Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

hourglass ambient lighting powder swatch diffused light nc30
Here comes my late review on one of the long awaited and much talked about Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders ($45). I've been testing this out for ages and even mentioned in a Face of the Day that I wasn't enjoying it. I did end up returning this shade (Diffused Light) in order to get the one I originally wanted (Dim Light) but wasn't able to get because it was sold out for a long time. I'm happy to report that I like Dim Light much better. 

hourglass ambient lighting powder swatch diffused light nc30
hourglass ambient lighting powder swatch diffused light nc30
hourglass ambient lighting powder swatch diffused light nc30
So, what are the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders?
They are setting powders (don't provide significant coverage) which serve several different purposes like color correcting, highlighting, diffusing pores, and adding glow. Some are more shimmery than others. Diffused Light is one that seemed to be the most matte of all but it still has some really really finely milled shimmer. The powders are extremely soft and very finely milled. Because of this, they kick off dust when you swirl your brush in them. They are so soft that they are prone to crumbling and the boxes even come with a warning on the side advising you to handle them with care. I cannot even imagine what would happen if you drop them! Horrifying to think about it!
Warning: Unsightly closeup picture of my pores coming up.
hourglass ambient lighting powder swatch diffused light nc30
hourglass ambient lighting powder swatch diffused light nc30
What do I think about Diffused Light?
Undoubtedly it's extremely soft and has a very luxurious texture, as do all the Ambient Lighting powders. However, I'm going to go into a lengthy explanation as to why I really disliked this the first few times I used it. Whenever I applied it, it looked cakey. It didn't melt into the skin and I felt like it sat on top. It did blur out my pores, but I didn't think it looked natural up close. Also, I found it gave me a white cast, even when I applied a very light layer. I mentioned I was having problems with it in a blog post and a lovely reader directed me towards a video by an Hourglass makeup artist explaining the Ambient Lighting Powders and the best ways to use them. The MUA suggested using a synthetic brush to apply these. He also suggested sweeping the powder once and not going over it again (so it didn't get "buffed" in). I had been using a natural bristle brush so I switched brushes and tried this method. It made such a difference. I can now make this powder look good on my skin texture-wise, but I still have problems with the color. However, I can't fault it because color selection is the customer's responsibility and this was never the color I intended to get (like I mentioned before, Dim Light was always my first choice and I did end up exchanging this for Dim Light). Another thing I want to mention is that these don't help absorb oil or keep your face from getting shiny throughout the day. I didn't expect them to because they are marketed as luminous powders, however, I feel like these need to much reapplication. Dry skin types won't have a problem, I assume, but these are an oily skin's nightmare. Some people don't mind touching up their makeup but I never take anything with me to touch up except lipstick. I expect my makeup to last (unless it's a crazy long event). Plus, these powders are so fragile, they even have a warning on the box advising the user to handle them gently. I wouldn't dare travel with these.

Phew, in a nutshell: I find Diffused Light to be too pale for my NC30 skin tone. The texture is amazing. It does blur out my pores. The application had a bit of a learning curve (at least for me). These don't absorb oil properly or prolong the wear of foundation as other powders do so I don't think they're optimal for oily skin types. 

Let me know what your experiences with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders have been. Which shade is your favorite?
Are you looking for a new beauty blog to add to your reading list? Check out Look Good Naked, written by Nadi. (Advertising)

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39 comments

  1. Dim Light is the only one I've tried and I really like it. Shame this didn't work

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, but it's a great thing they offer many different colors for all preferences and needs x

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  2. i think some highlighters can be a bit of a hit and miss for sure

    This Girl Loves Chic 

    Facebook : ThisGirlLovesChic 


    xx

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  3. Wow, that is definitely an amazing pore blurring powder! I would love a powder with this quality but with color so there's some coverage and a better match! It's damn pricey but I can see why girls are forking out their money for this! I'm going to go buy skincare instead to repair any of my pores for now! Thanks for the review coco!

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    Replies
    1. I'm not too bothered by my pores but I know that for people with really large and noticeable ones there's only so much skincare can do, but you're right! It's best to treat than to cover x

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  4. I'm paler than NC15 and this works for me. But with all the hype surrounding these powders I was expecting a bit more.

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    Replies
    1. Shame it didn't meet your expectations.

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  5. I guess radiant light one might be suitable for me :) I have a slightly tanned complexion. These seem so good :) x

    - Chaitra | PinkPot

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  6. I haven't tried them, because the brand is not sold in my country (nothing new here), but even if I do come across them, I think they won't be going home with me. I do want to try out their blushes, though.

