Ambient Lighting Powder ($45) at Sephora online. Then I read a couple of glowing reviews (the powder would make me glow), and I was sold. I had to have one - except that the colors looked fascinating, so I ordered three. One is in my take-back box at the moment, along with a few Stila Color Balm Lipsticks I never opened.
Carisa Janes, Founder of Hourglass, had articulated something I've observed. “I learned early on how different types of light can truly flatter the
complexion. Growing up, my mother had pink light bulbs in all of the
lamps throughout the house. She loved pink light because it was the
softest and most flattering, and she always wanted to look good. I used
this concept of lighting in Ambient Lighting Powder.” Think about how good you look in soft candlelight in a restaurant. If you've never noticed, pull out a mirror and look!
"This universal finishing powder features state-of-the-art technology
to recreate the most exquisitely flattering types of light." When I read that, I was sold.
Create your perfect light. Ambient Lighting Powder is a groundbreaking
collection of finishing powders that capture, diffuse, and soften the
way light reflects on your skin. Ambient’s illuminating particles are
one of the first ever to exhibit both photoluminescence and
color-correcting capabilities. The transparent micron-sized spheres with
an entrapped diamond core - called photoluminescent technology - do not
simply cloak imperfections like traditional powder, but rather, alter
and refine the perceived appearance of the complexion by manipulating
and filtering out harsh light. Delivering a multidimensional
luminescence to every skin tone, skin appears softer, younger, and
lit-from-within. With six universal shades available, you can choose to
create your desired lighting effect - not unlike having a personal
lighting technician. Ambient is free of talc, gluten, fragrance, parabens, and
I had high expectations. So high, I even ordered the Ambient Powder Brush ($35), a densely packed brush said to be ideal for evenly dispersing Ambient Lighting
Powder all over the face. It comes equipped with extra-soft, high-grade
Taklon bristles and is packaged in a protective travel-pouch.
This is where my story derails. I found nothing novel, unique, or noteworthy about these Ambient Lighting Powders. Perhaps I selected the wrong shades for my complexion, but I had the impression that I could mix and match to suit the appearance I wanted to create. I don't want to discourage you from trying these. They seem to be popular, but maybe they are best for different skin types and complexions.
Neither of these powders makes me glow - no glow, no shine, no special effects. In fact, you can see in my photos that my own skin glows from the direct sun more than the swatches.
Since these powders have received such critical acclaim, I feel like there's something wrong with me - my expectations, my approach, my application, my impressions. How could reviewers claim to glow with an ethereal light? One had darker skin for sure, but I just don't get the glow.
I'm going to throw this one open for suggestions and feedback. Did I buy the wrong colors? Hourglass says, "Choose one or more and step into your perfect light." I'm wondering if I should have purchased Mood Light, a sheer lavender-pink. Have you tried these new wonder-powders? What colors? What did you think?
I'm not giving up yet. However, I'll be holding my Guerlain and Chantecaille powders tightly and with a renewed appreciation.
Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; other photos by Best Things in Beauty