with this palette as the individual pans are on the smaller side–better for small, tapered highlighting brushes and blush brushes but less ideal for a powder brush.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$ 48.00/0.35 oz. – $ 137.14 Per Ounce

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more mattifying base products on. They’re not full-on highlighters, but they’re not exactly setting powders (by Hourglass’ definition, they are finishing powders).

If you have very oily skin, you may still need your usual setting powder, but for my normal-to-dry skin, the Ambient Lighting Powders work as a setting and finishing powder in one for me. I get extended wear out of my base products, but the powders also smooths the skin’s appearance, minimizes pores and imperfections, and gives the skin a natural luminosity (not shiny, not shimmery). It is that something extra that someone won’t see and go, “Oh, nice lipstick!” but “Did you do something different with your skin?” When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that’s when you know a product is really delivering on its promises!

The only negative I have to say about the products is that the texture is very, very soft, so depending on the brush you use, excess powder can be kicked up (and wasted).

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Diamond Powder, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

9.5

Product

10

Pigmentation

9.5

Texture

9.5

Longevity

5

Application

Diffused Light

Diffused Light is a translucent, yellowed beige with subtle, warm undertones and a natural finish. As a finishing powder, it had translucent coverage that applied a veil of natural-looking powder all-over the skin. The texture was silky-smooth, finely-milled, and easy to work with, and it performed consistently with past iterations I’ve tested of this shade (in palettes and as a standalone product).

This is the shade I’ll usually reach for when I want a bit of luminosity and subtle skin blurring, as it doesn’t add visible color–no lightening or darkening–and I’ve gone through my original, full-sized version of it (and did repurchase). The version in this palette performed consistently with the past releases; I don’t find that the Ambient Lighting Powders differ that much in performance, color, etc. and are very consistent, which is always good. It’s with marbleized products that a lot of the end results can be based on the ratio of colors.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$ 48.00/0.35 oz. – $ 137.14 Per Ounce

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more mattifying base products on. They’re not full-on highlighters, but they’re not exactly setting powders (by Hourglass’ definition, they are finishing powders).

If you have very oily skin, you may still need your usual setting powder, but for my normal-to-dry skin, the Ambient Lighting Powders work as a setting and finishing powder in one for me. I get extended wear out of my base products, but the powders also smooths the skin’s appearance, minimizes pores and imperfections, and gives the skin a natural luminosity (not shiny, not shimmery). It is that something extra that someone won’t see and go, “Oh, nice lipstick!” but “Did you do something different with your skin?” When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that’s when you know a product is really delivering on its promises!

The only negative I have to say about the products is that the texture is very, very soft, so depending on the brush you use, excess powder can be kicked up (and wasted).

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Diamond Powder, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

9.5

Product

10

Pigmentation

9.5

Texture

9.5

Longevity

5

Application

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Glistening Strobe Light

Glistening Strobe Light is a light-medium, golden peach with strong, warm more orange undertones and a lightly, metallic finish–smooth with finer shimmer and plenty of shine, so it had a stronger glow but wasn’t prone to emphasizing my skin’s natural texture. It had a sheerer base–as marketed–with fine shimmer and buildable color. This shade lasted well for eight hours before fading noticeably.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$ 40.00 –

According to Hourglass, the Strobe Lighting Powders have a “sheer base” paired with “ultra-fine pearl particles” that give a “naturally luminescent highlight … without a heavy metallic finish.” They are wet/dry powders with dry application for less of a highlight and damp application for a stronger highlight. If you find most highlighters “too much” for your tastes but find the Ambient Lighting Powders not enough, then you may enjoy the Strobe Lighting Powders.

