Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Review & Swatches

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! :)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes: Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes: Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes

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

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes: Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes: Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)

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.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes: Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes: Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes: Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes: Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)

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!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes: Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes: Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes in Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes in Radiant Magenta (L) and Mood Exposure (R)

Radiant Magenta

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta
Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta

Mood Exposure

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

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! :)


US$35 at SephoraHourglass

฿1,550 at Sephora Thailand



  • Love your up-do, you look really sophisticated and chic!

    Both colours show up quite nicely but I would have to say I prefer Mood Exposure on you! Too bad we don’t have HOURGLASS at all here in Singapore, super sucky I know so I can’t try out these blushes in person…… Not that I’m desperate for them because *sigh* I already have that NARS Guy Bourdin Cheek Palette and I was convinced I did not NEED another blush for the rest of my life. I love the versatility in that palette don’t get me wrong BUT I don’t use ALL of the colours in that palette every day! 4 blushes, 1 highlighter and 1 bronzer… My favourite colour is only DEEP THROAT & maybe ORGAXM…… I feel embarrassed just typing those out…..

    But anyway, back to these blushes.. I really like Mood Exposure! I don’t have any blushes in that shade. And I own about, 6 blushes (including that palette above).

    • Thank you, Rachelle! It’s actually a pretty messy bun, I just made the front look a little more presentable, haha!

      And YES, you do need more blushes in your life, and you will! Haha, it’s only a matter of time. Trust me, sooner or later you’ll have a collection as big as mine! LOL!

      I love Nars Deep Throat as well. Not so much Orgasm (a little too sparkly). What are the colors in the Guy Bourdin Cheek Palette?

      • I think there are 2 LE colours in that palette…..

        DEVOTEE *

        Actually I really really love GOULUE too! Not so much of a fan of Mistinguette… Super versatile palette, great for travelling! Although I haven’t been anywhere after I got this palette LOL!
        Plus I haven’t gotten the basics of contouring yet, so the bronzer is basically just sitting there….

  • Hi Jaa! Really enjoyed reading your thorough review :). I went a little overboard and now own 4 of these blushes (Mood Exposure, Diffused Heat, Dim Infusion, and Luminous Flush)! I had also purchased Radiant Magenta but ended up returning it as it was too much of a bright pink on my skin. (I’m also NC30, but Radiant Magenta showed up much brighter on my skin than on yours! It looks very natural and pretty on you.)

    I’m very happy with the 4 colors I own though. Mood Exposure is one of my favorites — like you said, it’s this beautiful bronzy rose on and a great neutral color. Diffused Heat is such a pleasant surprise for me — I originally was choosing between Radiant Magenta and Diffused Heat, and chose Radiant Magenta as it seemed to have less shimmer than Diffused Heat. I was afraid that DH would accentuate my large pores. However, the sparkles from DH don’t translate on the face, and the coral color brightens my face nicely! It’s what I wanted Radiant Magenta to be. Also, Dim Infusion shows up on my skintone! I’m sad to hear that it didn’t show up on you :(. Was that from a hand swatch, or swatched on the face? That shade does tend to have mixed reviews though. Luminous Flush is also a nice rosy pink, but it’s not my favorite amongst the Hourglass blushes.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your review about the fabulous texture and wear time of these blushes! I have such oily skin and they really have impressive staying power. I also love that they’re so easy to blend as I’m not the best at blending, I must admit! I would love to see Hourglass come out with Ambient bronzers!

    Jaa, you mentioned that you like the Ambient powders — which ones do you have? I own Radiant Light, and purchased but returned Mood Light and Dim Light. Unfortunately, Mood Light turned me really oily and I didn’t feel that Dim Light did anything for my complexion (the color just didn’t look so great on my skintone — it made it look duller actually). Even though I own Radiant Light, I hardly ever use it as I’m not such a big fan of the sparkles, which do show up on my skin :(. Would love to hear which powders you own and how you use them!! I’m curious about Diffused Light but feel a little wary about the powders given that I haven’t had the best luck with them.

    • Oh how I wish Radiant Magenta would look a tad bit more pink on me! I’m probably going to keep mine and purchase Diffused Heat during the sale (glad to hear it doesn’t emphasize pores!).

      I swatched Dim Infusion on the back of my hand and I just couldn’t build it. I learned later, though, that it shows up better on the cheeks (is it true?) so now I’m tempted to go back and get it. Haha.

      Now, the Ambient bronzers would be nice! I don’t normally wear bronzer but I’ll totally try one if it’s from Hourglass. Love the brand. :D

      My most favorite Ambient Lighting Powders is actually Incandescent Light (only available in the limited edition palette, sadly. Did you pick it up?). I use it almost every single day. What bothers me is that, I know it does brighten up my face, but I can’t see it! LOL! Guess that’s a good thing, right?

      My second favorite is Radiant Light. I use it where I normally apply bronzer, to kind of softly contour. I like how it warms up my complexion a bit but I agree it would be better if it was a little less sparkly!

