Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light

If you've ever tried to take photos of yourself or others, you know that good lighting makes all the difference in the world.  I've learned through trial and error that standing in certain parts of my yard to take pictures for the blog give me pictures that realistically reflect my skin tone and give me a glowing quality, whereas in other parts of the yard I'll look washed out or 10 years older.  It all has to do with lighting!
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders attempt to mimic the type of settings that typically give us the best photos, such as the warm glow of a sunset or the mystery of a shadowy bar.  Yes, I'm at the age where dim lighting is preferable, so it's probably no mistake that the first Ambient Lighting powder I purchased is called Dim Light.  I'm not kidding about the shadowy bar part, as here is what photographer Elise Dumontet had to say in The Glossy/Sephora:

TRY: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
WHY: “This peachy-beige light is very flattering,” Dumontet says. “Details like pores and fine lines become altered and softened because light is coming from all angles.”
Ambient Lighting Powders are one of those products that are difficult to capture in photos, as the effects are meant to enhance your skin and are thereby somewhat subtle.  If you enlarge the swatch photo below, you can see how Dim Light provides a touch of color and a soft glow. 
I always use powder to set my foundation and prolong it's wear, as I've got oily skin and all the challenges that can come with it.  My usual setting powder has been Lancome's Dual Finish Powder Foundation, as it does a good job of mattifying and setting liquid foundation.  So how are the Ambient Lighting Powders different from any other powder?  At $45 each, I think that's a fair question, and one I asked myself prior to purchasing. 
Unlike traditional powders, which merely cloak imperfections, Ambient Lighting Powder utilizes photoluminescent technology to filter out harsh light and refine the appearance of the complexion. The powders deliver a multidimensional luminescence to every skintone, making it appear softer, younger, and lit-from-within. The finishing powders enhance skin in any type of light, including flash photography. (Source:  Sephora)
I think the difference is subtle but there.  All I can say is I've purchased another Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, so I'm putting my money behind them.  I like the finish they give my skin, although I'm not sure they are better at controlling oil than any other powder.  It's a fine line between controlling oil and yet not mattifying skin to the point that it looks mask like, and I like the slight glow I get with the Ambient Lighting Powders!
I'm using my Le Metier de Beaute kabuki brush (love that thing) to apply and it is working great, so I don't think you necessarily need to invest the $35 in the Ambient Powder Brush.  Any dense brush would probably work just fine.  I only need to lightly touch the brush to pan to pick up powder, so I do think these will last a very long time.


  1. Do you notice a difference between the Dim Light and the Diffused Light? Is there one you prefer over the other? I'm trying to choose which one to get, and i am not sure which one would be better.

    1. That's a good question! I'll take some comparison photos this weekend and get a post up next week. Diffused Light has a more yellow tone which is supposed to help offset redness, but I can't say I've noticed any major difference between the two at this point. I've only had Diffused Light for about 2 weeks though, so haven't used it as much.

  2. I want to test this out in person because I have never been able to tell the difference in photographs :S

    1. Testing in person is definitely a good idea, as the effect is subtle but there:-)