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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80.00 for 0.29 oz.) includes three Ambient Lighting Powders, two Ambient Lighting Blushes, and one Ambient Lighting Bronzer in a large, plastic palette with an interior mirror. If you don’t mind having to finagle your brushes just so or have no issues using two or three shades at a time, and you’re a fan of the Hourglass Ambient formulas, then it might be worth looking at. I think that with how out of line it is compared to their other palettes that it is hard to recommend, even if the quality is good, because I see more value in picking up one or two that you’d use often and love. I had some texture issues with Luminous Flush, which was much more powdery/dusty this time around. Otherwise, the blushes/bronzers were more or less of one shade due to the nature of it being a mixed composition (so they can vary from pan to pan quite a bit).

With respect to the size and quantity of the palette, here is what I wrote previously: One of the main concerns I saw from readers when the palette was announced was with respect to the size of the palette, both actual size as well as quantity. The pans are smaller than prior palettes, and the majority of blush brushes are too small (even my SUQQU/Chikuhodo Z brushes barely fit, and those are smaller cheek brushes). Here is how it breaks down for value:

  • Ambient Lighting Edit:  0.294 oz. for $80.00 = $272.11/oz.
    • Contains:  $18.90 worth of Ambient Lighting Powder; $22.87 worth of Ambient Lighting Blush; and $6.28 worth of Ambient Lighting Bronzer
    • Value:  $48.05
  • Ambient Lighting Blush Palette: 0.33 oz. for $58.00 = $175.76/oz.
    • Value:  $77.00 worth of Ambient Lighting Blush
  • Ambient Lighting Powder Palette: 0.35 oz. for $58.00 =$165.71/oz.
    • Value:  $45.00 worth of Ambient Lighting Powder
  • Ambient Lighting Powder: 0.35 oz. for $45.00 = $128.57/oz.
  • Ambient Lighting Blush: 0.15 oz. for $35.00 = $233.33/oz.
  • Ambient Lighting Bronzer: 0.39 oz. for $50.00 = $128.21/oz.

It’s a real shame that Hourglass priced this year’s palette so high; the value is really out of sync compared to the past palette releases.  On one hand, you can justify spending more even if the quantity isn’t a great value to get six shades for the price of 2-3 products, but the difference in value of products to what you pay is so much more than most kits and palettes where a pesky thing like principles can come into play.  I also think that having the actual size of each pan being so small makes it very hard to use; you really can’t use a powder brush for all-over dusting with the Ambient Lighting Powders (which is how they’re often used) or a blush brush (and forget about a bronzer brush!).

Dim Light is described as a “neutral peach beige powder.” It’s a light, peachy beige with warm undertones and a fine, satiny shimmer. It’s very close to my skin tone, so it doesn’t add or take away from my natural coloring, but on fairer skin tones, it may warm up the skin. I find it works well as setting or finishing powder dusted all-over, and it does a nice job of making the skin appear smoother and more diffused without reading powdery or heavy.

Iridescent Light is a “sheer illuminating highlighter.” It is a very light, peach-hued beige with white shimmer. The texture is soft but dusty (more so than most Ambient Lighting products) and produces a light sheen. I imagine it will be appealing to anyone who finds the average highlighter too much. I’m not sure if this will work as well over deeper skin tones, as it has a whiter base against my skin tone, but it may work and it may also work if layered over a blush. It wore well for eight hours on me. Cle de Peau Pastel (11) (P, $55.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). bareMinerals The Five Star Treatment (LE, $26.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Urban Decay Luminous (P, $30.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Too Faced Pop of Light (P) is more shimmery (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Chanel Jardin de Camelias (LE, $65.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). MAC Hot Sensation (LE, $22.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). MAC Mystery Princess (LE, $22.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). MAC Coupe d'Chic (LE, $26.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Diffused Light is described as a “soft, warm pale yellow.” It’s a very light, yellowed white with very subtle shimmer. This shade is supposed to “reduce redness and give skin clarity.” It should work as a finishing or setting powder on some skin tones, and then will likely be too light for deeper skin tones. The powder softens and gives skin a smoother appearance without making it look flat or totally matte. Though it is more of a finishing powder by design, Hourglass’ formula has enough powderiness to it that it also extends the wear of my base by an hour or two.

