Hourglass Cosmetics Lips

Hourglass Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss Review

May 17, 2019

Hourglass Unreal Volumizing Lip Gloss Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass launched their new Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss ($30 each for 0.20 oz/ 5.6 g) in 18 shades. I hauled 11 of them during last month’s Sephora Beauty Insider Event. I’ve really loved all things Hourglass for so many years I felt like these could possibly be holy grail material. After testing these for a week I think they’re really beautiful and definitely worth looking into.

The Unreal Lip Gloss is a plumping lip gloss with medium to full coverage. Creams tend to be more opaque and for me the shimmers I tried are medium-sheer. The glosses are hydrating and have a nice smooth feel to them. There is a soft minty scent and slight cooling sensation when you apply. The plumping effect is noticeable after it sets for a few minutes and as one who has ultra sensitive lips I’m thrilled to report there is no tingle and no stinging. I can still feel them plumping my lips but it’s in a gentle way. Since these are hydrating and lush they aren’t weightless. At the same time they aren’t super heavy even though they do have a semi-thick lush feel.

Hourglass Unreal Volumizing Lip Gloss Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Color selection right now for the most part runs on the neutral side with a few bolder options. The finishes range from creams, shimmers and sparkles. Pigment is medium to me for most of the shades but you can layer for a more opaque finish. As mentioned above the shimmer sparkly options tend to be a bit more transparent (except the plum one).

I initially bought 5 and loved them so much I quickly ordered more to take advantage of the discount last month. At $30 each they are pricey but I’m happy with all the colors except two of them. These come with a flattened sponge tip applicator which makes for easy application. I like that they’re sturdy vs flexible. Sometimes the bendy wands make it hard to get gloss on my lips.

Hourglass Unreal Lip Gloss via Sabrina's Blog The Beauty Look Book

A closer look:

Hourglass Unreal Volumizing Lip Gloss Review | The Beauty Look Book

The colors I bought with descriptions below:

  • Ignite is a sheer shimmer with gold, this is the only one I didn’t like, it’s too sheer to have any color payoff on my lips so it’s basically clear, if you want a similar color to what you see in the tube I think Charlotte Tilbury Ibiza Nights is a much better option
  • Child is pale peach cream, this one applied streaky on my pigmented lips, I can blend to smooth out, but for me it’s a tad too pale
  • Provoke is the most beautiful neutral cool mauve nude, most colors like this look like death on me, this one works perfectly!
  • Sublime is what I envisioned Child to look like, it’s a much better neutral peach pink nude
  • Truth is a medium beige nude
  • Canvas is a nude beige rose, this is really similar to Truth, on me they’re so close I can barely tell the difference
  • Prose is a baby rose pink cream
  • Cosmic is a sparkling sheer pink fuchsia glitter, this is smooth without any gritty texture, I think this is one of the more fun shades
  • Fortune is a pink gold shimmer
  • Horizon is a perfect coral cream
  • Impact is a shimmering berry plum sparkle


Hourglass Unreal Volumizing Lip Gloss swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Lip Swatches, as usual all done on bare lips:

Hourglass Unreal Lip Gloss Lip Swatches

Hourglass Unreal Lip Gloss Lip Swatches

A few full face looks wearing:

With Horizon Lip Gloss:

Hourglass Unreal Horizon Lip Gloss

Below With Prose Lip Gloss

Hourglass Unreal Horizon Lip Gloss

Last one with Child Lip Gloss:

Hourglass Unreal Child Lip Gloss

A number of you wanted to know how these compared to my favorite Pat McGrath LUST Gloss (review and lip swatches here and here) and Fenty Beauty Gloss Bombs (all three worn in this post). Both of these formulas have a softer more cushiony feel. They also run sheerer. The Hourglass Unreal by comparison doesn’t quite have that same soft feel but are still glossy and smooth. The pigment is richer and more opaque with the Hourglass shades as well. All formulas are really nice. I’ve swatched some of the Pat McGrath LUST glosses next to similar colors of the Hourglass options.

Hourglass Unreal vs Pat McGrath Lust Gloss swatches

I cannot decide which of the three is best. All are excellent for different reasons. I love the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bombs for their lush sheer shimmery glow. The Pat McGrath LUST Glosses have been among my favorite for color selection and formula. Hourglass is more opaque but some of the colors settle into my natural lip lines (this is also the case with some Pat McGrath colors).

If I had to live with just one gloss formula the rest of my life though, right now I’d have to go with the Pat McGrath LUST Gloss. That being said a number of you felt they were too sheer for your liking so if that’s the case then you’ll most likely be happier with the finish of the Hourglass Unreal.

Overall thumbs up. I think they’re beautiful glosses although I don’t know that I would call them truly innovative like their description suggests. To me truly innovative life changing products are more along things like the Hourglass Scattered Light Shadows, Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipsticks and Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter. Still the Hourglass Unreal Lip Glosses are really nice and well made. I’m thrilled to find a nice plumping gloss that doesn’t have a tingle or sting. My top three favorite colors are Horizon, Fortune and Canvas. If I could do the haul over again I’d skip Ignite and Child and would also pick either Canvas (slightly more pink) or Truth (more beige) but not both.


You can find the Hourglass Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Glosses out now. Available at Sephora, Nordstrom, Hourglass Cosmetics and all other Hourglass retailers.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?


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  • Anne Capitant May 17, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    OMG I want Horizon so bad!

  • Merry Rower May 17, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    As a fellow glossy lip lover, I always look forward to your reviews, so thank you. I picked up two of these in the Sephora sale, Child and Ignite, the two you’d skip! I’m a pale blonde and was playing it safe, so these two actually worked for me, color-wise. They are both pretty and and flattering, but I’m on the fence about keeping them.

    I tend to loathe minty glosses (I’m looking at you Becca) but it’s subtle enough on these. Plumbing effect actually worked a bit. And I felt the glosses wore longer than some (Mercier, Nars) and were comfortable on the lips. But after a week of wear, my lips are dry and tight and the skin around my lips is flaky. I don’t have sensitive skin and am not allergic to anything (except wine, a very sad story) so here’s nothing else to attribute this reaction to but the Hourglass glosses. It’s a bummer because so much about them are great (although I do think the packaging is quite cheap looking).

    Pat McGrath LUST glosses remain my holy grail too. I love everything about them. “Peach Perversion” and some bronzer and I’m set for summer.

    • BeautyLookBook May 17, 2019 at 5:29 pm

      Pat McGrath for LIFE!!!! Peach Perversion is one of the prettiest shades.

      LOL about the minty glosses!

  • Arianna May 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    These look fabulous. They’re so glossy and the shade range is amazing.

    Arianna | Southernbelleforever.com

  • Luka May 17, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    I so wanted to like these. I bought Cosmic and Prose and returned both. Cosmic looked like my lip color but with glitter (no color payoff for me) and Prose pulled orange. Too bad too because Cosmic looked so pretty in the tube.

  • nic May 17, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks! Finally got my Canvas in the mail and am going to wear to work tomorrow. Gosh. I already want more. Dang. Random and off topic, I’m searching the archives and wondered how La Mer eye stuff is? I want to get an eye product, but thought about a million other brands. The ONE doesn’t exist!

    • BeautyLookBook May 17, 2019 at 5:38 pm

      I think the La Mer Eye Balm is good, it’s a really nice one. However for me I think THE one is the La Prairie Skin Caviar Eye Lift Cream (one in the blue and silver packaging). I got a mini sample and fell in love REALLY hard. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever tried and smoothed my skin in a noticeable way. I haven’t been able to bring myself to spend the $$$ on it. I probably should have got the eye cream though instead of buying so many lip glosses.

      • nic May 17, 2019 at 6:25 pm

        Very true about too much lip gloss. But, there are so many variations and finishes and I’ll justify all day. I caved and bought a sample of the La Mer and La Prairie. Here goes nothin.

  • Susan Johnson May 17, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks for the detailed review, Sabrina! I bought Truth based on your swatches and recommendation and I love it! 🙂 . You described it perfectly as “a medium beige nude”, and was exactly the shade and color payoff I was looking for!

  • Around Colours May 18, 2019 at 6:58 am

    They look gorgeous! I was never a fan of lip gloss, they always felt sticky and I live in a windy country so having hair stuck to my lips constantly wasn’t comfortable but now I love them! I love the shiny wet look and I feel like because I’ve been using makeup for a few years now, my lips have gotten used to having something on them so glosses don’t feel as uncomfortable and whenever I want to use one I just put my hair up. Definitely gonna have to check those out, they look beautiful. I can only get one since they’re so pricey so it’s gonna be a hard choice to make haha

    Marta – http://www.aroundcolours.com

  • Sarah May 18, 2019 at 7:15 am

    A great review, thanks for sharing. They sound like they have a beautiful formula and there are so many pretty shades. I did swatch a couple of them in store and they felt lovely.


  • Mariya Zafirova May 18, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Gorgeous shades!

    Mariya | https://www.brunetteondemand.com/

  • Dheera Joshi May 19, 2019 at 2:50 am

    There are so many beautiful shades. A great review, thanks for sharing. Love them!!

    xx Dheera

  • Ana Céline May 19, 2019 at 11:42 am

    I love all of these shades! So pretty xx


  • Alix May 20, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    It’s funny how colors can look so different to different people! When I saw it in person, I thought Provoke was a straight-up beige with yellow undertones, not a wisp of mauve about it. And yet it looks very faintly mauve in your photos. Go figure!

  • Jasmin Lentzel May 21, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    I love the shade range of these! I usually go for nudes and once in a while reach for bold tones. These seem great- I might have to pick one up. I´ve really been into glosses lately!



  • Sangeeta May 22, 2019 at 7:54 am

    I love all the shades. Hourglass is one of my favourite brands and I can’t wait to get my hands on these.

  • Natalie Redman June 21, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    I’m not much for glosses, but these shades are really pretty!


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