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Hourglass Luminous Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Luminous Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Luminous Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Luminous Light Ambient Lighting Powder ($45.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “champagne pearl.” It’s a light peach with a white shimmer but really goes on mostly colorless on the skin. This shade is designed to “create a soft, incandescent candlelight glow.” It seemed just slightly brightening but added a fine sheen all-over the skin. When blended, I did not see any shimmer particles actually on the skin, though swatched heavily on the arm or hand will show some–but these seem to really blend and sheer out. The effect is, indeed, luminous.  I would describe it as a step above glowy or a sheen, because I think the effect is a bit more obvious as a result of the sheen of the powder overall.

The texture of Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Powders is incredibly finely-milled; so soft that there is a tendency for excess powder to kick up and around the product. I did not experience powderiness on the skin, but it was enough excess to see it disperse in the air and get all over the compact. Though, on the plus side, I think that powderiness will work well for those with oily skin types, as it will help to mattify a bit during application. Luminous Light seemed to yield a rather luminous sheen, not so over-the-top that it acts like a traditional highlighter but not quite as subtle as other finishing powders.  It may be touted as a finishing powder, but it worked well to set my makeup, too, and helped prolong the wear of my foundation by an hour or so.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Luminous Light
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

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NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder ($34.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “weightless, translucent powder” with a “soft matte finish that looks luminous in any light.” It has the exact same description as the Pressed Powder.

I actually found the two to look surprisingly different when swatched. The Loose version is a similar stark white, but it looks nearly matte with very, very fine shimmer sparsely found when blended out–but nowhere near the same sheen as the Pressed Powder. As a result, this mattified skin better and had a very subtle sheen–really barely-there. Like the Pressed Powder, the Loose version softens the skin’s appearance; texture and lines blur, while pores soften and smooth out. Can you really tell the difference between the two? At a glance, no, definitely not, but if I look at myself in the mirror, I like the way there’s a noticeable but natural sheen to the skin all-over that the Pressed seems to generate more so than the Loose powder. I think if you have oilier skin, you may prefer the Loose.

Since it is a loose powder, the texture feels different, as it is an extremely finely-milled powder that’s soft and blendable on. I found it was easier to apply, because you’ll have no trouble getting enough product on a brush or pouf with this. I recommend only opening a few of the holes in the powder, because it will be easier to contain the excess that you aren’t using. Of course, because the pot tends to expose more product than you need, it can be easy to over-apply the product. The Loose version is more like Hourglass Diffused Light, though Diffused Light has a warmer tone, so it is also a color corrector.

NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder Translucent Crystal

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder ($34.00 for 0.24 oz.) is described as a “weightless, translucent powder” with a “soft matte finish that looks luminous in any light.” It looks stark white in the pan, and there’s a definite sheen; a pearly finish that certainly reflects light. The texture of the powder is very unique; I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like it. It almost feels like a cream and powder hybrid–not just a cream-to-powder product–but the texture has the smoothness of a cream but the thinness and dryness of a powder. Because of this texture, you really need to swirl and swish your brush across the surface (if you use a brush) to loosen the product.

I primarily used a powder brush to apply the product (I liked the results of MAC’s 134 best), and the powder, while it can swatch more heavily and look white and almost chalky, disappears and holds true to its translucency claim applied to the skin. There’s no powderiness in the pan or as seen on the skin. It absolutely softens and smooths out the skin’s texture and appearance. There is a faint reflective quality as an overall glowing sheen but doesn’t translate as visible sparkle or obvious particles.  It extended the wear of my foundation by an hour or so–I have normal-to-dry skin.

Even though it’s titled a setting powder, it feels more like a finishing powder, though the category is, frankly, one that I always feels blends together/overlaps where the two are often more alike than not. In that vein, Guerlain Wulong has a similar sheen and coloring, but Wulong has a stronger shimmer-sheen finish, so it gives skin a more luminous (“glowy”) appearance. We are talking degrees, not canyons, of difference, though. It has more of a sheen to its finish than Hourglass Diffused Light, which I reviewed yesterday.

One thing I noticed about the Pressed version is that you have to be really good about the brush or tool you use to apply it, because the surface of the powder doesn’t seem to react well to anything liquid/moisture/cream. It was really imperative to wait for my foundation to dry before brushing this on, because any smidgen of foundation caught on the brush (which I only used for applying the setting powder) would slightly harden the surface of the pan. There’s a very thin sponge included with the powder, and it works for application, but I found it dirtied very quickly and resulted in far more foundation transfer into the pan than preferable.

I will be reviewing the Loose version shortly after this, and while I prefer the look of the Pressed over the Loose, I really don’t like how touchy the surface of the pressed powder is and find the Loose one is easier to apply and maintain. Also worth noting: the pan of this is on the smaller size at only 0.24 oz., though physically it seemed rather large (even the Loose version has 0.35 oz.).

NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder Translucent Crystal

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Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder ($45.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “soft, warm pale yellow powder.” It’s a pale, pale white with subtle yellow undertones and a barely-there sheen. This one didn’t have any sparkle or shimmer. I’m not an expert on finishing powders, as I’ve only tried a dozen or so on the market, but you can see my past reviews, which may be helpful. From what I’ve tried, I felt like MAC’s Sheer Mystery Powder may have been the most similar in terms of feel, look, and composition (pressed, soft, no sparkle), but I wouldn’t say they’re dupes for each other.

Diffused Light is supposed to “reduce redness and give skin clarity.” Like all of the shades within the new range, it is supposed to be suitable for all skin tones. The larger idea behind the Ambient Lighting Powders is that they help to make your skin look like it’s been lit by soft, diffused light; think having a bit of a photographer and his lighting crew follow you around, except in powder form.

