Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette ($58.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a real mix in regards to quality with one spectacular miss that really brings down any chance the palette had at a decent score. If that one shade had performed even average, this palette would be closer to a B+ in rating. This set of shades was less powdery compared to the other palettes I’ve reviewed with this formula. It still tended to apply more easily and wear longer when applied damp, though.

Exposure #1 is described as a “champagne.” It’s a light champagne beige with warm undertones and a frosted finish. It had good color payoff both wet and dry, though it was easier to work with when applied with a damp brush, as it adhered better and went on more smoothly. The consistency was very soft and finely-milled, while being lightly powdery. It wore well for eight hours both wet and dry. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Exposure #2 is described as an “aubergine.” It’s a deepened eggplant purple with a matte finish. It’s extremely powdery to work with, so little color adheres to bare skin; it absolutely has to be applied over a base or primer. The color is actually more pigmented than you’d think, just none of it sticks due to just how powdery the texture is. I found it a little hard to blend and prone to fading within six hours. The way this applies and looks on the skin is so disappointing. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Exposure #3 is described as a “bronze.” It’s a medium-dark golden bronze with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. The eyeshadow was nicely pigmented both dry and wet, though it was easier to apply to the skin when used with a dampened brush as the eyeshadow adhered better and the dampness eliminated the powderiness of the formula. Applied dry, it wore well for seven and a half hours, and applied damp, it lasted for eight and a half hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Exposure #4 is described as a “black violet.” It’s a deepened, blackened purple with warm undertones and a pearly sheen. It applied nicely both wet and dry, and it wasn’t powdery even when used dry. It had excellent pigmentation, and the eyeshadow wore well for eight hours regardless of how I applied it. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Exposure #5 is described as a “lilac.” It’s a muted, dusty mauve with rosy tones and a pearly sheen. It was powdery and drier to the touch, which made it harder to apply dry as it was prone to sheering out with the barest touch of the brush. It was better applied with a dampened brush, which brought out the cool tones and shimmery finish. Applied dry, it lasted for six hours, and applied damp, it wore closer to eight hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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See more photos & swatches!

Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Exposure #1 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Exposure #1 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Exposure #1 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Exposure #1 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Exposure #2 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Exposure #2 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Exposure #2 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Exposure #2 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Exposure #3 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Exposure #3 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Exposure #3 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Exposure #3 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Exposure #4 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Exposure #4 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Exposure #4 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Exposure #4 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Exposure #5 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Exposure #5 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Exposure #5 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Exposure #5 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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93 Comments

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Not surprised at this point. This was my favorite. But,now it makes way for more MUFE artist shadows.. dupes noted! Thanks for the review and for being honest with you opinion! πŸ™‚

ugh. This palette looked very tempting.
But for that price range, and that C+… Not to mention the fact that the colors look very dupe-able. It’s a pass for me.

This is I have to say the 1st palette I rushed to buy on Sephora before your review and user comments.
I am surprised you gave it a “c” rating, my personal rating much lower. While the colors are gorgeous in this Exposure palette I found it to just be horrible to use. I had so much fall out it was beyond ridiculous. Colors chalky and patchy….hard to build up. I have cheaper palettes that out perform this. My personal preference is to use an item for 1 week then determine if I will keep or it goes back. I could only tolerate this for 3 days and returned. I could not justify the $58 to keep and struggle to use. I love Hourglass and this one palette did not perform or stand up to what the line is known for. I was to say the least disappointed! Down the road I might try another color range but hoping Hourglass will go back to the drawing board and improve what could be an amazing product.

I had a lot of fall out/powderiness with other palettes, but this one significantly easier to work with than other palettes (two of them were actually quite nice for me). Some of what you’ve described is dead-on for what I experience with other palettes – definitely possible that there is some variation, too, and some palettes might be pressed harder/softer. Glad you were able to return! I don’t think I’d bother getting another, IMO.

