Blends well into skin
Hybrid product simplifies your makeup routine
Radiant, natural-looking finish
Not Byrdie Clean
High price point
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush
We put the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
I'm a big fan of cream blush—it has great pigment, creates a radiant finish, and a good formula will last all day. Given how well I'd found this type of blush to work for me, I was skeptical about wearing a powder but excited to try one.
Over the last few weeks, I've been using the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush, a heavenly hybrid solution that combines the brand's signature highlighter with a velvety-soft blush for a flushed, radiant glow in just one step. And while $40 seems expensive for a blush to me, I was excited to see if the effect was worth it. So did this product show me the power of a powder blush? Keep reading to find out in my full review.
Best for: Most skin types.
Uses: A blush-highlighter hybrid that deposits a healthy dose of multidimensional color to your complexion.
Byrdie Clean? No; contains isoparaffin.
About the brand: Founded in 2004 by Carisa Janes, Hourglass is known for transformational products that effortlessly fuse luxury and functionality. The brand is popular among MUAs and everyday beauty fans alike, and all products are vegan and cruelty-free.
About My Skin: Even-toned but sallow
One of the greatest parts of my skin type is that I have an even tone. Being olive-skinned, I don't get any redness—a blessing at times since I don't have to focus on color correction or concealing sensitivity. However, I’m also a fan of that freshly flushed look, so I like to use coral cream blushes to brighten up my base.
How to Apply: Sweep and dust
Prior to trying the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush, I’d heard that a bit of blush on your nose and forehead works wonders at bringing life back to tired faces. My go-to cream blush, however, takes ages to blend and is very pigmented, so I didn’t dare to test that theory. This goes on a lot lighter, so I decided to dust it down my nose and across my forehead. It worked, and thankfully it didn’t leave me looking like I’d spent the last hour at a kids' face paint convention.
When it came to my cheeks, I grabbed a fluffy angled brush and focused the bulk of my buffing onto the upper curve. Since it’s a highlighter too, I figured the higher I put it, the better. I did find I needed to pack the blush on to see profound color, but this method means the result should last a while.
The Results: Seamless, subtle radiance
If blush and highlighter had a baby, this would be it. Rather than coating your cheeks in a a single shade, Hourglass has combined a blush with the brand's iconic Ambient Lighting Powder to create a multidimensional product that doesn’t sit flat or heavy on the skin, is lightweight, and perks up dull complexions. I love that this doesn’t go overboard in terms of highlighting—no one wants a disco ball cheek—but leaves just enough of a subtle shimmer to boost radiance. The powder is buildable and has a velvety feel that I’d gladly reapply.
I’m not mad about the shade I tried (Mood Exposure, a soft plum), but if I could choose again I’d probably opt for Dim Fusion, as it's more of a coral color, which I find works best on my olive skin. It claims to give dimension, thanks to savvy photoluminescent technology that brings depth to color. It does appear to do this to some degree and seems to sit better than other powder formulas I’ve tried (usually, I stick to creams and liquids), and I do feel like the hint of highlighter makes all the difference.
The Value: Expensive, but could be worth it
I want to say the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush is worth every penny, but I’m not entirely sold. There’s no disputing the fact that it’s an exceptional blush, but $40 seems a touch expensive for a single shade, considering you can buy an entire palette for the same price. The touch of highlighter creates a finish that's worth it if you want to splurge, but you can also create a similar look at a lower price point, so don't stress if you're on a budget or having sticker shock.
Similar Products: You've got options
Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Pillow Talk: There’s no denying that Charlotte Tilbury’s Cheek To Chic ($40) is one of the most hyped blushes of all time. It’s the same price as the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush, but you get a lot more pan for your money.
MAC Extra Dimension Blush: For as long as I can remember, MAC’s Extra Dimension Blush ($30) has been an iconic staple in my makeup bag. The iridescent finish is truly out of this world—it leaves that kind of reflective glow that could light up a room, all at a lower price point.
While the texture, finish, and shade combinations of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush are all enjoyable, I feel as though there are better options for my skin tone. If you’re slightly fairer and like a soft, matte finish, I’m confident your face would enjoy this more than mine. I don’t wear powder blush—or powder anything, for that matter—because I like to look like I’m not wearing any makeup. To do this I keep everything liquid or cream, including my blush and bronzer as I find these disappear once blended into the skin, leaving a seamless, natural-looking finish. As far as powders go, however, this one is surely one of the best, so you won't be disappointed if you prefer this type of formula.
- Product Name Ambient Lighting Blush
- Product Brand Hourglass
- Price $40
- Weight 0.15 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone, Sorbic Acid, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Laureth-7, Silica, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Diamond Powder, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Red 40 Lake (Ci 16035), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Ultramarines (Ci 77007).