Mood Exposure is described as a “soft plum.” It’s a muted, medium-dark pinky-plum with warm undertones and a satin sheen. This performed just like the full-sized blush I have–soft, smooth, blendable–with eight hour wear. MAC Sea Me, Hear Me (LE, $25.00) is darker (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Capri (P, $58.00) is cooler (90% similar). MAC Corol #2 (LE, $22.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Black Opal Hibiscus (P, $8.95) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Too Faced Baby Love (P, $26.00) is cooler (85% similar). Urban Decay Strip Blush (P) is lighter (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Nude Beach Blush (LE, $26.00) is darker (85% similar). Becca Raspberry/Opal (P, $27.00) is more shimmery (85% similar). MAC Sea Me, Hear Me (LE, $25.00) is darker (90% similar). Hourglass Euphoric Fusion (LE) is more shimmery (85% similar). Giorgio Armani Light Rose (LE) is more shimmery, more muted, cooler (85% similar). bareMinerals The Indecent Proposal (P, $22.00) is darker (85% similar). Surratt Beauty La Vie En Rose (P, $32.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar). NARS Lovejoy (P, $30.00) is more shimmery, darker, brighter (80% similar). MAC Lavish Living (LE, $27.00) is more shimmery, darker, cooler (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Luminous Flush is described as a “champagne rose.” It’s a soft, medium coral-pink with warm undertones and a satin finish. The color was similar to the full-sized version I have, but the texture was more powdery and prone to sheering out. It seemed drier, though it still sat well on the skin and didn’t look powdery applied.
Charlotte Tilbury Seductive Beauty (Cheek Pop) (LE, $40.00) is darker (95% similar). MAC I'll Hold My Breath #2 (LE) is more shimmery (95% similar). Hourglass Diffused Heat (P, $35.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Too Faced Love Hangover (P, $26.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Tarte True Love (P, $28.00) is cooler (90% similar). MAC Sideshow You (LE, $22.00) is warmer (90% similar). NYX Summer Peach (P, $5.00) is cooler (90% similar). Make Up For Ever #215 HD Blush (P, $26.00) is warmer (90% similar). Guerlain Pink Me Up (P, $52.00) is cooler (90% similar). Physicians Formula Warm (P, $11.99) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). MAC Red Obsessed (LE, $22.00) is more shimmery, glossier (90% similar). Dior My Lady (003) (LE, $60.00) is cooler (90% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty Lines & Last Night (502) (P, $42.00) is darker (90% similar). theBalm Frat Boy (P, $21.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Urban Decay Streak Blush (P) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty Kink & Kisses (504) (P, $42.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). NYX Apricot (P, $5.00) is lighter (95% similar). Tarina Tarantino Feather (P, $25.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (85% similar). MAC Petal Power (P, $27.00) is more shimmery (85% similar). Sleek MakeUP Newport Peach (P) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Luminous Bronze Light is described as a “medium tan shade infused with Luminous Light.” It’s a soft, medium brown with warm, yellow undertones and soft shimmer. It had good color payoff with a glowing finish that didn’t emphasize pores but was still noticeable. The color lasted for eight hours on me. MAC Nude on Board (LE, $30.00) is darker, cooler (95% similar). MAC Sun Dipped (LE, $30.00) is less shimmery, darker (95% similar). Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light (P, $50.00) is darker (95% similar). Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light (P, $50.00) is darker (95% similar). Chanel Lumiere d'Ete (LE, $65.00) is warmer (95% similar). Make Up For Ever #20M (P, $36.00) is lighter, warmer, lower quality (90% similar). MAC Delicates (LE, $35.50) is more shimmery (90% similar). Urban Decay Naked on the Run Bronzer (LE) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). MAC Soft Sand (LE, $25.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Givenchy Ambre Saison (P, $52.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Too Faced Spice (LE) is more shimmery (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Gold Dust (P, $68.00) is darker (90% similar). Dolce and Gabbana Desert (P, $51.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). MAC Gold Go Lightly (LE, $28.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Giorgio Armani Sun Kiss (100) (P, $64.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). IT Cosmetics Warm Radiance (P, $34.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). MAC Delphic (LE, $33.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). MAC Sunny Side (LE, $32.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Lit (P, $30.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Medium/Dark Bronze (P) is darker, cooler (85% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Hourglass Holiday 2015 Ambient Lighting Palette Ambient Lighting Edit
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total
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Also In This Review

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MAC x Guo Pei Lotus Blossom & Red Water Lily Blushes

MAC Lotus Blossom Blush
MAC Lotus Blossom Blush

MAC Lotus Blossom Blush ($40.00 for TBA oz.) is described as a “light blue pink.” It’s a light-medium, yellow-toned pink with a matte finish. The texture was smooth but on the drier side with a firmer press, though it was just fine for blending on the skin, and it didn’t look powdery on. It had medium coverage that was buildable to full coverage in two layers. On me, the color lasted for seven hours before fading. I also noticed that it darkened on my skin, so it appeared warmer on my complexion and may look pinker on others. Dior Floral Pink (844) (LE, $44.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). MAC Modest Blush (LE, $27.00) is warmer (95% similar). MAC Lovecloud (P, $22.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). Guerlain Morning Rose (P, $52.00) is warmer (90% similar). MAC What I Fancy (LE, $22.00) is warmer (90% similar). YSL Singuliere (1) (P, $47.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Guerlain Smile (Right) (LE, $52.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Burberry Misty (P, $42.00) is more muted (90% similar). Burberry S/S15 Runway (LE, $65.00) is lighter, more muted (90% similar). MAC Launch Away (LE, $22.00) is lighter (90% similar). Colour Pop Olive (LE, $8.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Edward Bess Filled with Desire (P, $43.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Too Faced Santa Baby (LE) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Tarte Flush (P, $28.00) is darker (90% similar). Kat Von D Poe (Light) (P) is more muted (90% similar). Clinique Pink Pop (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, darker (85% similar). MAC Stay Pretty (P, $23.50) is darker, more muted (85% similar). NARS New Attitude (LE, $30.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

MAC Red Water Lily Blush ($40.00 for TBA oz.) is described as a “light coral pink.” It’s a brighgt, medium pink with subtle, warmer undertones and a satiny sheen. It was intensely pigmented, and a little went a long way, so this will be a great option for a wide spectrum of skin tones. It may look cooler or warmer depending on your undertones as well. The texture was finely-milled, smooth enough that it blended out without a struggle, but it was a little dusty/dry to the touch. The color started to fade after eight hours of wear. By Terry Tan & Flash Cruise #1 (LE) is lighter (95% similar). MAC Sunset Beach (LE, $32.00) is cooler (95% similar). Sephora Love Sick (22) (P, $14.00) is more muted (95% similar). Tarte Montage (LE, $28.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Colour Pop Clutch (P, $8.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty Night Fever & Hot Stuff (508) (P, $42.00) is more shimmery, more muted (90% similar). Chanel Rose Tourbillon (67) (LE, $45.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Makeup Geek Love Affair (P, $9.99) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Bite Beauty Macaroon (P, $24.00) is more muted (90% similar). MAC Whole Lotta Love (P, $23.50) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). NARS Panic (Left) (P) is cooler (90% similar). Chanel Rosewood (350) (P, $45.00) is more muted (90% similar). NYX Bourgeois Pig (P, $5.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Too Faced Your Love is King (P, $26.00) is warmer (95% similar). Clinique Berry Pop (03) (P, $21.00) is brighter, cooler (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Bicoastal (Bottom) (LE) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). MAC Peaches & Cream (LE, $22.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). NARS Adoration (Right) (P) is lighter, more muted (90% similar). NARS Mata Hari (P, $30.00) is darker (90% similar). Becca Pamplemousse (LE, $32.00) is warmer (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The MAC x Guo Pei collaboration launches online on September 24th at maccosmetics.com, and it will only be available at MAC 5th Avenue in NYC and MAC at South Coast Plaza (in southern California) for U.S. locations.

