The Sample: NEW Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light & Ambient Powder Brush (Review, Swatches & Photos)

26 Jan

««Press Sample»»

After you’ve been playing with makeup and buying makeup and blogging about makeup for a certain amount of time, you reach a point where almost nothing phases you. Sure, there are the collections/items that excite you and spur you to purchase, but it’s rare that a new release will jump out at you and have everyone you know stalking their nearest Sephora/counter waiting desperately on baited breath to be able to snatch it up–one in each shade. But that’s precisely what Hourglass has managed to do with their newest Spring release, the Ambient Lighting Powders.

So what is the Ambient Lighting Powder, you may ask. Is it a highlighter? A finishing powder? A bronzer/blush? According to Hourglass, their Ambient Lighting Powder is “a universal finishing powder that features state-of-the-art technology to recreate the most exquisitely flattering types of light.” They are meant to “capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on your skin” using “illuminating particles [that] are one of the first ever to exhibit both photoluminescence and color-correcting capabilities…the powders brighten the appearance and conceal skin imperfections, pores and wrinkles, so that skin appears younger, even-toned and radiant.” So in other words, it’s a magical powder that does it all. I hope that answers the question. :P Now do you see why everyone is going gaga over these? What can’t these do?!

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I received Radiant Light to review. It’s described as a “sunkissed golden beige” that can “extend a summer glow, or enhance the overall complexion with a believable, subtle warmth.” I thought that Radiant Light would be a bit more bronze, but in the pan it is a very warm, light-medium beige with a slight peachy tone, a subtle incandescent sheen and golden micro-shimmer laced throughout.

The powder comes housed in a compact made of the gunmetal-bronze plastic packaging Hourglass is known for. If we’re being honest, I do wish the compact had just a bit more heft to it, but I guess it’s what’s inside that counts–and what’s inside this compact is gorgeous indeed!

At first glance, it appears that the powder could possibly be baked (it has that baked kind of swirled look, if you know what I mean). However, these Ambient Lighting Powders are pressed. The texture is exquisitely fine-milled and super smooth–buttery without being too soft. It applies like a dream and seems to lay like a veil over the skin, allowing it to shine through while providing a bit of a blurring, soft-focus, luminescent effect.

As I said, Radiant Light is actually quite a bit lighter in color and less bronzy than I thought it would be, so I was skeptical that it could truly “extend a summer glow”–especially on my light-medium skin tone. But amazingly, Radiant Light really delivers on its claims. It’s hard to say exactly how it does it, but once I apply it all over my cheek bones with a touch on my forehead, nose and chin, my skin seems to radiant a kind of healthy, subtle glow. It melts into the skin and becomes almost undetectable–your skin will definitely look better but no one will know why!

 A closer look…

Once applied, the peachy tones come through just a bit more (see swatches below). It may look very peachy in the heavy swatch I did with a sponge-tipped applicator, but once blended you can see that there is a light warmth and radiant brightness to the skin–it really does make skin look both sunkissed and luminous. I am honestly amazed–this powder is like magic!

When I used Radiant Light as an all-over finishing powder, I got similar results–a very healthy-looking, radiant and glowy complexion that could easily be mistaken for the kind of glow you get after an extended vacation in Antigua. It wasn’t too dark or too shimmery and it definitely wasn’t noticeable on the skin. I’m not sure I would say it necessarily concealed any of my pores but then, my pores are larger than most, so I wasn’t expecting any miracles on that front.

The powder does not come with a brush/applicator, but you can purchase the new Ambient Powder Brush to go along with it. The bristles are made of high-grade taklon and are soft and super densely packed. It’s fairly small (fits into the palm of my hand) so it’s great for touch-ups on the go. It picks up the product really well and distributes it evenly across the face.

