Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Cosmetics has introduced six shades of a new product: Ambient Lighting Blush ($35), which is a very clever follow-up to its uber-successful Ambient Lighting Powder. When I went to Sephora to check out the shades during the V.I.B. early access preview, they were all sold out. Apparently they went as quickly as you can count to five.

With a click of a mouse, I headed over to Hourglass's own Web site and found six lovely blush shades beckoning. What a choice! It was so difficult, I surrendered my sanity and ordered all six. I figured it was a pretty safe purchase since they looked so pretty. I love marbling in color cosmetics.

My blushes arrived early last week, and I kept my hands off them until I could get photos. Finally, the sun came out while I was at home, and I took product and swatch photos. Then, I started playing with my new colors.

The first photo at the top of this feature shows Diffused Heat, Dim Infusion, and Ethereal Glow from left to right. The second photos shows Luminous Flush, Mood Exposure, and Radiant Magenta from left to right.

Hourglass says that unlike traditional blush, which tends to be flat, Ambient Lighting Blush uses "Photoluminescent Technology" to exhibit depth and dimension. The airy, lightweight powders contain optically transparent particles that amplify the colors to a multidimensional level, effectively reinventing the way you view blush - or perhaps the way blush looks on your skin.

The hand-made powders are formulated using an advanced miscelare technique, which means “to mix” in Italian. The result is a perfect balance of pigment and powder - all unique, meaning no two look alike. The cutting-edge formula means that the blush's full potential is displayed only on application. Hint: you won't see the magic until you apply the blush.

Here are Hourglass's descriptions for each of the shades.
  • Dim Infusion: A subdued coral blush fused with Dim Light to add warmth
  • Diffused Heat: A vibrant poppy blush combined with Diffused Light for a subtle halo effect
  • Luminous Flush: A champagne rose blush fused with Luminous Light to evoke a candlelit glimmer
  • Radiant Magenta: A golden fuchsia blush combined with Radiant Light for a summer glow
  • Mood Exposure: A soft plum blush fused with Mood Light to brighten the complexion
  • Ethereal Glow: A cool pink blush fused with Ethereal Light for a moonlit luminosity
I took my swatch photos in full, morning sun in alphabetical order, starting with Diffused Heat at the top of my arm and ending with Radiant Magenta at the bottom. I swatched all shades heavily using a sponge-tipped applicator. If you don't like my photos, for one-by-one close-ups, see Temptalia.

Sorry about that little bandage. The bruise under it looks worse. These photos are fairly light for a very good reason: the blushes are fairly light. You can't go wrong with any one of them (although that's possible if you don't like nude). It's interesting that in alphabetical order, with one glaring exception, they move from light to medium in pigmentation.

Diffused Heat at the top of my arm is a glorious pink-peach hybrid. Dim Infusion is very nude/beige. It's a blush for those who aren't looking for help with color, just a little contouring, thank you. Ethereal Gloss is an icy pink - so light that it is best used to top other shades, not on its own - unless your skin is almost white in color.

The three more pigmented shades are my favorites. Luminous Flush is another pink-peach hybrid. It's a warm shade that packs a little more punch than Diffused Heat. Mood Exposure, which looks almost brown in the case, is drop-dead gorgeous. The plum-mauve-pink color lifts my skin's own undertones. Radiant Magenta, whose name makes it sound unnecessarily loud, is a stunning pink. Shown at the bottom of my arm, it is not magenta!

Every one of these shades works on my fair skin. My favorite by a hair is Mood Exposure, simply because it makes me look like I'm blushing naturally. All of them will be worn (no throwaways here), and I'm only beginning to start playing with layering them. A maestro makeup artist (unaffiliated with Hourglass) suggested to me that the lighter shades will be fabulous when layered over the darker ones - to add depth of color and different effects. I tried. Of course, he's right.

Let's talk about radiance for a minute. I can see some minimal micro-flecks in the powders, but they impart no sparklies to the face. They are lively. That's my term for blushes that make me look alive. Are they radiant? Technically, that term means they reflect light or add luminance. Maybe, but I would need scientific equipment I don't have to give you an unequivocal answer on that. See below for why I won't try.