I went back and looked at some of your previous post on this palette. I think I will skip. I was expecting so much more, like a life altering palette LOL!!! So value your reviews!!!! I shall wait next time

Ugh! These look so beautiful so this bad of a review just makes me sad! They are so pretty that I could see myself just wanting them for their packaging and to have them in my collection! πŸ˜€

# 2 : so beautiful in the pan…so ugly swatched.
These palettes remind me of beautiful paintings but this poor performance is disappointing.

I looked at these this weekend .. they are quite pretty and .. rather smaller than I though. Oh, well .. they seem to be hit/miss.

Monica

I think this palette is the best of the range. I like the colors and the combination of them. Undoubtedly and unfortunately, the shade #2 is β€œthe rotten apple” which damaged the final grade.

I got excited there for a minute as there seemed to be more “positive” things about Exposure (well, the one you have, anyway), as compared to the other Modernist palettes you reviewed. Too bad about the one shade bringing it down from a potential “not bad”. Ugh. This is the one that I ordered. Still hasn’t arrived – I should get it by Friday. But now I don’t know what to do. Just return it unused (then maybe they can resell and it won’t be a “waste” – though I don’t think Sephora does that) or try it out for myself (knowing that I may return it). :/

Since I love purple, I hoped this palette would perform better. So disappointing. #5 Lilac shade is very pretty though, have to check out your dupes!

Thank you so much for saving me $58!!! πŸ™‚ I am shocked that they bombed so badly on all of these palettes. I had high hopes as I love the ambient lighting powders so much. Back to the drawing board Hourglass!

Too bad that the #2 eyeshadow performed so badly, it looked like an amazing color. I’ve tested mine (Infinity and Nonochrome) this weekend, and I thought they were ok, which is of course not so good for such an expensive palette, but I’m a sucker for packaging so I don’t mind that much. By the way, I think all the colors inside the palettes have a name. Check out the Sephora website and click on one of the palettes and you will see the description (eg Cool Plum) and all the names of the individual eyeshadows.

It’s weird – I’ve been wondering for a while now if any “dupes” ever garner the 100% rating for how close they are to the product being “duped” and today, I see that Lorac’s Plum shadow gets a 100% for being a dupe of #2 in this Hourglass palette. I’m guessing (perhaps wrongly) that the rating is for how close they are in colour because seeing the swatches side by side, in terms of texture, pigmentation, smooth and even application, the Lorac shadow is sort of 100% DIFFERENT from #2. The colours are pretty but at this price and with these ratings, I’ll stick with my dupes.

I rate dupes primarily weighted on closeness of the color/finish, LORAC is dead-on for this, but it is obviously of higher quality! πŸ™‚ If a lipstick is supposed to be sheer and the only dupe I can think of is similar in color but is ultimately an opaque lipstick, that’s when something like “more pigmented” tends to kick in!

What a shame! This was one of the prettiests! In your eyes they just vanish!
I don’t mind paying more, but if I do, I would expect more in terms of performance that these palettes do not deliver. What a pity!

Yikes… That F shade is disappointing for such a pretty colour! I think I’ll be stepping away from Hourglass for awhile – too pricey for what the products are in general! I was particularly disappointed by the Immaculate Foundation too, recently. It was really hard to work with, and hard to get a colour match for deep skin. I’m not sure if I should go a shade lighter or just exchange for the last product I’ve really been dying to try in the line, the primer!

An NYC palette that you reviewed years ago featured a similar purple. Matte and a little reddish, and I loved it so much that I bought the thing; all these years later I’m still using it and still loving it. It swatches beautifully, it applies richly –

And that was a $4.47 palette.

I don’t understand how they could let an iconic palette like this turn into such crap.

The 2nd color looks totally awful. Drugstore shadows look better. I bet even with primer, it wouldn’t look good. It’s such a shame because the other colors are so pretty, and purple palettes are fairly rare. I don’t know why Hourglass would risk their reputation by issuing these new palettes. I hope they listen to their customers, fix this PR mess, and get it right the next time.

i almost feel bad for companies when they come out with bad products, like that purple. especially with a brand like hourglass, theres no way they just DIDNT TRY and thats why it came out so badly formulated. I’m sure they really tried their absolute best. I’m sure their chemists/scientists who formulated the product really did try as hard as they could, why would they not? They just failed. And I’m sure once they saw it fail they kept trying to fix it, anyone would! But unfortunately they just couldn’t.

