“I learned early on how different types of light can truly flatter the complexion. Growing up, my mother had pink light bulbs in all of the lamps throughout the house. She loved pink light because it was the softest and most flattering, and she always wanted to look good. I used this concept of lighting in Ambient Lighting Powder.”—Carisa Janes, Hourglass Founder
Some say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but I think the right lighting is. Since I can’t walk around with a lit candle positioned beneath my face or studio lights hovering over my head, Hourglass’ new Ambient Lighting Powders are the perfect alternative. They work imperceptibly on the skin all day to blur imperfections and give the face a halo of refined luminosity. I think Tracey of Beauty Reflections said it best when she said that they give wearers the Arwen elfen glow. The official description from Hourglass for these wondrous pressed powders is,
A groundbreaking collection of finishing powders that capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on your skin. Ambient’s illuminating particles are one of the first ever to exhibit both photoluminescence and color-correcting capabilities. The transparent micron-sized spheres with an entrapped diamond core—called photoluminescent technology—do not simply cloak imperfections like traditional powder, but rather, alter and refine the perceived appearance of the complexion by manipulating and filtering out harsh light. Delivering a multidimensional luminescence to every skintone, skin appears softer, younger, and lit-from-within. With six universal shades available, you can choose to create your desired lighting effect—not unlike having a personal lighting technician.
Let’s get the little bit that I am wary of out of the way. The packaging. Sure, the glossy case and sleek typography look nice, but it feels too plastic and light for me to feel assured that it will protect the precious powder encased inside. At this price point ($45 CAD) I was hoping for something with a little more weight, but I guess you can look at it as Hourglass wanting the powder to be the star of the show (and rightfully so). If consumers pay less for packaging and more for the product, then the quality of the product can be improved. Just a little theory that I have.
There are six shades in all: Ethereal Light, Diffused Light, Mood Light, Luminous Light, Dim Light and Radiant Light. In my opinion the latter two are best suited to medium-dark skin tones, whereas the former four are perfect for light-medium skin tones-which makes them perfect for me!
Ethereal Light, Diffused Light
Luminous Light, Mood Light
Ethereal Light, Diffused Light, Luminous Light, Mood Light
- Ethereal Light eliminates shine and mimic a moonlit glow—even in broad daylight.
- Diffused Light reduces redness, eliminates shine, and gives skin clarity.
- Luminous Light creates a soft, incandescent candlelit glow—day or night.
- Mood Light mimics the softest most-forgiving light and reveals your brightest complexion.
- Dim Light (not pictured) is the perfect balance of warm and cool tones, to blur imperfections and bring to light your most radiant complexion.
- Radiant Light (not pictured) extends a summer glow, or enhances your overall complexion with a believable, subtle warmth.
The silk veil texture is unlike any I have encountered and consistent across all of the powders in spite of the different finishes. Although these are grouped together as all-over finishing powders I don’t think they should all be used the same way. Ethereal and Diffused Light are suitable for all over the face, but the powders with more iridescence, albeit extremely subtle, may be overpowering and are best suited as highlighters. Also, Ambient Powders should not be confused with or replace oil control powders and should be applied at the very end of your makeup routine so that you do not minimize their effect.
If there is any new product that you be considering this Spring, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders should be the beginning and end of your search. One of the things I respect most about Hourglass as a brand is that they don’t churn out products nonsensically but take their time to refine products so they are nothing short of perfection.
I dare you not to sing Beyonce’s “Halo” after applying one of these.