Hourglass Ambient Powder in Dim Light & Ambient Powder Brush Review

Hourglass Compact and Brush

Along with my perfume and scarf collection, I’ve acquired quite the heap of highlighters in an attempt to achieve that ever elusive “lit from within” look. What I’ve found so far in my valiant effort to find said effect is either a nice glowy enhancement at best, or too much sparkle or even glitter at worst. I’ve settled for the glow and have been pretty happy leaving it at that.

It’s time to make a little more room in my highlighter drawer because Hourglass has muscled its way in with something new. Many of you beauty blog followers are probably already aware of this latest offering, the Ambient Powder line. It consists of six finishing powders that impart a skin-perfecting “light” and I opted for Dim Light, a neutral beige per the website.

Hourglass Ambient Dim Light and Brush

Hourglass Ambient Open Compact

Hourglass Ambient Dim Light Close up

As you can see from the photos, the powder reads slightly pink in the pan, but once applied it truly is neutral, at least on my light to medium olive skin (NC30). Cutting to the chase regarding sparkles, there are none to be seen in natural light, nor under your typical bathroom or other indoor lighting. The only circumstance where I could find the tiniest trace of sparkle was under the direct and intense light of the heat lamp in the bathroom with my hand mirror. Not your normal situation. So hooray, it passed!

More importantly, this powder is the most beautiful highlighter I have ever used. I have used it every day for over a month on my cheekbones and am continually impressed with how much softer it makes my skin appear. For the first week of use, I kept forgetting that I had applied the powder, and when I would look in the mirror I’d think to myself, “Did I get more sleep than usual last night?” And yep, you guessed it, I also thought more than once, “I kinda look lit from within!”

Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush

I’ve only applied Dim Light with the Ambient Powder Brush and I am loving this as well. Its shape is perfect for applying the powder along the cheekbone, but might not be ideal for applying over your entire face if you truly want to use this as a finishing powder. Because of the powder’s pinkish tone, I feel more comfortable using this on my cheekbones and I do adore the effect that the powder and the brush create. I highly recommend them both, with the caveat that while there are no parabens, phthalates or fragrance in Hourglass cosmetics, this is not an all natural product.

Hourglass is available at Hourglass.comSephora.com and Barney’s, $45 for the powder and $35 for the brush.

Check out The Non Blonde for a review of Hourglass Ambient Powder in Radiant Light.
All photographs were taken by me.

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Hourglass PR. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Hourglass Aura Lip and Cheek Stains

The words lip, cheek and stain don’t normally go together with easy, to, and use, but they certainly do in this case. Hourglass Cosmetics has impressed me yet again, with gorgeous colors, ease of use, sophisticated packaging as well as their lack of parabens, phthalates and fragrance. (If you’re looking to avoid petrol-based ingredients in your products, you’ll want to skip this review).

The newly released Aura Lip and Cheek Stains won me over even before I applied them on my lips and cheeks. Both have a twist and click dispenser that allows control over how much product you want to apply. Some of you may know this isn’t always the case with the twist and click mechanism. Stila’s lip glazes are a perfect example of a “clicking pen” type dispenser that gives you all or nothing. The Hourglass stains on the other hand distribute a tiny amount or a liberal amount, with lots of wiggle room in between so it’s easy to get exactly what you want.

When it comes to blush, control is especially important as it’s difficult to undo too much blush. Two clicks gives me just the right amount of color and I love its soft sponge applicator that you can touch directly to your cheeks. My preferred technique is one that Hourglass recommends: blot the sponge onto the apples of your cheeks and then blend towards your temples. I like to do the blending part with my finger tips. The water based formula smooths over the skin like silk, and doesn’t set immediately so there’s plenty of time for blending. I have been testing the Aura Cheek Stain in Flush, which is described as a sheer red in the Hourglass literature, but Sephora calls it “berry pink” which I find to be more accurate. As the name indicates, it gives a pretty and very natural flush to the cheeks that works well for a low maintenance look.

The Hourglass Aura Lip Stain is just as impressive as the Cheek Stain, and is by far the easiest-to-use lip stain I have encountered. Again, its twist and click mechanism is simple to control and the flocked applicator feels really nice on the lips. I confess that I need a mirror to apply this stain, but once it’s on, it lasts for hours and hours and layers beautifully for a more saturated lip. Its finish is semi-matte but since it’s water based, it doesn’t provide much hydration. I didn’t find it drying per se, but I do like a subtle glossiness and feel to my lips, so a gentle swipe of Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick gives me the perfect pout.

I also tried Flush in the Aura Lip Stain, and like the Cheek Stain, I found it to be more pink than red. Of course skin tone and lip pigment create variation, and for your reference I have light to medium olive toned skin (MAC NC30) and moderately pigmented lips. On me, Flush is a neutral medium pink that has a bit of a chameleon quality. In bright light it leans a bit cool, but outdoors it becomes warmer and more natural. Regardless of the lighting, Flush is always flattering and brightens up my face which is saying a lot after many months of overcast skies!

