Hourglass has always been a brand I can trust when it comes to their powders and I’ve been a fan for a very long time. It’s one of those products that are easy to use, virtually impossible to overdo and add this ‘something’ to the skin and look that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you do see the difference.
I have quite a few of their powders that I use on a daily basis, alternating between them, using singles as well as palettes. I love how effortless the application is. So when these new strobing powders were released I literally couldn’t wait to get them. There isn’t too many new releases that get me so excited. I quickly booked myself for a consultation with an Hourglass sales assistant hoping to get two out of four shades.
Quick overview of what the product actually is. They’re called strobing powders, which I think may put some people off a bit, because it sounds like something of a stronger illuminating effect. What they actually are, is a collection of four very finely milled powders designed to sculpt the face with light, to create some dimension in a very natural way. They consist of ultra-fine micro pearl particles to provide the most natural highlight possible without being too metallic or heavy. They work at capturing and diffusing the light in all the right places of the face.
There is four shades, which are very universal and can be generally used on any skin tone. That being said, when I met the sales assistant, she immediately ‘matched’ me (word being used very loosely when this type of product is concerned) to two shades Euphoric Light and Brilliant Light, explaining that the other two (being Incandescent and Iridescent Light) are lighter hence more suitable for fare complexions. I totally see that, although I think they’re all so finely milled and so sheer and subtle that you can’t really go wrong with any of them regardless of your skin tone.
What she did say, however, and what I really liked is that ‘it is all about finding you own light’. It’s about trying out different techniques of application and in different areas of the face to see how depth and dimension and natural looking highlight can be achieved. She began with applying Brilliant Light in a way that I probably wouldn’t have applied it myself, all over my under eye area. I thought yeah, that’s not going to work on me. As much as I do brighten up my under eye area (with a concealer) I am far from applying any form of highlighter there.
Having said that, It did brighten up the area very subtly and didn’t look too shimmery or shiny. I’m not sure if his is how I will be applying it, but it’s yet another example of how versatile these powders can be. Layered on top of an undereye concealer or eye brightener, it will add this little bit of light under the eye. She then took Euphoric Light and applied it in a more ‘standard’ way, on top of the cheek bones and cupid’s bow. By the way, if you own Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette with three powders in it, you already have Incandescent Light, and if you have the Ambient Edit palette (the one with six powders) you already have Iridescent Light. They’re not called strobing powders on the palettes, but they’re the same ones. So when it comes to the new Strobing collection, the Euphoric and Brilliant Light are the only two new shades, not seen before.
The sales assistant applied both powders with the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, in other words the sponge that was designed for application of these powders. I was (and still am to be honest) quite dubious about it. My first question seemed to be an obvious one and she was quick at explaining the difference between this and a beauty blender, where the latter is meant to be used only damp and this sponge can be used both dry for a sheer highlight, and damp for more intense effect. The idea is to use the angled side for a dry application and then blend with the flocked side to smooth it out, or use the angled side dampened for top of cheekbones or wherever you want your highlight to be stronger.
Having used the variety of Hourglass powders for a long time now, I also like to mix them together, using a highlight with a more matte powder and sweeping it all over my face. Although I have an oily-combo skin, I certainly don’t shy away from adding a bit of healthy glow and luminosity to my skin and I love the way it looks. So, other than all conventional ways of using strobing powders, I see no reason why these couldn’t be mixed with another setting powder and applied lightly all over the face. I will definitely be using them this way too. Only with very light hand and with a soft powder brush.
My thoughts on the powders – I absolutely love them, as I knew I would. Hourglass can honestly do no wrong with their powders, creating something so easy, simple and effortless to use. The best thing is, regardless of your makeup skills (or lack thereof) you will not go wrong with these, you won’t overpowder your face, you won’t look cakey, or as the case with these highlights may be, too shiny. I like ‘stronger’ looking highlight every now and again, but for an everyday use, these are perfect. Even used with dampened sponge, they will still give very fresh and wearable highlight, nothing too crazy bright, but enough to provide desired effect. If you’re a fan of highlighters that really kick a punch, then these may not be for you, but if you like something wearable, then honestly, give them a try. Most importantly, play with them until you ‘find your light’. They’re quite expensive at £34 considering they’re the size of a single blush pan, not as large as Hourglass powders yet only a few quid cheaper…
My thoughts on the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor – At a cost of £18 per sponge (!!), I think it’s an unnecessary expense and quite frankly it hasn’t revolutionised the way I apply highlighters or contributed to final effect that they give. You CAN use beauty blender (both dry and damp, it’s only designed to be used damp for application of liquid foundation but other than that, no harm using it dry…) or any other sponge you may have for that matter. Alternatively, pick a small, dense brush that you’d normally use for your highlighter and spray with water or Mac Fix + for stronger effect.
So, absolutely YES to all of the highlighters, they’re so beautiful! I’m still not convinced about the sponge and definitely don’t see it as a necessity. It’s nice, yes it applies the product well, but not any better than a good brush or beauty blender, so it’s definitely not essential.