Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad (Holiday 2019) Review & Swatches

01/07

Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Quad

Ghost

Hourglass Ghost (Holiday 2019) Ambient Lighting Blush Quad ($58.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a new, limited edition palette that features two brand-new shades, one repromote (but never sold individually), and one permanently available shade (Brilliant Nude). Most of the shades had buildable pigmentation (as marketed), natural-to-luminous finishes, were blendable and easy to use, and performed consistently with past shades in the formula.

Hourglass’ blushes retail for $40.00 for 0.15 oz. or $266.67/oz. They also sell miniature sizes in four shades, which retail for $24.00 for 0.04 oz. or $600.00/oz. (pretty small–0.04 oz less weight than the average, full-sized eyeshadow). Based on the standard-sized product, the quad has a retail value of $42.67. If you use the miniature size as the base, then it is like getting four minis in one ($96 worth).

I think Hourglass has heard from me along with many others over the years that we’d like to see a second (or even a third!) option. Especially with the blush quad release, I actually think quads might have been the perfect way to offer the right variety to hit on ranges of skin tones – I could very much see a really go-to, travel-friendly set of quads for light, medium, dark, and deep (I know four might as well be asking for the world). You could have one Ambient Lighting Powder (finishing powder), two blushes, and one of the Strobe Lighting Powders (highlighting).

But at the very least, the quad format leaves me puzzled why they didn’t release a deeper version for darker skin tones. It’s such a fantastic formula, but I feel like the depth of colors in the range–both permanent and what’s released in palettes–could be so much better.

Concept Idea - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Quad

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01/04

Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Surreal Effect Ambient Lighting Blush

Surreal Effect

Surreal Effect is a medium pink with subtle, warm undertones and a natural sheen. It had buildable pigmentation from medium to opaque, while the the texture felt smooth, silky, and picked up well with a brush without being too powdery. The blush applied evenly and blended out seamlessly on my skin. It stayed on well for eight hours on me before I noticed signs of wear.

Formula Overview

$40.00/0.15 oz. - $266.67 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have “depth and dimension” unlike traditional blush, be “lightweight and airy,” and have the “perfect balance of pigment and powder.” Hourglass says it uses “an advanced ‘miscelare’ technique,” which means to mix in Italian (per Sephora) and is how the marbled effect is achieved. The blush is also supposed to have “buildable color.” It does bring to mind the concept of a lot of baked formulas on the market, but I think the texture is softer and more finely-milled than most.

The texture is very soft and delicate; it feels exactly like the Ambient Lighting Powders. In an all-over powder, I don’t mind what can sometimes veer on powderiness, but in a blush, it can be easy to overload color onto the blush and then onto the skin. I wish it was slightly firmer or less powdery, which would minimize waste and make it more foolproof to apply.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol; Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Diamond Powder, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, May Contain: (+/-): Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 40 Lake (CI 16035), Carmine (CI 75470), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

01/04

Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush
Hourglass Brilliant Nude Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush

Brilliant Nude

Brilliant Nude is a soft, light-medium peach with warm, yellowish undertones and fine, golden shimmer that combined into a more luminous finish (not overtly shimmery or frosted) on my skin. The texture was soft, lightly powdery but silky and blendable on my skin, and it never looked powdery applied. The coverage was buildable from medium to nearly opaque, which was in line with expectations. It wore well for eight hours on me before fading noticeably.

Worth noting, the version in the quad was similar in color to the standalone I have; the one in the Spring 2017 palette was significantly darker (you can physically see a lot more darker color in the pan, too, where as my standalone had a lot of lighter areas).

Formula Overview

$38.00/0.15 oz. - $253.33 Per Ounce

The Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is designed to have the “illuminating effects” of their Strobe Lighting Powder with “vivid cheek colors.” The formula features “buildable color” with a “natural-looking, radiant finish.” The texture of the powder is very, very silky and finely-milled, which can result in noticeable powder that gets kicked up in the pan, though they apply beautifully to the skin and never look dry or dusty actually applied (which is where it counts!). One of the things I have noticed over the years is that the depth of color can vary dramatically depending on the marbling of the powders; some have more of the “Strobe” shade and others have more of the “blush” shade. They last between seven and eight hours on me typically.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush swatches.

