Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad Review & Swatches

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Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad
Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad

Sculpture

Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad ($58.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a new, limited edition foursome that features a finishing powder, bronzing powder, powder blush, and powder highlighter. They may look familiar to you if you already own last year’s Unlocked (Ghost Edition) palette as all four shades are from there.

The products were fairly consistent with respect to application, blendability, and longevity to last year’s versions, though I found the bronzer to be more pigmented this time around (but that was how I first experienced it, even before last year’s palette!) and the blush to be more medium, buildable coverage (as intended).

I really think it was a missed opportunity not to release three or four quads–make them permanent!–that represented a finishing powder, bronzer, blush, and highlighter for different skin tones. This seemed more like a one-off release that would have been a retailer exclusive (given it’s a total rehash) rather than one of three announced for their holiday collection.

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Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Soft Light over set foundation (your left) vs. eset foundation only
Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Soft Light over set foundation (your left) vs. eset foundation only
Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Soft Light

Soft Light is a soft, light-medium peach with warm undertones and a satin sheen. It had sheer, yellow-tinted coverage (the left swatch is heavily packed on to show the finish/color) that was easy to apply all-over my face, but it did give me a bit of a yellowish cast working from the small pan size (harder to use a less-dense, fluffier-style powder brush).

The texture was soft, finely-milled, and sat well on my skin as it softened the look of pores and skin texture without adding overt shimmer. It extended the wear of my base products by an hour, though it’s a finishing powder, so that was more of a bonus and proof it didn’t cause issues with longevity!

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

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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Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Golden Bronze Light

Golden Bronze Light is a medium brown with moderate, warm golden undertones and a mix of finer and slightly more sparkle-light gold shimmer. The consistency was soft, smooth, and finely-milled without being too powdery in the pan, and it applied well to bare skin and blended out seamlessly.

This version was quite pigmented, which was my initial experience with the product while last year’s edition was more medium and buildable; it’s actually supposed to be medium and buildable, so this was “too pigmented” and would require using a less-dense brush or lighter-handed approach to get true, buildable coverage. It lasted well for eight and a half hours before fading a bit.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

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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Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Mood Flush

Mood Flush is a muted, medium-ark pink with warmer undertones and a satin finish. It had medium, buildable coverage–which is how the formula is supposed to be–with a finely-milled, silky texture, though I found it wasn’t quite as yielding or as readily blended out as most of the blushes are (including the past release of this shade). It wore well for eight hours before fading visibly on me.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

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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Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder
Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Champagne Strobe Light

Champagne Strobe Light is a light-medium gold with strong, warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had nearly opaque pigmentation that built up easily to full coverage with less than a second layer. The consistency was soft, smooth, and silky to the touch without being too powdery nor too firmly-pressed into the pan. It stayed on nicely for eight hours before fading a bit.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

-

The brand described the formula as "formulated with intensely concentrated, multifaceted pearl particles" to give "the most reflective glow." It's supposed to have a "velvety texture." These seem to be an intensified version of the brand's Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders, but this formula is not presently available individually. The Metallic variation has a lot more pearl and is aptly described as "metallic."

The powders had a soft, lightly dusty texture in the pan, but they blended out nicely on the skin and were definitely high-shine, intense highlighters on the skin (both dry and damp). They were fairly pigmented with coverage ranging from medium, buildable to full depending on the shade and whether it was used dry or damp with damp application always yielded more coverage and a shinier finish. The highlighters wore well for seven and a half to eight hours on me.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder swatches.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
About Reviewer
Review FAQ
Reviewer

Christine Mielke is the editor-in-chief and has been reviewing products for over 14 years.

She has normal-to-dry skin with occasional dryness on cheeks and nose. She has a light plus skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones (view her foundation matches here).

Learn more about her review process here.

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Because I waited too long to try and get last year’s Unlocked Edit, I’m very excited to get another chance at it albeit just 4 of the shades. I have seen many deeper skintoned YT’ers using this quad and getting great results, so I’m not mad at it. There ought to have been at least 1 other variation for the finishing powder, however, as that has been the one shade that those darker than around nc42 will not be able to use without it appearing ashy. And that’s just UNFAIR on HG’s part!

Thank you for reviewing these! It’s a pass for me, I think. I wish they would come out with three or four for diff skin depths. I can typically wear the lighter blushes especially with my Sigma duo fiber brush but often find that the bronzers or finishing powders are too dark for me. I had a sephora employee put a finishing powder on me and in the low light of sephora, it looked okay and gave a nice finish to my skin, but when I got to work, it was so obviously way too dark. Thank goodness I only had half a day left. Silly me, I kept it and tried it again wondering if it was that they put it on on top of whatever I had…nope and I forgot to take it back. It’s just sitting in my drawer. lol I should give it to someone who can use it! Anyway, all that to say, I’m all for a series of four quads that work for diff skin tones.