I don’t think it’s necessary to apply the powder with this, but it certainly is nice to have. I think if you’re planning to use this powder as a finishing powder or bronzer-type product, this brush would be great. If you plan on using it as a highlighter (which those with anything darker than a medium skin tone might need to do), a less dense, more floppy brush might be more suitable.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge


*Apologies for the swatches–I struggled a bit trying to capture the gorgeous, luminescent sheen while working with artificial lighting. I will try to update this post with swatches taken in full sunlight when the sun finally makes an appearance!

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge


Radiant Light lasted 5 1/2 hours on my oily skin–an amazing feat. I’ll go ahead and state the obvious by saying that I love this powder. I think you need this and you need it now. While you’re at it, check out the other shades! There are 6 shades in all: Diffused Light (soft, warm, pale yellow), Ethereal Light (opalescent sheer, cool white), Radiant Light, Mood Light (soft, sheer lavender pink), Dim Light (neutral peach beige), and Luminous Light (champagne pearl). Mark my words: Diffused Light, Dim Light, and Luminous Light will be mine!! What say you? Have any of these caught your eye?

»»Pricing: $45/0.35 oz. -and- $35 for the brush

»»Availability: and (in stores and at counters in February)

»»Recommended for: light to medium skin tones if you plan on using it as a finishing powder/subtle bronzer. Darker tones will be able to use this as a highlighter

»»Overall Rating: A+ for powder/A for brush


Disclaimer: the product(s) featured in this post were provided to The Beauty Sample free of charge by the manufacturer/PR for review purposes only. Regardless of how the product was obtained, my priority is to you, my readers, and I will always give you my honest opinion.

61 Responses to “The Sample: NEW Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light & Ambient Powder Brush (Review, Swatches & Photos)”

  1. Teri January 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Ok, I’m totally convinced by your review and I need this! Soft and smooth and buttery? Yes please! :D Also so happy to hear that it performs great with oily skin :)

    • becca January 26, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      YES–so excited!! Which shade will you be going for? I am so happy that I have Radiant Light and now am really wanting more!! I wish it weren’t so expensive but hey, it’s worth it! :P

  2. Tracy@Beauty Reflections January 26, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    WANTS. THEM. ALL. haha!
    This one looks like it would even work for me! I thought it would be too dark, but not! It does look similar to my MArk creamy powder though. I want the Dim Light and the Diffused Light for sure though!

    • becca January 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

      I know, ME TOO, Tracy!! Hourglass really knocked it out of the park with this one because I seriously do want to collect them all and I’m really scared for my wallet right now :P Dim Light and Diffused Light are both definitely on my list too, though. I am curious about Mood Light but scared it won’t gel with my warm, yellow-toned skin

  3. Chris El January 26, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    I was hunting these down at Sephora but to no avail. :( I’m sold as Radiant Light is the one I’m most interested in, especially after seeing how gorgeous Jessica Alba looked at the Golden Globes with Hourglass makeup. Must buy now!

    • becca January 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

      These are supposed to be in-stores in February, Chris–so if you want them, you’ll have to order online at the moment :/ Radiant Light is really gorgeous though, huh? I LOVE it so much! It might even take the place of my most coveted subtle bronzer–the Guerlain Terracotta Light. We shall see….:P

  4. Taylor January 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    I am so excited for this too! And so glad for your review! Too bad I might have to wait to February, this is an immediate must. It looks so gorgeous! Also so many shades look perfect. I hear you about the sun, I hope it make a debut soon, although I think your photos look great :-)

    • becca January 26, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

      Aw thanks, Taylor!! Yeah, if you want to swatch before buying I’m afraid February it is :/ BUT, the wait will be SO worth it–I am so so so in love with this powder! :D

  5. Beauty Box January 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    What a luxurious product…I gotta get me some Hourglass soon!

