Very much like the powders of the same name, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes were a seemingly indulgent product that looked enticing but I was convinced that they were simply an expensive over-hyped product that would not change my life with their $41 price tag. But somehow I ended up with my first Hourglass purchase ever in my possession after I picked up a few things — I showed some impressive restraint, I must add — at the Sephora sale that began last week; I’m a blush hoarder and I hadn’t been too crazy on the buying front with them lately so I figured I would take advantage of the discount with a blush rather than another overpriced eyeshadow palette that I didn’t need at all. With my usual skepticism, I went over as one does with a beauty obsession of mine and began to swatch the blushes on the back of my hand and I was impressed, not by some sort of crazy pigmentation and inventive colours but because they had that texture that I live for, that soft powdery kind of feel that may annoy some but always ensures that they glide over the skin like a dream, blending into it rather than sitting on the top. And contrary to what I had heard from the general blogosphere consensus, the blushes offered medium but buildable pigmentation that is just as flattering built up.
I’ve said before that I have issues with those cool-toned pink shades that seem to be gorgeous on everyone, offering that illuminating quality that never quite happens on me – take MAC Well Dressed for instance — so I decided to try out the cooler-toned pale pink in the range to see if I could get that whole pale pink flush going on, rather than going for another safe coral blush that I own way too many of by anyone’s standards. You can probably guess that the shade I picked up was Ethereal Glow,which claimed to be “a cool pink blush infused with Ethereal Light for moonlit luminosity”. You’ve probably heard this before but these blushes are marbelized combinations of the corresponding powder and a blush to provide the same effect as the powders (that I haven’t tried) provide.
The reflective rose-gold packaging looks expensive but it does not house all that much product. Despite the somewhat tragic price point, these blushes only have 0.15 ounces of product inside. However the product inside is beyond impressive. Presumably with the aid of the powders that the blush is infused with, it provides that luminosity to the cheeks that quickly brightens the face while remaining almost matte without any sort of obvious shimmer that highlights imperfections and textural problems. It has a satin finish, I’d say, with its gorgeous subtle sheen that actually does seem to give that soft-focus effect simultaneously. Despite its lack of shimmer particles, it does not require an additional highlighter, strangely enough.
The texture and formula of the blush is at least as impressive on the cheeks, blending effortlessly with the skin while providing that subtle blurring effect. While the blush is a cool-toned paler pink (but not as pale or quite as cool-toned as MAC Well Dressed), it’s flattering on me in ways that no cool-toned pale blushes have been before. It adds that rosy glow to the face that I’m always going on about, except without the obvious warmth of the corals I usually go for. While you might notice it shows up on my face not quite as cool-toned as it appears in the pan, my warm undertones do this with any sort of blush shade and this is as cool-toned as blushes will show up on me. Shown below is the swatch comparisons (from L-R), a light application of the blush, a moderate application of the blush and a heavy application of MAC Well Dressed. The swatches don’t do this blush justice; this should be noted.
While still being pale, the blush stays on all day on me but this isn’t such an amazing feat given the kind of skin that I have been blessed with that holds onto face product like cement. However, pale shades do have this tendency to disappear on me after a few hours and I’m pleased to report that it isn’t the case with this one. Because I crave the definition from a contouring shade on a daily basis, I am wearing MAC Harmony through the hollows of my cheekbones for reference. And because I did a slightly built-up (but not that much) application above I wanted to include photos of more of a minimal application:
Despite what one might expect considering the price and hype of this blush, it has not left my life forever altered but it has moved its way to the top of the ranks of this blush lovers favourites and that is quite an honour. The soft-focus effect that these provide with their lack of shimmer coupled with the luminosity they impart make them a standout for me and I might actually consider picking another one of these up for their full price on account of the stunning formula. And I’ve got an itch to actually try one of the original powders that pain me to think about forking fifty dollars over for… I didn’t believe in that whole magical soft-focus effect that brings a gorgeous glow kind of thing before purchasing these but I have to say its true. My bank account is cringing as I write this, let me tell you. Considering that I picked up the lightest shade and was impressed with the quality, I suspect that the rest of the lineup is to die for considering my personal struggles with pale pinks.
Oh and this might seem obvious but I think this shade would only be a standout on fair to maybe light-medium kind of skin but the darker options have the rest of the spectrum covered I presume. I wrote just under a thousand words about a blush but I can’t find it in me to even be sheepish about it!
Have you tried any of these blushes or even the original Ambient Lighting Powders. If you haven’t will you?