Comments 22

The One You All Knew I’d Eventually Get… The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette

I resisted and failed. Sort of. This is my brother’s Christmas and late birthday gift to me—the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette. I am one of the crazy people that are absolutely in love with these, and I actually only have one other shade left to try, thanks to this palette. (Diffused Light, if you’re wondering.) If you are looking for an in-depth review of what exactly these powders are, I wrote one quite a while back, which you can read here. I’m still a firm believer in these, though, if that’s any indication (to you) of how awesome these are.

This is a holiday release by Hourglass, and has three shades and a travel-sized Veil Mineral Primer, which is my HG Primer and costs an arm and a leg, so YAY. The shades are as follows:

  • Dim Light — a neutral peach beige powder that blurs imperfections and highlights the complexion.
  • Incandescent Light (Limited Edition) — an opalescent pearl powder that brightens the complexion with a celestial glow.
  • Radiant Light — a sun-kissed golden beige powder that enhances the complexion with believable subtle warmth.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette - Swatches
L-R, swatched: Dim Light, Incandescent Light, Radiant Light

Hourglass Comparison

The powders in this palette are way smaller than the original powders. Someone did the math~ and found out that you actually pay more per g. when you buy the palette. I’m guessing that’s why they threw in the Veil Mineral Primer, which is priced at about $8.32 for 0.16oz, compared to the cost of the full size at $52 for 1.0 fl oz.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette - Scratches

One thing I hate is the packaging. I made a remark about them being super lightweight (though they do actually look luxe) when I first got them, but wow. Look at how scratched my new item came from Hourglass/Space.NK USA (which is where my brother bought this from). This is brand new, okay? My 7-month old powders look much newer than this.

In any case, I still like what’s on the inside, lol. I apply these with my new Hakuhodo powder brush, by just pressing it lightly on the powders then gently sweeping over my skin. The effect is beautiful and subtle.

Me, wearing Dim Light by itself:
Hourglass Dim Light Face

To reiterate, Dim Light is “a neutral peach beige powder that blurs imperfections and highlights the complexion.” I think that’s pretty accurate. It is quite satin-y and deposits just a bit of a sheen to your face that, when applied lightly, can make one look quite healthy. At least in terms of complexion. A lot of people favor Dim Light, but I feel like it should be used sparingly for it to give you optimal results. It’s a product that’s easy to over-apply, in my opinion.

Me, wearing Dim Light, Incandescent Light, and Radiant Light alone:
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Dim, Incandescent, Radiant - Face

I wore all three in tandem here, and I’m not sure if I’m a fan of how they play together. Incandescent Light is definitely a highlight shade. It’s way too sparkly to be an all-over face powder. I think this should be used very sparingly, too. I feel like I look a little greasy with it on, so I’m going to play around with it a bit more. Radiant Light is the bronziest of all, so I treated it like one and applied it to the perimeter of my face and anywhere the sun would, technically, kiss my face. It’s a little shimmery, too, and too warm and light to be a contour. I don’t know if I can get away with it all over my face, since it looks a lot like Luminous Light.

Of course, I was bound to compare these with the ones I already have: Mood Light, Ethereal Light, and Luminous Light. Here’s how the powders in the palette swatch next to them:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Swatches 2
L-R, swatched: Ethereal, Mood, Luminous, Dim, Incandescent, Radiant

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Swatches
L-R, swatched: Ethereal, Mood, Luminous, Dim, Incandescent, Radiant

Wearing Ethereal Light over a liquid foundation:

Ethereal Light is a transparent powder, meant to “mimic a moonlit glow.” It is stark white in the pan and if I use it with a base that has little tint to it, it’s going to make me look shockingly pale—AS THOUGH LIT BY THE MOON. I like it, though. It’s the most basic of the powders, in my opinion.

