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.
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.
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?
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