I have a peculiar relationship with overhyped products. Sometimes I am very much skeptical about them, but other times I just get suckered into the whole dealio and when the dust has settled, I find myself several dollars poorer with no clue as to why I bought into the whole thing.
This could very well be the latter situation, except… these “Ambient Lighting Powders” by Hourglass Cosmetics are so worth the hype.
If these things were horrible products, I’d be kicking myself in the face for falling for something so pretentiously named. But, I needed to know if these “Ambient Lighting Powders” could actually artificially create a lighting effect on the face using powders. It sounds like sorcery to me and anything that brings me a step closer to being able to get Lumos! to work is worth a try.
First, I ordered Luminous Light to try out. Since I enlisted the help of Carefreeshopper, I needed to wait about a month to get my order.
I was really getting antsy and meant to get at least two anyway, so I asked Sarie to get me one more on her trip to the States, because that is super logical. I asked for Ethereal Light, because I figured it would be hard to go wrong with a translucent powder.
And then my experience with Luminous Light was so fricken good, I asked her to get me Mood Light, too.
At $45 a pop, this seems excessive, but holy cow. Words cannot describe how much I love these things. I’ve never really been a powder person, so I can’t really tell you why I was so into these, but I’ll try my best.
So, these Ambient Lighting Powders are supposed to mimic certain lighting effects on your face. They come in six “shades” or effects:
- Ethereal Light — transparent; mimics a moonlit glow
- Diffused Light — light warm creamy yellow; mimics a soft ray of morning light
- Dim Light — neutral peach beige; blurs imperfections & highlights a radiant complexion with a perfect combination of warm and cool tones
- Mood Light — soft sheer lavender pink; mimics the softest most forgiving light, reveals the brightest complexion
- Luminous Light — champagne pearl; creates a soft, incandescent candlelit glow
- Radiant Light — sun-kissed golden beige; overall complexion with believable, subtle warmth, and also extends a summer glow
Sounds like mumbo jumbo, right? I wasn’t really lured into it because of these descriptions. I think it was this story that did me in:
“I learned early on how different types of light can truly flatter the complexion. Growing up, my mother had pink light bulbs in all of the lamps throughout the house. She loved pink light because it was the softest and most flattering, and she always wanted to look good. I used this concept of lighting in Ambient Lighting Powder.” — Carisa Janes, Hourglass Founder
Still, I don’t regret being suckered into a product with a good story, because these things are freaking great.
Here are some heavy swatches. All the powders are quite fine, and I these are applied much heavier than you would apply them to your face:
Swatches, L-R: Ethereal Light, Luminous Light, Mood Light
When I first used Luminous Light, I was like “EH?” and was so heartbroken that I’d been suckered into some gimmick. I was on my way out of the house, but then I had to go back into my room to get something I forgot. I caught my reflection in the mirror, just with natural light and not the bulbs I usually have turned on when I put on my makeup, and wow! I felt like freaking Galadriel.
And that is when the love affair started. Here are some Instagram photos of me wearing Luminous Light, which is supposed to mimic “an incandescent, candlelit glow”:
I use this one all over my face, though it has a bit of a pearly sheen to it, so some people use it just as a highlight. I personally love the haloed effect it gives to my face, especially when I am not drowning in sweat.
Here’s one where I used Ethereal Light.
LOL it’s kind of a funny pose and facial expression, but I think you can see the difference, even with the filters. I find this to be a little pale on me, but I think I was a bit heavy-handed with it since this was the first time I used it.
It’s pretty much a straight-up matte powder, and I can see how it imitates the moonlight. You know how everything the moon touches lights up with a bluish, cool light? That’s how I find this powder. It’s not bad, but it’s not my favorite.
Also, it really proves to me how these powders serve different functions. Which makes me want all of them all the more!
And, finally, Mood Light in action:
I look super tan here, and I don’t know why. It’s weird that Mood Light is supposed to provide “the brightest complexion” but I look really tan here. I do kind of love the effect, though!
On super pale skin tones, Mood Light can actually work as a blush! For me, I use it all over the face (lol my answer to all the powders, apparently), though I want to try experimenting and using a couple of these at a time, concentrating certain “shades” on different smaller areas.
I think the shade that will get the least use from me might be Ethereal Light. While it does mimic a moonlit glow, it kind of makes me look washed out and might be a tad bit too cool for me. I think my favorite is Mood Light, though Luminous Light is an absolutely joy to use as well.
I initially thought these were just highlighters, but to my surprise, they helped keep my oil levels down! They’re not so effective as an oil control powder when the weather is excessively hot, however. The coverage is very, very minimal.
The packaging looks very luxe, with a sort of sleek shiny bronze finish and curved corners, but there is very little weight to them. By that, I mean, they look like Guerlain’s cousins, but there is very little heft to the compacts themselves. I don’t mind, but I was very surprised because I expected them to be heavier. They come with a mirror on the lid.
You can purchase a special brush made by Hourglass, but I just use my RealTechniques blush brush (from the travel set) or more frequently, my Hakuhodo H610. I get a bit of product on the brush, not fully extended, sweep across my cheekbones and other parts of my face, then blend out with the fully extended bristles.
I know these are sort of divisive products (though there are more people who love them), but I don’t know, man. These are such a dream to use for me, personally.
Here are some comprehensive video reviews, so you can see them in action. They’re also very helpful, if you’re thinking of maybe picking just one of these babies up. 🙂
By Dustin Hunter
By Josh Collier
In case anyone was wondering, these are “free of parabens, talc, fragrance, nano-particles and gluten.” Hourglass Cosmetics is also cruelty-free. If that weren’t enough, Google the founder, Carisa Janes, because she is super inspiring and super beautiful.
That’s all folks, thanks for reading! Do you have any of these up? What has been your experience with them?