What it is: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders are meant to mimic different lighting sources and affect the way light falls on the skin, giving it a softer, more flattering look. Hourglass describes Diffused Light as “a soft, warm, pale yellow powder that conceals redness and gives skin clarity—like a soft ray of morning light.” It is formulated without parabens, talc, fragrance, nanoparticles, and gluten.
Price/Quantity: $45 US for 0.35 oz / 10 g
Color/Finish: This shade is an ultra pale translucent yellow. It doesn’t leave a yellow cast on the skin. It leaves behind both a mattified and lightly glowing effect on the skin. In the swatch below, you can see there is some shimmer but it is nearly undetectable on the face because the shimmer particles are incredibly tiny. It’s not going to give a shimmery/shiny effect the way a highlighter would. It’s extremely subtle and perfect for everyday wear.
Packaging: The compact snaps shut and contains a decent sized mirror in the lid. The powder is thick and domed, like a baked product. I love the unique dark satin bronze color theme Hourglass uses across many of their products.
Smell/Fragrance: There is no fragrance and it has a very faint mineral smell if I get really close. I smell absolutely nothing during or after application.
Application: I apply this using a powder brush, by sweeping the side of the brush into the product and patting what I picked up on my skin. Then I buff lightly to blend it into the skin. This can be used as a setting powder, a finishing powder, or even a very subtle highlight. For me, it works best as a setting powder. That way, I get the most luminosity out of the product.
Texture: The powder is very fine and disappears into the skin. I get no powder kick up when using a brush. It does not emphasize dry patches or any textural issues in my skin. It actually casts a soft focus veil over the skin helping to reduce the appearance of texture on the skin.
Pigmentation: Very sheer.
Longevity: This hasn’t negatively affected the wear-time of any other product I’ve worn it with. It does help keep shine at bay to some degree longer than if I hadn’t powdered at all but I wouldn’t use it strictly for that purpose.
- Very subtle and natural look
- Pretty much impossible to over-apply
- Does not look powdery on the skin
- Does not cause foundation to cake during wear
- Not cheap
If you are someone who notices and appreciates the subtle differences in higher end products and don’t mind splurging more on products that will get used every day, then this is a product you would enjoy. Though the vast majority of people probably wouldn’t notice the difference if I used this product over a drugstore alternative, I see the difference and that’s what matters. If you are looking for something more dramatic, you might not see the point in spending $20-$30 more for such a subtle visible difference.