I've honestly wanted an Hourglass holiday palette for the longest time, but none of them were really quite perfect for me and with that price tag: you want to be sure! That was until the Ambient Lighting Unlocked Edit | £69 | came out this year... As you can see from the title: this is my standout product from the past month and today I'm going to do an in-depth review of it and tell you exactly why I love it so much.
- PACKAGING AND PRODUCT INFORMATION -The packaging is lightweight but has a metal finish effect, which looks stunning, though be warned; it will catch fingerprints! You might notice the 'H' for Hourglass on the front has a little bunny silhouette; that's because the palette is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, which is what Hourglass is trying to do with all of their products now. This is also the first Hourglass palette to feature entirely original shades and I think it's permanent, not Limited Edition. As someone who owns many of their individual powder products; I always found it frustrating that there were so many repeats in all of their holiday palettes. This shade selection is also more for my skin tone than most of their previous releases, though I'd still argue that they need to do more in terms of creating formulas and shades that will work on deeper skin tones.
Much is often said of what poor value for money these palettes are and, although I can't say I disagree, I also can't say it's a source of trouble for me; I rarely pan anything and I just want a palette that does my entire face and that I can travel with. However for those of you who do want this information; the palettes really aren't as big as they might seem from looking at them online, as you can see from my photo below lining them against my other Hourglass products; the width of this palette is about the same as two of the full-sized blushers. In terms of product you get 6 x 1.4g pans (total: 8.4g) in here for £69 vs. 10g of product in the single powder compacts for just £42, 11g of product for £45 in the bronzer and 4.2g of product in the blushers for £35 a go. The pan sizes are pretty small so I use a Zoeva Luxe Powder Fusion Brush* | £9.99 | with it. Not that you should need to buy a new brush to be able to use your £69 palette! But if you have a few of these palettes and find it difficult to just pick up one shade with your normal brushes; it might be worth looking into.
- THE FORMULAS -This is really what makes Hourglass products special; these baked formulas are beautiful and fool-proof! I honestly think you could give a total novice this palette and they'd find it difficult not to create something that looks pretty. The pigmentation is definitely there with the colour products but it's impossible to go overboard with these powders (likewise, the setting powders never look cakey). I love how easy it is to blend them out evenly and how there's no patchiness upon application or as they wear throughout the day.
The setting powders weren't always my favourite thing from Hourglass but I've grown to enjoy their soft-focus radiance. The bronzer definitely has a bit of shimmer to it but it's so fine that it really isn't visible on the skin, it just adds to the glow. The two blushers have a sheen (though one more so than the other) and are very natural once applied. The highlighter definitely has a more intense glow to it; it's by no means subtle but it's also totally glitter-free and isn't anything too over-the-top.
- THE SHADES -My swatches really don't do this palette justice! I obviously had to layer on the setting powders too in order to show you the underlying tone. However if you want to see how these shades really look on the skin; I actually used every shade in this palette for the makeup look in my current profile picture!
Soft Light is a lighter setting powder that I use under my eyes to ensure the area looks bright and luminous but also so my concealer stays in place and doesn't crease. Filtered Light is a slightly darker setting powder, so I use this on the rest of my face, where I don't want anything that's too highlighting. Golden Bronze is a natural, warm bronzing shade that gives my skin a nice, subtle glow. Nude Glow is one of my go-to blusher shades at the moment; it definitely has a slightly pink colour to it, but it's still warm-toned. Mood Flush is a rich mauve tone with less of an obvious sheen to it. I quite often mix these two blushers together and that gives a really pretty look. Then we have Champagne Strobe Light; a pretty, stark champagne-toned highlighter that seriously packs a punch once applied.
All in all; I'm in love with this palette and I'm so glad I waited for it! It's definitely a splurge, so if it's not within your budget I wouldn't feel as though you have to buy it, however if you want to invest in a 'do it all' cheek and powder palette and these shades appeal to you; you won't be disappointed!
Have you bought any of the Hourglass palettes? Or, if not, which do you have your eye on?
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Disclosure - products marked * were gifted to me as unpaid advertisement for the brands / websites mentioned. All opinions expressed are my own. Please read my disclosure page for more information.
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