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Highlighters are all the rage these days, but how do you know which one is right for you?
Let’s me be real for a second here, I totally have too much makeup. Like, more than I can ever use. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in it. Perhaps you feel the same way.
I certainly have a highlighter capable of achieving any look I could possibly imagine. I’ve got shimmery highlighters, matte highlighters, cream highlighters, glittery highlighters, and everything in between. No shortage of options here.
And yet, I longed for a highlighter that could do it all. I wanted something I could take with me on my adventures that would give me an angelic glow in the daytime, and transform into a dramatic spotlight on my cheekbone when I’m in a partying mood. (And by that, I mean going out for sushi and coming home by 9:00 PM.)
Surprisingly, not many versatile highlighters exist, but the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is one of the few.
Let’s talk about it, shall we?
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
Let’s start with the basics.
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder sells at Hourglass.com, Sephora, and major department stores such as Nordstrom. I purchased mine from Sephora so I can keep my VIB Rouge status and get points for samples, but that’s just me.
Incandescent Light is also available in a travel size for $22.00. *UPDATE – The travel size is no longer available as of 12/23/16. Unsure if it is coming back, but I’ll be sure to update if it does!
One thing that surprises people is just how small these compacts actually are. The shape is identical to the regular Ambient Lighting Powders, so many of us wrongly assumed that they would be the same size. Well, they are not. For reference, the Ambient Lighting Powders contain 0.35 oz. of product and cost $46.00. To spare you from having to do the math, I’ll just tell you that those come out quite a bit less expensive.
Today, I have the shade Incandescent Light to show you.
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder >> Purchase at Sephora
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (Original) >> Purchase at Sephora
Texture feels dry to the touch, but in a good way
When we review products, we often hear a lot about how “creamy” a product is, and that is usually regarded as a good thing. However, I’ll tell you now, the Hourglass Ambient Strobe highlighters aren’t not the least bit creamy. Allow me to explain.
When swatching the product with your finger, the powder feels very dense, hard, and dry. It is not soft, powdery, or moist feeling. It does feel like a little brick of chalk. The product does transfer on to your finger easily, so you don’t have to dig down or scrub at it to pick up product.
This dry texture is what makes the product so versatile, because may not always want the intensity that moisture brings.
Free of parabens, talc, and is not tested on animals
I looked everywhere, but I was unable to find a full list of ingredients. I guess it’s proprietary.
Instead, Hourglass proudly proclaims what these are formulated without. The list includes parabens, fragrance, talc, gluten, and nanoparticles.
The list also states that the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders are not tested on animals. Though, I am unsure if this constitutes them as vegan. I reached out to Hourglass, and am waiting to hear back. (Will update.)
Glimmery satin finish gives a beautiful glow, minus the glitter
There’s just something super unique about this finish, it’s difficult to explain. It’s shimmery without being glittery, yet it gives a beautiful amount of glow without having to be piled on.
The powder is extremely finely milled, which gives it a very light texture that blends beautifully and doesn’t easily cake up. Instead of adding another obvious layer of product, the powder disappears into the skin, leaving behind a subtle sheen without extra weight.
This is different from other typical highlighters, (Becca’s Champagne Pop, for example,) that clearly add an additional layer of powder onto the skin. (Not saying this is a bad thing; sometimes it’s what we want.)
Below, I’ll be applying the product in multiple layers, and you can see just how impeccably it builds.
Apply it in different ways to achieve infinite looks
As I said before, my favorite thing about the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder, (besides the gorgeous packaging,) is it’s versatility. Seriously, it’s like a chameleon.
These are all the ways I’ve personally used it to get different looks, but I’m sure you can do more!
If you have your own method of using this product, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Use a fan brush for an etherial, natural glow
For days when I just want the most natural look possible, I’ll use a fan brush to lightly sweep the powder across my cheekbones. When you first apply the product, you probably won’t notice much of a difference, as the sheen looks very faint.
Resist the urge to add more product! Although the product is nearly invisible on the skin, you’ll be surprised at how much the shine shows up once light hits it.
If you want the “no highlighter, highlighter” kind of look, give this a try.
Recommended — E.l.f. Fan Brush>> Purchase at Elfcosmetics.com
For more shine, try using a small blush brush or powder brush
For photos where I want to look natural, I apply the product using a small blush or powder brush. The more densely packed bristles help concentrate the product for a more pronounced look. But thanks to the super fine texture, applying slightly more product won’t make you look powdery.
I do this when I’m wearing a bit more makeup and I want a visible highlight to complete the look, but I still want it looking somewhat reserved.
Recommended — E.l.f. Professional Powder Brush >> Purchase at Elfcosmetics.com
Take it up a notch by misting your brush with setting spray
For an even more pronounced look, lightly mist your blush brush with your favorite setting spray, (I like Urban Decay All Nighter.) Dip lightly into the product, being careful not to pick up too much; it’s quite easy to go overboard here.
Brush lightly across your cheekbone. Make sure you keep the first swipe right on your cheekbone to keep the concentration in the right place. Once the moisture begins to evaporate, you can then begin blending over the edges to create a seamless, blended finish.
Recommended — Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray >> Purchase at Sephora
A dry sponge will up the intensity without looking cakey
For an even more intense application, rub a dry sponge over the product, and pack gently onto your face. Hourglass actually sells their own sponge for this, but I don’t have it and I don’t believe it is necessary. A Beauty Blender, Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, or even an old school makeup wedge sponge will work just fine.
Curious about the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge? I’ve written an in-depth review that you’ll definitely find super helpful. Find it right here >> Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.
Recommended — Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge >> Purchase on Amazon
Layering for the ultimate strobe
Now, for the ultimate strobe. Working one cheek at time, moisten a brush with setting spray and apply the highlighter as described above. While the setting spray is still slightly tacky on your skin, apply a bit extra using your finger. This will give you a pronounced, foiled look to your cheek. It’s a true #highlightonfleek kind of look.
It’s easy to get a little heavy handed here, so here’s what you do. When picking up product using your finger, swipe the product only two or three times. Tap off your finger to ensure there is no loose powder on your finger that could fall and smear outside the areas where you deliberately place it.
Keep the color concentrated in a small section only about the width of your fingertip, no more. Gently blend it outwards from there. This way, you’ll avoid looking like you have a football-player-like stripe of foil on your face. Not cute.
It’s the perfect highlighter for on-the-go gals
Like I said, I have so many highlighters, and most are great in their own way. But many of them are one trick ponies. Some are subtle and unbuildable, like my Wet N’ Wild Coloricon in Reserve Your Cabana. Others are over-the-top no matter how carefully I apply them, like Champagne Pop.
The Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder is amazing for ladies always on the move. Whether you want to carry it with you to change up your look for the evening, or keep it as your go-to for travel, I don’t think there is anything this highlighter can’t do.
I certainly plan on purchasing all the colors.
That’s all for today!
Like this post? You’re sure to love this one too >> Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Review
If you find this post interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining, tell me about it in the comments. And don’t forget, sharing is caring. Share this post!
Till next time! ♥︎
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FTC- Not sponsored. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.