      In the same palette is also Dim Light, which I don’t really care for too much. It doesn’t really do anything to me and I can see why it would dull your complexion! I think the only way I use it is to soften lines/wrinkles around my eyes.

      And I’m SO glad you mentioned about Mood Light making you oily! I was seriously thinking of picking it up (along with Diffused Light) but now I think you may have just saved me $45. The color looks oh-so-pretty in the pan, though! So only Diffused Light for me then. :D

      And thank you so much for your mini review, Carolyn! I love when readers contribute content/additional info to my post. You are so good at explaining things and I wish you had a beauty blog, too! :D

      • Hi Jaa! Hope you had a great weekend :).

        If you get Diffused Heat, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! DH, along with Mood Exposure, are my favorite Hourglass blushes. As for Dim Infusion, I definitely think it’s worth a try on your cheeks! These Hourglass blushes do show up differently on my hand, swatched, vs. how they look on the cheeks. Perhaps you could buy from Sephora so if it doesn’t work out you can easily return it?

        I heard great things about the Incandescent Light! But, I didn’t pick up the palette since I already had Radiant Light and didn’t care for Dim Light. It’s a relief to hear that you also didn’t care for Dim Light! I had seen so many good reviews for Dim Light which left me baffled as it really didn’t do anything for me. While it’s too bad that it didn’t work for you, I’m glad that I had a similar experience that you had though!

        Guess what? I purchased Diffused Light this weekend (I really wanted to use up the store credit and the powder has been on my list for awhile) and I really like it so far! I’ve used it for a few days now and have been using it as a setting powder. I really like how it doesn’t make me oily (like Mood Light) and doesn’t dull my complexion, either. It does seem to very, very subtly brighten my complexion just a tad and really does seem to diffuse everything — similar to what Temptalia described in her review of Diffused Light! Another Specktra member also said that Mood Light made her more oily, so it seems that that’s a powder that can be easily passed up by combo-to-oily skins.

        Thanks so much, Jaa! I’ve thought here and there about having a beauty blog, but have not taken the plunge just yet. Should I start one one day, I’ll definitely let you know :). Have a great week!!

  • Hey Jaa, these two look gorgeous on you! Mood Exposure kinda sorta reminds me of Chanel Accent (which I thought I wouldn’t like but ended up reaching for quite often), and Radiant Magenta would be my first pick if I get into these blushes! It’s a pity that I have no access to an Hourglass counter here. Since the formula is quite innovative, I’d like to swatch in person and see how I feel. For the moment, I’ll just admire them on you :)

    • Thank you, Sunny! Oh I totally know how you feel! I wonder (and worry) sometimes what I’d do when I go back to Thailand and have no access to a lot of cosmetics brands that are only available here (it’s a scary thought! haha!)

      I hope you get to try these blushes soon, though. I think you’ll really love them. :)

  • Wow, you look so beautiful! I love the shirt you’re wearing, your eye makeup, and the way the colors in your shirt match your eye/cheek look.

  • Those look so great on you! I’ve got such a hole in my blush stash! I only own 3!
    a Becca Beach Tint, NARS, and Armani!

    • I’m always curious about Armani blushes! Are they as good as they say? Have you seen the new shades? They look lovely in promo pics!

  • You need to change your blog name to “Hello♥Babe”! You look AMAZEBALLS in these shots! You look divine with your hair up, lady! And now it’s going to be even harder for me to resist these beautiful blushes! Radiant Magenta…LOVELY!

    • Hahaha Kristen! You are too funny and kind!! You’ve been so nice to everyone and that’s why we all ADORE you! ♥♥♥♥♥

      Radiant Magenta (or Diffused Heat) would look divine on your complexion!

  • Man, I swatched these blushes in Sephora (bear in mind I’d never touched any of the ambient light powders) and they were soooooo DREAMY! I’ll have to pick one up eventually! I’m glad that you loved yours, it looks great. I also have to agree about the updo, it’s flirty and sophisticated!

    By the way, are you picking up any Tarte cheek stains for half off? Lucky magazine posted a deal today and I couldn’t resist. I am curious to see what you would pick!


    • Thank you for the info, Aimee! But I totally missed it, didn’t I?!! And it’s HALF OFF, too!!!! Gaaah!! LOL.

      What color did you get? :D

  • Hello Jaa, I always love your pictures and wait for your posts. Your pictures are breathtaking. On to the review, loved your detailed review. I doubt if either of these would really show up on me as ‘blush’. Wish I could try them in store before buying!

    • Thank you so much, Eesha! That means a lot to me (because I really do spend too much time on the photos, lol! So I’m glad it gets noticed.)

      I think some of the more pigmented shades such as Radiant Magenta, Diffused Heat or Mood Exposure would surely show up on you! :) Are you around NC30 in MAC, too?

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