Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Review & Swatches

01/07

Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Ghost

Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80.00 for 0.29 oz.) is a new, limited edition palette that features two finishing powders, one highlighter, one bronzer, and two blushes. The top three shades are all part of the core range of shades, so they can be purchased individually, while the bottom three shades are new and exclusive to the palette. The quality of the products was lovely–blendable, easy to work with, sat well on skin–and the “downside” was that the bronzer and blushes were more pigmented than marketed. The other downside is that it only comes in one variation, so it is unlikely to suit all skin tones.

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01/03

Hourglass Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation / with Hourglass Dim Light on top
Hourglass Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Dim Light

Dim Light is a light, peachy beige with warm, muted undertones and a semi-matte finish. It’s a finishing powder, so it is typically applied at the end of the routine (likely before setting spray, if you use it) to breathe “life” back into the skin, so it has a veil of luminosity that doesn’t read overtly shimmery or shiny.

On my skin tone, if I apply this in more pressing and patting motions, it can add a bit of color (like a bronzer). I have also used it as a setting powder, and it does prolong the wear of my base by an hour or two. The texture was smooth, finely-milled, and silky, though a little dusty in the pan. The size in the six-pan palette fits a blush or highlighting brush in it comfortably, but the typical loose powder brush will be too big. It was consistent with past releases of this shade, both in palettes as well as the standalone shade.

Formula Overview

$48.00/0.35 oz. - $137.14 Per Ounce

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more mattifying base products on. They’re not full-on highlighters, but they’re not exactly setting powders (by Hourglass’ definition, they are finishing powders).

If you have very oily skin, you may still need your usual setting powder, but for my normal-to-dry skin, the Ambient Lighting Powders work as a setting and finishing powder in one for me. I get extended wear out of my base products, but the powders also smooths the skin’s appearance, minimizes pores and imperfections, and gives the skin a natural luminosity (not shiny, not shimmery). It is that something extra that someone won’t see and go, “Oh, nice lipstick!” but “Did you do something different with your skin?” When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that’s when you know a product is really delivering on its promises!

The only negative I have to say about the products is that the texture is very, very soft, so depending on the brush you use, excess powder can be kicked up (and wasted).

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Silica, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Potassium Sorbate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Laureth-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate. May Contain: Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride),Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide),Ci 77492 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxide),Ci 75470 (Carmine).

01/03

Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Diffused Light (left) on top of / Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Diffused Light

Diffused Light is a translucent, yellowed beige with subtle, warm undertones and a natural finish. As a finishing powder, it had translucent coverage that applied a veil of natural-looking powder all-over the skin. The texture was silky-smooth, finely-milled, and easy to work with, and it performed consistently with past iterations I’ve tested of this shade (in palettes and as a standalone product).

On my skin tone, it didn’t add any visible color, just softened and smoothed out my skin texture. Applied over a more matte base, it also helped bring back some luminosity (without looking dewy or shimmery). I like using the Ambient Lighting Powders as setting powders (but they are finishing powders) for more natural to luminous finish foundations, as they mattify and set slightly but allow some of the foundation’s dewiness come through still. Used as a setting powder, it actually prolonged the wear of my base by an hour or two and otherwise doesn’t negatively impact longevity.

Formula Overview

$48.00/0.35 oz. - $137.14 Per Ounce

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more mattifying base products on. They’re not full-on highlighters, but they’re not exactly setting powders (by Hourglass’ definition, they are finishing powders).

If you have very oily skin, you may still need your usual setting powder, but for my normal-to-dry skin, the Ambient Lighting Powders work as a setting and finishing powder in one for me. I get extended wear out of my base products, but the powders also smooths the skin’s appearance, minimizes pores and imperfections, and gives the skin a natural luminosity (not shiny, not shimmery). It is that something extra that someone won’t see and go, “Oh, nice lipstick!” but “Did you do something different with your skin?” When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that’s when you know a product is really delivering on its promises!

The only negative I have to say about the products is that the texture is very, very soft, so depending on the brush you use, excess powder can be kicked up (and wasted).

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Silica, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Potassium Sorbate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Laureth-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate. May Contain: Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride),Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide),Ci 77492 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxide),Ci 75470 (Carmine).

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01/05

Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Iridescent Strobe Light Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder

Iridescent Strobe Light

Iridescent Strobe Light is a pale, peachy beige with a luminous sheen. It had semi-sheer to medium, buildable coverage with a natural sheen that “melted” slightly as it was applied and blended out on my skin. The coverage was more in line with the way the formula is marketed, though it was a bit sheerer compared to the standalone version I have (which was more pigmented than anticipated). The texture was finely-milled, silky, and smooth to the touch without being too powdery. It wore well for eight hours on me before fading visibly.

Formula Overview

$40.00 -

According to Hourglass, the Strobe Lighting Powders have a “sheer base” paired with “ultra-fine pearl particles” that give a “naturally luminescent highlight … without a heavy metallic finish.” They are wet/dry powders with dry application for less of a highlight and damp application for a stronger highlight. If you find most highlighters “too much” for your tastes but find the Ambient Lighting Powders not enough, then you may enjoy the Strobe Lighting Powders.

