Hourglass Sculpture Ambient Lighting Edit Quad Review & Swatches


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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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).

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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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)

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.

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