Is there anything new left to say about these blushes? No. But I’m going to talk about this one anyway. I skipped the fuss about the Ambient Lighting Powders when they were launched and even though I don’t normally get sucked into hype around new makeup releases (I think I may be the only beauty blogger on the planet who couldn’t give two shits about the Naked palettes) I jumped straight in and pre-ordered one of the Ambient Lighting Blushes.
The Ambient Lighting powders are subtle powders that supposedly give different effects - subtle glows and refined finishes - and the blushes follow on from that with each shade being mixed with a different Ambient Lighting powder. Hourglass says ‘the airy, lightweight powders contain optically transparent particles that amplify the colors to a multi-dimensional level—effectively reinventing the way you view blush…The result is a natural radiant finish with seamless, soft-focus and buildable color. ’ I decided could live with that, so I went ahead and ordered.
As pretty as the gold compact looks, I don’t love it. If feels kind of cheap and very lightweight – for a £28.00, I have to say I expected a little more heft. While I know it’s not all about the packaging, the reality of high-end products is very often the opposite – you’re paying a lot more money for the packaging. So I kind of wanted it to be a bit nicer feeling. Anyway, the blush itself is beautiful looking in the pan with a lovely marbled effect. Hourglass says this is a a ‘vibrant poppy blush combined with Diffused Light for a subtle halo effect.’ I don’t see where the poppy is coming from – this is a warm, slightly pinky peach to my eyes. I like that this has a large enough vein of the Ambient Lighting powder running through it that I can put a small brush into for a subtle, glowy brow highlight if I want.
Swatched, this looks pretty unimpressive. I have to say, I was really disappointed when I went to swatch it on the back of my hand – I could see shimmer particles, and the colour wasn’t that impressive. I thought I’d spent a whole bunch of cash on what I could have gotten out of a £5 baked blush. But a hand swatch is not the same as a face swatch.
Ah, on the skin it is *such* a different story, friends. Somehow when you apply it with a brush, it just looks a lot more refined and less flat. It is a very lightweight powder and does kick up adust when you sweep your blush in the pan, so I was expecting to have to apply a couple of layers, and you don’t need to, at least with this shade. Hourglass say on the site that ‘the cutting-edge formula means that its full potential is only displayed on application.’ You guys – I think this bullshit might actually be true. I don’t know what sorcery it is, but it looks much better on the face than I ever thought it could on the skin. Yeah, it's pretty subtle. But subtle blush is *good*, especially when it's got such a lovely finish.
I have to say that it is really a seamless blush – despite the shimmer particles I saw in my swatch, it almost melts into the skin and the finish looks, dare I say it, very natural. I’m always wary of foundation, blush and powder formulas that claim to be natural/seamless/subtle – are they so sheer looking they’re crap or are they so sheer looking they’re genius? I have to say with this one, it may be the latter. With that in mind, good formulas like this aren’t going to be something other people are going to really notice, and that’s a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your view. This is definitely one of those products that makes you look better but it’s really hard to put your finger on.
And just for the record, a couple of other poorly-lit photos of me wearing it:
I…. don’t know how to gather my feelings for this blush properly. Do I think it’s bloody expensive? Yes. Do I think it lives up its claims? Yes, it actually does. The finish is great, it’s really pretty, and I’ve been wearing it straight for two weeks. Would I spend £28 on another one? Well…. yes, but I probably couldn’t justify it to you! If you’re interested in a blush with a beautiful, subtle finish and you don’t mind paying the prices, Diffused Heat is great, although I have heard it’s one of the more pigmented colours in the range. If you’re not overly fussed, you prefer stronger pigmentation and/or you can’t get to somewhere where you can try these on your face, I would say you could probably skip them. I got mine online because I’m an impatient idiot, but if you are interested, I’d really, really recommend getting to a store to try these – because these are all differently swirled and are meant to be subtle, make sure you look at the one you’re actually physically buying to check the powder-blush ratio is right for you.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders cost £28.00 and I got mine from SpaceNK.