    • becca January 26, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

      YES you do!!! :D

  6. Agata January 27, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    It looks amazing. I was at Sephora yesterday and I forgot to look at them because it was so crowded. I wouldn’t know which one to pick…

    • becca January 27, 2013 at 5:21 am #

      I’m not sure they will be in-store until Feb., Agata, so don’t worry–you didn’t miss out on anything :P If you do see them anywhere though, please let me know! :)

  7. Larie January 27, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    I haven’t read too much about these. They’re pretty, but I don’t know if I would use one. :X

    • becca January 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      aw that’s too bad! Yeah, I guess if you have no need for a finishing powder/highlighter (and in Radiant Light’s case, a subtle bronzer) then there’s no point because these don’t add too much color on their own…but I am seriously LOVING Radiant Light!! :D

  8. Sunny January 27, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Whoaa the only problem I have for the moment is deciding WHICH ONE! I want 3 out of the 6 LOL

    This thing sounds like a miracle! Can’t wait to get one and see how it works for me!

    • becca January 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      Haha I know, me too! Which ones do you want, Sunny?? I REALLY want Diffused Light and Dim Light and I want to swatch Mood Light just because I’m curious about the color :)

  9. Catherine (@bcrueltyfree) January 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    AHHHHH you got it!! and in the color I’ve been eyeing. Ohh Becca how gorrgeous this is. I agree with your sentiments in the first paragraph completely… it can be easy to start glossing over all the new brands and collections and releases but this really really stands out to me.

    • becca January 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

      SO glad that someone is as excited as me!!! :D Oh Catherine, you will LOVE this powder! It seriously is amazing! I was so excited for this release and Hourglass truly delivered. It does everything it says it will (besides maybe conceal my pores but eh–it’s so gorgeous, I forgive it!! :P) and looks spectacular on the skin! I NEED to try the other shades now–particularly Diffused Light and Dim Light!! Do you think you will be picking up Radiant Light?

  10. Emi at Project Swatch January 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I already really REALLY wanted to try this, now I want to try it even more! I hope Sephora gets them in-store soon so I can play with them!

    • becca January 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

      I know, I want to play with Diffused and Dim (and even Mood) Light to see which one my next purchase will be! :P They all look so gorgeous!! :D

  11. Sheri Holzel January 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Beautiful blush! Thanks for the excellent blog.

    • becca January 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

      Thanks for your sweet comment, Sheri! And thanks for stopping by :)

  12. Lily January 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Diffused light. For sure. My skin likes pale yellow powders… but must be very pale though. Too bad there isn’t any Hourglass here for me to play with. I think testing it on the face is the way to decide which one to get!

    • becca January 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

      I know, my skin does too–that’s why I really want to try Diffused Light. I am curious to see if it will be as luminescent as Radiant Light and if it will contain the bits of micro-shimmer, as well

      • Liz January 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

        I also want to try Diffused Light! But I can wait until the testers arrive at Sephora. :) Wifey, you make these sound amazing! I’m going to pile on the highlighters tomorrow because of this post.

        • becca January 28, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

          Haha yay!! :P Yeah I mostly want to try Diffused Light because a.) I have warm, yellow-toned skin and b.) I am curious to see whether or not it will be as luminous. They all can be used as finishing powders but I don’t like to use Radiant Light that way since I already have very oily skin. I do love it as a subtle bronzer/highlighter though–it’s my first peachy toned one and it’s AWESOME!! :D

  13. BooBooNinja January 27, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    Oh my. This is the first in-depth review I’ve seen and you’ve confirmed my suspicions I *need* these powders in my life. I’ve been curious about finishing powders but the Guerlain ones have seemed to lack something. I like the variety in Hourglass’ lineup. I also want the brush. Forget having to pack my bulky fan brush on trips!!

    • becca January 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

      I know! I have been SO curious about the Guerlain ones for sooo long but I am glad I tried this one first. I LOVE it! Granted, I like to use Radiant Light more as a subtle bronzer than finishing powder for my super oily skin but that’s why I am curious to try Diffused Light–I want to know if it will be as luminous/shimmery as Radiant Light! Which one are you eyeing??

      Oh, and thank you so much for commenting! :D

  14. fairytaleandcoffee January 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Thank you thank you thank you. Radiant was not a top choice. I am glad i was correct.

