Hey guys! It may only be September, but the holiday 2016 makeup specials are already starting to roll in. Today, I’ve got a first impressions/mini review of Hourglass’s holiday release: the Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal Light palette. This is currently only available for Sephora VIB & VIB Rouge members with no announced release date for the general public, but Temptalia has an availability tracker. The Hourglass site has a waitlist you can sign up for to be notified when this is released.

First off, this palette is EXPENSIVE, but that’s to be expected with any Hourglass product. This costs $80 at Sephora (and is probably similarly if not identically priced everywhere else) for a total of 0.3 oz of product – 0.14 oz for the finishing powder, and 0.04 oz for the other powders. Definitely not cheap, but I don’t own any other Hourglass products except for the Veil Mineral Primer, so I’ll happily pay a little extra for a larger variety of products.

For the record, I did the math. Based on each individual product’s cost per gram, the whole palette comes out to $53.29 in equivalent other products. So I’m paying $26.71 for the convenience of having a bunch of products all in one palette. Whatever, I’ll take it. To be fair, I’d have to pay $210 to get the same amount of variety in their individual products, although they would last much longer.

Now that I’ve rambled on about the pros and cons of the cost of this palette, onto the packaging.


White marble is in right now, and I can see why. This thing is BEAUTIFUL. I will admit, it feels lighter than I think it should – don’t let the marble fool you. It’s definitely still just a sturdy plastic palette. I’m just being a whiner right now but I wish my palette was more marbled. I think I just have bad luck when it comes to that stuff.


The back lists off each product on a convenient little diagram, which I like. Personally, I think it’s a little useless, though, since each of these colors are supposedly limited to this palette, and it’s pretty obvious which product is which once you open it up.


Pop it open, and you get a full sized mirror on the top and the products on the bottom. The larger powder is the ambient lighting powder (which they’re calling finishing powder on the palette) in “Surreal Light”. Then, you’ve got blushes on the top (in “Surreal Glow” and “Surreal Effect”, from left to right), and a bronzer and strobe powder on the bottom (in “Surreal Bronze Light” and “Surreal Strobe Light”, from left to right).

I’ll admit it. Not the most creative names. You’ll see from the swatches that the word “light” was probably taken literally, because I can only really see this palette working for fair/medium skintones.


First, the setting powder. This couldn’t really be swatched, since it kind of just disappears into your skin, so I decided to pick up as much powder with my finger as I could. Honestly, I really like this. It doesn’t really do anything dramatic to your face, but it manages to make it look really radiant and fresh.


I really didn’t plan out the order of the swatches in a way that will make this easy to explain. They go from right to left, and then top to bottom in the palette. So from my wrist to my elbow, you’ve got the blush in Surreal Effect, blush in Surreal Glow, strobe powder in Surreal Strobe Light, and bronzer in Surreal Bronze Light.

As you can see, the second  blush and the bronzer are pretty similar when swatched. I’m not sure if this is intentional or if this is just because of the inconsistencies that happen when you use a baked product – I will say that all of my powders look pretty equally marbled, but I’ve seen some people online complain about some of their pans.

Swatches really don’t do this palette justice. As with any hourglass product, the goal here is to subtly add color and dimension to your face. When I applied these to my face, I did notice that they all blended very smoothly, and then I had a really simple, radiant glow. I think it’s worth noting that every single product in this palette has very fine microglitter in it, so you’re basically just highlighting your entire face with different colors. With that in mind, I’d make sure to use a really good primer and foundation so that pores and other blemishes are emphasized. If you’re not into that look, I would skip this product.

Here’s an incredibly subtle look using this palette in the shadows vs in the light:













TL;DR First Impressions:


  • very easy to travel with
  • makes me glisten like a woodland fairy
  • really blendable
  • good for a really quick “no makeup” makeup look


  • ridiculously expensive per oz compared to their regular products
  • I can’t see this working on anyone darker than a medium skintone
  • product color might not be consistent from palette to palette (because of the marbled/baked powder formula)
  • this will emphasize literally every pore on your face if you don’t prime appropriately

Pro/Con depending on how you look at it:

  • all of the colors are “limited” (but honestly could probably be pretty easily duped)


So overall, I think it really comes down to the individual when they’re deciding whether or not to splurge on this product. I definitely like it, but I can see why a lot of people won’t AT ALL. Have any of you guys gotten this palette yet? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s