Highlighters Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders

January 21, 2016

This spring Hourglass has launched some additions to the Ambient Lighting family with the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders ($38 each for 0.16 oz/4.6 g) and the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor ($22). I stopped by the Hourglass Store in Venice Beach last week to check these out and fell in love. One of the strobe powders Incandescent Strobe Light was introduced to us before in the Ambient Lighting Palette (Trio) as an exclusive. If you have this palette, you’re familiar with the beautiful natural glowy finish and smooth texture of the strobe powders. They look sheer on the hands/arms. On the face they add the perfect natural glow and highlight. The sparkle isn’t over the top and it makes the skin glow without being too frosty and they do not emphasize pores.

There are four shades of the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders. If you ask me if you think all four are necessary to have, I would say no – but after seeing them at the store, I had to buy all four. The colors are:
  • Euphoric Strobe Light – A pearlescent beige powder bestowing a natural highlight
  • Iridescent Strobe Light – An illuminating pink powder imparting a soft highlight
  • Brilliant Strobe Light – A shimmering gold powder imparting a lustrous highlight
  • Incandescent Strobe Light – An opalescent pearl powder bestowing a celestial highlight
Euphoric is the darkest option available. Iridescent and Incandescent are very similar, Iridescent is slightly deeper and more pink. Brilliant is a gorgeous yellow/gold option. I find the powders very finely milled and apply flawlessly with the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor or a regular powder brush.

The packaging of the Strobe Powders is similar in size to the Ambient Lighting Blushes, except the color is silver.

A quick look at size comparisons:

Ambient Lighting Powders $45 for 0.35 oz/10 g (review)
Ambient Lighting Bronzers $50 for 0.39 oz / 11 g (review)
Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder $38 for 0.16 oz/4.6 g
Ambient Lighting Palette $58 for 0.35 oz/9.9 g (review)
Ambient Lighting Blush $35 for 0.15 oz/4.2 g (review)

Close ups of each powder in sunlight:

The product in the pans will look different depending on lighting situations. The shimmer particles are highly reflective. I have a couple shots to show the base color and the shimmers depending on light. Both sets are in the same order.

Top: Incandescent Strobe Light, Euphoric Strobe Light
Bottom: Iridescent Strobe Light, Brilliant Strobe Light

Swatches and three sets of comparison swatches, first in natural light:

With sun + flash – they look frosty here, but I can assure you on the face they are more finely milled and naturally glowy:

A quick look at the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor – it applies these perfectly to the cheek bones by tapping on the areas you want highlighted. A regular blush brush works just as good, although if you want to apply the powders damp for more color, I found the brush worked better.

Comparison Set 1: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Luminous Light (reviewed here), Diffused Light and Dim Light. Luminous Light has a shimmery quality that acts as a highlighter while some other shades like Diffused and Dim Light are less shimmery and can be used as an all over setting powder for me without looking too glowy. Below the swatches are done with a heavy hand to show the color differences.

Comparison Set 2: Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powders in Starlight and Candlelight (reviewed here) are a lot more shimmery. On me Candlelight looks too white for my olive/yellow skin although it looks good on many of my friends. I prefer the Hourglass Strobe Powders by far. Also shown is Becca Champagne Pop (swatched here) and the Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo in Moodlight (review). The Becca is one of the most shimmery highlighters I own (and adore). By comparison the Becca Champagne Pop almost feels sharp because the shimmer is so pigmented.

Comparison Set 3: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade is one of the softest most finely milled highlighters from MAC that I own. It’s a lot paler than any of the Ambient Lighting Strobe Powders but has a similar effect. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle by comparison has a lot more shimmer/frost. I added a swatch of the MAC Extra Dimension Highlighter in Whisper of Gilt (d/c, review here) to show texture comparison. The effect of the powders is similar to that of NARS Hot Sand Duos (review here). If you already own Hot Sand, you can probably skip Incandescent or Iridescent.

Quick look at the beautiful store on Abbot Kinney:

One last shot, clockwise from top left: Euphoric, Iridescent, Brilliant and Incandescent

Bottom line all winners. I tested these over the past week and am thoroughly impressed. They lasted all day on the cheek bones without getting too glowy or dewy looking by late afternoon. I’ve been testing them over a number of foundations from Tom Ford, NARS, Laura Mercier and Natasha Denona. They all held up remarkably well. I am already on highlighter/glow overload – I’m completely obsessed with glowy highlighters, but I thnk these are well worth a look. If I had to narrow down my picks, I would say Brilliant Strobe Light offers the best strobe highlight for my olive skintone. It brightens the complexion with a gorgeous candlelight glow. Euphoric is the most natural on me since it’s deeper, but it still shows up like skin but better. I would say there’s a tie between Iridescent and Incandescent – I think the pink tones in Iridescent make it more special, but you can’t go wrong with either. The sponge is nice to have, but not a must.

You can find the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders ($38) and Sculptor ($22) at Sephora and Hourglass Cosmetics right now. It is expected to launch at other retailers later this spring.

Have you checked these out yet? What’s your favorite highlighter right now?

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