Sneak Peek: Hourglass Surreal Light Palette Photos & Swatches

Hourglass Surreal Light Palette
Hourglass Surreal Light Palette

Hourglass Surreal Light Palette ($80.00 for 0.30 oz.) contains five cheek/face powders revolving around the shade of Surreal Light, which makes them all new (and limited edition), but it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw it added to the regular line someday later on (equally possible it never returns!). There are two blushes, one bronzer, one highlighter, and one finishing powder (which is the largest of the five shades).

Like last year’s palette, the only value is in whether you like the idea of getting five shades for less than the cost of two or three full-sized Hourglass Ambient Lighting products (which range from $38 to $50 in price). There’s only $53.30 worth of product in the palette, so it’s obviously not a value-packed palette. This is something that will be best for someone who wants everything in a single palette and will wear at least three of the five shades often. This year’s palette is marginally better in value than last year’s (which was $48.05 in product value at the same $80.00 price point), but their palettes prior to that were significantly better in value.

  • Ambient Lighting Powder | 0.14 oz. is worth $18.40
    Ambient Lighting Blush | 2 x 0.04 oz., 0.08 oz. total, is worth $20.27
  • Ambient Lighting Bronzer | 0.04 oz. is worth $5.13
  • Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder | 0.04 oz. is worth $9.50
  • Total Value: $53.30

Hourglass Surreal Light Palette

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44 Comments

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As pretty as this palette is, I wish Hourglass would go back to the “trio” style pans that they sold for $58. The poor value aspect of these really irks me, and even worse, the teeny tiny pan size is just not practical.

I went looking on the website after Melissa’s comment (wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything) and I saw that! Unfortunately, the price goes up to $70 for that and at least for now you can only choose front their lineup of regular Ambient Lighting powders- no blushes, strobe powders or bronzers. It’s a fun concept, though!

Oops, they did it AGAIN. I think most of us sensed that this would be the case. Hourglass obviously didn’t hear the uproar over the low value of last year’s palette. Not getting this one either. Too little product, plus, far too pale of shades for me anyhow.

Another rip-off from Hourglass. Sad and insulting, especially in light of those nice little value sets you showed earlier, Christine (from Marc Jacobs and Bite, to name just two). I’m with Julia on the IRKED BENCH. I have not purchased a single Hourglass product (and I used to buy a lot) since last year’s rip-off.

Zzzzzzzz total skip for me. First, as another reader has mentioned, the fake white marble packaging looks like cheap bathroom tile. For $80 buckaroos, what happened to the elegant rose gold metal packaging?? Second, I don’t see anything “surreal” about these powders. They look flat and boring to me, and 4 of the 5 have yellowy orange undertones that will look pretty horrible on me, but they aren’t pigmented enough to use as blushes either. My $6 Elf Illuminating Palette swatches better than this, and it’s illuminating too. And of course, the value per oz is ridiculous, looks like Hourglass hasn’t learned a thing from last year’s fiasco 🙁

Just got mine and while it’s beautiful, the teeny tiny pan sizes made me sad. I knew about the reports of them being small, but the gravity of it dawned when my brushes wouldn’t properly fit. Sad face.

This just doesn’t stand out as anything special to me. Frankly, I’m way more drawn to the packaging than to the product inside. For the price point vs content, it’s an easy pass for me. I have the Ambient trio, the blush trio, and several of the single Ambient powders and do like them very much but this is a miss, IMO.

Don’t know what happened. Did not intentionally hit post…… only use 1 of the original, and that only in summer. Thought the bronzer would pull more red or burgundy, given the swirl. Mood light person here. This looks warm/fair. There are so many downsides, that I am surprised they can continue these pricey, tiny pan holiday issues. Clearly they have heard negative feedback. But those dreadful eyeshadow palettes persist, so clearly HG manages enough sales to keep their less favored products going.

How in the world are those palettes still around? Especially when their previous shadows were really good. I was able to swatch never touched palettes at my Sephora when they launched and they were so crappy and made a mess. I guess enough people still buy enough of these ripoff palettes to keep them coming. It is an absolute slap in the face to the consumer.

I was looking forward to your swatches on this one since it’s on my wishlist, and while I think it’s pretty, the price point vs size is a no. I think I’m just going to grab the other 2 MAC Star Trek powders instead.

I will be returning this . The quality is not there. I found it to be very powdery and there was too much sparkle for my taste . I am fair and the darker pink blush was the only one that showed up on me. I was completely underwhelmed .

