| Review | Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette

| Review | Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette 

Every year, Hourglass launches a new Ambient Edit Palette and everyone goes wild! There's no denying that their ambient formula is one of the best and most innovative powder formulas in the beauty industry. There is good reason why these palettes fly off the shelves every year and I believe that this one is no exception. 

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette retails for $80.00 USD and is available at Sephora and other retailers. This palette is limited edition. Celebrating and representing the luxury brand's cruelty-free beliefs, the Hourglass "H" logo is slightly transformed to create a silhouette of the a bunny with the negative space and placed in the center cover of this palette. I love the simple yet powerful design of this logo. It really expresses a powerful message, while offering a chic little detail to the shiny rose-toned gold packaging. I would not call it a rose gold per se, because it isn't as copper or as rose but it is a gold with a tint of rose. The palette is also made of very lightweight plastic and is easy to travel with.


This palette contains 2 Ambient Lighting Powders, 1 Ambient Lighting Bronzer, 2 Ambient Lighting Blushes, and 1 Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder. These are all new shades and what excited me most about this palette is that the shades are much more universally flattering than some of the palettes in the past. I feel these shades will suit many more skin tones but usually they lean more toward the fair side.

Swatches left to right: Soft Light, Filtered Light, Golden Bronze, Nude Glow, Mood Flush, Champagne Strobe

The products included in this palette are the: 

Ambient Lighting Powder in Soft Light - This is a light slightly peachy beige shade that will suit most fair skin tones or can be used on targeted areas for brightening.

Ambient Lighting Powder in Filtered Light - This powder is a warm medium beige shade with golden undertones that will suit light to medium skin tones or can be used in targeted ares for brightening for deeper skin tones.

Comparison Swatches to other Ambient Powder shades:

Swatches left to right: Soft Light (Unlocked Palette), Filtered Light (Unlocked Palette), Ethereal Light, Dim Light, Diffused Light, Radiant Light, Luminous Light

As you can see, the Unlocked palette contains the one of the darkest shades Hourglass has releases, Filtered Light. This really makes this palette perfect for a medium to tan skin tone. I do like the other shades of these ambient powders because the powders are quite sheer and will work on most skin tones. The next deepest seems to be radiant light, however radiant light, contains much more shimmer. Also, while soft light is light, it will still suit a medium to tan skin tone without lookign too stark. 

Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Golden Bronze - This is a pretty true golden bronze shade. It has a golden tone and very minimal shimmer. You can see the ultra-fine particles in the powder but on the skin, it isn't apparent. This shade will suit most fair to medium skin tones and will work as a subtle highlighter for deeper skin tones.

left to right: Golden Bronze vs. Radiant Bronze, Luminous Bronze

You can see Golden Bronze is actually a hint cooler than Radiant Bronze and deeper than Luminous Bronze

Ambient Lighting Blush in Nude Glow - This blush is a peachy-pink with a gold shimmer throughout. It is very reminiscent of NARS orgasm but not as pink and not as pigmented. It does have a touch more bronze in it that makes it more of a nude blush. It can be built up but it works best on a fairer skin tone.

Nude Glow vs. NARS Orgasm Blush

You can see the Nude Bronze (left) is more peachy and less pink but they both has that strong gold sheen.

Ambient Lighting Blush Mood Flush - This shade is like they took the deep shade in Hourglass Mood Exposure blush and made it into it's own blush. It is a little more pink-mauve and it doesn't contain any shimmer, it just has a glowing finish. This shade will suit fair to tan skin tones.

Mood Flush vs. Mood Exposure

You can see the Mood Flush (left) is much warmer and more pink than the Mood Exposure, which has more purple tones in it. 

Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder in Champagne Strobe Light - This true champagne highlighter is stunning! The finish is metallic but not frosty. It gives a beautiful glow and can be built up for an even stronger glow. The champagne shade is truly neutral, as it doesn't lean warm nor cool, which means it should suit most skin tones.

The nice thing about having the two face powder shades is that more skin tones can use this palette. You can use the lighter shade for brightening the center of the face and under the eyes and the deeper shade on the outer portions and contours of the face or you can mix the two to create the perfect shade for your complexion. You can even add in the bronzer if you have a deeper skin tone because the bronzer doesn't contain a lot of shimmer. Like the powders, having two blush shades allows people to customize their blush color and tone by mixing shades together or layering the two shades. 

Overall, most of these shades will suit a fair to tan skin tone and can be mixed and matched to create a variety of different shades and looks. The problem with these all-in-one palettes will always be that it will never suit all skin tones. Deeper skin tones are definitely going to be missing out on this palette because many of the shades won't suit them unless you want a palette of highlighters. 


The textures of these powders are always so soft and ultra smooth. These powders don't sit on top of the skin or look powdery not matter how much you apply. These powders blend into and fuse seamlessly into your skin and base products to create a very soft and glowing finish to the skin. I love the brightening effect of the face powders. They set my makeup and really let my skin look natural and glowing. The special thing about these powders, if you didn't know already, is they really do mimic the effect of light filtering your complexion! These powders really help blur imperfections and texture while setting your makeup.

I have to say, I really enjoy the finishes of the bronzer and blushes. They aren't overly shimmery, in fact, only Nude Glow contains shimmer and the shimmer is very fine. I think the formula of these powders already offer a lot of glow, so additional shimmer can be excessive. I think the finish of the cheek products are really beautiful in this palette and will suit most skin types. 

Finally, the highlighter was impressively shiny! I was expecting more of a subtle glow but I'm really glad that it had some impact! This highlighter provide such a beautiful and buildable glow. Overall, I find the full-face look to be very glowy and more so than previous palettes, despite many of these powders not containing shimmer. I think this may be because the face powder formulas have more of a glowing finish to them than some of the other powders in the range. I really love the finished look that you can create with this palette. It really creates such a healthy and fresh complexion. This is something I strive for on a daily basis.


In the past few years, I have skipped a couple of these holiday and special edition palettes because I felt that many of them were too close to previously released palettes that I already owned. This one is truly unique to the brand because all these shades are brand new and they all seem to really suit a medium skin tone, which also really drew me in. I really love all the shades and finishes of all the powders. I think the finished look is so beautiful and glowing! This finished look is my favorite of all the Hourglass palettes I own. I took this palette with me on a weekend away and it was all I needed! It was so easy to travel with and even after developing more a tan from hanging out at the beach, I was able to easily mix shades to create a look that works for my more tanned complexion. I have to say, this palette is a MUST-HAVE! If this palette suits your skin tone, I highly recommend it! It has been a while since I have been so excited about a face palette and this one creates the most beautiful complexion! It is really sad that this palette is a limited edition palette but I really hope they will release all these products individually because they are so beautiful! 

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