Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette Review & Swatches

I knew it was only a matter of time before Hourglass made a trio palette of their famous Ambient Lighting Blushes! But this is not just a palette full of 3 permanent colors. To make it extra special, Hourglass put a new and exclusive shade in the palette, too. Now that makes it all the more tempting! I already own Mood Exposure but it was hard to resist that exclusive shade! But is it worth buying the whole palette for? Let's find out!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

The Ambient Lighting Blush Palette has the same weight and dimension as the Ambient Lighting Powder Palette (review) but the exterior packaging is pale gold instead of metallic dark brown. It also sports a new typefont of the brand's logo on the front of the lid. The palette is made of lightweight plastic that feels sturdy enough but I'd still be very gentle and take great care of it because the blush inside is quite fragile in nature.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

Upon opening the palette, there is a long mirror and 3 compartments for each blush color. There is no real divider between the pans so as soon as you swirl you brush in it, the loose blush will fall into the adjacent pan. I don't mind when the powder in the Ambient Lighting Powder Palette gets mixed (because you can hardly tell the difference between each powder anyway) but when it comes to blushes, I am slightly bothered. It's not a deal-breaker of course but I would have preferred a better divider to prevent the colors from mixing, especially for these Ambient Lighting Blushes where they are known to be notoriously powdery.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

Ambient Lighting Blush is a combination of Ambient Lighting Powder (for soft-focus luminosity) and pigment (for color). For more details please read my original review of Radiant Magenta and Mood Exposure here or Dim Infusion and Diffused Heat here. No two pans are alike due to the marbling effect/ratio between the powder and pigment. If your pan has more color than powder, your blush will have a better color payoff on the skin and will look more like a blush. On the other hand, if your pan has more powder, then the effect may come off more as a highlighter than a blush.

The effect of Ambient Lighting Blush on the skin is quite unique. Hourglass describes it as a blush that provides color and “an otherworldly glow” which I would have to agree! Although I would use a simpler, more basic term such as “soft luminosity” instead. :)

Shade breakdown

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette; L-R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, and Mood Exposure
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
L-R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, and Mood Exposure
L-R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, and Mood Exposure
L-R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, and Mood Exposure

Luminous Flush

Luminous Flush is a combination of Luminous Light Ambient Lighting Powder and champagne rose pigment. It is the second most pigmented blush in the palette but its color is the most true-to-pan. I love its brightening effect so much and I'm so glad it gets included in this palette! In terms of glow, it is somewhere between Incandescent Electra and Mood Exposure. It provides just enough radiance that it doesn't emphasize enlarged pores. The powder does get kicked up easily but not as bad as Mood Exposure. It is easy to blend and diffuse hard edges and the color payoff is buildable. It wears well on me for about 6-7 hours before fading slightly.

Incandescent Electra

Incandescent Electra is a combination of Incandescent Light Ambient Lighting Powder (exclusive to the Ambient Lighting Palette) and cool peach pigment. This shade is quite a bit of a letdown for me due to the unbalanced ratio of the powder and pigment. As you can see in the photo above, about 70% of my pan is powder and only 30% is pigment so it comes as no surprise when I barely see any color payoff when I apply it on my cheeks. It is basically a highlighter on me, which is very unfortunate since I was really looking forward to loving this shade the most.  It isn't very buildable, either, as the more I layer it on, the more shimmery effect it gets, so at one point I have to stop layering or my cheeks would appear too glowy! This shade seems to accentuate pores slightly, too, so be strategical on where you apply. Similar to Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra kicks up quite a bit of powder as well. The wear time clocks in at around 5-6 hours on me.

Mood Exposure

Mood Exposure is a combination of Mood Light Ambient Lighting Powder and soft plum pigment. This is the color that took me by surprise because on my cheeks, it doesn't appear anything like the plum color seen in the pan! On me, it turns into this soft bronze-y rose instead which is still beautiful, just not what I expected. It doesn't quite have that cheerful and brightening effect as Luminous Flush but it is still a gorgeous color nonetheless. It's more of an everyday kind of color that you can easily pair with any makeup look. The glowy effect from this shade is the most subtle and is therefore more suitable to those with textured skin or enlarged pores as it won't highlight them. It is the most blendable shade and does not take any effort to diffuse the edges. It is very powdery, though, so only swirl your brush gently! Staying power is comparable to Luminous Flush at 6-7 hours.

