Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette | Why I Will Be Returning Mine.

To be disappointed by one of the (almost-upon-us-holiday) season’s most coveted beauty product is no small feat. As someone who had long been disappointed by Hourglass’ Ambient Powder, I held my hope in the much less controversial blushes. When I saw this palette, which includes three powder and 3 blushes, I thought I could definitely justify shelling out the money to repurchase my beloved Mood Exposure and Luminous Flush.

It wasn’t immediately obvious – at least from the pictures – that the pans would be so tiny. I thought it was a typo when I read the volume of the powders were only 0.049 oz each. That’s 14% the size of the full-sized powders. The HourglassAmbient Lighting Edit Palette ($95, available here) doesn’t come cheap. At CAD$95 (USD$80) this palette actually ended up costing $107 if you include tax – that’s a lot of money.

When it was first released to VIB Rouge members, I knew what I was getting into. Actually, I naively thought that maybe the volume listed on the Sephora site was a typo and what I would be pleasantly surprised when it came. Besides, if I wasn’t happy with it for whatever reason – the product quality, size – I could always return it. So… what’s the verdict?



The first thing I noticed was the packaging – no, not the gold case, but rather the black padded box that this was encased in. Thumbs up to Hourglass for including that because these powders can be fragile AF! Not that I ever experienced a broken powder (thank goodness!) but it was a relief to see such extra care being put into this (overpriced) coveted, luxurious product.

When you research this palette online, you’ll notice that everyone is talking about the price vs. value of the product included. Christine from Temptalia herself even said that there’s no reason for this product to be so out of sync to the actual value. At least, price the palette relative to the previous palettes, and I don’t think there would have been such a backlash.

I won’t repeat the math as it gets repetitive here, but in case you are interested, there is only 0.049 oz of product which is 0.3oz (rounded up) for $95 vs a regular powder which contains 0.35oz for $52. On the other hand, with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette (which was limited edition unfortunately!) you actually save money when you bought the palette – a good way to sample the product offering when individually, it could be quite pricey to collect.

I was really pleased to see both Mood Exposure and Luminous Flush included in the blush offerings – these colours are the most universally flattering shades and are unique enough to merit purchasing separately. Although they are repetitive to what was offered in the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette, I was going through it fast enough that it was justified to get my hands on another value set. I’ve never tried the bronzer but I thought it looked a little too glittery for my liking. Although the swatches below don’t really show how glittery the product is, wiping it off still left specks of glitter on my forearm.

Although I wasn’t too much of a fan of the Dim Light shade when I first bought it, I ended up purchasing the full-size Diffused Light that was a little less likely to oxidize and so far been a far more pleasant experience. Taking advantage of the strobing trend, Hourglass cleverly included the Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light!


How the powder compares to a quarter – just slightly bigger!


Swatches (L-R): Dim Light // Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light // Diffused Light // Mood Exposure // Luminous Flush // Luminous Bronze Light

I feel that Hourglass put a lot of thought and made the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette as universal (particularly for women of colour) as it can which is quite rare in the world of beauty. Four of the 6 shades included from the permanent range were the top-selling, and most wearable on most skintones based on the reviews I’ve come across online. It can be tough to select which powder shade to include in a palette, and not “discriminate” or “left out” certain skintone range. From this perspective, Hourglass exceeded my expectations. The only downside is of course, the price which in my mind is outrageously priced at almost double of what the value of 6 powders would be (Keep in mind that the blushes cost a little less). My initial math showed this palette is worth to be around CAD$50.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that I already own the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette (includes 2/3 shades here) and a full-sized version of Diffused Light, I simply couldn’t justify the money that could otherwise go towards discounted makeup items from IMATS.

That being said, this is still a good option for those who don’t own any Hourglass blush of powder, and want to get a feel for the product, this is still a great way to try it. Just be sure to ask Mom/Dad/Boyfriend/Siblings to purchase it for you for “the holiday season” or “birthday”!

What do you think of this palette – would you buy it?

I really enjoyed reading this, it’s not available here in the UK yet but when I first saw it I was in lust! I don’t know anything by hourglass and I was sure this was the perfect piece to try out, however for me the size of the powders just isn’t good enough to justify the splurge – love how you summed it up, 14%?! Nope, I’ll just stick to what I own already and perhaps next year they’ll be a little more generous with their sizes!

Iqra |The Blushing Giraffe x

When you break out the numbers, it makes you think twice about spending that money for sure! It’s hard to justify when you have to pay the markup too! This is a lovely palette for the holiday though, and it would still be a nice gift!

I wanted this so bad when I saw photos, despite already owning the blush palette and powder palette. But when I saw the size, HELL TO THE NO. What were they thinking?

Definitely Julie! On top of the crazy price is the Canadian markup too! It makes it THAT much more expensive. It’s too bad because it could have resulted in more positive PR so close to the holiday!

Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m sorely disappointed in this palette as well. I read reviews from Temptalia as well as other beauty bloggers and now yours…the size to price ratio is off the charts! Not only is it so expensive, it is unrealistic and they are not even a brand of that caliber (not yet, at least to me). They should not be selling palettes that cost this much. It just looks greedy, bottom line.

Crazy thing is, it takes serious brand loyalty and presence like CHANEL or Dior, that would make me want to spend this kind of money. It could have been a really successful holiday palette, and one that would sell out in minutes if they did the pricing right!

Agreed!!! Exactly, i think if they were like Chanel or Dior, fine, but COME ON!!! ????

Oh good lord, I didn’t even check the size of these since I was immediately put off by the price, but DAMN these pans are tiny! Those two blush shades are beautiful though ????

Sticker shock moment when I checked out and realized I just spent $107 right before IMATS… and it was on ONE item! It’s a good holiday palette, just not at this price!

Wow, those pans ARE tiny! They look as small as the sample size I bought of Dim Light a few weeks ago. How disappointing ????

I was a little bummed out about the size, particularly when it’s double of what they individually would cost! I think they had the right idea about the palette but could have put more thoughts into the pricing strategy!

That is tiny when you put the quarter next to it! I want to go to store just to see how tiny it is. I knew I wouldn’t get one cause how much it was, I own one full sized blush and am happy enough! They got the packaging down….just needed to use a growth charm on it ????

That’s exactly my thoughts – I really didn’t believe how tiny all the pan was until I put a quarter right next to it! I think it the price was closer to previous year’s palette (i.e. around $67), there wouldn’t have been such a massive backlash on the pricing!

I have nothing new to add.. but your review is spot on. That price is something else entirely.

Such a good read! When I saw the palette I thought it looked like a bit of a rip off price wise. Hourglass makes great products but the cost is waaayy off on this one (I wish it didn’t look so pretty so it would be less tempting, lol).

Hailey | http://www.haileysworkshop.com

Thanks Hailey! I agree that they make great products but I wished it was something that was a lot more accessible price-wise!

When I first saw the pictures of this making the rounds I really wanted it! But $95 for so little product is so not worth it! I’d much rather buy the individuals at full price!

That’s definitely been the case! I think it’s a great way to try all the products at once, but it’s difficult to justify the price if you already own a couple of the colours (considering how popular they are when they first launched!) Did you try any of the other sets (limited edition blush or the powder palette?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *