Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Edit palette review

I was apparently the first person to purchase this palette at my local Mecca Maxima on Tuesday, as they hadn’t officially released the online stock in stores at the time, but were selling the items if you asked. I asked to view the tester, and after only a few quick swatches, I was sold on this new addition to the Ambient Edit family!

The Unlocked palette is a little different to other Ambient Edit holiday palettes, in that 5% of the profits from the Unlocked palette will support the Nonhuman Rights Project. The palette is 100% vegan and represents the brand’s commitment to being cruelty free.

The palette comes in a frosted golden box with the Hourglass ‘H’ in black, with the silhouette of a bunny in the centre. The Unlocked edition comes in dark faux-gold plastic packaging, and looks similar to last year’s holiday palette (minus the H bunny logo and a slightly different faux-metal shade).

Inside you get a good quality mirror and six powders encased in the same faux-metal packaging. Each pan contains 1.4 grams of product, and are about the size of a standard blush brush.

The palette features six new exclusive shades of powder, bronzer, blush and metallic strobe powder, which is a nice change to their usual mix of new and permanent powder set up in previous Ambient Edit holiday releases.

Soft Light (finishing powder)
Soft Light is a warm light beige shade. This powder is a good colour match as a finishing powder against my fair skin (you can barely see the swatch on my skin!) It gives a beautiful soft blur to the skin like other Hourglass finishing powders.

Filtered Light (finishing powder)
Filtered Light is a warm-toned dark beige shade (almost light brown). This finishing powder is too dark for my skin tone, so I use it as a light bronzer to warm up the outer perimeters of my face. If you’ve got a medium skin tone, I think this will work wonderfully as a finishing powder on you.

Golden Bronze Light (bronzer)
Golden Bronze Light is a medium brown shade with a golden sheen. I need to use a light hand with this as it’s fairly pigmented, but it’s still a gorgeous colour for a sun-kissed look.

Nude Glow (blush)
Nude Glow is a soft peach blush with a golden shift and warm undertone. It works nicely as a subtle glowy blush, hence the name ‘Nude Glow’. On deeper skin tones, I think this would be a beautiful highlight.

Mood Flush (blush)
Mood Flush is a soft rosy pink blush with a satin finish. It was more pigmented than Nude Glow, and is the most universally flattering powder in the palette.

Champagne Strobe Light (highlight)
Champagne Strobe Light is a golden champagne colour with a high-shine finish. It looked a little too dark for me in the pan, but when blended out on the skin it’s your typical champagne gold highlight.

I also swatched all the shades to give you an idea of how they look next to each other. You’ll notice they’re all fairly warm-toned.


Like other Hourglass holiday palettes, this retails for $117 AUD, which is the most I’ll ever spend on a palette at this stage. And while I think their holiday palettes are a great way to sample their finishing powders, blushes, highlights and bronzers, it isn’t a good deal when you break down the cost per gram compared to a full-sized compact. So to enjoy and appreciate this palette, you either need to be a collector (me) or absolutely love Hourglass powders (also me).

So now that I’ve shared my thoughts on the Unlocked palette, will you be picking it up? Or are you waiting for the Ambient Edit 4 palette to be released before deciding on which six pan palette to purchase? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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