New for Spring 2014 from Hourglass is a beautiful collection of Ambient Lighting Blush! Considering the success of the Ambient Lighting Powder, it's only logical that they would come out with the blush version of it. I am already a huge fan of the powder, so naturally I am really interested in the blush, too. I've been using the two colors that I purchased for a couple of weeks now, so I think it's safe to say that they are as beautiful as I expected them to be and they really do deserve all the praise they've been getting! :)
The blush comes in a smaller compact than the powder, albeit the same design. The exterior is pale gold instead of metallic brown and includes a nice mirror inside. It is made of lightweight plastic but it feels sturdy in hand. What I like most about the compact, though, (and you may think I'm crazy!) is the lid! It's not magnetic or anything but it snaps with a very satisfying click! Click click click! :D
Ambient Lighting Blush is primarily a combination of Ambient Lighting Powder (for a soft-focus radiance) and pigment (for color). It comes in 6 beautiful shades (all permanent). Initially I was ready to bite my tongue and purchase all 6 but upon swatching them in person, some of the colors are just too light so I narrowed them down to the two colors that I know I'll use a lot and have enough pigmentation to show up on my medium skin. I picked Radiant Magenta and Mood Exposure.
Radiant Magenta is my number one choice and the most pigmented. It is basically a mix of Radiant Light Ambient Lighting Powder and bright fuchsia pigment. You'd think that it would apply a nice pop of pink on the cheeks but not really! On me, a swirl of blush in the pan transforms the color into a warm peachy pink, which I like even better! I'm happy to see that it does not look unnatural on me at all. It adds just enough pink to brighten up my complexion nicely. It contains very fine shimmer particles that are obvious on the arm swatch but appear almost invisible on the skin.
Mood Exposure is a shade that I did not expect to like at all. With it being kinda plain looking in the pan, sort of plummy brown in color, nothing stands out, but it only takes a swatch to completely fall in love with it! Mood Exposure is a combination of Mood Light Ambient Lighting Powder and soft plum pigment. Similar to Radiant Magenta, Mood Exposure does not apply on the skin the same color it appears in the pan! On my cheeks, the shade reads a flattering color of soft bronze-y/dusty rose that warms up my complexion really well. Mood Exposure is the sort of color that you'd describe as “everyday nude” because it looks completely natural and would compliment any makeup look. It contains shimmer particles as well but are even less noticeable once applied on the skin.
The marble effect makes each pan a one of a kind color. Depending on the ratio of the Ambient Lighting Powder and the pigment, one may be more glowy/pigmented than the other. My Radiant Magenta and Mood Exposure seem to have a good balanced of the powder and pigment so hopefully my swatches will make a good representation of the actual color. :)
Another thing to mention is, even though Radiant Magenta and Mood Exposure look to be two completely different colors in the pan, when applied on the skin (or at least on my skin), they look almost identical (see photo below). The pink may be a bit more prominent in Radiant Magenta but from a certain distance, I doubt you'll be able to tell.
Onto the texture, they are one of the softest and smoothest powder blushes I've tried. The application is a dream, the blendability is excellent, as in, you hardly need to blend at all, and the pigmentation is just perfect — not too light, not too saturated. The color gets picked up really well with a brush and is easily buildable without looking cakey. I don't find the shimmer bits to accentuate pores/imperfections in any way, even when layered.
The soft glow that you see with these blushes is the same type of glow you see with the Ambient Lighting Powder — the kind that you don't really see it, but you know it's there. It's not going to be an obvious glow but there's absolutely radiance associated with the finished appearance — it's just very subtle. So, if you are expecting these blushes to apply like a blush and a highlighter with a frosty sheen, I don't think you're going to see it. But if you are looking for a blush with just a hint of subtle, healthy glow, this is the product for you.
The wear time is exceptional. Both shades last pretty much an entire work day and into the evening on me. Another plus!
I think the most important thing to take into consideration before purchasing the Ambient Lighting Blush is the color variation. Not just from one pan to another, but also the fact that what you see may not be what you get. I expected Radiant Magenta to be a hot pink, but it comes across as peachy pink instead. I expected Mood Exposure to be plummy, but I see bronze-y/dusty rose. I'm not in any way disappointed, just a little surprised (in a good way). :) I initially wanted to grab Dim Infusion also after seeing its beautiful swatches online, it looks like the perfect peachy coral shade, but alas, we are not meant to be because it does not show up on me at all, even with multiple layers. So, my advice would be to have a swatch in person, if possible, before you make a decision. :)
Have you picked up any of the Ambient Lighting Blushes? Please share with me your experience with them, especially if you have Radiant Magenta or Mood Exposure. I'd really love to know how they show up on you! :)