How to Use Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Review

After buying the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette last fall, there was a bit of a mystery as to how to use them.  I tested a number of different methods, but always thought, “Surely there must be a better way!”

As with every beauty-related conundrum, I turned to Twitter and sought the help of friends and followers.  I then went back to the drawing board and have now come up with what I consider the best ways to use Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light and Radiant Light.  Of course the palette also includes Incandescent Light, but suffice it to say that I use that one as a highlighter.  Period.

The biggest struggle I had initially was getting the powder to even show up.  Unless I was in direct sunset lighting, I couldn’t catch a glimpse of the powders’ effect.  I tried brush after brush after brush and settled on the Real Techniques Multi Task brush as the one for me.  The synthetic bristles seem to catch the product just right and its flatter surface allow the buffing that something like the Real Techniques Blush Brush can’t handle.

Which brings me to my second point…buffing.  I always assumed the Ambient Lighting Powders could be gently swept across my skin for an effortless glow.  Not so much.  I don’t know if it is the depth of my skin or some other factor, but Dim Light especially needs some buffing in.  So focusing on the center of my forehead, down my nose, and the tops of my cheeks, I buff Dim Light over the rest of my face makeup.

Hourglass Dim Light Nose and Forehead

Hourglass Dim Light Cheeks

Then I go back in with Radiant Light and sweep it down my temples, along my jaw and hollows of my cheek, and across my chin.  Occasionally I will add it to the outer edges of my forehead.

Hourglass Radiant Light Temples

Hourglass Radiant Light Jaw

Sounds a lot like contouring, doesn’t it?  Essentially, that’s how I think of it and how I feel these two shades work best.  The glow they give is beautiful, but also very subtle.  And as each of the powders is meant to work differently, I can only imagine the placement of the remaining shades would also be unique.

Hourglass Tutorial Finished

Now dish – How do you apply Ambient Lighting Powders?

  • Rae

    I use a fluffy (not dense) kabuki brush and swipe/ buff dim light. I put more over the blush area. I can’t seem to find a use for radiant light yet.

    • Alison M

      Yeah, Radiant is definitely tricky. It offers more of a summer tan glow which is why I end up using it in common bronzer areas.

  • Deanna

    I still haven’t tried any of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders. I always stare at them every time I go into Sephora, but I haven’t figured out which one would look best on my fair skin. I’ve read that Guerlain’s Meteorite Pearls are similar, and the lightest shade of those is supposed to provide color-correcting properties. Have you tried those yet?

    • Alison M

      I haven’t used Guerlian’s. I think Mood and Dim Light are the Hourglass shades that do color-correcting.

  • Kristen / Glambunctious

    A-ha! Buffing! Honestly, that’s one method I haven’t tried. I used to just dust Diffused over my face and go, but now I apply it with a flat sponge to the center of my face after using my regular setting powder for oil-control purposes. I will try the buffing! Thanks, boo!

    • Alison M

      I was thinking about buffing and shimmer/glow products and I realized I always get a better result when buffing radiant foundations too. Hmm.

  • Giulia

    When I saw the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders I definitely thought: “I must have that!”
    And your post was so useful :) I love its brightness, I’ll buy it soon!

    • Alison M

      Glad you enjoy it, thanks for stopping by Giulia!

  • Alison M

    Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to connect your Disqus profile to your website so you don’t have to type your link in comments. Total time saver!

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