Hourglass has offered us a fabulous, new set of bushes with Ambient Lighting Blush. Choose the right shades for you face, and I'll bet you will be delighted.  They blend with ease, and they offer all-day, beautiful wear. What more can one expect?

They keep selling out at Houglass and Sephora online, but persist. They are being restocked quickly. I think everyone should have at least one.

Model photo courtesy of Hourglass; other photos by Best Things in Beauty


Dovey said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

I just swatched these in Sephora yesterday --- they do have such a gorgeous glowy finish! I think I'm partial to Hourglass Ethereal Glow and Radiant Magenta :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, count me in! This will be difficult...out of the 6 I want 5, must have 3, and can afford none. At the very least I choose Mood. Thanks for the review and photos CG. As always, your time and efforts are appreciated :))

Denise at aeiokid at gmail dot com

LilyBiscuit said...

Very nice! Thanks for the review. I'm loving Mood Exposure and Magenta for my complexion. I can't wait to try these :)

A Delicate Rosie Beauty said...

After seeing several swatches online, I thought I could give these a pass, but your photos have changed my mind. These are all so pretty and glowy that I don't know if I'll be able to choose just one! Thank you for posting this :)

roxymisha said...

I am yet to see these in person but your swatches are terrific and I have been drawn to Mood Exposure. Thanks for the tip on using a lighter shade over a darker shade - love mixing things up.

I too would do a crazy thing like order all of the blushes! Nice to know another 'crazy'.


Annie M said...

Just when I think I am going to be able to use some restraint in buying even MORE cosmetics..........

Charlestongirl said...

To everyone drawn to Mood, it is extremely special!

I am already plotting how I will look wearing it tomorrow. :)

Jo said...

I was at the mall today and checked these out. When I've been looking online Mood Exposure was the frontrunner for the one I would buy and looking at them in person confirmed that it is the one for me. Unfortunately they were out of stock so I'll have to order onlne or check the stores downtown next weekend. By the way CG, your swatches are the best I've seen (bandaid and all!)and I've probably seen them all. Your give the best representation of what the product actually looks like.

I also checked out the new NARS matte multiple at Sephora and fell in love with Laos. But I resisted and actually did not buy anything this afternoon. I bought two of the MUFE HD blushes last weekend and I've been loving those. I came home and went online to check the reviews for the multiples and discovered that people are complaining because you get half the product for the same price as the regular multiples. Sure enough I checked the size and the regular multiple is .50 oz and the matte is .26. Some people are returning theirs in protest. It will make me think twice about buying one. I think it is very shady.

Evelyn said...

I bought 2 already and I'm still eying mood. I will probably get that too eventually. I really love Luminous Flush, it has such a beautiful glow on.

Charlestongirl said...

Jo, that NARS sleight of hand has not gone unnoticed. Plus, why would the company take its iconic, gleaming product and screw it up, leaving a bad impression? They should have named them something like mini mattes. I think NARS has run off the rails.

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for this great review! I have been leaning between luminous flush & magenta, but now I will have to put mood on my must-check-out list as well! Such a lovely review!

Jo said...

Yes CG, not cool of NARS - he should be ashamed. They should have called them mini mattes and cut the price in half or made them the same size and kept the price the same. Does the fact that they are matte instead of luminizing make them worth more money? I don't think so. They're just new and NARS knows consumers are suckers for anything new so he's taking advantage of us. I'm not buying one.

Anonymous said...

I have my eyes on Dim Diffusion and Diffused Heat! :-) Hourglass really did a great job with these.

Suselew said...

I have Mood and Diffused Heat. Love them! Do you think Luminous Flush is different enough from DH to warrant the cost?

Resham said...

lovely!!! I picked Luminous Flush. It was difficult to choose... but what a lovely product!! You lucky to own all... :)

theMuse said...

I really had wished for a sheen, a glow, or some luminosity with these. They really are seamless and beautiful on cheeks but Hourglass sort of misrepresents the finish slightly in their marketing. I also thought they were a bit powdery and felt rather badly they kicked up so much powder on a single swipe of my brush. I was left tapping access off and it felt so darn wasteful :(

theMuse said...

don't mind me I'm tired that would be EXCESS lol