This year Hourglass has three new limited-edition Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palettes ($90 each) and they are stunning. They’re currently available online at Hourglass Cosmetics and will be launching at Sephora starting 9/22.
You can also customize the palette combination of the compact + palette inside on the Hourglass website (they have an exclusive Owl design) although I ordered the palettes as they are named/pre-designed. There are repeats in each palette but Hourglass gave us quite a few new shades this year.
Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked – Jellyfish
The Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked – Jellyfish is probably my favorite although I’m not thrilled about the finishing powder repeats. They are nice to have and work well to set or blur, but I think the vast majority of us already own the setting powder and are craving all new shades.
Lunar Bronze swatches warm on my arm but it’s actually more neutral. The pink blushes are neutral and the new highlighter pulls cool-toned on me. I am currently in between MAC NC30 and NC35 (I’m wearing NC35 in the new MAC Studio Radiance Serum Foundation) and this one surprisingly shows up on me. At first glance I thought there could be a chance it would be too light but it works for me!
- Diffused Light Finishing Powder (repeat, available individually)
- Rose Fusion Blush (new)
- Opal Strobe Light Strobe Powder (new)
- Bronzer Lunar Bronze (new)
- Diffused Heat Blush (repeat, available individually)
- Ethereal Light Finishing Powder (repeat, available individually)
- Foundation – MAC Studio Radiance Serum Foundation in NC35
- Powder – Hourglass Finishing Powder in Dim Light
- Eyes – Hourglass Custom Palette (Bee, Yes and Act)
- Mascara – Tarte Tartelette Tubing Mascara
- Lips – Hourglass Phantom Glossy Balm in Mist + Sense mixed
Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked – Leopard
The Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked – Leopard Palette seems the most versatile to me but it has a lot of repeats in it. I do think if you’re new to Hourglass or makeup and want a good mix of shades that you can wear with almost any lip, this is it.
- Dim Light Finishing Powder (repeat, available individually)
- Celestial Strobe Light Strobe Powder (repeat from Holiday 2022 Butterfly Palette and 2023 Blush & Glow Palette)
- Mood Exposure Blush (repeat, available individually)
- Iridescent Rose Blush (repeat from Holiday 2019 Ghost)
- Ethereal Flush (new)
- Lustrous Bronze Light Bronzer (repeat from Holiday 2022 Elephant)
Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked – Snake
The Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked – Snake is the most unique as it has almost all new shades. It pulls very warm and reminds me of the Holiday 2022 Tiger Palette, but isn’t as orangey. This year’s Snake Palette has more pink tones but still pulls warm.
- Radiant Light Finishing Powder (repeat, available individually)
- Coral Haze Blush (new)
- Infinite Strobe Light Strobe Powder (new)
- Sun Beam Blush (new)
- Mystic Flush Blush (new)
- Solar Bronze Bronzer (new)
I tried to get the same camera and lighting settings as last year to do side by side swatches. I think they’re close enough to give you an idea of how different/similar they are. Full review of Holiday 2022 here.
Holiday 2023 vs Holiday 2022 Palettes
Overall I think the Holiday 2023 palettes are really beautiful. For me they were worth the splurge even though they’re incredibly expensive. Are any of them must-haves? I think it depends on how many other Hourglass palettes you own, but I do think this year’s palettes are among the prettiest ones I’ve tried.
Based on the feedback from many of you, opinions seem mixed. A good portion of you are like me: love these and collect them every year, even if there are duplicates and similarities. Then there are quite a few who passed on the last year’s palettes and aren’t quite sure about this year’s because you own one or two from several years ago and either never used them or think there are too many similarities to justify another one.
With the holiday season approaching (sets come out earlier and earlier every year), I think there will definitely be some upcoming sales like Friends and Family discounts or gift card events etc. You might want to bookmark these or add these to your wishlists for those times.
What do you think about these palettes? Did you order any of these yet?