Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit - Surreal Light

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light was one of those instant purchases for me. I love Hourglass powders and think that the quality is amazing. The palette is housed in a marble printed case and contains 5 pans of product. Although the marble is pretty (and, let's face it, Instagram worthy), I think I would have preferred to keep the metal packaging. To me, the metal seems more luxe than a marble printed plastic case and is also in keeping with the overall aesthetic of the brand, but that is more personal preference than anything else and does not affect the quality of the product inside.

I have to say, I think this palette is better suited to the lighter side of the skin tone spectrum. I am light-medium and the only items that show up really well on my skin are the Surreal Effect Blush and the Surreal Strobe Light. The Finishing Powder that takes up the left side of the palette is meant to blend into skin, but if you have a darker complexion, this may make you look ashy (I would definitely recommend trying in store). The middle column sort of blends into my skin and is hard to see. All of the powders blend well and are buttery soft. They each lasted all day on me when tested.

I definitely take exception to them labeling/marketing this palette as universally flattering - the bronzer is too light for my skin, and I am on the lighter side. What would someone with medium to dark skintones use it for? One thing I have noticed is that Hourglass has not seemed to put out a palette for medium-dark complexions, and I really think that they need to. Their powder products are, to me, the highest quality on the market and it is a shame that they are under-serving such a large part of the market.

As with the palette from last year, the pan sizes are really small. I wish they would go back to the trios or use this size palette and make it a quad. It is really difficult to dip a brush into this and not pickup the adjacent powders. The size would not be as much of an issue for a different product, but bronzer, blush, and highlighter fan brushes all tend to be larger. You basically have to squeeze your brush to dip it in the pans, which I am not a fan of doing.

One thing that is a bit odd to me is how they labeled/numbered the palette. I would think that normally you would start at the left, which they did, and do the top row first, then bottom. They did not do that. The far left pan is 1, which makes sense, but then 2 is actually the bottom middle shade, then it goes up to the top middle shade, over to the top right shade, and down again to the bottom right shade. See diagram below. Most people that I have seen swatch it did not do it in that order. I did not either, which is why I labeled the swatches below with the numbers. That is something they should probably think about for next time, as it can make it confusing for people who are trying to look at swatches.

Palette Swatches. All swatches in order of first photo.

Outdoors in full sunlight:

Outdoors in shade:

Indoors (no flash):

I pulled some of my other Hourglass Palettes and individual items so you can see how the new palette compares to some existing products. First, the blushes. I swatched two blushes from the new palette, an individual blush in Radiant Magenta, and two of the blushes from the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette, Luminous Flush and Incandescent Electra. In case you are looking for dupes, if Radiant Magenta and Incandescent Electra had a baby, it would be the Surreal Effect blush. 

Blush swatches. All swatches are in the order of the first photo.


Indoors (no flash):

For the bronzer, I pulled the Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light (reviewed here). Surreal Bronze Light is noticeably lighter than the Luminous Bronze Light bronzer, which was already made for lighter skin tones. It really does not show up on my skin tone very well as a bronzer. For me, it acts more as a nude blush, but even then it is very hard to see. See swatches outdoors in full sunlight:

I used the Ambient Lighting Palette highlighters as comparison shades for the highlighters/finishing powder in the Ambient Lighting Edit. See swatches below:

Overall, this palette is very pretty, and the quality, as always, is incredible. I do wish the pan sizes were larger and would love to see Hourglass put out a new trio or a quad, instead of trying to cram 5-6 powders into one palette. I probably should have waited to see this in store because I most likely would not have purchased it, as a lot of the colors are really hard to see on my skin tone. If you have a lighter skin tone, run out and buy this - you will not regret it. I would absolutely love this if the colors showed up on my skin better. Medium to darker skin tones really should test in store to see how the colors work on your skin.

The palette retails for $80 and is sold at Sephora and Hourglass. What are your thoughts on this palette?

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