Hourglass also launched a slanted, sponge applicator designed to be used with this product, which is what I used to apply the highlight in the photos below, but I prefer regular brushes for more even application and easier blending. The powder definitely intensifies with damp application–you can see how it gets brighter, lighter, and more shimmery.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Dimethicone; C13-14 Isoparaffin, Diamond Powder, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Silica, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

9.5

Product

10

Pigmentation

9.5

Texture

8.5

Longevity

5

Application

Natural Bronze Light

Natural Bronze Light is a light-medium brown with moderate, warm undertones and a satiny sheen. It had semi-opaque, buildable pigmentation with a soft, silky consistency that was a touch powdery in the pan but applied well to bare skin and seemed to meld and look quite seamless after being blended out. It wore well for eight hours before fading a bit.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$ 52.00/0.39 oz. – $ 133.33 Per Ounce

The Ambient Lighting Bronzer formula is supposed have a “sheer, airy” feel (sheer as in texture) that give a “natural, sun-kissed glow” with the “illuminating effects of Ambient Lighting Powder” with “bronze pigments” that give it “buildable color.” The formula tends to be more pigmented (usually semi-opaque), but the textures are always soft enough that a less dense brush or lighter hand is an option for picking up less product and getting less coverage. I find that the bronzer formula tends to be less powdery compared to the original Ambient Lighting Powders, which is nice. The wear is typically around eight hours on me.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Dimethicone; C13-14 Isoparaffin, Diamond Powder, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Silica, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140).

9.5

Product

9

Pigmentation

9.5

Texture

8.5

Longevity

5

Application

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Vibrant Flush

Vibrant Flush is a brighter, medium coral with subtle, pinker leanings paired with a luminous finish. It had more semi-opaque, buildable coverage with a soft, silky texture that was a smidgen powdery in the pan but applied well to bare skin for a seamless look. The blush lasted well for eight and a half hours before fading noticeably on me.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$ 38.00/0.15 oz. – $ 253.33 Per Ounce

The Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is designed to have the “illuminating effects” of their Strobe Lighting Powder with “vivid cheek colors.” The formula features “buildable color” with a “natural-looking, radiant finish.” The texture of the powder is very, very silky and finely-milled, which can result in noticeable powder that gets kicked up in the pan, though they apply beautifully to the skin and never look dry or dusty actually applied (which is where it counts!). One of the things I have noticed over the years is that the depth of color can vary dramatically depending on the marbling of the powders; some have more of the “Strobe” shade and others have more of the “blush” shade. They last between seven and eight hours on me typically.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Dimethicone; C13-14 Isoparaffin, Diamond Powder, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Silica, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850).

9.5

Product

9

Pigmentation

9.5

Texture

9

Longevity

5

Application

Mood Exposure

Mood Exposure is a light, rosy mauve with moderate, warm undertones and a satin sheen. It had more buildable coverage from medium with mostly opaque results achieved with three layers of product. The texture was silky-smooth, finely-milled, and a smidgen powdery in the pan but it sat beautifully on bare skin. It stayed on nicely for eight hours before showing signs of fading.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$ 40.00/0.15 oz. – $ 266.67 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have “depth and dimension” unlike traditional blush, be “lightweight and airy,” and have the “perfect balance of pigment and powder.” Hourglass says it uses “an advanced ‘miscelare’ technique,” which means to mix in Italian (per Sephora) and is how the marbled effect is achieved. The blush is also supposed to have “buildable color.” It does bring to mind the concept of a lot of baked formulas on the market, but I think the texture is softer and more finely-milled than most.

The texture is very soft and delicate; it feels exactly like the Ambient Lighting Powders. In an all-over powder, I don’t mind what can sometimes veer on powderiness, but in a blush, it can be easy to overload color onto the blush and then onto the skin. I wish it was slightly firmer or less powdery, which would minimize waste and make it more foolproof to apply.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone, Sorbic Acid, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Silica, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Laureth-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Diamond Powder, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Alumina, Magnesium Oxide, Tocopherol, Tin Oxide, Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Ultramarines (Ci 77007), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

9.5

Product

10

Pigmentation

9.5

Texture

8.5

Longevity

5

Application

We hope you’ll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

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