Comparison

Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette; L-R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, and Mood Exposure
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette; L-R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, and Mood Exposure

My skin is NC30 with yellow undertones and as you can see in the photo above, the difference between colors is quite subtle but still distinguishable. Mood Exposure has the best color payoff, followed by Luminous Flush. Incandescent Electra unfortunately doesn't seem to provide any color at all on my cheeks. It is basically a highlighter on me. Depending on your skin tone and the mélange of your blush, you may see a different effect on you. :)

Luminous Flush

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette; Luminous Flush
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette; Luminous Flush
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette in Luminous Flush
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette in Luminous Flush

Incandescent Electra

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette; Incandescent Electra
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette; Incandescent Electra
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette in Incandescent Electra
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette in Incandescent Electra

Mood Exposure

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette; Mood Exposure
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette; Mood Exposure
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette in Mood Exposure
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette in Mood Exposure

If I had known that Incandescent Electra would look like a highlighter on me, I would have been a bit more reluctant to purchase the palette. I think I would have just bought Luminous Flush in a single pan instead. But then again, I always fall for “exclusive” colors and in the end, I would have bought the palette anyway! ^_^”

My advice would be to swatch the palette in person before purchasing since each color seems to react differently to different skin tones. In terms of value, of course it is awesome. You get 3 colors to try, 2 of which are best-selling shades, for the price of less than 2 singles! Right now the palette is listed as limited edition but it could eventually earn a permanent spot in the line, just look at the Ambient Lighting Palette. :)

Do you own any of these Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes? Would you rather buy the palette or individual pan?

Purchase

US$58 at NordstromSephoraAmazon ○ Barney's

฿1,550 at Sephora Thailand (individual colors)

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44 Comments

  • They all look so pretty on you! I’m on a blush ban and thank heavens Hourglass is not available in Malaysia. Else I would be tempted :-)

  • With the full sized ones I got, I ended up having to exchange multiple times because they didn’t have enough of the color parts in them to show up. Looks like you had the same problem there :(

      • It’s the Ethereal Glow and I changed it like 3 times. First time I ordered online, second time I just picked it up at the store but it was the last one and the last time i went, I actually opened and looked at every single one that they had. Unfortunately, after all that work, the Ethereal Glow is the one blush I hardly reach for :(

  • I… have never really been able to feel the hype with these blushes! I don’t know why :-P Maybe it’s the histological slide appearance, Maybe it’s that they’re all basically warm toned. Maybe it’s that Hourglass is hard (although possible) to get here and I don’t even know if these specifically made it to our shores.

    I will say, however, that the two that are blushy on you look gorgeous! :-D I don’t know if that’s because of them, or because of your masterful application (blush sorceress!), but they look really natural and pretty. I think Mood Exposure is my favourite, but I have to confess I would be intrigued to know what Incandescent Electra would do on a vampire (i.e. me)…

    • Syl, I think Incandescent Electra would show up so much better on your pale complexion! Even with 10% of the pigment in the pan. LOL. It must be tricky for you to wear super pigmented blushes, no? LOL at the histological slide appearance. Liz calls these blushes BACON blushes! Hahaha. YOU TWO!!

  • this is one of my biggest lemmings.. I dream on owning one, hourglass products are very hard to obtain outside of the US. I loved this post and I think all of them compliment you really well.
    You just made me want it even more!

  • Hey Jaa, as always, you’re too pretty!!! I especially love the eyes!

    I’m sorry to see there is more powder than pigment in your Incandescent Electra. I still see SOME color on you, but I would have hoped for something more pigmented as well. I still don’t own any of these. I kinda want the palette, but it’s really a bit of a bet since you don’t how what yours will look like. Lemme sit on it ;)

    • Aww thanks so much, Sunny! You are so mega pretty gorgeous yourself!! :D Yeah… it’s like gambling with these blushes! Only Hourglass can turn the “inconsistency” of their products into a “selling point”!! LOL!

