Friday, January 31st, 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Comparisons

The new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes ($35.00 for 0.15 oz. each) are soft, finely-milled, and blend beautifully on the skin while looking natural, never powdery, as if the powder melted into the skin. They’re pigmented in the sense that they go on like they swatch and look in the pan (but you have to envision the shades mixed/swirled together), but none of them are really dark or bright by the nature of their colors. The quality was consistent across all six shades, which was great. I only noticed that Luminous Flush had a slightly rougher texture for the peachy portion (in places), but it didn’t affect the application or was something I noticed when applying or wearing the product.

You can see them side-by-side, where you can also move them around into whatever order you’d like (just click and drag!), in the Swatch Gallery.

All but one have sold out during the VIB early access/preview. Sephora notes these will be in-stores beginning February 21st, so I would expect them to release the remaining stock of the shades to all customers somewhere around then for online as well.

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

  1. Ethereal Glow — pale, cool-toned pink
  2. Dim Infusion — light peach
  3. Diffused Heat — light-medium, peachy coral
  4. Radiant Magenta — light-medium pink-coral
  5. Luminous Flush — medium pink-coral
  6. Mood Exposure — plummy brown

See more photos & swatches!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Comparisons

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Comparisons

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes

* I purchased four of the six featured here — Diffused Heat and Radiant Magenta were press samples.

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137 thoughts on “Round-up: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Thoughts & Comparisons

  1. I got my Radiant Magenta yesterday and couldn’t wait to wear it today. It’s just gorgeous and gives my cheeks a beautiful glow.

    Shani x
    Shani Recently Posted: January 2014 favorites – NARS, By Terry, Bourjois, Maybelline, MAC, and Shu Uemura

  2. I’m so sad that Diffused Heat is sold out right now.
    Rikki Recently Posted: REVIEW: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil

  3. Avatar of Lindsey Lindsey

    Thanks for doing the side by side comparisons! This makes me feel even more pleased with my decision to buy Mood Exposure and Diffused Heat.

  4. Kate

    I’m going to have to choose between Diffused, Radiant and Luminous. I love Dim the best actually, I just don’t think it will show up well on my skintone (NC37).

    • It barely shows on mine (NC25/NC30), so my guess is not much on yours, Kate!

      • Claudia

        I have Diffused Heat and Luminous Flush but I feel like they’re not significantly different enough to justify keeping both. I have an NC20 skintone and thought I’d ask for a second opinion as to which you suggest I keep?

  5. Avatar of Carrie woolyowl

    I am light/cool-toned, between NW15-NW20, and I think Mood Exposure is working really well for me as a contour shade–I am pairing it with (a very pale) Ethereal Glow and am really happy with it.

  6. Al

    I was so excited for these when I first saw the promo image, but after seeing the swatches, I’ve lost interest. I’m much more interested in the new Clinique blushes now, which is funny because when I first saw the promo image for those blushes, I was unimpressed. The swatches won me over!

  7. Lined up alongside the others, they all actually look really similar – with the exception of Ethereal Glow – which is a little disappointing. I wish they’d done a little plummier one, and also a hot pink leaning more blue than red. I’ll probably still pick one up, but I don’t feel the need to have more than one!
    Amanda Recently Posted: Review: Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

  8. Avatar of Melissa Melissa

    Hi Christine!
    I picked up Luminous Flush, but looking at the fact that Radiant Magenta is a brighter, I’m wondering if maybe that would be a better fit on my fair, slightly cooler toned skin – what do you think?

    • I think either will work, truly, on your skin tone, but Radiant Magenta seems pinker on me – not as warm-toned. I think it’s more of a preference than one being better on you!

  9. Avatar of Cat Cat

    It’s a bit disappointing that several of these are so similar, but they’re still so pretty. My favorites are definitely Diffused Heat, Radiant Magenta and Mood Exposure.