I applied Diffused Light over Hourglass’ Veil Fluid foundation using the Ambient Powder Brush to the right half of my face (see photos below), and I think the effect is exactly as anticipated: something that’s nigh on invisible to the eye in terms of seeing the product but that it does soften the way the skin looks. The natural textures and imperfections of the skin, including some unevenness, pores, and the like, look softer and smoother. Because it is a powder, too, it will take down any shine and does help to prolong the wear I get out of my foundation by an hour or so.

It didn’t look heavy, caky, or obvious on; there’s no residual powderiness that’s there as it sits on the skin, because you can’t see what you’ve put on. This is exactly what a finishing powder should be; and really, it’s what base makeup is all about: your skin but better. I have a medium complexion, and this did not look chalky or ashy when I applied it to my face, though it did look potentially chalky when I did a heavy swatch on my arm–so if you do the same in-store, you might try seeing it blended and applied on the face.

The powder itself is incredibly finely-milled and soft, which is great for application and blending of the product on the skin. However, a downside to that is that it does kick up a fair amount of excess powder (and I used Hourglass’ own Ambient Powder Brush) as the bristles disturb the surface of the powder. Again, none of this excess turns up on the skin, but there is some waste, I’d say. It is more “pigmented” as a result compared to other products in the category, like Guerlain Pressed Meteorites.  The excess is, ultimately, wasted product, and it does get into the nooks and crannies of the compact and some disappears into the air. That’s really my only complaint!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Diffused Light
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder

Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder
Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder

Instant Photoshop for Your Skin

Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder ($55.00/$170.00 for 0.26 oz.) consists of a “blend of matte and pearly shades … mixture of six correcting or light-enhancing colors to deliver the purest radiance.” When blended and applied together, they create a pale pink powder with subtle shimmer/sparkle. Chantecaille Les Petales de Rose is more shimmery with a warmer golden sheen. MAC Lightscapade is more shimmery. MAC Light Sunshine has a bit more of a sheen and powderiness to it.

So, after discovering the majesty of Wulong over the holiday season, I knew I had to see whether the always-available Mythic was similar/comparable (because Wulong is limited edition, and while you can refill the compact, it would have to be with Mythic). One of the reasons I wanted to find out about their similarities is because you can purchase the pan without the compact–the pan will run you $55, whereas the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle with cost you $170.

Initially, I thought, “This is going to be different,” but as is the nature of the product, no, not really (and that’s not a bad thing). What I noticed more with Mythic is that it’ll be a better mattifying product, because it has more of a matte, powdered base color with a very subtle sheen and a dusting of delicate micro-shimmer. Wulong reads slightly more as a barely-there sheen with less of a mattifying texture. In the pan, Mythic appears cooler-toned, but on, I don’t notice any coolness at all, because it is designed to be a transparent finishing powder over all else. For those who couldn’t bear the price of Wulong, if you have an existing compact or an empty palette to store it in, Mythic is something worth checking out instead. I measured, and the diameter of the pan appears to be 55mm.

Guerlain’s Meteorites Voyage Powders are really a pressed version of their famous Meteorite with less emphasis on shimmer, more on radiance, brightening, and creating an illusion of better skin.  That’s really what these powders do for me:  give me the effect of Photoshop in real life. They’re a subtle something-rather that no one can point to and say, “Oh, nice highlighter!’ but instead say, “Hey, are you doing something different with your skin today?”  As a finishing powder, it’s the very last step in the routine, right after setting powder, but honestly, I regularly use this (and Wulong) as both my setting and finishing powder–I have normal-to-dry skin, so I imagine that’s part of why I can get away with it–but I have noticed it still extends the wear of my base makeup by about an hour.

This is the kind of product that either makes it into your everyday routine or you’ll never understand how anyone on earth could shell out money for something they can’t (or barely) see. It’s okay to feel either way; what’s most important is that you enjoy your makeup. I’ve used either this or Wulong since getting Wulong (and prior to that, I was using Guerlain’s Illuminating & Mattifying Pressed Powder, which is also a worthwhile alternative), but I have been using this specifically for the past two weeks.  For me, it is absolutely part of my everyday routine.  If you asked me to choose, I would say Wulong–but that is because it is limited edition, because I like the look of the compact, and I’m just a little warm.

Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Powder Mythic
Mythic
Mythic
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Making Pretty has a Mystery–Powder That Is!

MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder ($65.00 for 0.56 oz.) is a sheer, pressed powder. Each year, MAC launches it with their “couture” collection (typically at the end of the year), and this is one of three shades. Light Medium is likely a good bet for NC/NW20. It has a mostly neutral undertone, and when sheered out, matches my forearm pretty well (which is around NC20).  It also is available in Medium Plus and Dark Secret.

It can work as a finishing or setting powder. It has a lightweight, finely-milled texture that’s very soft and silky-smooth. Now, one aspect that must be mentioned is that you actually get a refill with your purchase (each pan is 0.28 oz.). To compare, MAC’s Select Sheer/Pressed Powder is $24.00/0.42 oz.  I’ve used this many times in the past, and it helps to set or mattify makeup.  What’s nice about the finely-milled powder is that it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and it’s impossible to overdo.

This collection is all about packaging, but I think it’s a let-down.  Over the years, the Mystery Powder compacts have gotten lighter and lighter, and this year’s feels the lightest so far.  It’s in the same style as this year’s holiday palettes, but instead of the pastel cushion, it has faux shagreen.  It’s just the metallic edging is all plastic. It doesn’t feel like a $65 compact without some heft.

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