Wearing Luminous Light and Mood Light over moisturizer:

OK, so this looks like a bad idea because it was incredibly hot and humid that day that I wore Luminous Light. It’s a champagne pearl that “creates a soft, incandescent candlelit glow.” This was my Galadriel powder. I think this really looks best in darker rooms, so you can be a light in dark places, when all other lights go out. Seriously, if you wear this on a night date or something—BAM! Gawjussss.

Mood Light is my favorite one so far, and until now. It is a soft sheer lavender pink that “mimics the softest most forgiving light, reveals the brightest complexion.” I used it as an all-over powder here and in the photo below:

Wearing Mood Light over a skin-perfecting cream:

I think it gives the most flattering tint to my skin. It’s also the one, along with Ethereal Light, that seems to get rid of the appearance of those pesky pores and makes me look like the opposite of a grease ball. It’s my one true lighting love, and I think that ends my journey into these products.

Wearing Mood Light over mineral foundation:

I think they’re great if you’re on the hunt for a finishing powder, but they control oils at the minimal level, though they do great with sweat. It’s gross, but it’s true. When you commute here, sweating is inevitable. I’ve worn these a couple of times on extremely face-sweat days and when my sweat dries, my face still looks put together. Imagine that!

I would definitely repurchase Mood Light when I run out, but I have been using these products in rotation so I don’t know if I will ever run out soon. Here’s to hoping that I don’t because these cost a crapton of money.

Hourglass is cruelty-free.


  1. Pity about the packaging. =( I always thought Hourglass was supposed to be better than that. But yay, you got your set! Looks awesome, as always. I hate that Southeast Asia is always so hot and humid, I really do think these powders work best in a drier climate.

    • That’s my realization, too, re: drier climate + these powders. I still love these, though. Thanks, Nat! 🙂

  2. ravenkristine says

    You are making me want these more and more. I’m becoming so impatient now. 😦 I asked a classmate of mime to get me one during her trip to SanFran and classes don’t start til mext week so I have to wait. WHY MUST YOU TEMPT ME?! Btw, if you want Diffused Light I suggest you purchase it from MUPStore. Their markup is almost nonexistent. I think just 35 pesos. 🙂

  3. Oh no! Mine didn’t come damaged although I ordered mine directly from Hourglass (which was the same order that I had that kind of irritating shipping return with the lipgloss). Anyways, I’m another big fan of Dim Light. The other two are borderline too shimmery to be all over face powders but I seem to get away with it. Then again I’m kind of like a vampire and in an office all day long, haha, maybe its not as noticeable indoors? I think the cost of worth trying 3 powders 🙂 (and the primer, of course!)

    • Yeah, I think it’s just super glittery if you’re out in the sun or in bright lighting. Otherwise, they catch the light real nicely. 🙂

  4. I was merely counting down the days ’til this turned up on your blog. LOL!!!!

    Still think Luminous is best on you (thus complicating my impression of your skin tone as I found more cool-toned people favoring it). And also, you changed my mind about Ethereal! I am now ready to be Galadriel. ETHEREAL LIGHT U R NEXT!

    • LOLLLLLL. Right? Ugh, so predictable.

      Thanks, Tellie! I think I’m neutral, but IDK. My skin tone feels more complicated than it should.

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  9. Helen says

    I just discovered your blog and I love it! Your photo has convinced me that I need Mood Light in my life especially since we have the same skin tone but would you recommend that or Dim Light for an overall glow? From reading other reviews, it seems that people only use Mood for blush. Lastly, since this is a finishing powder, would you also use highlighter? Thanks!

    • Thank you so much, Helen. 🙂 Dim Light isn’t really that glow-y. I like Luminous Light or Ethereal Light for that. Mood is OK for over the face for me, but it’s not all that brightening. It’s too light to show up as a blush on me. I don’t generally grab for highlighters anymore if I use these. When I have the palette open, I just use Incandescent Light on the high points of my face because no way am I using that all over. Sometimes I use a glowy primer/base before foundation. 🙂

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