After weeks of Instagram sneak peeks, Hourglass Cosmetics has finally unveiled the latest addition to their Ambient Lighting chapter with the new Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush ($38 / 0.15 oz – 4.2 g) lineup. This entrancing hybrid blush combines the illuminating effects of Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder with beautiful modern hues to instantly brighten cheeks with a radiant glow in four captivating shades. Those familiar with Hourglass powders will most likely recognize these since the Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush and respective shades made their original debut in palette form during the Holiday season last year as a limited edition Sephora exclusive. Hourglass has reformatted the blushes from the Holiday palette plus one new shade as individual compacts and I have all four reviewed and swatched here today!
If you’re new to the Ambient Strobe Lighting Blushes, they are multidimensional powders with swirls of pigmented color and highlighter. Hourglass infuses their blushes with what they call their “Photoluminescent Technology”, which creates depth and dimension for an otherworldly glow. All of Hourglass’ powders are handmade and formulated using an advanced miscelare technique – which means “to mix” in Italian – creating the perfect balance of pigment and powder, so no two compacts or swatches look alike. Basically, what this means is that the overall color formula in each compact will look similar to others but there will be slight variations in the depth of said color depending on the blush pigment versus highlighter ratio.
Much like the Ambient Lighting Powders as well as Ambient Lighting Blushes, these marbled powder blushes have a soft and ultra smooth texture. They are lightweight, easy to blend and buildable without emphasizing pores or skin texture. When you look at the pans in person it may appear that some shades will come across as too light but these blushes are surprisingly pigmented with an intense color deposit. A little brush swirl around the pan will go a long way creating a mix of pigment and highlight to give the complexion a perfect ethereal glow with a luminous finish that is not frosty. Or “otherworldly glow”, as Hourglass would say which is an apt description, if I may say so myself. As is with the Ambient Lighting Powders and Ambient Lighting Blushes, the lasting power of these blushes are particularly impressive – lasting from early morning to mid-evening without fading or the color separating from the finely-milled shimmer particles.
Color descriptions per Hourglass website and as I see them
Brilliant Nude – is described as a deep amber blush blended with Brilliant Strobe Light for a lustrous glow. To me this shade reads as a warm light-to-medium brown with peach undertones and has gold shimmer.
Euphoric Fusion – is described as a soft lilac blush blended with Euphoric Strobe Light for a resplendent glow. To me this shade reads as a warm light-to-medium mauve with rosy undertones and has micro pearlesscent shimmer.
Iridescent Flash – is described as a vivid magenta blush blended with Iridescent Strobe Light for an illuminating glow. To me this shade reads as a cool medium dusty rose pink and has micro gold and pink shimmer.
Incandescent Electra – is described as a cool peach blush blended with Incandescent Strobe Light for a celestial glow. To me this shade reads as a warm peachy pink with slight orange/red undertones and has micro pearlesscent shimmer.
Swatched on the arm
Bottom line, I absolutely love these. I missed out on the Ambient Strobe Lighting Palette when it launched and always kind of regretted it, so when Hourglass released the individual formats I instantly ordered all four the day they went live. These have the perfect in-between mix of color and glow. They are luminous in a subtle nature so they give the skin that beautiful soft sheen with enough color balance to bring life to the face. They layer nicely with other powder-based products as well as creams, meld well with the skin and don’t emphasize pores or skin texture. I did notice that they slightly warm up on the skin but don’t oxidize too much. In terms of lasting power I found these rank as very impressive. On my medium skin the colors do show up quite well with the exception of Brilliant Nude which took more life as a highlighter than a blush. How these colors will show up on your skin will not just depend on your tone but also how the compact is mixed regarding the blush vs highlighter ratio.