Hourglass Ambient Powders ($45) have hit the market of the past few weeks via Sephora.com and soon to be available in stores. Essentially, these powders are intended to brighten, conceal by capturing and diffusing the way that light hits the skin. The company makes the powders in six different shades intended to work on all skin tones, so that one can choose the effect they desire.
According to the company:
“I learned early on how different types of light can truly flatter the complexion,” says Carisa Janes, Hourglass CEO & Founder. “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.” Janes was inspired to create a new generation of powders that can be customized according to the desired lighting effect.
Unlike traditional finishing powders, Ambient Lighting Powder alters the perceived appearance of the complexion by manipulating and filtering out harsh light. As we age, skin loses its natural luminosity, and Ambient addresses this deficiency with ‘photoluminescent technology’. These transparent micron-size, color-correcting particles emulate the appearance of young, healthy-looking skin.
The packaging is a lightweight compound that feels a bit like plastic and touch-up mirror. The company has released a accompanying Ambient Powder brush ($35) that is sold separately.
We tried Houglass Ambient Powder in Luminous Light, a champagne pearl powder that looks magnificent in the pan:
We wanted to love Luminous, we tried to. We actually had a meltdown, of sorts, about the fact that the powder didn’t work for us. Well, two meltdowns, really. (We get passionate about makeup in a way that’s sort of not, well, normal maybe. What of it?).
It was our opinion that the Hourglass powder was too visible and shimmery to use as an all-over face powder for our personal taste. For comparison, here are heavy applications of the nearly-invisible Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder (loose). As you can see, this very heavy application of the Nars Powder sets up as a demi-matte finish and adds no color, compared to the shimmery Hourglass Luminous. I also swatched the Guerlain Pressed Meteorites in Wulong. As you can see, this very heavy application Guerlain Wulong deposits a subtle soft color, compared to the more visible Houglass Luminous. Of course, you’d never wear any of these as heavily as they are applied here–I’m trying to show relative visibility (not actual).
I’m not sure how visible these will be to you, as setting powders are notoriously tough to swatch. One more, same powders:
We took a cue from The Beauty Look Book, who loved it as a highlighter. I tried, but found that the color blocked up a bit on me and left a touch of frost. Back of the compact:
Edit on Feb. 22, 2013: I was able to try Hourglass Ambient Dim by applying it over my Tom Ford foundation in a Sephora. Still not working–my husband said I looked better prior to application. I didn’t buy, and I won’t be pursuing more of the powders–this is just not the product for me.
Our advice: There are others who are giving these fabulous reviews. In our book, this is a “try before you buy.”
Hourglass sent this Ambient Powder and Ambient Powder Brush to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)