REVIEW: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Ethereal Light and Mood Light

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The last finishing powder I ever used was MAC Skinfinish in Medium Plus. At first, it was decent. It gave my skin a nice "glow" but later on, it just proved to be annoying. The shimmer actually drew attention to some blemishes, the baked powder kept falling out of the pan [EMBARRASSING], and it oxidized like crazy on my skin, making my face look several times darker than my neck at the end of the day. Ick.

But when I read about these Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders ($45, Sephora), which have been getting a lot of hype on the blogosphere in recent months, I suddenly became curious about taking the dive into finishing powders once again. Several months ago, I took home the shades Ethereal Light and Mood Light. Continue reading to find out if I've become a fan with my recent purchase!


Ambient Lighting Powders are finishing powders that use photoluminiscent technology to mimic a lit-from-within-glow. The range, which is free of talc, gluten, fragrance and nanoparticles, includes 6 pearly  shades. 


Ambient Lighting Powders are packaged in sleek, deep brown reflective containers. They feature a full sized mirror and .35oz of product.

Color and Pigmentation

Ethereal Light is described as "a sheer, cool tone that eliminates shine and mimics a moonlit glow—even in broad daylight." I'm not quite sure what a moonlit glow looks like, but my skin looked pretty freaking amazing in photographs when wearing this.

Mood Light is described as "a soft, sheer lavender pink that mimics the softest, most forgiving light and brightens the complexion." When swatching this, I really didn't notice any lavender. Also, it is very sheer, and on some complexions, I imagine this color may not even show up.

Oh swatch, where art thou?
Formula and Wearability

Both shades were blendable. I found that Ethereal Light could be used as both an all over finishing powder and as a highlighter on my complexion. Ethereal Light claims to eliminate shine, and it does (since it's a powder) for a few hours, but I wouldn't recommend this to regularly touch up your makeup. Mood Light is definitely more of  your traditional finishing powder, but it was very light. I tried to build it up on my skin, and it just ended up making me look more pink.

In pictures, I could definitely see more of a glow using Ethereal Light. I had to build up Mood Light more, which led to an oddly pink face that looked surprisingly good in photos.

As for wear, on my oily skin, both shades faded away on my skin after a few hours. This didn't bother me so much since neither of them claimed to be long-lasting. 


B for Ethereal Light

B for Mood Light

These were nice finishing powders, but I probably wouldn't repurchase them because of the price. They're great for a photography session since they do add a beautiful glow, but I wouldn't go out of my way to use these as part of my regular beauty routine. If you have oily skin and you expect these to last for the whole day, you may be a bit disappointed by the staying power.

Have any of you tried the Ambient Lighting Powders? Did you like them?