  10. I guess one can always hope that they eventually come out with a more pigmented pink or rose toned blush because Ethereal Glow is just too pale to be of any use to me as a blush (I might just as well use Oh So Fair beauty powder, which barely shows on me). I was in such a tizzy yesterday at Sephora that I forgot entirely even to check these to see if they were in and, if yes, how any of them might work for me. It would be great if they did have something in a deeper pink, a rose or light plum tone, though, as I would really like to have one of these beauties.

  11. Avatar of Jenn Jennifer Powell

    Thank you Christine! I love Mood and Ethereal in the powders and I’ve got Radiant Magenta and Diffused Heat in the mail coming in soon….can’t wait! I thought they all looked so similar too but I don’t think they’ll disappoint if they’re anything like the powders. Price is definitely a bit high but this will be the January splurge ;)

  12. Avatar of Jennifer Jen

    Great roundup! Your swatches are getting me so excited to check these out in-person. I agree- Diffused Heat and Radiant Magenta are my faves too :)

  13. Gwen

    Excellent comparison swatches, Christine.

  14. I have a powerful need for Radiant Magenta, even though I don’t generally wear pink blush.
    Christina Recently Posted: Sihaya Designs Earring Wardrobe – Autumn Harvest – Mix and Match – Seven Charm Set by SihayaDesigns

  15. Interesting… I was sure the Etherial Light would be the one I’d get, but seeing them all together, that’s probably my least favorite :). Mood Exposure and Radiant Magenta appeal to me the most.

  16. The side-by-side comparison is very helpful, Christine! Thank you!

  17. Avatar of Emi Emi

    This is so helpful, thank you! How would you say the shimmer levels compare? I don’t like visible sparkle (even in direct sunlight), but I love a satin sheen.
    Emi Recently Posted: Reviews Revisited: Volume V

  18. Hehe, when you look back at that gorgeous promo image, you can see someone at Hourglass HQ was a bit ambitious with the saturation dial :-P I wish these were more different, and that there was more than one true cool toned one, but they are very pretty nonetheless!

    Still think Clinique has more of my attention, though! ;-)
    Sylirael Recently Posted: A Rogue Can Dream, Right? – January Wishlist

  19. A.

    I pre-ordered Diffused Heat yesterday after a long days of hesitating. I’m glad you confirmed my choice.

  20. Avatar of Ivana Ivana

    I expected a little bit more, to be completely honest. The swatches and especially the pictures of the blushes on the face look way too similar for my liking. I thought there was gonna be more variety colorwise. I think I´ll rather buy one of the new Clinique blushes.

  21. Etomidac

    I kept scrolling and looking back and forth looking for the ones that I prefer. Conclusion: I don’t think I can narrow them down. Looks like I have to get them all!
    Thank you for the great photographs and reviews!

  22. Christine, thanks for the roundup, so helpful, they are all gorgeous, but seeing them all swatched side by side has made me realise that I do not need them all! Although Radiant Magenta and Dim Infusion are calling me!

  23. Thanks for posting this Christine! I had ordered 4 of the 6 blushes on Saturday, and I was keen on buying the 2 I missed out on (Ethereal Glow & Luminous Flush). But after seeing this post I’ve taken them off my wish-list because I don’t think I need them. I don’t think Ethereal Glow will really show up on me, and if other blushes in the line are similar to Luminous Flush I’d rather not duplicate :) they are expensive after all! But I still think they were worth breaking my New Years Resolution haha :D

  24. These look so lovely! It sucks they all look similar. :/ Radiant Magenta stands out to me! Very pretty.
    Lupe Recently Posted: Valentine’s Day Look #1

  25. Varika

    Thanks so much!! This is a really great post, and I really like how you ordered the face closeups for comparison. I’m very excited to get Radiant Magenta!! It looks great on you, and I’m glad it’s one your personal favorites.

