Hourglass Surreal Light Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80.00 for 0.30 oz.) includes a finishing powder, bronzer, two blushes, and highlighter inspired by Surreal Light, which is a new shade in the Ambient Lighting Powder family (currently only available in this palette). This palette will work best for someone who is less concerned about a “value-packed” palette/is unlikely to finish their products and really needs everything in a single compact. I think the palette, all being in the same family of Surreal Light, ends up getting muddled a bit between the blush, bronzer, and highlighter with the Surreal Effect blush being the one lone shade that stands out as a bit different. It is a distinctively warm-toned palette, so it will likely not work for everyone. The texture seemed a bit drier across the majority of the powders as the permanent range, though I did not notice the dryness as applied to the face in practice.
Like last year’s palette, the only value is in whether you like the idea of getting five shades for less than the cost of two or three full-sized Hourglass Ambient Lighting products (which range from $38 to $50 in price). There’s only $53.30 worth of product in the palette, so it’s obviously not a value-packed palette. This is something that will be best for someone who wants everything in a single palette and will wear at least three of the five shades often. This year’s palette is marginally better in value than last year’s (which was $48.05 in product value at the same $80.00 price point), but their palettes prior to that were significantly better in value.
Surreal Light is a light, yellowed beige with fine gold shimmer over a matte finish. This is the original Ambient Lighting Powder, which is a finishing powder, so it is something applied after setting powder, at the very end (hence “finishing!”) to “diffuse” and “soften the look of the skin.” It added very subtle warmth and made my skin appear smoother and more matte, but this particularly iteration had very subtle shimmer, which added a little bit of light all-over but was only noticeable in certain lighting in person. The texture was soft, a little dusty and prone to kicking up excess product in the pan, but it applied well and dispersed easily. It was sheer, as promised (and as you would expect for a finishing powder). Tarte Filtered Light (P) is lighter (90% similar). Dior Luxurious Beige (LE, $82.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Too Faced Light Cocoa (P) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Dior Cosmopolite (LE, $45.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.
Surreal Glow is a light-medium peach with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had semi-sheer to semi-opaque coverage, which is in line with the brand’s promise of “buildable color.” It does not deliver the “otherwordly glow” much, as it is more satiny and just keeps the blush from appearing totally flat. The texture was soft, a little dry and dusty, but it blended well and was impossible to overdo on my skin tone as it barely showed up (that’s a warning for those with similar skin tones!). I think this color would be better on fairer complexions. It wore well for seven hours on me before fading. NARS Silent Nude (LE, $30.00) is lighter (90% similar). Sisley Paris Mango (3) (P, $85.00) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Zoeva CR040 (P) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Surratt Beauty Coup de Genie (P, $32.00) is lighter (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.