Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush ($35.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a “soft plum.” It’s a rosy plum with subtle warm undertones and a satiny finish. In the pan, it looks more neutral-toned, but when everything is blended and applied, I don’t get any of that neutral (let alone cool) undertone coming through. MAC Lavish Living (LE, $25.00) is darker, more plum-hued, more shimmery. Giorgio Armani Light Rose (LE) is browner, less rose/plum. NARS Lovejoy (P, $29.00) is much darker overall, but applied with a softer application, it is similar–just a little more shimmery. bareMinerals The Indecent Proposal (P, $22.00) is darker, less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

The texture is incredibly soft, finely-milled, and silky, so it blends beautifully on the skin. Though it seems a little powdery in the pan (excess builds up in the corners), it doesn’t look powdery or cakey on the skin. In fact, the powder almost melts against the skin, because it looks natural and smooth; very much that “seamless, soft-focus” look Hourglass was after. This particular shade has a soft sheen that gives skin a glowing, healthy finish but doesn’t emphasize pores or imperfections.  It had good color payoff that was both buildable and blendable.   Mood Exposure wore as well as the other shades–eight full hours before there were signs of fading along the edges. The quality seems comparable across the board from the five (of six) I’ve tried and tested now.

P.S. — As soon as my order of Ethereal Glow arrives and I’ve written up a review for it, I will do a round-up with some overall thoughts and commentary!

The Glossover


Mood Exposure












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Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush

The Makeup Look

On eyes: Tom Ford Escapade Cream Eyeshadow, Urban Decay Rockstar Eyeliner. On face: Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation, Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Liquid Highlighter (mixed with foundation), Hourglass Luminous Light Ambient Lighting Powder. On lips: YSL Corail Intuitive (15) Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick.

The Dupe List: Mood Exposure

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99 thoughts on “Hourglass Mood Exposure Ambient Lighting Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Another lovely shade, Hourglass is really pulling out all the stops with these!

  2. Sad face….this is looking way too warm for me to use as a blush. It might work as a highlighter (the way MAC By Candlelight does for me) but I don’t really need it for that purpose so I’ll pass on this. At 35 bucks (probably 40 or more in Canada), I don’t need another “By Candlelight” type product.

  3. I hate how nice these are, so many lemmings not enough $$$$!

  4. Kristina

    I really like shade, looks similar in pan to Benefit’s Rockateur.

  5. Now, that’s gorgeous! Mood Exposure is my favorite among all the shades you’ve reviewed. :)

  6. kdrake31

    Would any of these blushes work on a deeper (say NW 43) skin tone?

  7. All of these are so lovely! I’m not sure I can pick a favorite – on you or for me. I rarely “love” blush so am thrilled so see a collection of such softly pretty ones. Hourglass seems to be doing amazing products. I never used them until recently. I wish the brand wasn’t so expensive…but I’m learning that a few good items is worth many less ideal ones. Thanks for getting the reviews up so quickly!

  8. These seriously look amazing! This looks like a good summertime blush for me!

  9. Mary

    It’s lovely. How does this compare to Chanel Accent?

  10. Liane

    Wow — it’s a bit disappointing in how these all look the same. I got Luminous Flush, which I plan to return because it’s too warm. I was hoping to exchange it for Mood Exposure, but it doesn’t look much different. Thank you so much for your reviews and swatches!

    • No problem, Liane! If you can try in store at all, you may find it shows up a little cooler on you than me, since I do have yellow undertones… normally when it’s heavily applied, though, it doesn’t “lose” the coolness (vs. sheered out, where my natural skin color will come through more!).

  11. helen

    So far my favourite but still waiting for your thoughts (and swatches) of Ethereal Glow…

    • Fingers crossed it arrives soon then!

      • Eliz

        My Ethereal Glow Blush arrived from Sephora yesterday and I love it! Very soft pink with cool leanings. But, I am extremely fair with cool undertones, so it will be very interesting to see how this looks on Christine. I was concerned as my compact is more powder than pigment and it looked like pure white powder on my brush, but it did indeed apply as a very soft pink with a moonlit kind of glow. Layering gave me an almost lilac type of shade. I’m a little worried about whether or not this will show up well or perhaps appear chalky on deeper tones, but Christine should be a great model, as always. Can’t wait to see it! I agree that the formula is lovely, so hopefully everyone will be able to find a shade that works. Thanks again for all you do Christine. Your reviews are always so helpful, honest, and thorough.

  12. Court

    Is this comparable at all to Nars Sin?

  13. Clare

    I really love this one for some reason… wonder how it would work with fair skin. I’d worry it would make me look too ruddy…. but gosh I like it!

  14. Bummer :(
    I was hoping it would be a cooler toned blush (I really want a nice cool-toned plum to add to my collection). I might pick up the Mood Ambient Powder though…I want to grab at least one of them. Which would you recommend? Thanks for the review as always!

    • If you’re able to see ’em stores, it may still be worth checking out. There is some variance to the powders (as they are mixed), and maybe the cool tones would come out on your skin tone!

      I like Diffused and Dim, I think, the most part. It is always hard to keep them straight!

    • Genevieve

      I only have one of the Ambient lighting powders and I love it! I have light skin with pink undertones- I am like an nw15/20- and I use Dim as an all over finishing powder. I am totally obsessed with it! It goes on super smooth and makes my skin look flawless and airbrushed. I have been thinking about getting some of the other powders, but I am so happy with Dim I am not sure if any more are needed (I never thought I would say that about makeup) even though I know they all have their own specific uses. I did oreder 2 of the blushes, though, in Radiant Magenta and Mood Exposure- which I am not so patiently waiting on. It is hard since the only Sephora even remotely close to me doesn’t have Hourglass products. But, to make a long story longer- I think Dim is a pretty fool proof choice if you can’t see them yourself- otherwise Youtube has some good reviews or maybe a rep from the Hourglass website could help you find your perfect color. Good luck!