  26. These are all so pretty! I just wish the formula worked with my skin type. Your swatches look gorgeous!

  27. Hi Christine! I’m new to your blog and absolutely love it. You do an AWESOME job! So I’m a Cádiz (Nars, liquid semi matte) skin tone. Do you think any of these will show up? They look absolutely gorgeous but I’m not sure if I should just wait and swatch in-store or purchase online. Thoughts?

    • Thank you so much, Nirja! My guess would be Radiant Magenta – but I would say there’s no harm in waiting a bit and trying them in-store. But if you’re getting them from Sephora, you could try not and always return in or exchange in-store!

  28. Avatar of Valerie Valerie C.

    Wow! Perfect presentation! This is exactly what I had hoped to find. Thank you!
    I finally decided on Radiant Magenta :)

  29. EXACTLY what I needed to help decide which to get. Thanks, Christine! I’ll be mulling over these swatches for a while :)
    Catherine Recently Posted: Animal Testing Victories – São Paulo & India

  30. cca

    Wow, i am disappointed that these will not work for dark complexions. I have seen them swatched on dark skin and they are a no go for me. I really thought at least two of these would have the pigmentation similar to milani baked blushes. Oh well I can keep my dollars.

    Great review, Thanks!

  31. Avatar of Beth Bethiu90

    I just got mine today! LOVE Magenta…like the warmer toned pink color. Think
    I’ll be returning Flush though….sooooo similar to other corals I have,
    Supercontinental, even Nars Orgasm to a degree…hope HG comes out with more blushes. I love the brand. The side by sides were so helpful. Thanks for that!!

  32. Wow Christine very very thanks dear!! you are awesome!!, this post just confirms my love for Diffused Heat!! Radiant Magenta is blinking to me too and i’ll succumb !! *__*

  33. Baby A

    I like these round-ups, Christine. Big help for those who can’t decide which shade to get! Thank you!

  34. The grid of comparison images is really nice – thank you for doing that! I think I’m going to reserve judgement on these until I can see them in person.

  35. zainab

    Even though these look way more similar than the promo image suggested I still want them all (but especially Mood Exposure). I think it’s like the MAC Mineralize products, how good they look in the pan is half the temptation…

  36. Thank you for taking the time to give such a detailed breakdown of the differences (or lack thereof) of all six blushes. It really does help when buying online and not in the store.

  37. Annie

    Darn you, Hourglass! I caved and got the Ambient Lighting powder… now I need this too.

    I noticed though that you get less than half the amount of product with the blush – $35 for 0.15oz blush vs. $45 for 0.35oz of the powders. That’s one thing I liked about the powder – that is so much product, it will last forever! I suppose the blushes will last a while too and they look so pretty, all color-swirled in the compact. Radiant Magenta is my pick!

    • Theoretically, you should use less blush than powder, since you’re just applying to cheeks vs. all over, though you are applying a sheerer layer of product all-over, so who knows!

  38. I’m so glad you did a comparison like this! I didn’t realize just how close all of the shades were. I definitely don’t need more than 2. It’s just a matter of deciding which ones to settle on. They’re all very pretty!
    fancie Recently Posted: Birthday Haul!

  39. Since Radiant Heat and Nars Love are similar in color, which one would you recommend and why. Thanks.

  40. Avatar of stef stef b

    it’s bumming me out that most of these are orangey

  41. I’ve ordered mood exposure and it’ll be with me on Monday, super excited :D

  42. Avatar of Daniel Daniel

    I’d really like to buy one of these… but I’m not sure if they’ll show on my NC42 skin :( which one would you recommend for me? Or would I be better off with one of Clinique’s new blushes?

  43. zFashionizta

    I am loving the Radiant Magenta!

  44. Mmm, need them all! Without a doubt :) Put 3 on my b-day wishlist, fingers crossed!

  45. shelley

    I ordered Diffused Heat and Radient Magenta. My order finally arrived yesterday and what a disappointment they both were. My skintone is a NC45 and it took multiple applications to even to get them to show up on my skin. And even then it only looked like I applied a highlighter. Hourglass went in with great intentions on this product but failed miserably. Fair skinned complaining that they are too warm while darker skin complain of it not even translating well on the skin. In defeat I picked up more Chanel cream blushes last night to soothe my disappointment.lol

  46. I purchased Diffused Heat and Luminous Flush….I love them both, just not sure of they are too similar in shades on me.