Aura Lip Stain in Flush on top, Cheek Stain in Flush on bottom

Hourglass Aura Lip and Cheek Stains are $45 and $26 respectively. Available at Barney’s, Sephora and HourglassCosmetics.com


Posted by ~Trish

Photos by ~Trish (except the first, stock photo)

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Hourglass PR. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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Lovely Lippies from Hourglass Cosmetics

I’ve professed my love for Hourglass on Scent Hive before, so when I was offered the chance to test their new lipstick line, Rouge Femme, and check out the new packaging of their Extreme Sheen lipgloss, you know my answer was a resounding, “Yes! I’d love to!” Happily, both lippies have lived up to the excellent Hourglass performance that I have grown accustomed to, namely with the Visionaire eyeshadow duos and the Prodigy lipgloss.

My biggest love goes to the Femme Rouge lipstick. It ranks right up there with my favorite natural lipsticks, Dr. Hauschka and NVEY Eco, and has pulled ahead of Chanel’s Rouge Coco, my favored mainstream luxury lipstick. Femme Rouge wears like a dream. Its application is smooth and effortless, and affords excellent pigmentation without feeling heavy or drying. Femme Rouge, as well the entire Hourglass line, is rich with mineral pigments that give a saturated color so it lasts through a morning cup of tea and doesn’t require a touch up until after you’ve eaten lunch.

I was given Fresco to try, which is a perfect match for my light-medium olive skintone. The swatch is deceiving on the Hourglass website as it is not nearly as brown as their picture suggest (please see my swatch below). On me, Fresco is a rosy warm pink with only the subtlest hint of brown. It gives more coverage than a sheer lipstick, but certainly feels like one since it’s so light and soft, and bestows a subtle shine on the lips. Fresco gives a huge payoff in prettiness for such a low maintenance lipstick. It’s ideal for your handbag since application requires no mirror and no lipliner, two things you might not have nearby when you’re on the go.

In general, lipgloss satisfies similar needs for quick and easy application. Extreme Sheen in Lush is no different. I’m not sure it’s the same story for all of the Extreme Sheen colors as a few of them look quite intense (Siren for example) and might need fine tuning when swiping on your lips. Lush though, is as effortless as Fresco, but it’s a gloss so the experience is different.

First, let’s discuss the new packaging of the Extreme Sheen glosses. I am unfamiliar with the old packaging, so I cannot compare the two, but the revamped tube is gorgeous and feels luxurious in your hand. It has an elongated oblong shape that’s sleek and appeals to the sucker that I am for an elegant design.

As for the color of Lush, it leans nude with strong peach tones and a little pink. A light lip color isn’t flattering on me unless I’ve got a killer tan going on and this time of year, that’s not happening. But for lighter skinned gals, or those of you who love nudes with a little color, give Lush a go. As for the texture, it’s thick without being goopy or tacky and lasts for several hours. I do however prefer the Hourglass Prodigy formula which is a bit thinner but just as pigmented, and it’s unscented. Extreme Sheen glosses have a fairly strong vanilla fragrance which tends to be a deal breaker for me. If the Prodigy formula were in the Extreme Sheen tube, I’d be in lipgloss heaven.

Like all Hourglass cosmetics, both the Femme Rouge lipstick and Extreme Sheen lipgloss are paraben, sulfate, synthetic-dye, and phthalate free, they are not however, 100% natural.

Hourglass is available at Sephora, Sephora.com and Barney’s, $30 for the lipstick and $28 for the gloss. 

Photos by ~Trish, except for the obvious stock photos from Hourglass.

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by the Hourglass PR company. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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Hourglass Mineral Primer & Bronzer Duo in Sunset

I‘ve never been a primer gal, and rarely use bronzers. My reasons are skepticism about primers and laziness in adding another step to my routine with a bronzer. Until I started reading Gaia’s blog, The Non-Blonde, primers seemed to be another way to spend money on an unnecessary product. Not so according to Gaia, it’s a must. So when I was offered the chance to try Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, I did so with Gaia’s advice in mind.


You can read in my previous review of Hourglass Cosmetics, how fond I am of their eyeshadows, as well as their luxurious packaging. And although Hourglass does use petroleum products, they are free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes (they use mineral pigments) and phthalates. Just as a side note here, I consider Hourglass to be in a similar ingredient category as lines like Korres and Tarte that advertise themselves as “natural” beauty lines. In my opinion they are engaging in a bit of greenwashing with those claims. Hourglass on the other hand does not promote itself as a “green” or “natural” company like the others, and they shouldn’t. I appreciate that.


Let’s veer back to the topic at hand, the Hourglass Mineral Primer. I tested this primer on many occasions under both mineral powders and liquid foundations. I loved it under liquid makeup, tinted moisturizers specifically, but not as much under powder. When I applied the primer under mineral powders, it gave my skin a matte finish that bordered on chalky. I tend towards dry skin which probably heightened the matte look. For someone with oilier skin, I imagine this would work perfectly.


