Highlighters Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Unlocked Edition

October 1, 2018

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review

Hourglass launched a new palette called the Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette ($80 for 0.04 oz/1.4 g x6, made in Italy) for holiday 2018. I ordered this from Sephora and as with most of their 6-pan palettes it’s limited-edition but this year’s version has all new shades! This is the first of a few items the brand is launching for holiday. More teasers on their Instagram @hourglasscosmetics for another palette launching in a couple of days.

The Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette has two finishing powders, one bronzer, two blushes and a metallic strobe powder. Quality is excellent with a medium coverage finish that’s very natural. The overall look and feel of the colors ended up being darker than I anticipated. On my skin they apply a little deeper than what I see in the palette but it worked well. The colors also applied with a more diffused glow rather than the high shimmer sheen. Since these are luminous with light reflective particles, the palette is going to look different depending on how the natural light catches it. Lasting power is excellent as well. They stay put on the skin without emphasizing pores or fine lines.

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review

A closer look at the palette in a few different lighting options, swatches and all the shades applied on the face below.

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review - Soft Light, Filtered Light, Golden Bronze Light, Nude Glow, Mood Flush, Champagne Strobe Light

First color descriptions of the shades you get in this year’s holiday palette:

  • Soft Light is a sheer light ivory beige finishing powder with a subtle sheen
  • Filtered Light is a tan beige finishing powder, almost a soft contour for me
  • Golden Bronze Light is a warm golden bronze shimmer
  • Nude Glow is a shimmery nude peach
  • Mood Flush is a satiny rose pink, looks cooler-toned in the pan, but on my skin applied more neutral-warm
  • Champagne Strobe Light is a high shimmer champagne

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Swatches

Close up of the palette indoors natural light:

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review

Versus with a flash:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette Review Holiday 2018

On the face it gives a very natural glow. There’s no harsh frost or glare even with a flash, also wearing:

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review + Swatches

Size comparison of the different Hourglass compacts.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Powders and Palettes

A lot of you have asked what brushes I recommend using with this palette. The pans are on the small side so there’s a high chance you’re going to be mixing colors with your brush. A few smaller ones I use and recommend shown below.

Best Small Cheek Brushes

Top to bottom:

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review


Overall well made with beautiful colors. I think the quality is excellent. It has a very natural look to it but the colors are buildable if you layer. Given all the highlighters that are out there on the market at this point many launches are looking the same to me. These colors are new to Hourglass and I think a couple are unique while others are not. I would love to see them expand their Ambient Lighting finishing powder range to include full sizes of Soft Light and Filtered Light and perhaps shades in between and darker. I love the satiny almost matte powders and right now there’s not a color that works to match my skin although I used to use Dim Light as a setting powder when I was lighter in skin tone.

I do love the look and vibe of Nude Glow Blush because I love a good peachy shimmer. Mood Flush is nice but for some reason doesn’t quite apply the same in the pan on my face (it goes on warmer). I’m the equivalent of MAC NC35 and I think if I were up to 3 shades darker in skintone this would still show up on me, but the overall look is still very medium-natural.

I think it’s a good buy. I’m really happy with it and love that it has new colors. I’m also ok with having similar options because these palettes are so convenient for travel or to create a look with a single compact. I don’t know that I’d call it entirely unique and I’m also ok with that. At this point given all the highlighters I own and have tested I don’t know that I’d call it a must-have, but I do really like it. It’s pricey but well made.

You can find the Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Edit Palette out now at Sephora and Hourglass. It’s limited-edition for Holiday 2018.

You Might Also Like