  47. Well helllloooo there Dim Infusion.

  48. I thought I would be all over these, but Radiant Magenta is the only one I’m interested in. They are just too warm and similar to justify getting all when I already have so many blushes.

  49. Avatar of Sheila Sheila

    I guess my skin is a bit more olive toned so it looks different on me than in the swatches but I just wanted to defend mood exposure. it is the most beautiful color on me and it blurs any imperfections. I love it!

    I was going to buy more colors but after seeing the swatches i think i’ll probably just get one of the coral shades and leave it at that. Probably diffused heat. It looks the best on you.

    • I don’t have any issues with Mood Exposure – just in general, I wish it was cooler/more plum so it would provide more variety to the line! It’s a fine product!

  50. Julie

    I got Radiant Magenta, and while I love it, I had a very different experience with it. On me (I have medium olive skin), it is a very bright, hot (almost neon) pink. I don’t get any peach at all. Looking at the picture of yours in the compact, I can tell that the one you got has a LOT more of the Radiant Light Ambient Powder than my compact has. I know that no two are alike, but it’s quite a big difference. Seeing that mine is mostly the bright pink blush pigment, I wonder if I should exchange it. I love the Radiant Ambient Powder and wouldn’t mind more of it!

  51. I’m NW 25, & my problem for blushes are it’s hard to find blush that shows up in my skin tone. At first, I really want the hourglass blushes. But I’m not sure if the blush will show up well on my skin. What color do you think I should get?

  52. Just received Mood Exposure. What a disappointment. I was really hoping it would be a cool toned plum. It looks coral/brown and I have a light neutral skintone. I tried buffing it out. No good. It just looks unnatural and unflattering. Pretty color in the pan not so much on the skin. This one is going back.

  53. Kelly

    Which shade do you think would compliment an Indo Canadian skin tone. I’d love to try one of these blushes, I love the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette.

  54. piru

    thank you for your review, you are very helpful!

  55. This post has definitely killed my lemming for any of these! AND MY WALLET IS HAPPY!
    While they all look beautiful, I seriously dont think anything revolutionary can happen to blushes anymore these days. Soft finely milled powders melding on the skin giving a luminous second-skin glow isn’t new, you guys!! But they definitely are a thing of beauty :)
    Shari Recently Posted: Almost Passed on The Beauty That is Chanel L’Ombre Diapason

  56. Mood Exposure looks just as warm, almost a pink clay color, on pale cool skin (NW15). Still beautiful though.

  57. It’s so glamorous! Love it!

  58. Does anyone know if Mood Exposure is at all similar to Benefit’s Rockateur?

  59. Silvi

    absolutely gorgeous! the swatches on the hand remind me of the mac extra dimension blushes (which I love!)

  60. anne

    I have to say when these came out i was ehhh especially because of the price, then i saw swatches and it went ouuhh lol .. i did get luminous flush because i had a gc and it is gorgeous on. I usually only like matte blushes but it gives such a gorgeous soft glow i probably could have skipped highlighter today. i think i want diffused heat next with diffused ambient light for the next fnf :).

  61. Does anyone know if Dim Infusion is at all similar to Milani’s Luminoso?

  62. A

    I really want to try one of these as well as other highlighter and bronze products by hourglass. I and med olive tone mac nw30. What should I choose?

  63. Pam

    I have a warm medium skin tone since I’m an asian. Which color would you recommend?

  64. Thanks for the roundup Christian, you are a absolute star, even thoughI don’t need them all, I want all 6! However I have been really good, I bought Radiant Magenta, Dim Infusion and Mood Exposure. I can’t wait for them to arrive :-)