    • becca January 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

      Oh no, really? Too peachy for you? I love it! I am so surprised that something that light could make my skin look so bronzy/healthy! Which one are you eyeing? Oh wait…I think you said Mood Light and Dim Light, right? I am curious about Mood Light but I REALLY want Dim Light and Diffused Light!

  15. Angie January 27, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    Wow Becca! I can see why you were so excited about this one! It is so gorgeous, and it sounds like if you love it with your oily skin that I would too! I don’t think I will be able to resist this one… ;)
    Great review! I can’t wait to see it in person when it comes out. :)

    • becca January 28, 2013 at 1:42 am #

      Oh Angie, you are most definitely going to love it! Which one do you have your eye on? I love these so much I want at least a few more :P

  16. Meryl @ Memoiselle January 28, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    Hey hun, it might sounds funny but it’s actually the brush that makes me wanna try the highlighter. The highlighter looks so pretty in the pan, it looks like marble :p

    • becca January 28, 2013 at 1:48 am #

      Haha that is funny! I definitely like the brush but I don’t think it’s the best method of application if you solely intend to use this as a highlighter. But as a finishing powder or bronzer, the brush is great! I like that it fits really nicely right along my cheekbones :) And I thought it was a pretty marbled design on the powder too! That’s why I thought it was baked at first. Pretty either way :)

  17. Kate January 29, 2013 at 2:34 am #

    I have been DYING for a review of these babies! So glad to hear the aren’t baked and they apply a bit paler than they look — now I’m REALLY excited to try Mood and Diffused as well as Ethereal.

    • becca January 29, 2013 at 2:56 am #

      Oooh Kate, I can just imagine how gorgeous Mood and Ethereal would look on your beautiful pale skin–you would *seriously* look like you had the skin of a fairy or a mermaid or something else equally magical and luminescent :P haha

  18. Shivani January 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Ok, maybe this will help revive my faith in the brand. Great timing ;)

    • becca January 29, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      Haha I was thinking that when reading your post today! I hope you get a chance to try it–it’d be a beautiful highlighter on you!! :D

  19. Joyce (bronzerbunny) January 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    i wasn’t curious about this before, but NOW I WANT IT!! hehe. the idea that it could be a finishing powder OR bronzer sounds magical. LOL

    • becca January 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

      Really? Oh I have been DYING to try this one and now that I have, I am NOT disappointed! Hourglass killed it with this release–you HAVE to try them, Joyce! :D

  20. Julia January 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    I wish I wasn’t on a student budget right now or I would be buying almost every shade of this. I must’ve stared at each one for about an hour lol. So, so pretty.

    • becca January 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      LOL I know me too Julia–I really want at LEAST 3 more shades but my budget won’t allow for that kind of extravagance :P

  21. JoanneP @ The Convenient Beauty January 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    I need this. Period. What’s your skin tone Becca? I’m trying to figure out the shade for my NC 25. Really hoping it will solve my foundation shade issue.

    • becca January 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

      You know, I’ve never gotten matched to any MAC bases before but based on reviews and Temptalias foundation matcher, I believe I am around NC25 as well–so this one would be great for you! It also seems like Dim Light is VERY similar, though maybe a hair lighter and with none of the gold micro-shimmer (but still the luminescent gleam). I think Radiant Light would work great though because it blends into the skin so well with just a thin veil but you can build up the color if you’re going to wear it on your cheeks as a cheek color

  22. Makeup Morsels January 30, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    Are you and Tracy trying to make me go broke?? This looks so amazing on you, I love it when a product like this lives up to its hype. Do you usually use their brush to apply this, or another one?

    • becca January 31, 2013 at 12:56 am #

      Haha I know–they’re so hard to resist huh? :P

      No, I actually don’t use the brush to apply this. If I used Radiant Light as a finishing powder, I think the brush would be ideal but since I just use it as a highlighter/bronzer, I like to use something a bit fluffier. It’s a really nice brush though!