    • Maybe you can wait till the next Sephora sale? ;D Enjoy the Benefit Box O’ Blushes for now. :D How big is each blush anyway?

      • Hahaha I was thinking about it xD Each blush is almost half pan, while Rockateur is full size!!! The packaging is a little bulky but I bought a Z palette hahaha btw I really love your lashes n.n

        • Nice!!! Rockateur is a GREAT color and it pairs well with anything, like Tarte Exposed! :) My lashes are some really cheap ones I bought off eBay. Haha. They may look good but they feel cheap, though. :)

  • I was so happy when I heard about the release of this! I’m happy to have these blushes in a smaller size in this palette. We all know that I would never use up a blush and I’d been wanting to try Hourglass blushes for ages. This is the perfect solution.

    • If only all brands would put their blushes in a palette like this! How AWESOME would that be! :D :D Benefit just released one but unfortunately I already have all the colors in full size. ;(

  • I’m so sorry for the lack of pigmentation of that exclusive shade – such a shame to be honest. Judging from the pan, it is undoubtedly one of the prettiest blushes I’ve ever seen. It’s so funny as I’ve written about Hourglass’s Diffused Heat today, talk about coincidence, lol. I’ll probably be sitting out on this palette, as beautiful as it may be, but I’ll be cherishing my Diffused Heat very deeply! ;)

    X Alice

  • I think this is perfect for me in terms of colors. I like it on you but I can see the issue with the colors on your skin. I wish they would have thrown in Radiant Magenta!

    • And I would have skipped the palette because I already own Radiant Magenta in a single compact! ^_^” But it would make the palette even better, though!

  • You look gorgeous and beautifully glowy in all three, Jaa! I love ME and LF on you. It’s really too bad that Incandescent Electra doesn’t show up better! I hate when that happens :-/. The same thing happened with Chanel Caresse Joues Contraste for me recently!

    • Thanks, Carolyn! I guess the glowing effect of the Ambient Lighting Powder really works huh? :D

      Yeah, I was thinking of exchanging it but I’m not ready to go through the hassle yet. Caresse looks like a really light color online… is it too pale for you?

  • Hey Jaa, you look lovey as always. Sad that Incandescent Electra doesnt show up the way you want. However luminous flush looks nice on you.

  • Hi Jaa,
    How are you? I am back!! I was so looking forward to this palate as I love love love their setting powder palette. I haven’t purchased any of their blushes yet. They just don’t show much on my skin (mine is a tone darker than yours). I will take your advice and try on the single ones first before purchasing this palette which is available in Nov in Australia xx

    • Oh Grace, definitely have a swatch before you splurge! It really depends on the marbling of the blush, if there is more pigment than powder, then it might show up better! :)

  • Ever since you mentioned this palette to me in a blog comment, I’ve been contemplating on getting it! Still am, actually, lol. Maybe I’ll let it pass first, haha. If you ever get the chance to have this for a giveaway, I’m definitely joining! xD

  • This was super helpful Jaa. To be honest I wasnt impressed with the Dim light ambient powder that I bought but didn’t return it for some reason and it just sits there in my land of dead makeup now. Wasnt really going to buy this palette but have been curious about it nonetheless. Good thing I saw these swatches on you because now I know they will not show up on me AT ALL!!

    • I still think Mood Exposure will show up on you, Dee! But I would buy the full size of it instead of this palette. :)

  • I skipped on this palette since I already own 3 single HG blushes, one being Mood Exposure, and the other 2 in the palette seemed like they might be too light for me. They are all gorgeous and look phenominal on you, esp. Mood Exposure! I’d put that one in my top 5 blushes of all-time list.

    • Same here! Mood Exposure is so easy to wear! :) Yeah, if I knew how light Incandescent Electra is, I would have skipped the palette. :-/

  • If I will, I may just get the full-sized Mood Exposure. The palette doesnt add anything new to my stash of blushes – and the two other shades look so close to each other. Love Luminous Flush on you most!

  • The palette looks so pretty but I don’t think I’m gonna get it since I only see myself wearing Mood Exposure. That is, however, on my to-buy list :p

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