MAC Guo Pei Powder Blush Lotus Blossom
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
84%
Total
MAC Guo Pei Powder Blush Red Water Lily
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

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MAC Style Blush

MAC Style Blush
MAC Style Blush

MAC Style Blush ($17.00 for 0.21 oz. pan-only) is described as a “coral peach with gold pearl [with a Frost finish].” It’s a light-medium, orange-coral with warm undertones and a soft, golden shimmer. Makeup Geek Romance (P, $9.99) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). MAC Love & Laughter (LE, $22.00) is darker (95% similar). Chanel Infiniment Chanel (P, $65.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). NYX Menage a Trois (P, $15.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Too Faced Sparkling Bellini (P, $30.00) is lighter (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Siena (P, $58.00) is more muted (85% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Ecstasy (P, $40.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). Benefit Sugarbomb (P, $28.00) is lighter (85% similar). Benefit Rockateur (P, $28.00) is less shimmery, darker, more muted (80% similar). Estee Lauder Sensuous Rose (P, $34.00) is less shimmery, darker (80% similar). MAC Stereo Rose (LE, $32.00) is more shimmery, darker, cooler (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

MAC’s Powder Blush formula is supposed to be easy to apply, long-wearing, and have “fantastic colour.” It’s hard to generalize for MAC’s blush formula, because it varies a lot from shade to shade, even within different types of finishes! Some of them are very good, others are so-so, and a few are complete misses. The more frosted/shimmery shades tend to have the softest and smoothest textures and are easier to apply and blend out on the skin, while more satin and matte shades can sometimes be powdery, firm, or stiff, which makes blending more challenging. The wear is typically between six and nine hours but closer to seven to eight hours on average. Style had really good, nearly opaque color coverage with a soft, blendable texture that wasn’t powdery nor was it stiff. On the skin, it has a gorgeous sheen that doesn’t emphasize pores. The color wore well for eight hours before fading slightly.

MAC Powder Blush Style
Style
Style
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

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Tom Ford Plum Ombre Eye & Cheek Shadow

Tom Ford Plum Ombre Eye & Cheek Shadow
Tom Ford Plum Ombre Eye & Cheek Shadow

Tom Ford Plum Ombre Eye & Cheek Shadow ($65.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a light-medium, pinky-plum with warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. Tarte Exposed (P, $28.00) is cooler (90% similar). MAC Corol #2 (LE, $22.00)(90% similar). Surratt Beauty La Vie En Rose (P, $32.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Tarte Unearthed (LE, $28.00) is darker (90% similar). Tarte Royal (LE, $28.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Tarte Seduce (P, $28.00) is darker (90% similar). MAC Animal Instincts (LE, $22.00) is more shimmery, darker, cooler (85% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Contour (Softcore) (LE, $55.00) is more shimmery, darker, brighter (85% similar). bareMinerals The Indecent Proposal (P, $22.00) is darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Sadly, if you thought yesterday’s review of Pink Ombre was dismal, I fear today’s is even worse. In an attempt to swatch the lighter side of the powder, there’s almost no product transference onto my skin; I can see a very, very slight change in the “finish” of the area where I attempted to swatch the product. I had to use a metal spatula to scrape off layers of product–essentially converting it into a loose powder–in order to get coverage or any use out of it. The included applicator is worthless and doesn’t apply any color at all (though the bristles were tinted by the product, but the powder never left the bristles!). This powder had one of the stiffest textures I’ve encountered; it is pressed so firmly into the pan that it is difficult to get any color payoff, and it makes it challenging to apply to the skin as it doesn’t blend out well and require layer upon layer of dismal color to achieve noticeable coverage at all. On cheeks, the color lasted for six hours, and on eyes, five hours.