I had a completely different experience when I wore Hourglass Mineral Primer under 100% Pure’s Tinted Moisturizer, Dr. Hauschka Toned Day Cream, and a mixture of the two. Using this primer gave my TMs a more polished finish and helped my makeup stay fresh all day, without an overly matte look. Hourglass Mineral Primer is easy to apply as is has such a silky slip, no doubt in part to silicones so those of you who are sensitive, beware. The pump dispenser is convenient, hygenic, and only one pump is needed to cover my entire face. And not only did it help my TM last throughout the day, and give me an SPF 15 protection, my blush held its pigment longer as well.


Speaking of blush, the Illume Crème-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Sunset includes a gorgeous pink blush alongside its medium toned bronzer. The blush is a warm pink, bordering on coral which initially had me concerned. Coral cheeks are not the look I usually go for. But on my skin, it is pure pink prettiness. Imagine your cheeks after playing some tennis in the sun; a little flushed mixed with a little color from the sun. The bronzer is even warmer than the blush, but also gives a healthy, sunkissed glow without any orange fake-and-bake residual color.


Like the Mineral Primer, both colors in the Sunset Bronzer Duo go on smoothly and effortlessly. It’s creamy to the touch and dries to a semi-matte finish, but not so quickly as to not have ample time to blend and layer. Even without the primer, this pair of sunny colors stays on for hours if not the whole day.

Check out the review on Makeup and Beauty Blog. Karen has posted some terrific pics of the Illume Crème-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Sunset. And at StyleCaster, there’s a review of Hourglass mascara.


Hourglass Mineral Primer is available at Sephora for $52, 1 oz and the llume Crème-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Sunset is $40 also at Sephora. Hourglass is also available at Barney’s.

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: Hourglass PR sent me samples of both products. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.


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Hourglass Cosmetics. Hard to resist.

The above picture was taken just days ago at La Perla’s Fall 2010 Collection Preview. The makeup looks for the show were created by Hourglass makeup artist Michael Pierce and this one is the “Classic Look”. The model is wearing eyeshadow from the Visionaire Duo, Gypsy. I have Gypsy and adore its neutral look with a tasteful amount of shimmer and incredible pigmentation.


But I am getting ahead of myself here. I need to properly introduce this line, and explain my weakness for all things Hourglass. Hourglass Cosmetics was founded by Carisa Janes who used to work for Urban Decay in marketing and development. She moved on to become the creator of Body & Soul Cosmetics before staring Hourglass in 2003.


Their products are not all natural, but are made with mineral pigments rather than synthetic ones, and they are free of parabens and fragrance. Typically I would walk right past a cosmetics line that wasn’t 100% natural because I have found so many that I love and don’t need to supplement with anything else. That was until I saw the gorgeous colors and packaging of Hourglass.


Do you know people who rarely eat meat, but every now and then succumb to bacon? Well, Hourglass is my bacon. Maybe more of a turkey bacon, but a damn good bacon at that. My binge started with the aforementioned Gypsy Duo.

The darker color on the right is a cross between cocoa and bronze and I love it as an eyeliner. It also looks beautiful on the outer edge of the top lashline, with the lighter champagne color on the inner edge. With a light hand it gives a natural look for the day, and with a heavier application (and lots of mascara) it works beautifully for evening.

After my fabulous experience with Gypsy, I had to get another. Exhibition, above, was my next purchase and is just as lovely as Gypsy but more dramatic. It’s darker than the photo suggests as the color on the right is a deep burgundy-violet and the left is more of a taupey lavender. This duo is so intensely pigmented, that it has taken me some work to feel comfortable applying Exhibition. But once I did, a sexy, smoky, violet eye was my reward.

The latest temptation from Hourglass is their Prodigy Lipgloss. As you can see from the picture, it’s not your typical skinny tubed lippie. It has the shape of a tiny flip-phone and fits perfectly in your palm or small handbag. I have Hypnotic, a warm berry pink with a little shimmer. The texture is smooth and tenacious without being goopy (which was something I never liked about Chanel’s Glossimers). Hypnotic’s color lasts for several hours and feels moisturizing on the lips. The only sticking point is the cap. It’s difficult to get on without squeezing the product, but I’ve figured out my technique of holding the gloss on the sides instead, even though it is a bit cumbersome.


Hopefully you natural makeup junkies can understand my total lack of willpower as I tried to deny myself the bewitching Hourglass Cosmetics. We all need a little “bacon” to keep us from getting too self-righteous, right? (I also have the palette on the left, Vol. 6 Cashmere, it’s as awesome as you think it is). But come back soon for more reviews of all-natural makeup. I have found some amazing products!



Hourglass is available at Sephora, Barney’s, Hourglass Cosmetics and Dermstore.com. The Visionaire Duos are $38, Palettes are $58 and Prodigy Lipglosses are $26.

And for more Beauty Tips, check out Stylecaster.com!


Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: The above products were purchased by me, except for the Prodigy Lipgloss which was provided by Hourglass PR. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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