Ingredients

Ingredients: Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Silica, Dimethicone, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Alumina, Water/Aqua, Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Diamond Powder, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Trimethylsiloxysilicate. May Contain (+/-): Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Carmine (Ci 75470), Ultramarines (Ci 77007), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

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01/04

Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Lucid Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Lucid Glow

Lucid Glow is a pop of medium orange with warm, reddish-orange undertones and a luminous finish. The consistency was smooth, silky, and blended out with ease–the kind of product that’s difficult to apply badly!–with nearly opaque coverage in a single layer. The coverage was higher than most of the blushes I’ve tried in the formula, so I’d recommend using a lighter hand if you need/expect the buildable nature of the formula (true of other shades). It lasted well for eight hours before I noticed signs of fading.

Formula Overview

$40.00/0.15 oz. - $266.67 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have “depth and dimension” unlike traditional blush, be “lightweight and airy,” and have the “perfect balance of pigment and powder.” Hourglass says it uses “an advanced ‘miscelare’ technique,” which means to mix in Italian (per Sephora) and is how the marbled effect is achieved. The blush is also supposed to have “buildable color.” It does bring to mind the concept of a lot of baked formulas on the market, but I think the texture is softer and more finely-milled than most.

The texture is very soft and delicate; it feels exactly like the Ambient Lighting Powders. In an all-over powder, I don’t mind what can sometimes veer on powderiness, but in a blush, it can be easy to overload color onto the blush and then onto the skin. I wish it was slightly firmer or less powdery, which would minimize waste and make it more foolproof to apply.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol; Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Diamond Powder, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, May Contain: (+/-): Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 40 Lake (CI 16035), Carmine (CI 75470), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

01/04

Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Infinite Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Infinite Flush

Infinite Flush is a muted, light-medium coral with warmer undertones and a luminous finish. It had buildable pigmentation from medium to opaque with an incredibly silky, finely-milled powder texture. There was a little dustiness in the pan, but the product applied effortlessly to my skin and melded as I blended it out. It stayed on nicely for eight hours before fading a bit.

Formula Overview

$40.00/0.15 oz. - $266.67 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have “depth and dimension” unlike traditional blush, be “lightweight and airy,” and have the “perfect balance of pigment and powder.” Hourglass says it uses “an advanced ‘miscelare’ technique,” which means to mix in Italian (per Sephora) and is how the marbled effect is achieved. The blush is also supposed to have “buildable color.” It does bring to mind the concept of a lot of baked formulas on the market, but I think the texture is softer and more finely-milled than most.

The texture is very soft and delicate; it feels exactly like the Ambient Lighting Powders. In an all-over powder, I don’t mind what can sometimes veer on powderiness, but in a blush, it can be easy to overload color onto the blush and then onto the skin. I wish it was slightly firmer or less powdery, which would minimize waste and make it more foolproof to apply.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol; Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Diamond Powder, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, May Contain: (+/-): Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 40 Lake (CI 16035), Carmine (CI 75470), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

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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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22 Comments

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If love to see more quad varieties in the future! I can’t justify 4 blushes, but if they did a lighting powder, highlighter, bronzer, and blush? I would love that. I haven’t bitten the bullet on one of these despite wanting one because for the price, I need to love every shade.

Even though Brilliant Nude will probably be used as a highlighing “blush” or bronzey highlighter by me, I still do want this particular quad! The other 3 shades are ones I know I’ll get much use out of as actual blushes. An added plus, I love all of those!

I just received this today. I love the idea but what was disappointing for me is that the pan of Brilliant Nude in my palette is mostly the gold shimmer. So, it really won’t work as a blush. I wish they were most consistent about the ratio of color to shimmer. And they really should make deeper options. It’s 2019 and time to stop thinking about about people with medium/light skin. Cheers!