Well said Christine – there really is a need for the brand to offer 4 -5 face palettes that represent differing skin tones and HG is being a little tone deaf here. What would be even better is a an opportunity to ‘build your own’ face quad….

I think it’s another year of no luck with Hourglass for me… This palette will look straight up muddy on my light skin.
Every year I get excited and look forward to finally being able to buy a holiday palette (That nude blush from some releases? GORGEOUS. I want to own it! They need to make it a permanent standalone. Why they haven’t done so is beyond me! But the same goes with a lot of their choices/actions :/ ) but there will always be a few pans unsuitable for me, either the bronzer and finishing powder too dark or the blushes just looking like highlighter markers.
I am waving my money but seems like they don’t want it.

I know people are complaining that they only cater to light to medium skin tones, but most of this is way too dark for me. (so I’m thinking they are going after medium skin tones in this release.)

My fear is that as long as these holiday palettes keep selling our, Hourglass will continue not to have the incentive to change their approach to designing them. I own the unlocked palette and have medium/deep skin tone and it’s just hard to get it to get a whole lot out of it. they have beautiful powders but I just want them to show up on my skin like they do for individuals with lighter skin tones. they have the capability to do it (at night blush is an example), they just choose not to.

I was surprised that HG launched this specific palette because it’s nothing new but I guess those that didn’t want to spend $80 last year can get this quad for less. I also think these launches are missed opportunities to be inclusive and to show their customers that they hear them and take them seriously. HG can do it, just look at the newest single blush they launched, At Night, a deep red shade. They just choose not to.

Hourglass powders are so pretty in terms of finish. One of the very few items that I have not been able to find a decent dupe for at a lower price.

Here’s my main issues with palettes As well as the criticism …they will never satisfy everyone. Ever. Most brands create palettes for their mass market. I personally got so wrapped up in the palette craze and I thought about it more after the ND debacle. And even seeing this release.

So I ordered myself a custom palette for blending, highlighting and contouring eyes and cheeks. I tried Cat Cosmetics years ago and after panning everything I had moved on. I went back. I now can refill pans as I have hit pan with this brand and quality is amazing. This base palette has made everything…everything. Even my overly light HG 6 pan.

I have enough but they are versatile. Even this one. If I didn’t pretty much have the singes or prior palettes that had similar colors like this…I’d be snatching this. They play on the eyes gorgeously.

It’s not about satisfying everyone but not leaving a huge chunk of makeup enthusiasts out. Their most anticipated release every year leaves out anyone without a light skin tone. There are millions of medium, deep, and darker skinned HG customers who’ve been asking for years for a palette. I buy one every year and use the one or two shades I can it’s time for them to make multiple palettes like other luxury brands.

Reading some of these comments and Christin’s review literally had me tearing up, they are so thoughtful. Hourglass is my favorite brand (besides Pat McGrath) and I’ve looked forward to and bought each holiday palette release even though sometimes only one shade works on me. Last year not one shade in the Ghost palette worked on my skin tone and I was actually sad. Seeing so many people in the beauty community speaking up that people like me want HG palettes too is AWESOME.

Hey Kristal!

What shades from Hourglass do you feel work best for your skin tone? If you could give me a foundation shade that matches you well, I’d love to get that, too – that way I can pass along a rec to others, too.

Thank you! <3

Thanks Christine that’s helpful. There 10 shades darker than mine in the HG foundation range (my shade is Honey) and there are no bronzers or ambient lighting powders even close to working for my skin tone.which means any Black woman darker than Beyoncé can forget it (so 95% of us). Virtually no other luxury brand is doing this, it’s 2020! In the 6 pan palettes the bronzers are finishing powders for my skin tone, the only one with more than 2 shades that work is the Unlocked edit. Their darkest bronzer radiant light is a highlight, At Night blush, the bright blush in Sculpture palette, the year of the pig blush, and a few of the strobe blushes work as do the two darkest strobe powders Euphoric and Brilliant and those in the strobe palette and ghost blush palettes all work. HG is one of my favorite brands and I look forward to their holiday release ever year and every year med/deep customers hold our breath and every year we are disappointed I’m learning they are also neglecting fair customers too. It’s time to enlarge their powders range and come out with two or three different holiday releases palettes if they came out with even ONE 6 pan for deep skin they would satisfy so many of us.

Thank you, Kristal! It’s always good to have context + suggestions from someone who is familiar with the Hourglass line, as you are, with respect to what is working (or not working) on your skin tone. I was actually wondering what an Ambient Lighting Powder would look like in the pan if it there were shades actually designed for deeper skin tones.

I’m happy to hear the Ghost Blush palette worked better for you – I thought that was more of a step in the right direction, so definitely was surprised by this year’s quad release.

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!