Tom Ford Beauty Eye and Cheek Shadow Plum Ombre
Plum Ombre
Plum Ombre
0
Product
1.5
Pigmentation
1
Texture
5
Longevity
1
Application
19%
Total

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Tom Ford Pink Ombre Eye & Cheek Shadow

Tom Ford Pink Ombre Eye & Cheek Shadow
Tom Ford Pink Ombre Eye & Cheek Shadow

Tom Ford Pink Ombre Eye & Cheek Shadow ($65.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a light-medium, cotton candy pink with strong, cool blue undertones and a matte finish. There is an ombre-effect of it going from light-medium pink to medium pink. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink (P, $26.00) is darker, better quality (95% similar). Colour Pop Thumper (P, $8.00) is darker, more pigmented, better quality (95% similar). Colour Pop Mochi (DC, $8.00) is more shimmery, more pigmented, better quality (95% similar). Urban Decay X-Rated (P, $26.00) is lighter (95% similar). Too Faced Skyline (LE) is darker (90% similar). Wet 'n' Wild Hard Being the It Girl #1 (LE, $2.29) is lighter (90% similar). Sleek MakeUP Pixie Pink (P, $6.99) is brighter, cooler, better quality (90% similar). Tarte Dream (LE, $28.00) is warmer (90% similar). NYX Flamingo (P, $5.00) is brighter, more pigmented, better quality (90% similar). MAC Pink Swoon (P, $22.00) is brighter, cooler (90% similar). Urban Decay Blush (P) is warmer, better quality (90% similar). Viseart Rose #1 (P) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). KIKO 110 Bright Pink (P, $12.00) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). LORAC Orchid (LE, $19.00) is darker, more muted (85% similar). Milani Delizioso Pink (10) (P, $8.49) is more shimmery, darker, more pigmented (85% similar). Makeup Geek Valentine (P, $10.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Make Up For Ever M856 Fresh Pink (P, $21.00) is darker, more pigmented, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

I wish I could adequately convey what an utter disappointment this product was. Long-time readers will know that I have a deep love for Tom Ford’s Cheek Colors, and this product is nothing like that; not in a single aspect, and it is one of the worst Tom Ford products I have ever tested myself. The texture was stiff, firmly packed into the pan and yielded little to no color coverage. I had to scrape off layers to be able to provide you with a semblance of color for the swatch. They might advocate using their “specially designed applicator,” but it is useless–it doesn’t improve results one bit–and gathers color on the bristles but translates almost none onto the skin. The product is difficult to blend as it doesn’t apply evenly, and there is little color to work with. It took five layers to build-up enough color to have it photograph. It was noticeably faded after seven hours of wear on cheeks. On eyes, the color had faded after five hours of wear.

Tom Ford Beauty Eye and Cheek Shadow Pink Ombre
Pink Ombre
Pink Ombre
2
Product
2
Pigmentation
2.5
Texture
6
Longevity
1.5
Application
31%
Total

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MAC A Little Lusty Blush

MAC A Little Lusty Blush
MAC A Little Lusty Blush

MAC A Little Lusty Blush ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as an “intense red berry.” It’s a medium-dark red with warm undertones and a satin finish. MAC Hidden Treasure (LE, $22.00) is more shimmery, warmer (95% similar). NARS Vengeful (Right) (LE) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). MAC Taraji Glow (LE, $32.00) is warmer (90% similar). NARS Soulshine #3 (LE, $30.00) is lighter (90% similar). Clinique Cola Pop (P, $21.00) is brighter (90% similar). MAC Burnt Pepper (P, $22.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). NARS Taos (P, $30.00) is warmer (90% similar). LORAC Infrared (P, $22.00) is cooler (85% similar). Bite Beauty Almond (P, $24.00) is more muted, warmer (85% similar). Chanel Rouge Profond (320) (P, $45.00) is less shimmery (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

It’s a new, limited edition blush in the MAC MACnificent collection, which launches at counters and stores on October 1st. It had good color payoff, and it is very pigmented–it is more pigmented in practice than it appears swatched, even. I felt like a little went a long way, and I had to be careful not to get too much on the brush to avoid over-applying! I would recommend a feathery brush and/or a fan brush if you prefer subtler coverage. The texture was a little dry, almost powdery but not the so-silky-it’s-powdery texture, but I was surprised that it blended quite nicely on the skin with just a brush (but no tricks!). The finish has a slight sheen to it, which gives it a natural look on the skin but isn’t overtly shimmery. On me, the blush lasted for eight and a half hours.

MAC Powder Blush A Little Lusty
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total

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