Thats how I see it. I might totally be wrong.

I wanted this and the olive one so much, but I’m glad I waited to see your reviews. If that’s the best swatch you were able to get from the aubergine, no thanks.

Not so great is it? That yucky purple swatch would put a lot of purple lovers off. The only pretty colour is the gold – no. 3 and that is not original. So sad.

It’s a shame that first purple is so awful. As a whole, the palette looks tempting for a girl with green eyes, but not at that price with that dud in the middle.

Such a disappointment overall with these palettes. At least it gives me an idea for some self-made palettes, I suppose? :-/ at least you’ve given us some great dupes to try!

If I was going to purchase any of these, it would be this one. All the colours are right up my alley! But that second shade seems just awful. Thank you for the review. I will be investing in something else.

*Rocks back and forward, sobbing*. Why, Hourglass, why?! Why must you abuse the purples so?!

OK, melodrama out of the way, the gold and the dark purple are at least good! I think, so far, if I (for whatever reason) wanted to own one of these mostly for the sake of the design, this might actually be the one I’d get. I mean, the dodgy purple is pretty sad, but at least there’s a good purple and a good gold, which are two shades I actually use, and the first and 5th shades seem functional.

Still a pretty disappointing release, overall though… :-/

This was definitely one of the ones I had high hopes for. Sad to see that it just doesn’t live up to the promise (which seems to be the case with all of these).

This was my favorite and of course the color that I really liked is the worst performing one of the bunch. Thank goodness for dupes! it’s really a shame that most of these are not performing well for as much as they cost. so glad I didn’t buy any and I saved the money for the nars dual intensity palette that came out at sephora this morning!!!

Am I the only one loving this palette? LOL
I bought Exposure and Obscura right when it was available to Sephora VIB Rouge members online. I was suckered in by the packaging and the fact that it was by Hourglass made it seem like a no-brainer. I agree, the formula is on the powdery side, but I always use an eyeshadow primer (UD Primer Potion) due to my oily eyelids and I’ve never had problems with awful pigmentation or ridiculous fallout on these shadows.
The only thing I don’t like in the two palettes I bought is the fact that there is no matte midtone shade that can be used as a transition colour within each palette. I always reach for my Tartelette palette in addition to using my two Modernist palettes for an appropriate transition colour. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoy using these palettes.
However its extremely admirable that Christine is always brutally honest when it comes to a product’s performance regardless of the brand and price.

No, I am the other one who likes them, LOL!!! It is odd, reading how so many people have fall-out issues. My 2 palettes (and soon to be 3), Infinity and Monochrome, don’t give me any trouble with fall-out. They give me such a pretty, soft eye look, that I am really loving. I can’t help but wonder if there is a good batch and bad batch being put out there?

And I’m the third person who loves them. Goodness this is funny. Like Christina, I love the soft eye look I have Exposure, Infinity, and picked up Color Field this weekend. I always use primer and pat these eye shadows on. I did notice that swirling the brush in the pan does kick up powder but tapping seems to pick up the color and compact the shade in the pan at the same time. I figure those who love it win either way, if Hourglass recalls them – we have a limited run product, if consumers don’t buy them, they will be easier for us to find. I do appreciate all the honest reviews though. That’s how I know that I had to change my method of application so I didn’t damage the palette. πŸ™‚ Thanks Christine!

I love the whole colour scheme going on but YIKES what happened with the 2nd colour? at that price point, can they afford to have these mess-ups? :/

Hi Christine,
I swatched these in Sephora the other day and while I totally understand why these wouldn’t play well with many brushes, d’ya think they would they work better with fingers or sponge applicators? You could blend it out at the edges with something like a 217. I actually really like the soft-focus effect on your eyes, and the powders do have a bit of that “ambient” glow the face products are so well known for. Thanks!

Wow – so they are capable of As! Too bad it wasn’t consistent. This was my favourite palette (it seems like many others love purples too). What a shame Hourglass! Hopefully people who got their palettes are enjoying regardless.

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