Monday, February 29, 2016

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder

Not too long ago, Hourglass introduced a collection of four Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders ($38), illuminating strobing powders designed to sculpt the face with light, creating depth and dimension for a refined, natural-looking highlight.

These powders are formulated in a sheer base that’s infused with concentrated, ultra-fine mico-pearl particles in a number of sizes and refraction levels for natural-looking luminescence - without leaving a heavy metallic finish. Developed with "Photoluminescent Technology," it captures, diffuses, and softens surrounding light to refine the appearance of the skin. Use it wet or dry for different levels of intensity, taking you from an everyday strobe highlight to a dramatic evening strobe highlight.

These universally flattering shades are perfect for all skin tones, and they’re designed to be used with the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor (sold separately) for the most effortless application.

How are these powders different from the original Ambient Lighting Powders? Designed to emulate the way in which strobe lights capture and reflect light on the face, Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders contain a more concentrated level of micro-pearl particles in varying sizes and refraction levels. Combined with a sheerer base, the powders impart a highlight to the face in its purest form without masking the skin beneath it. They are very sheer, as you can see below on my arm.

"Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders give off the most amazing glow to your skin without being overpowering. I love using them with the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor when I want a more reflective highlight." - Carisa Janes, Hourglass Founder

I couldn't decide among the colors, so I ended up with all four of them, thanks to  sweet friend who works for Hourglass.  Brilliant is shown above at top left, and Euphoric is shown at top right. On the bottom row, Incandescent is shown at left, with Iridescent at right. I sure hope I got that right. I swatched in the order listed here.

I tried to apply them dry and heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator, and I took my photo in full sun. Nevertheless, the sheerness of these powders made them disappear into my skin. I can see the stripes of subtle color and a bit of sparkle, but little else. Euphoric shows up pretty well; it's the golden tone second down on my arm. Did I need all four of them? Nope.

How does Hourglass recommend that you apply Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders? By using their Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor  - wet or dry to achieve varying levels of intensity, taking you from day to night.
  • To broaden a narrow forehead, gently dab the angled side of the Sculptor to the middle of the forehead.
  • To give height to the nose, sweep the tip of the Sculptor down the bridge of nose. Add more to the tip of the nose for a lifted effect.
  • To accentuate the cheekbones and lift the brows, sweep the angled side of the Sculptor along the tops of the cheekbones, up towards the top of the brow in a “crescent moon” shape.
  • To open up the eye area, dab the tip of the Sculptor under the brow bone and in the inner corners of the eyes.
  • To create the look of fuller lips, dab the tip of the Sculptor on the Cupid’s bow.
  • Use the flocked side of the Sculptor to blend and diffuse any harsh edges. Powder can be layered, gradually building up to your desired intensity.
The idea of strobing has tickled me. Young makeup artists are all excited about this new method. They aren't old enough to know that highlighting, strobing, or whatever you want to call it is old - very old. It's often used with contouring, also an old method, to highlight the areas of the face you want to bring forward and darken the areas you want to recede.

I think of these Hourglass powders as highlighting powders. They do sparkle, so you may want to limit their use to nightime occasions. If you are comfortable with micro-glitter, you can use them during the day.

Have you tried them? You can find them at Sephora and Hourglass.

Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; other photos by Best Things in Beauty


ame said...

I have tried them and I was really disappointed and returned them. Most Hourglass powders feel like butter, very soft, creamy, etc. These felt dry and gritty and were just glitter on my face. I was not impressed at all. Not a $38 item. I also really wish they had not named one Incandescent because it got my hopes up that it was the REAL Incandescent, which is was most definitely not.

Super disappointing.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

I love the concept of strobing, or highlighting, as I've always known it. It's great for "a woman of a certain age" since we tend to hollow-out in certain areas of our faces. I like to accentuate my cheekbones, which were always good, but are now even more pronounced (and maybe no one will notice my multiple chins because they'll be gazing enviously at my cheekbones!) These are beautiful.

Eileen said...

Oh, Mamaval! Too funny! I had high cheekbones to begin with and as I've aged, they've become more pronounced because my "apples" have dropped from the tree! LOL. Consequently, I eschewed contouring this most recent time around. But, I've always loved highlighting and still apply highlighter in the classic C shape on a daily basis. Most of the time I just want a softly diffused and subtle glow, but sometimes I want more of a spotlight, and sometimes I'll even go for a full on strobe effect. It just depends on my mood and the occasion. Back in the early sixties I used to use a white pearl eyeshadow on my browbones, cheekbones, and cupid's bow, but nowadays I have beautiful options in creams, gels, and powders. And, of course, the differences in color and finish are mind-boggling. There truly is a highlighter for every age, for every occasion, for every esthetic. Artful highlighting is one of the easiest ways I know to "lift" the face and bring radiance to a complexion that is losing its natural glow. You can call it highlighting, strobing, or spotlighting. I call it beautiful :-)

I had taken a friend to the Hourglass store in LA where we had the opportunity to see and play with these before they became available at Sephora and before reviews became plentiful. They are, as Charlestongirl said, very subtle when applied dry. Applying them damp is a whole other matter, though. The SA at Hourglass used Incandescent on me which was beautiful and I didn't have any glitter issues--but perhaps I need new glasses! LOL Anyway, after playing with numerous products, my friend and I strolled up the street for a coffee while my friend mulled over what she wanted to purchase for herself and her daughters. We were only gone about an hour, but the effect of Incandescent had vanished from my cheekbones during that time whereas it still looked radiant on my friend. She ended up buying a couple of th powders whereas I didn't buy any. My consolation was the beautiful Dior 001 (pink) highlighting powder which brings a smile to my face whenever I apply it. For me, that beautiful pink/gold pearl has been the standout of the season.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

Eileen..."apples have dropped from the tree"! I love it! I find that when I wear my beloved Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick in "Sunset Pink" (a limited edition, I believe), I always get compliments from my friends of a similar age wanting to know how I get my glow and my luminous skin. It's got enough color to work as a bit of a blush on the cheekbones as well as highlighter, and I've even used some of the "stripes" as eyeshadow in a pinch.

Eileen said...

Hi Mamaval,

A well designed highlighter/blusher like your Sunset Pink (from the Telluride collection?) is one of my favorite things. There are days when my cheeks are pinker than usual so I'll forego blusher entirely and just use a highlighter that has some color to it. From the fairest to the deepest of skintones, the right highlighter or highlighting blush can be transformative.

I'm always amazed by the number of mature women who think they can no longer wear shimmer or gleam of any kind just because they've reached a certain age. How sad! Because it's not really about age so much as it's about selecting the right type of product for your features and condition of your skin, placing it judiciously, and using the appropriate application technique. And, that's true whether you're a teenager or a nonagenarian! (We should all live so long :-) ) A soft sheen on the high points of the face can be extremely flattering at any age and, if you've got the features for it and want to take it up a notch, go for it! But the decision should never be based on age alone. That's such an antiquated notion. You know, for centuries women have been oppressed, discarded, or put on the shelf just because they had reached a certain age. Their personal grooming, how they dressed, even their conduct was all determined by their age. Enough, already!

Whoa there, Eileen! LOL Sorry for the mini-rant.

ahhhsoNeo said...

I'm afraid that I am one of those who did not like these at all. The looked like a glitter bomb when I swatched them, even with a lighthand. Glad you liked it.