Giving in to Temptation (Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit 2019 Review)

I have tried to discern what it is specifically that makes me buy a product, especially in terms of beauty and skincare, before realising it was a fool’s errand. Though there are certainly a number of factors that can be relied on, I think there is also something so ephemeral about the way some pieces call to us.

For a long time I’ve been aware of Hourglass and their tempting array of finishing powders, highlighters and blushes. Each year they release their ‘Ambient Lighting Edit’ a limited edition collection which containers finishing powders, blushes, bronzer and a highlighter. I’ve often thought about making the investment, but it is an investment- a substantial price, but given how many options are contained within, and the quality, I can now say that to me, it is worth it. I’ve never been so called to one before- perhaps because this year I happened to be in my local Mecca Maxima store right after its release and I saw it in person. This year the palette is titled ‘Ghost’ and the shades really called to me. As a pale girl I’m wary of powder blushes because I find they can be less mutable and a little startling if the shade isn’t right for me. Bronzer is also a problem! My go-to look would best be described with these words: Ethereal, natural, dreamy, romantic, light, luminous, etc. This lineup enables me to embody all those words.

So, here is a break down of each shade, how I’m using it and who I would recommend this palette to.


First in the top left we have a finishing powder in dim light, a pale nude, very pretty. Right next to it is a second finishing powder in diffused light, which is the colour of cream. Both are luminous, which should be kept in mind with placement. A finishing powder can be used after a setting powder if that’s how you like to do things, but honestly my favourite way to use them is to mix both and apply it all over instead of setting powder, especially on the high points of the face. Last in the top row is a strobe powder (a highlighter basically) in iridescent strobe light, a very pale pink that you wouldn’t call ‘blinding’ but if you want a palette that can be used for more natural luminous looks then you’ll be very happy with it like I am. The bottom row begins on the left with a bronzer in eternal bronze light. A pale cocoa colour, with a hint of pink warmth- you might be seeing a trend here, it too has an illuminating quality without wandering too far into shimmer territory. My very light skin tone means I apply it with a light hand, to temples, along cheek bones and what’s left on the brush goes on the bridge of my nose. Once there’s no product left on the brush, with circular motions I go back in to blend and ensure there’s no clear beginning or end to what’s been applied, giving a diffuse and natural look. Lastly there are two blushes, first is a strobe blush in iridescent rose, with swirls of deep pink and pale gold it looks very tempting in the palette and on the skin it’s a lovely warm and gently sparkling pink. Because of the hint of shimmer I concentrate this colour in the middle of the cheek and not too close to the nose where pore tend to be more visible. The second blush is luminous but less glimmering and is called sublime flush. A lovely bright peony pink shade, I find it quite flattering on my complexion, which is tends to neutral, though pale. I also put blush on the tip of my nose, and on my chin- which sounds bizarre, but once thoroughly blended out it helps to create a living, breathing look which ties together and looks dewy and healthy. Overall the quality of the powders is wonderful, they’re so finely milled, soft, comfortable on the skin. I’m usually a cream product girl myself, but am totally in love with this palette and I’m going to be reaching for it often. So that’s how I use it, and clearly enjoy it, but I do think it’s very important to point out that I don’t think the palette would work on deeper skin tones. If you have concerns that it’s too light, I’d be sure to test it in store before purchasing because of the colours on offer here. I’d be interested to look back on previous palettes and the general colour range they stock in singles and other sets, I really hope they have everyone covered because they’re beautiful products.

So, all in all- Luxe, expensive, I’m glad I have it but I won’t be buying one every year as I know it takes me ages to hit pan. This years palette, named ‘Ghost’ almost feels as though it was made just for me.

I am available for reviews, collaborations and commissions! Details for PR are here, and for commissions, here!
Find me on Instagram @vivienne_austen

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