I’m not impressed by the swatches: many of the shades look extremely similar, and they’re all quite pale, even the blush and “bronzer”. I also don’t particularly like the marble compact of this palette, I think it’s a lot less elegant and attractive than their classic metallic brown. Add to that the poor value, no thanks!

The packaging is pretty but the colors look meh and the value is terrible. I don’t know why Hourglass keeps doing this when it caused such an uproar last year. The whole point of limited edition palettes like this is for the value and variety. This palette offers neither.

I ordered it online the day of the release and returned it to the store the day after I received it. I didn’t do the math before ordering and was very disappointed in the amount of product after I received it and calculated the worth. Too bad I really liked the bronzer and the surreal effect blusher, but not enough to get ripped off in the price. I bought a full size blusher instead and the rest in cash back.

Some of the shades are flat although I would used the blushes and bronzer, the other shades do not appeal to me (price and size aside). I’m waiting for Hourglass to offer a customizable palette across the full range of their products (with, hopefully, a broader range).

The only reason I keep buying hourglass is because their blushes last all day on me. No other powder formula last as long, without fading and getting patchy. Their highlighter are subtle, which I like sometimes. Their finishing powder gives me that ‘je ne sais quoi’ to my final look. So I will buy this, it will be a good addition to my library. When you have a lot of them in rotation it takes a while to get through them. That being said, I’m waiting for the ratings just in case it’s not the same formula.

The finishing powder and highlighter both look too dark for me, so it’s an automatic pass! (Fun fact: when the first ambient palette came out, I found Dim Light only worked for me as a subtle contour shade…) I like the tone of the bronzer, though.

The colors seem really bland (aka nothing special) and the price is ridiculous considering the value of the palette. Definitely a skip for me.

Yikes. Too much money for boring looking packaging, lack of pigment and overall lack of diversity in the palette,. $80…I mean wow. At least throw in a lipstick or gloss or something.

I’m kindof over these new Ambient Lighting powders. I love the originals (I have Diffused, Luminous, and one of the blushes) and the idea makes great sense (like imitating candlelight/moonlight/soft light, etc) but now I just feel they’re making up new types of light that don’t exist. What exactly is “surreal light” anyway?

Based on comments about the bad price point, I skipped last year’s palette in favor of 2 full-sized anyway and that was the right choice.

I got last years palette and I use it but not as much now because so many brands have come out with highlighters.This is not looking like a must have to me from the swatches.I thought for sure that they would have made this years palette a better value but obviously that didn’t happen.I put it in my Sephora cart as soon as I popped up on their website while I am waiting for your review Christine but I doubt I’m going to be purchasing.

I have been really banging this one around in my head. I spoke to a vlogger who is SUPER pale like me and she confirmed what I was worried about–that the strobe and the main pan are a bit too warm and potentially too “dark” for our faces and come off a little orangey. The blushes look freaking awesome though.

I am kind of hoping for another blush palette from them (if one still exists, I am missing it!)

I am going to play devil’s advocate here, and say that I disagree with those who say these special edition palettes from Hourglass aren’t a good value.

Yes, technically speaking, when comparing the price point to the volume of product, it may not be good bang for your buck. However, I think one of the main purposes (and benefits) of a palette like this, is that you get to sample six products, that if you wanted to buy as single units would cost much more. The price of an Hourglass strobing power + an ambient light powder + two blushes + a bronzer = $210.00 versus the palette, which goes for $80. Now $80 is a lot of money to pay for a makeup item, no question about it. BUT, as far as concerns about not getting enough product, I can attest to the fact that I bought the Hourglass holiday palette last year, and have used it pretty frequently (at least a couple times a week if not more) and I am no where NEAR hitting pan. I mean, I’ve barely made a dent in any of the powders — a little goes a long way with these. I feel like unless you are a professional makeup artist, or someone who stocks up on their makeup stash once a year for the basics, there is no way you will “run out” of product quickly. And to me, that is the only reason to be concerned about the amount of product.

I happen to think that if it’s in your budget and you’ve been curious to try Hourglass, or are just looking for a good travel palette, this is a great buy and will last a lot longer than you might think!

I have the original Ambient Lighting Palette and I hardly use it, because it runs really warm on me and both Dim and Radiant Light turn out too bronzey and I look REALLY overdone. Incandescent Light is nice but I still don’t find I use it much. These all lean so warm I really don’t feel I’m missing much.

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