Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Hourglass Ethereal Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Ethereal Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Ethereal Light Ambient Lighting Powder ($45.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as an “opalescent sheer, cool white powder.” It’s a very light, ivory beige with subtle, cool undertones and a delicate shimmer-sheen finish. MAC Hot Sensation (LE, $26.00) is similar. Cle de Peau Pastel (11) (P, $55.00) is more shimmery. NARS Paloma Highlight (P) is similar. Chanel Jardin de Camelias (LE, $65.00) is warmer. MAC Forever Marilyn (LE, $26.00) is pinker, cooler-toned. Guerlain Mythic (P, $55.00) is more shimmery. Guerlain Clair (02) (P, $62.00) is slightly more luminous. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Lo and behold, I never reviewed this shade of the Ambient Lighting Powders! For those unfamiliar with the formula, it’s a finishing powder, which is supposed to “capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on your skin.” This is the lightest of the six available, and it is also one of the shades with the least visible shimmer/sheen to it. Hourglass says that all six shades available are universally flattering, though I’m not sure that this will work on deeper skin tones (and certainly would recommend one of the darker shades in that instance). On my medium skin tone, it softens the look of pores, lines, and my skin’s natural texture to a more even, smoother-looking canvas, while giving just enough of a natural finish that the skin doesn’t look dull or lifeless, but it doesn’t look shiny or shimmery either. The texture is lightweight and doesn’t look cakey, though it is so soft that it does kick up some excess powder when used. It extends the wear of my base products by about a half hour to an hour, though it is a finishing powder so it’s a happy bonus but certainly worth mentioning.

The Glossover

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Ethereal Light

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Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer ($50.00 for 0.39 oz.) is described as a “warm bronze shade fused with Radiant Light.” It’s a medium-dark brown with warm, yellow undertones and a soft, golden shimmer-sheen finish. Dolce and Gabbana Desert (P, $51.00) is less shimmery. Urban Decay Naked on the Run Bronzer (LE) is less shimmery, lighter. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze (P) is cooler-toned. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $45.00) is more shimmery. IT Cosmetics Warm Radiance (P, $34.00) is lighter, cooler-toned. MAC Delphic (LE, $33.00) is a smidgen lighter. Too Faced Spice (LE) is cooler-toned. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (P) is cooler-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is redder, less shimmery. MAC Lush Light Bronze (LE, $28.00) is darker. MAC Gold Go Lightly (LE, $28.00) is similar. MAC Sun Dipped (LE, $30.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Nude on Board (LE, $30.00) is similar. MAC Soft Sand (LE, $25.00) is less shimmery. Burberry Summer Glow (P, $48.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

As I mentioned in my review for Luminous Bronze Light, the new bronzing formula takes the “illuminating effects” of their signature Ambient Lighting powders with “bronze pigments” to give a “natural, sun-kissed glow.” The formula is supposed to have “buildable color and a radiant finish” with a “sheer, airy” feel. This particular shade is designed for “medium/deep complexions.” It was very pigmented and a little went a long way, but I’m not sure this is dark enough for very deep skin tones, though the luminous finish may help it still add some noticeable warmth/sheen, even if it doesn’t add much color. It’s rather full coverage, instead of buildable, but you can blend/diffuse it for a sheerer look as the formula is forgiving. It seemed rather sparkly when swatched, but the way it translated onto skin is almost magical, because I didn’t see a lot of sparkle, I saw the luminosity. The texture was silky, smooth and blends easily on the skin, while the sheen didn’t emphasize pores or the skin’s natural texture. It stayed on well for eight and a half hours before I noticed any fading. It was hard for me to see a noticeable difference in color when I wore both this and Luminous Bronze Light on my skin tone; the lighter shade seemed a bit less warm/more subdued, but it was a subtle difference.

Forgot to mention: the Ambient Lighting Bronzers are the same physical size as the Ambient Lighting Powders. These have 0.39 oz. in them, whereas the original powders have 0.35 oz. On a price per ounce basis, the Bronzers are $128.21/oz. and the Powders are $128.57/oz. Of course, if you look at it from more of a “per use” basis, you may feel that you stand little chance of finishing the bronzer and would have preferred it in blush-size (which costs $35 for 0.15 oz. or $233.33/oz.).

The Glossover

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Radiant Bronze Light

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Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer ($50.00 for 0.39 oz.) is described as a “medium tan shade fused with Luminous Light.” It’s a muted, medium tan brown with warm, yellow undertones and a fine golden shimmer-sheen. Dolce and Gabbana Desert (P, $51.00) is less shimmery. Urban Decay Naked on the Run Bronzer (LE) is less shimmery. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze (P) is cooler-toned. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $45.00) is more shimmery. IT Cosmetics Warm Radiance (P, $34.00) is more shimmery, cooler-toned. MAC Delphic (LE, $33.00) is similar. Too Faced Spice (LE) is similar. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (P) is cooler-toned. MAC Gold Go Lightly (LE, $28.00) is darker. MAC Sun Dipped (LE, $30.00) is similar. MAC Nude on Board (LE, $30.00) is slightly cooler-toned. MAC Soft Sand (LE, $25.00) is less shimmery. Burberry Summer Glow (P, $48.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

The newest addition to the Ambient Lighting range is bronzer–just in time for summer–and is available in two shades. The formula is marketed as combining the “illuminating effects” of their signature Ambient Lighting powders with “bronze pigments” to give a “natural, sun-kissed glow.” It’s supposed to have “buildable color and a radiant finish” with a “sheer, airy” feel. This shade is supposed to be for “fair/light complexions” as it gives a “softer, candlelit warmth.” It had more semi-opaque color coverage to start, which could then be intensified to full coverage or sheered out for lighter coverage. If I wanted to dust this all-over, I’d have to use a light hand and a fan brush (something naturally feathery with little density).