I remember when they first launched the blushes, with the palette that has Mood Exposure on the end, many years ago. Some people were upset because their blush was not pigmented. An employee who worked for Hourglass passed on the information that each pan had the exact same ratio of blush to a ambient powder. The problem was in the mix itself. They were supposed to be relatively even from top to bottom and if yours was too much one or the other it would be opposite as you moved down through the pan. Some people returned theirs thinking that the replacement would be better. Unfortunately, because it was LE, it sold out and people just got their money back. It was a whole thing back then. Now, I have no clue if what the HG employee said was accurate (although it does sound feasible) but if true it sounds like you may have a heavily pigmented section of blush in the lower parts of the pan.

I have always thought this was the case, and great to hear at least one confirmation. It doesn’t seem to make sense any other way. Just like food, I imagine each blueberry muffin has the same number of blueberries, but a different way it’s spread around. A production process where each muffin has wildly differing numbers of blueberries would probably require each muffin’s ingredient list to be different, too.

I want to, oh boy but…

It’s super spendy and terrible value

The shades are pretty but not revolutionary or even that exciting

It’s only gonna work on a small fraction of skin\tones, eg pale.

I want to love Hourglass so badly but NUH UH 🙁

There is something so aesthetically pleasing about looking at those untouched pans! It is like art. Seriously, I could blow the picture up, frame it and put it on my makeup room wall. I agree, wish they would expand the four pan palette to a “face” palette and have different depth of tones for all skin tones. For me, this one works in terms of tone since I am really fair but would love to see the blush/bronzer/highlighter/finishing powder concept. I also love the formula and will be getting this one.

I like that they offered a quad. It looks really beautiful. I agree that it’s odd they didn’t offer a darker version. That would seem like a no-brainer. I think this would work great on my fair skin, though, and I’m seriously considering it.

I love the quad concept better than the 6 pan and I thought the choice of shades for this one to be fairly good (just not a fan of orangey kind of shades), the quality was certainly there too. But like you Christine, I do wish brands would cater for all; after all we are their customers.

The blushes are pretty, but what is up with that horrible looking clear plastic packaging??? That looks like the lid for a cheap storage container that’s been sitting in my closet for too long and turned slightly gray and cloudy. For $58, I expect better looking packaging —-please bring back that classic shiny metal chrome!!! Or even the marble bathroom tile look from 2 years ago. I am SO glad I caved and picked up last year’s holiday kit, which still had the classic packaging. And in this day and age, when many brands are releasing 40 -50 shades of foundation to reflect the diverse beauty of their customers, why can’t Hourglass release a blush option for darker skintones??

I bought this quad and love it but thank you so much for talking about skin tones. I have a deep skin tone I’ve bought every holiday palette and there is literally only one shade in the latest one that can work for me. Hourglass has a great range for their foundations I hope they improve with the palettes/powders

I ordered this late last night (well, morning I guess) when it released on Sephora. I took the chance that I would love it and seeing this review tell me I did the right thing!

As a cool-toned, fair complexion, I decided to pre-order the 6-pan holiday palette—which I just cannot resist every year despite those stacking up and product overload at this point.

Thank you so very much for being a reliable source of information and great swatches. Love your blog! This is my first comment, but I read everything every day and there’s always such great comments. I like that everyone is nice here towards each other.

Will you be swatching the 6-pan and lip duos? If so, really looking forward to it, and also if anyone has tried those already. Agree completely that if not four different palettes for different skin complexions, so many companies offer at least two.

I bought this on Hourglass’s website before it was launched at Sephora and I wish I had waited to swatch it in person. The ambient blushes are pretty but the strobe formula is so glittery which, no matter how much I blend, is noticeable on my very fair skin. I also find Brilliant Nude to look almost muddy and Lucid Glow is a stark orange on me. I’m still deciding on whether to keep it or give it to a friend but I think next time, I’ll risk HG holiday products selling out rather than buy something sight unseen. All of this aside, it’s a stunning palette on skintones deeper than mine and those with fair but warm undertones.

Thanks for advocating for a more shades. Hourglass is my favorite brand however I have a deep dark skin tone. I purchased this quad at release but for the first year ever I didn’t buy their 6 pan holiday palette. They seem intent on keeping the holiday palettes light/med skin only. Great review as always.

Is the quad working well for you, Kristal, or do you feel like you’re making it work for you? I’d love to hear so if any readers with deeper complexions ask me, I can at least pass some real experience on! 🙂

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!