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  7. I am in love with this one! I was in between NARS Light Reflecting and this and this one was better for me. Shame you didn't like it though xx

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  8. Oh such a shame you didn't like this! I love it. I don't feel these are that fragile though, I've dropped mine (on carpet mind you) and it's been fine x

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    Replies
    1. Haha, well carpet absorbs the shock, but they are more fragile than regular pressed face powders xx

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  9. Great review too bad this isn't a good product for oily skin types.

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  10. I'm paler than you (N15) and I have same troubles with Diffused Light. I'm still trying to make this work. I so much prefer Dim Light too!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, wow! I thought it would definitely work on an N15 but everyone has different preferences :) x

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  11. Yay, I'm so glad that the video helped you and you were able to find a shade that works best for you. I am much more pale than you (let's say Casper, lol), and Diffused Light works for me, but I can't seem to make Dim Light work. I have that trio palette from Hourglass, but cannot get Dim to work (I keep trying). It is just about finding a shade that flatters you the most and fits what you need/want. It seems that Dim Light is the most universally flattering shade for most people.

    I use the Diffused Light with my Sephora #55 airbrush, I will sweep it in a downward motion all over my face when I am 100% done with my makeup. For me, this blurs out imperfections, neutralizes redness, and give me this beautiful glow to my skin.I don't use it to set my look, I will either use Nars Light Reflecting Setting powder or the Dermablend Setting powder (this is GOLD for my oily t-zone).

    I wish I could get the other shades of the line to work for me, but the only one that works is Diffused and Radiant. I've tried Ethereal, Mood, and Dim; all were a no for my skin tone/type.

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    1. Thank you very very much, Nicole! It was a very informative video! I must try the #55 brush. I recently tried the #45 and, oh my, it's so nice!
      xx

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  12. Hm it does seem like a great powder...I wouldn't like the white-cast it gives though either

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  13. I kind of had the opposite problem with Dim Light in that I found it to be too dark for me. But I agree that the method of application and brush type is very important with these Ambient Lighting Powders. I am tempted by Diffused Light but I ain't forking out $64 or whatever crazy price it is here for it :p Glad you managed to exchange for the one you wanted in the end though!

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  14. This is a really helpful review! I just ordered the re-released palette, I hope I can use them. I think some points you made will help me out :)
    blushingbiddies.com

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    Replies
    1. The beauty world rejoiced when they made it permanent :) I hope you enjoy it!

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  15. This looks like such a stunning product, but i'm still not 100% sold :) xx

    A Little Treat | Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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  16. My absolute favorite is Mood Light, but Dim Light is a close second. I do find there to be such a difference when I apply it in light, sweeping strokes instead of with a denser brush and buffing action. I applaud you for trying to figure out how to apply it properly instead of giving up on it. :D

    Carina / Softly Sometimes

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    Replies
    1. I generally try my best with products, but even more so when they cost $45!! Ha!

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  17. It look really good! I follow you on bloglovin, it would be great if you also take a look at my blog and maybe follow me back xx

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  18. I am addicted to Ethereal Light but you are correct when you say the powder is fragile. I would never travel with this powder with just regular use my powder is showing cracks. I still love it though!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I would rather keep it safely in my makeup drawer :)

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  19. Awwww, Diffused Light is my favorite! My skin is dry and I have redness issues, so this works great for me! I also have Mood Light, which is the lavender shade. I love it also, but find myself using Diffused more regularly. I do use a natural hair brush with it, so will try a synthetic. Thanks for the tip! I love the powders. I think the key, like you said, is to find a good color match.

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  20. Great review! Thanks for the heads up. As someone with oily skin I really wanted to try this, but now I'm not so sure since I do need something that will keep me matte more than reduce the size of my pores. :\

    Laura
    www.lauraneuzeth.com

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I don't find them to keep oil at bay very well.

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  21. Hmm, I doubt it's something for me. As I tend to get shiny throughout the day I think the glitters would be too obvious on my skin. Great review though x

    9 out of ten | find and follow me on bloglovin

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  22. Wow, this product is so great! I didn't know something like this exists! I need this so bad, can't wait to get my hands on it!

    www.FashionContainer.com
    xx, Malena

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  23. Thanks for such a thorough review! Glad you're liking Dim Light better- it's one of my faves :)

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  24. Great review as always

    www.ambermcniff.co.uk

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  25. Such a great post, I'm going to look for the video now to have a watch. I really want one of these but I haven't a clue which shade I should get, I have dry skin so I'm pleased t hear they'd probably work well! Yay :)

    Claudia xx | Beauty and the Chic

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