I’ve been putting off this review for quite a while because it’s hard for me to write meh reviews, y’know? LOVE or HATE reviews seem to write themselves, meh reviews are like extracting teeth.
The Ambient Powders have received both raves and rants, it seems you either love or hate them and yet I lie somewhere in the middle. Essentially, Ambient Lighting Powders are designed to mimic flattering light – as though someone was following you around with a candle or some shit. I was hoping that the effect would be somewhat similar to the Guerlain Meteorite Pearls; soft focus blurry effect, pore-eliminating, subtle illuminating goodness. Right off the bat, they’re not dupes – the Guerlain Meteorites (or at least the OLD ballz, they’ve since been reformulated) have a harder texture and so the brush picks up very little product while the Hourglass powders seem to have a more generic powder formula.
I think the key to success lies in picking the correct shade – I purchased Dim Light myself and was gifted Luminous Light (you know who you are, I lurve you!) and lucky for that! I would have had a poor opinion of the Ambient Powders otherwise.
It’s hard to tell from my swatch (my fingers are really pink, wtf) but Dim Light has an almost dusty rose undertone. The sheen is more refined when compared to Luminous Light and the tonally, Dim Light is deeper (right swatch but more discernible in pan pictures). Strangely, the sheen that registers on my finger doesn’t quite to translate to the face; I didn’t notice any added luminosity after a light dusting of Dim Light. That’s fine, I figured, it’ll be a nice finishing powder for eliminating unwanted shine.
The real deal breaker for me: Dim light altered the shade of my base, the dusty rose undertone was jarring against my slightly olive skin and I found my base looked a touch deeper, a little dull and kinda… peachy pink? It looked as though my foundation has oxidised, that’s really the best way to describe it!
So Dim Light was a big fail on me and was sent to another home via blogsale. I think if your skin is within the medium plus spectrum and you don’t share my olive undertones, it could very well work for you.
Luminous Light is less of a finishing powder and more of a subtle highlight; the sheen is more pronounced and the product is not as densely packed. Shade wise, I found it to be more of a neutral beige on the skin, perhaps leaning a bit warm but I did not experience any alteration to my foundation shade. I’ve actually really enjoyed a whisper of Luminous Light on the high points of my face in instances like job interviews, first dates and meeting the parents (not that I’ve been subject to such occurrences for years but you catch my drift). It doesn’t scream HIGHLIGHT, the glow is so soft that it can be used down the t-zone without making the complexion look frosty or oily.
While I sufficiently enjoy Luminous Light so that it remains in my collection, I was a little underwhelmed by the Ambient Lighting Powders. I think the incredible buzz surrounding the launch catapulted my expectations, resulting in inevitable disappointment.
Have you tried the Hourglass Ambient Powders? What do you think?