Highlighters Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

October 16, 2013

Hourglass’s latest release is the new Ambient Lighting Palette ($58 for 0.35 oz/9.9g, limited-edition). It’s a travel-sized trio of Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light, Incandescent Light (new) and Radiant Light. The trio also comes with a small sample of their Mineral Veil Primer (see review here). Hourglass says this palette is just like having your own personal lighting technician. I couldn’t describe this better.  Being a huge fan of Luminous Light, I was very excited about the release of this palette.
I love everything about this palette. The pans are smaller than the regular Ambient Lighting Powders but large enough to easily dip a fluffy brush into to apply to the face. It’s perfect for travel and arrived just at the right time for me. I brought it with me on my recent trip. It was the only highlighter I brought which was perfect because it provided three options in one palette. I wore this every evening out and felt it gave that perfect glow by mixing the three shades.

The Ambient Lighting Palette featured below:

Here you can see how they glow in the sunlight, colors left to right: Dim, Incandescent and Radiant

Here you can see the softness of the powders:

The three shades:

Dim Light is an existing shade in the regular full-sized line but is new to me. It’s described as a neutral peach beige and is supposed to blur imperfections and highlight the skin. I think the effect will vary depending on your skintone. I am a bit too tan to wear this all over as a setting powder, but it makes an amazing under-eye highlight and over the cheeks blending color. There is a subtle luminous quality – but very subtle. If you’re afraid of any kind of shimmer – this is the highlighter for you.

Incandescent Light is a new shade and currently only available in this palette. It’s a pearlescent pearly color. In the pan it resembles Luminous Light (my holy grail highlighter, see review here) however Incandescent Light is slightly paler in color and not as shimmery. Luminous Light by comparison is almost peachy when swatched next to Incandescent Light.

Radiant Light is another existing shade which I also own. It’s the sheerest bronze powder I have that adds a warm golden glow without being brownish like a traditional bronzer. It has tiny gold sparkle particles but doesn’t look glittery.

The application tips are endless with this palette. I wear Chanel B30, NARS Groenland Tinted Moisturizer, Dolce and Gabbana Warm 100 Powder Foundation and Tom Ford Foundation Stick #5 and I used all three shades every time I’ve worn it to date. My favorite way:
  • Use Dim Light as a soft dusting powder in the center of the face and on the cheeks to blend out edges of your blush or bronzer.
  • Use Incandescent Light as an all over highlight on the eyes, top of cheek bones.
  • Apply Radiant Light directly on the cheeks or as a contour along outer edges in a 3 shape to add warmth and a soft glow, also works well to add warmth to the eyes by dusting a soft layer over your shadows and blending very softly

Comparisons to Luminous Light:

Size comparison to MAC and Armani Blushes. It fit perfectly in my travel case:
I highly recommend this palette. The price is higher than the individual sizes (and slightly more expensive per oz) but this is a great way to try three shades in one palette rather than purchasing individual colors. If you’re more a fan of shimmery highlighters you may find this too subtle but I do find the shimmer is visible enough on the skin to be able to tell that there is a glow.

AVAILABLE AT: Sephora, Sephora.com, Barneys New York (beauty bag event until the 19th), Bergdorf Goodman and Space NK

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  • Hi Sabrina,

    The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette looks gorgeous! I'm certainly quite tempted! I think the new shade, Incandescent Light is my favorite of the set πŸ™‚

  • This is absolutely going to be a must-have for me

  • I am so incredibly excited about these!!!



  • I'm so tempted by this palette, but I really need to test it out first. The middle colour looks like it might be too pale for my NW43 skin:( But I love the two on the outside!

  • Thank you for fully reviewing this! I finally decided to order it earlier today, and I could not be more excited. Your review is making me anxious for it to come. Your swatches are beautiful πŸ™‚

    xx Lauren
    Dirty Blonde Ambition

  • Oh wow, I didn't care for this when I thought of it as an all over face powder, but I really like the idea of it as highlight. HMM! Plus your suggestions for eyes sound lovely! Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    My parents in law travel from Germany to Manhatten next week. My shopping list ist endless…but this one is my top pick!
    Greetings from Germany

  • This is something I have my eye on. I love the sleekness of the palette & how great It will be for travel. The powders themselves look really pretty. I am hoping to get it for Xmas

  • I hear such mixed reviews on Ambient Light powders, but I think I am going to have to try it for myself. Lovely swatches!

  • Catherine

    I am definitely getting this. It was thanks to your lovely blog that I bought Luminous Light and it is my HG highlighter for sure. I also use it all over the face sometimes (at night). One of my best buys ever, considering how much I use it. I was already considering buying Dim Light, I'm very keen to see Incandescent, and I'm sure I'll find a use for Radiant.

  • Where did you get your travel case, what kind is it? It looks awesome!

    • It's an older Bobbi Brown train case from 2002-2003ish. My husband bought it as a gift while we were dating as a gift from at London. I don't think she makes it anymore but she does release variations every year.

  • Anonymous

    I love the Ambient Powders as well. How do you use them with Les Beiges? I noticed you took both on your trip. Thanks.

    • I use Les Beiges as a setting powder or the darker ones as a contour. They make the skin glow – but in a natural way, like a very natural semi-matte powder. The Ambient Powders are different in that they are more layering shimmery highlighters. I layer the Ambient Powders as the finishing product.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much. If I am an NC/NW 15 which Les Beiges would I use to get that glowy natural look? 10? 20? Thanks.

  • This looks lovely! I really hope they bring out Incandescent in a normal one compact as I've typically already bought Dim and Radiant Light!

  • This is such a must have for me sadly I can't find it in france! Ughh

  • I am in love with this palette!

  • Oh my gosh, you did an amazing job with your swatches and pictures. I wish I was that talented. Anyway, hourglass is just one of my very favorite brands now along with Ilamasqua.

    Yes, I want that palette so badly.

  • I'm really loving this palette. Such beautiful colors!
    Soft and subtle but with a kick~


  • Everybody is talking about the gorgeous Powder from Hourglass, didn't have any experiance with it, but looks so pretty!

  • I missed this on the sale, but I need it so much I'm willing to pay full UK price!

  • I'm so glad you included how you wear each shade! I have this palette and I am a bit overwhelmed! I can't wait to use it