I didn’t even need to swatch this in person when it released in stores. As the proud owner of last year’s holiday palette (Volume 2), I knew I had to pick up this year’s Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette. Volume 3 is the same as it’s predecessors – it’s got luxurious packaging and powders to match, and of course its steep price tag of $117 AUD ($80 USD).
This year’s packaging is similar to 2015’s mirrored palette, and has a slightly more expensive feel to it than 2016’s faux-marble plastic. The only downside to the mirrored packaging is all the fingerprints it collects (not a big deal, but worth mentioning).
Unlike last year’s five-pan palette, Hourglass has gone back to the classic six-pan holiday palette (same as 2015’s layout). You can read what I thought of Volume 2 from 2016 here.
You get two finishing powders, one strobing powder, one bronzer, and two blushes. Unfortunately the finishing powders and bronzer are repeats from their full-sized range, and have featured in other palettes before. So if you do own more than one of these powders in full-size/in another palette, the price tag is harder to justify. So what is in the palette exactly?
Diffussed Light (Ambient Lighting Powder)
Diffussed Light is a pale yellow-cream shade, that applies translucent to the skin. Although I have a strong cool undertone, I found this wasn’t overly warm, but it did brighten up my skin. I think this is fantastic for fair to medium skintones, especially to add light underneath the eye area.
Hypnotic Strobe Light (Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder)
Hypnotic Strobe Light is a limited edition shade with a marbled effect. I describe this as a white champange shade, and leans more warm in tone. I found this one had some micro-glitters in it, but still looked quite natural on the skin.
Dim Light (Ambient Lighting Powder)
Dim Light is a warm beige shade, but isn’t as dark as it looks in the pan. As someone with fair skin, I use this finishing powder sparingly, and mainly on the outer perimeters of my face. It’s best suited to those with light to medium skintones in my opinion, but still adds brightness to fair skin.
Luminous Bronze Light (Ambient Lighting Bronzer)
From what I can tell, this is the third darkest bronzer in the permanent range (total of four bronzers). It’s very warm in tone, and I’d describe it as a medium bronzer (as opposed to light or deep) on my skintone. I do have to be careful when applying this, as it can look a little orange if I put too much on.
Surreal Halo (Ambient Lighting Blush)
Surreal Halo is a warm plum shade, and is very pigmented. Even when using my fluffiest blush brush, I still have to really work to blend this out on my skin. Out of all the powders in this palette, I feel this one is best suited to those with medium to deep complexions.
Pure Effect (Ambient Lighting Blush)
This shade is everything I want in a blush, minus how pigmented it is. It’s the perfect medium-pink shade and has a beautiful satin sheen to it. It’s probably the most “universally flattering” powder in the palette.
As someone who owns only one other Hourglass product, I found this year’s Ambient Edit palette was worth the splurge, as I don’t own any of the permanent shades in full-size (or other palettes).
If you are wanting to try a few different Hourglass powders, I think the holiday palette is the way to go. If you’re a collector of gorgeous makeup, then I say go for it too! But if you already own two or more of these powders in full-size, I suggest swatching the limited edition shades first, to see if they are really worth the price.
What’s your biggest holiday splurge so far? Let me know in the comments below!