Hourglass also launched a slanted, sponge applicator designed to be used with this product, which is what I used to apply the highlight in the photos below, but I prefer regular brushes for more even application and easier blending. The powder definitely intensifies with damp application–you can see how it gets brighter, lighter, and more shimmery.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder swatches.

Ingredients

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

01/04

Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Eternal Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Eternal Bronze Light

Eternal Bronze Light is a light brown with subtle, warm yellow undertones and a satin finish. It had opaque pigmentation in a single layer, though it could be used with a lighter hand to achieve sheerer, more buildable coverage (which is what it was supposed to have). The powder had an incredibly smooth, silky feel to it that sat well on bare skin and seemed to meld with my natural skin (rather than mattifying it) so it appeared a bit dewier/more luminous than I actually felt the powder was on its own. It lasted well for eight and a half hours on my skin before starting to fade noticeably.

Formula Overview

$52.00/0.39 oz. - $133.33 Per Ounce

The Ambient Lighting Bronzer formula is supposed have a “sheer, airy” feel (sheer as in texture) that give a “natural, sun-kissed glow” with the “illuminating effects of Ambient Lighting Powder” with “bronze pigments” that give it “buildable color.” The formula tends to be more pigmented (usually semi-opaque), but the textures are always soft enough that a less dense brush or lighter hand is an option for picking up less product and getting less coverage. I find that the bronzer formula tends to be less powdery compared to the original Ambient Lighting Powders, which is nice. The wear is typically around eight hours on me.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer 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), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

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01/04

Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Iridescent Rose Ambient Lighting Blush

Iridescent Rose

Iridescent Rose is a medium, pink-coral with warm undertones and a luminous finish. It had nearly opaque color coverage in a single layer, though it could be spread and blended outward for a sheerer effect (or used with a lighter hand). The powder was smooth, silky, and blendable without being too powdery in the pan. It stayed on nicely for eight hours before I noticed any 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 Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Sublime Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Sublime Flush

Sublime Flush is a light pink with warm undertones and a satiny sheen. It had buildable pigmentation from medium to mostly opaque (two to three layers) paired with a soft, silky texture that was finely-milled and easy to work with on bare skin or over foundation. The blush wore well for eight hours before there was noticeable 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)

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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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13 Comments

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It looks good quality, but I do wish that Hourglass had an option for the tan thru deeper skintones as well, too. I could envision this one working on me for our cooler months when I can go down into NC35 -ish level some years (I already know this will be one of those years, as I barely left the house in July or August, I’m running lighter than usual). But; I actually love the quad quite a bit more, for whatever reason, even though this would be a fantastic palette for travel due to having my favorite finishing powder Dim Light included.

I’m SO glad I caved and got last year’s palette! I can’t stand the packaging -that translucent base looks like the lid from a cheap storage container that’s been sitting in my garage for too long and turned cloudy and gray. For $80, please bring back the classic metal chrome packaging!

The more I see this, the less I like the packaging. Maybe I will like next years edit palette. I use my Hourglass ambient lighting blush palette all the time – the formula is wonderful.

I told myself that I didn’t need this but after seeing your swatches I think I might add it to my cart when Sephora has their next 20% off sale.

They all look beautiful, my preference would be to swirl some of the shades together for the blush aspect.
It is a shame that the brand hasn’t created one for deeper skin tones, especially when they so easily can.
And I don’t like the clear packaging either – it looks so badly DS, not the luxe you are paying for.

Nice. I already have Diffused Light, and the others resemble blushes and highlighters I own, so I won’t be getting it.

Every year, I buy the full Hourglass holiday palette, even if there are repeats and I have an overload of the palettes. This year, I find that the colors just aren’t as pigmented on my skin, which is porcelain, so I’m concerned about how this will play out for a full range of skin tones. The darker blush was very pigmented, on me, at least, but the rest was just a nice sheer shimmer nearly detectable and without much pigment. I totally agree with those that are disappointed in the case. I know, I know, I know, it’s just the outer case and what’s important matters, but this is such a big step down, visually, and how it feels in the hands while using it. I do not regret buying it. It is not my favorite year, however. So, if someone is on the fence and has an eye shadow palette or luxe foundation that is spreading thin their funds for makeup, this might be one of the items that I would pass on this year if you already have one from a prior year. The lip colors are gorgeous, however, so I’m extremely happy to see your swatches. I don’t know if I have much money left, haha, but I recently bought some Surraut lip colors that I’m in love with, so I think I’m fine for the time being.

I am loving the plastic – it’s got a retro chic vibe for me. Also I’m hoping it’s lighter than last year’s edit; would be great for travel. Almost all the shades all have a pink undertone so they are right up my alley, this is the best edit for me, color-story wise.
Can’t wait to get this one out of my VIB sale basket and into my paws.

Now that I live in Europe, these palettes are no longer a temptation thanks to Kiko. They offer an extremely similar baked blush, highlight, bronzer, and finishing powder formula for a fraction on the cost and in a wide range of colors that suit a variety of skin tones. The packaging is to die for as well. I find it a shame at this stage in the game for Hourglass to not offer more inclusive options, especially at this price point.

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!