    • I only have one ambient powder in Dim….love. For reference, I’m NC 20-25 and this just give my face a beautiful finish. My next ambient powder will be Mood. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them but you are better off watching them to see which one tickles your fancy.

      As for the blushes…I may pass and just splurge on a few of the Clinique ones. These are just too similar to some blushes I already own.

  15. You look soo gorgeous with Rockstar Eyeliner! i think my favorite is Diffused Heat. Chistine from them all which has been your favorite so far? <=)

  16. This one is definitely my second favorite. I absolutely adore the deeper, plummy tones to this blush. Dim Infusion I had no interest in until I saw your swatches and some swatches on girls that more closely matched my fair skin tone… it’s such a lovely warm orange on the face. I don’t see much of a need for Luminous or Diffused blushes because I think Radiant Magenta is close enough, but I might end up with four of these blushes after all!

  17. I think this is the one I’m going to get. While they all look beautiful, some of the others seem a bit too similar.

  18. I think this is the one I’m going to get. The others, while beautiful, seem a little to similar. I was kind of expecting a more wide variety of shades with these but maybe it’s something that needs to be seen in person. Beautiful swatches as usual!
    Natalie Recently Posted: Review: Lorac Pro Pallet

    • I think they’re worth checking out in person – if you are fairer and/or cooler, you be able to see more nuances between the shades!

      Thanks, Natalie!

  19. Mood Exposure is right up my street. This shade along with Radiant Magenta and Dim Infusion are on my shopping list. Can’t wait for them to hit the UK.

  20. Sara

    Are the size of the compacts on these the same size as the Ambient Lighting Powders? Thanks

  21. grace

    Does anyone know how this compares to Benefit Dallas? It’s one of my favorite blushes but there isn’t a review/swatch for it.

  22. Rae

    Oh, how absolutely strange!! I too was expecting something much more cool/mauve from the way this looks in the pan. The shade it isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, but your swatch really took my by surprise!
    Rae Recently Posted: The first signs of spring | New 27/01/14 from NARS, YSL, Laura Mercier, and more

  23. All of these blushes are so beautiful, I can’t just decide on one or two. I really love all of them. My poor wallet will suffer. I love this one on you, Christine! They all look beautiful on you but this one is so effortless looking.
    alisa Recently Posted: Cinnamon and Chocolate

  24. CatG

    I want like three of them, but looking at them applied, many look fairly similar to each other! My favorite is still diffused heat!

  25. Sophia B.

    As a person with light, cool toned skin, I think I am going to pick up a few of the new clinique blushes and skip on these. More flattering colors and better value!

  26. Aww, I was hoping from the pan that it’d be a little cooler (or, as you say, more neutral). Still, it’s a pretty blush, nonetheless!
    Sylirael Recently Posted: Give ‘em Lip – Dior Universal Lipliner and a Rogueworthy Purple Look

  27. Monica G.

    So pretty! Reminds me of MAC Warm Soul.

  28. Kica

    ok now THIS one looks like it would work for NW 45! yaaaaaay….I was gettin’ a little bummed.

  29. kitkat989

    YES!,this is the one!:-) Seriously this is so beautiful on you! Must Have! yay!

  30. Kimy H.

    yayyy!! This is the shade I wanted the most from hourglass. I’m definitely picking this one up 😀 thanks for the review christine!

  31. xamyx

    I’m holding out hope this one doesn’t come off so warm on my skintone! I love the color in the pan, and hopefully my neutral, light skintone will show through. I think it can go either way, LOL! I’m going to the mall this weekend, so hopefully Sephora at least has testers available.

  32. Looks great! Christine, which is your favorite of the new ambient blushes?

  33. Nice shade! But on my skintone guess it will look a bit muddy? Right now I am thinking of settling with radiant magenta alone! :-)
    Vineetha Recently Posted: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette Review, Swatches

  34. Out of all the ones reviewed I think this might actually different on my skin because I’m lighter. This was the shade I was really looking forward to but was hoping it is more rosy, plum..more cool tone.

  35. This looks wonderful! Christine, do you happen to know how close this is (if at all) to Benefit’s Rockateur?

  36. Vi

    This looks so nice but sadly, I’m allergic to one of the ingredients =(
    It looks lovely on you though! On a different note, your earrings are gorgeous!

  37. Ade

    I’ve just ordered Clinique Ginger Pop but I want this too! Are they similar?
    Thanks! 😉

  38. Cathy

    Oh my, I thought this was one of the shades from this new collection that wouldn’t work on me, as it looked on the cool side in the original promo pics. But it’s just as gorgeous as the rest ….I will be the proud owner of all six of these blushes, that’s for certain! Thanks Christine :)

  39. Oh wow, this shade is simply just sooo stunning! I was trying to only order 1-2 but right now it’s looking as if 3-4 might be the magic number!
    Stephanie | theFantasia Recently Posted: Current Favourites #4 | The Winter Rotation Pt 1.

  40. Vi

    How would this compares to Tarte’s Exposed? Besides not being matte. xD

  41. Liv

    It’s warm on me as well, and I’m pale and cool-toned. But it’s lovely. I’d love to know which one of these blushes you would recommend for my skin tone. :)

  42. LU

    I thought I’d share that I picked this up and the color on my skin is very different, but I absolutely love it. This blush is more plum and brown on me. It looks like a lighter/slightly less brown/less shimmery version of my holy grail MAC X rocks blush. Sand Beige in Laura Mercier Silk Creme is my perfect skin match for reference.

  43. Alison

    Oh, my! How bizarre. For some reason I was expecting something more mauve/lilac/plummy. It looks positively warm and bronzey by comparison!