When I first swatched it, I was worried about the level of shimmer, but on the skin, it is beautifully luminous and glowy–it doesn’t emphasize pores at all, and it doesn’t even look frosty. On my medium complexion, I had no trouble getting this to show up well on my skin tone, but it was surprisingly similar to Radiant Bronze Light (which is about two shades darker, but depending on application, any difference may be difficult to detect, as it was on my skin tone!). I would have loved to have seen a greater contrast between the two shades, since there are only two. The texture is silky, smooth, and seemed less prone to kicking up excess powder compared to the original Ambient Lighting Powders. On the skin, it blended effortlessly and wore well for eight hours before fading on me.

Forgot to mention: the Ambient Lighting Bronzers are the same physical size as the Ambient Lighting Powders. These have 0.39 oz. in them, whereas the original powders have 0.35 oz. On a price per ounce basis, the Bronzers are $128.21/oz. and the Powders are $128.57/oz. Of course, if you look at it from more of a “per use” basis, you may feel that you stand little chance of finishing the bronzer and would have preferred it in blush-size (which costs $35 for 0.15 oz. or $233.33/oz.).

The Glossover

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Luminous Bronze Light

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Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Ambient Lighting Bronzer ($50.00)

Ambient Lighting Bronzer fuses the illuminating effects of photoluminescent technology with bronze pigments to deliver a natural, sun-kissed glow while exhibiting depth and dimension. The sheer, airy formula sweeps on softly for a healthy-looking, radiant finish to the skin.

  • Luminous Bronze Light A medium tan shade fused with Luminous Light, a champagne pearl powder, for a softer, candlelit warmth. Ideal for fair/light complexions.
  • Radiant Bronze Light A warm bronze shade fused with Radiant Light, a golden beige powder, to mimic a summer glow. Ideal for medium/deep complexions.

Ambient Lighting Blush ($35.00) (New, Permanent)

  • Incandescent Electra A cool peach blush blended with Incandescent Light for a celestial glow (Will now available individually)

Availability: Ambient Lighting Bronzer will available for VIB Rouges April 7th through 14th (for everyone on April 15th) at Sephora; the blush will be available on April 15th. In-store in May. Will be available at other retailers May 2015.

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Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes ($58.00 for 0.175 oz. each) debuted this spring as a new formula from the brand. There are seven variations, and each palette has five different shades. I didn’t like any of them, and I would never use any of these again personally, because they’re just far too time-consuming to work with. I’m a fan of Hourglass, and I loved their previous eyeshadow duos (some of the best eyeshadows on the market), so I was incredibly surprised to have such a poor experience with their newest formula.

The main problem with the formula is that it is so soft and finely-milled that it turns powdery, sometimes chalky, and doesn’t hold together well. In turn, that powderiness translates to poorer color payoff, poorer adhesion, and shorter wear times. The eyeshadow tends to dust off the skin without a tackier base to hold it there. Many shades sheer away to some degree with a few sheering away to near nothingness. Some of them are drier, some may be powdery but blend poorly. Even if you prefer a softer or sheerer look, you can easily achieve the same look with hundreds of other products that are easier to use.

Report Card

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette ($58.00 for 0.17 oz.) is supposed to be a mix of “earth tones.” It’s consistent with the other palettes I’ve reviewed: disappointing. The texture of the eyeshadows is absolutely soft and finely-milled, but those positive characteristics are outweighed by how dusty and powdery the end result is. These are frustrating to use; they are not effortless, and half of the time, despite being so soft, they don’t go on smoothly, tend to look uneven, and require some elbow grease to blend. I also noticed that this particular palette seemed to have more overlap with the other palettes (but it could just be that it is last to be reviewed).

Obscura #1 is described as a “cream.” It’s a yellowed, light beige with warm undertones and a satin-matte finish–there’s a little sheen there. The texture was soft, finely-milled but quite powdery, which made it prone to sheering out. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Obscura #2 is described as a “smokey brown.” It’s a dark brown with subtle, warm yellow undertones and a mostly matte finish. It was very powdery, so very little of the powder actually stuck to the skin, which made it appear sheer and uneven. The texture may feel silky to the touch, but it is much harder to use in practice. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Obscura #3 is described as a “rose gold.” It’s a golden copper-bronze with warm undertones and a metallic finish. It’s not rose gold to me, as it is has far too much brown in it. It had good pigmentation both wet and dry, though it was easier to get smooth, even color and longer wear when I applied it with a dampened brush. Dry, it only lasted for seven hours, but dampened, it lasted closer to eight hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Obscura #4 is described as a “coffee.” It’s a dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a satin finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff that went on unevenly–it looked patchy and was difficult to diffuse and blend–while the color itself wore for seven hours before fading. The texture was powdery and didn’t want to bind/adhere to the skin. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Obscura #5 is described as a “cool bronze.” It’s a medium-dark, golden brown with a metallic sheen. The texture was somewhat dry, a little powdery, but it is workable on the lid when used with a dampened brush. The color payoff is good both wet and dry, but it just was so much easier to work with when it came to blending and getting even, smooth color when I tried using it with a dampened brush. Once on, it lasted for seven hours dry, eight hours damp. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

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palette

Obscura

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Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Obscura #1

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Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Obscura #2

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Product

6/10

Pigmentation

4.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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