> | | | > Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Power in Diffused Light

Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Power in Diffused Light

Posted on Saturday, March 9, 2013 | 6 Comments

Whoa! Apparently everyone on the blogosphere has been talking about this highly-anticipated product. Evidently, I need to start reading more blogs!

As for me, I found out about this product when surfing Sephora’s website last month. I was in the market for a new compact since I was still using Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Powder and a wet/dry powder foundation from a drugstore brand called Prestige.

The former left a white cast that I found to be particularly visible in photos. The latter compact made me way too matte for my liking (plus I really didn’t need to be adding powder foundation on top of my BB cream, but it was all I had and it was better than having an oily T-zone). Furthermore, both products would settle around dry patches of skin later on in the day, which I definitely didn’t need!

So behold, the Ambient Lighting Powder from Hourglass: 

The Ambient Lighting Powder is: “a universal finishing powder that features state-of-the-art technology to recreate the most exquisitely flattering types of light.”

Note: “finishing powder”. This product is not meant to be a highlighter, or a blusher, or a bronzer—though I have read some reviews of women using it as such. This product is meant to be dusted all over one’s face to create the intended lighting effect. I suppose you can use it whichever way you want though. 

The Claims: 
Create your perfect light. Ambient Lighting Powder is a groundbreaking collection of finishing powders that capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on your skin. Ambient’s illuminating particles are one of the first ever to exhibit both photoluminescence and color-correcting capabilities. The transparent micron-sized spheres with an entrapped diamond core—called photoluminescent technology—do not simply cloak imperfections like traditional powder, but rather, alter and refine the perceived appearance of the complexion by manipulating and filtering out harsh light. Delivering a multidimensional luminescence to every skintone, skin appears softer, younger, and lit-from-within. With six universal shades available, you can choose to create your desired lighting effect—not unlike having a personal lighting technician. 

Lit from within? Like having a personal lighting technician? Whoa nelly, I’m sold!
Ethereal Light - opalescent sheer, cool white powder
Eliminate shine and mimic a moonlit glow—even in broad daylight
Mood Light - soft, sheer lavender pink powder
Mimic the softest most-forgiving light and reveal your brightest complexion

Diffused Light - soft, warm pale yellow powder
Reduce redness, eliminate shine, and give skin clarity

Luminous Light - champagne pearl powder
Create a soft, incandescent candlelit glow—day or night

Radiant Light - golden beige powder
Extend a summer glow, or enhance your overall complexion with a believable, subtle warmth

Dim Light - neutral peach beige powder
The perfect balance of warm and cool tones, to blur imperfections and bring to light your most radiant complexion 

Although Hourglass markets each of the shades as “universal,” I would recommend going out to Sephora to swatch the shades first, just in case. I bought Diffused Light online with no problems, but seeing the other shades, it’s difficult to see some of the darker or lighter shades being a good match for me.


Hourglass says: “Dust Ambient Lighting Powder all over the face with Ambient Powder Brush.”

Of course they have to create the Ambient Powder Brush to go along with it, and of course it has to be priced exorbitantly at $35 USD/$41 CAD.  

I just use a regular, densely-packed mineral powder brush with this product, which seems to work well enough for me—though I can’t say if the Ambient Powder Brush creates a better look or not.

Since the compact is rather large, I like to gather up some product on a retractable kabuki brush and take the brush with me for touchups rather than the whole compact.

My Thoughts: 

Product: I bought the Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light since I have a bit of a problem with redness on and around my nose area. Diffused Light promises to (1) reduce redness, (2) eliminate shine, and (3) give skin clarity.
1. Redness? Gone! The redness on and around my nose is covered up when I apply BB cream, but as the day progresses, the redness starts to show as the BB cream wears off. The redness is kept at bay with the Ambient Lighting Powder, though I’m not sure if it’s due to the powder itself, how well the powder sets my BB cream, or a combination of both. Either way, I’m glad

2. Shine? I don’t become tremendously oily, but my nose does get noticeably shiny due to my BB cream. This product isn’t meant for oil control, so I didn’t expect too much on that part. However, I actually love the dewy finish the Ambient Lighting Powder provides. My nose does get a little oily, but it’s a lot less shiny and takes a lot more time to get to that point; meanwhile the minimal shine buildup doesn’t look too far off from the dewy finish from when I first applied the powder. I’m good for about 5 hours before I feel the need to touch-up the powder on my nose. 

3. Clarity? With the powder, my pores (though they’re pretty small to begin with) are blurred away and acne scars are significantly less noticeable.

And here’s the best part! The product is super-finely milled—I think the particles are even smaller than Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Powder—so it doesn’t cake or settle around my dry patches! Love it!

Packaging: The compact is encased in sleek and shiny hard plastic. It’s easy to open and close, and there is a large mirror inside the compact.
The compact is a little chunky (the whole thing is a bit bigger than my palm), but a larger compact means for more product, right!? The only thing I really dislike about the packaging is the fact that the shiny plastic is like a magnet for fingerprints. I apply my BB cream with my fingers, so I still have some BB cream residue on my fingers by the time I’m ready for the finishing powder. The compact will look pretty awful in due time :(

Price: This finishing powder is sold at Sephora for $45 USD/$52 CAD. Definitely up there, but certainly worth the investment. Besides, if you find it’s not for you, there’s always Sephora’s generous return policy! 

Overall: Oh boy, I’m definitely in love with this finishing powder and the natural finish it provides. It's definitely an HG item and it's definitely going to remain a staple in my makeup routine for quite some time! It's hard to see the subtle change this product provides via camera, but there is definitely a difference.

Repurchase? I’m biting my lip a bit at the price, but seeing the product in action (and considering it will take me a while to hit pan), I’m going to answer with a definitive “yes”—in fact, I’m thinking about buying this in Dim as well!

Good luck!

Amicably Yours,


  1. Great review Emi. I'm curious to see how long it takes to hit pan! at $52 that product better go all the way to the bottom of the massive packaging.

    1. Fingers crossed on that! Won't know for a while yet though, since I only use a little on my T-zone. I actually save the $7 by ordering and shipping to the states since I did a small Sephora haul :)


  3. I see a noticeable difference. I ordered Diffused and Ethereal, $52 each! from your picture diffused looks great. Have you tried ethereal?

    1. Yeah, it's a hefty price tag for sure. That's why I got mine in the States. I'm not sure Ethereal would suit me, but I'm probably going to pick up Dim soon!

      Hope you enjoy your new powders :)

  4. Oh my god, I wasn't too sure whether I really liked the Diffused Light shade or not, and wow, your face looks amazing :o So I'm sold haha.


Powered by Blogger.