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!
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.
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.
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. :)
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 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 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.
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. :)
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?