  23. Toya January 31, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    Yeah….I was determined to get one of these before I picked up the Chanel powder! Now, I think I have to hold out for a bit longer *ahem* How do you find this compares to the Poudre Signee, Becca? Totally different ballgame? I do love me some Hourglass products!!!

    • becca January 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      Haha yeah I have yet to splurge on anything after I got the Chanel blush and highlighter for spring 2013–I had to take a little break after that one :P

      And as for whether or not you need both, I think it really depends on which shade you get and what you intend to use it for. These powders are technically meant to be finishing powders but obviously you can use it as a highlighter. If you are just planning to use it for a highlighter (which is what I use Radiant Light for…well, that and a subtle bronzer), I recommend it but I understand if you would want to wait a while after splurging on the Chanel. BUT, if you are planning to use them as finishing powders, then go for it! They have a totally different finish on the skin and the sheen is much finer and less obvious (but still gorgeous times a million!). It looks really nice as a finishing powder and with the other shades, you will be getting a touch of correcting properties too. Either way, maybe you should wait til they debut in stores to check them out and see if you NEED them and if so, which shade suits you best!

  24. Paige January 31, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    I like the effect–giving off that summer glow! It looks like this particular shade could be an alternative to using a bronzer esp. for those who are very fair, no?
    Anyway, I got myself the Diffused Light. I can’t wait to try it!

    • becca January 31, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

      I completely agree, Paige–and that’s exactly how I use it! I have very oily skin so while the sheen this powder gives off is gorgeous, I can’t use it as a finishing powder or it will be shine overload after an hour and a half :P I use it in place of bronzer or apply a very light layer over a matte bronzer and the effect is *stunning*. Even on my light-medium skin, it gives quite a glowy tanned effect–it’s really nice! I am so curious about Diffused Light–I can’t wait til it’s in-store so I can swatch it!

  25. enno82 February 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    I pissed…just purchased the Dim Light…
    I’m sure I will love it too. :)~

    • becca February 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      I’m sure you will too, if the quality of Radiant Light is any indication of how good the other shades are :) I wonder if they are in-store at my nearest Sephora yet! I am so curious to swatch Luminous Light and Diffused Light!! :D

  26. Alison February 5, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Beccaaaaaaaaaaa. I’ve been in remiss and not checking your blog. Bad, Alison, bad! But I LOVE the sound of these and it seems that they’re suddenly the hot topic among bloggers. No surprise, really, since Hourglass is known for their quality.

    Now the only question is which one I want.

    • becca February 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      Haha it’s okay, Alison! What have you been up to??

      Yeah there is most definitely a reason these have been getting so much attention. I really love the concept–I think Hourglass has done something really unique and special with this release! I love Radiant Light so much, I definitely plan to swatch Diffused Light and Luminous Light in-store :D

  27. Amy February 20, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    I’m drooling…

    • becca February 20, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

      Haha yeah–these babies tend to do that to you! :P lol they are in stores now, so you should definitely go have a swatch and see if you like! Any particular one catch your eye? :)

  28. their beauty February 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Thanks for the blog article.Really thank you! Keep writing.

    • becca February 26, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Thank you so much!! :D

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Review, Swatches, Photos | Project Swatch - January 31, 2013

    [...] you’re interested in the other shades, reviews are starting to pop up: The Beauty Sample has a review & swatches of Radient Light. The Non-Blonde has a review & swatches of Radient [...]

  2. Hourglass Ambeint Lighting Powder in Diffused Light | My Lucite Dreams - February 27, 2013

    [...] Radiant Light - extend a summer glow, enhance your overall complexion with a believable subtle warmth (see it reviewed on The Beauty Sample) [...]

  3. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light Review - February 25, 2014

    […] much P.S. Emi@ Project Swatch has swatches of Diffused Light and Mood Light so check them out! And Becca @The Beauty Sample has Radiant […]

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