Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Hottest Thing in Blush

For a brief moment, I thought I'd be a rare specimen among beauty bloggers: someone that didn't succumb to the monstrous hype surrounding Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush. Who was I kidding — even if they turned out to be hideously expensive and overrated, I just wanted to join in on the fun. When these rolled in Mecca Cosmetica, I was quick to slap some of the testers on my cheeks and examine closely. Was the effect that special and unique that I'd fork out $50 a pop for them? Probably not. I wasn't convinced with Radiant Magenta on me, as incredibly attractive it looked in the pan, the subdued browny peach of Dim Infusion seemed a touch too dusty and light, Ethereal Glow was out of the question and Mood Exposure didn't appeal to me. It wasn't until I spotted Luminous Flush and Diffused Heat at another Mecca store that I was tempted to buy. Luminous Flush was a bit too reddish/rosy, but I was drawn to Diffused Heat, particularly the swirls of Diffused Light (the one Ambient Lighting Powder that I kind of wish I'd purchased instead of Dim Light) mixed into the "vibrant poppy" colour.









l-r: NARS Orgasm, Hourglass Diffused Heat, NARS Deep Throat, theBalm FratBoy

I'm of the view that the single most important factor in ensuring satisfaction with these Ambient Lighting Blushes is picking the right shade that best suits your blush preferences and skin tone, since the application takes care of itself and the quality seems uniform across the board. They definitely have good colour payoff, but I don't find Diffused Heat ultra pigmented (which is a good thing), especially if you use a fluffy brush like the Real Techniques Blush Brush or Multi Task Brush. The inbuilt highlighter works to soften and add dimension to the coral/pink pigment so it's not just a block colour.

Predictably, I have several very similar shades in my blush collection. I guess I just can't stay away from my brightening coral/peachy pinks. I was actually more surprised that NARS Orgasm and Deep Throat aren't as similar to Diffused Heat as I'd anticipated, in that both are lighter and noticeably more shimmery, Orgasm more than Deep Throat. I thought Diffused Heat would have a comparable amount of shimmer, but it doesn't have the same characteristic golden, glowy sheen of Orgasm and Deep Throat. It's closer in colour to theBalm FratBoy, though FratBoy is slightly redder, darker and earthier in tone, with a more powdery texture and matte finish.

As most reviews have pointed out, the texture of the Ambient Lighting Blush is very close to the Ambient Lighting Powders: soft, bordering on a touch powdery, and incredibly smooth. It's a breeze to pick up pigment with your brush and blending on the skin is effortless. I've found the lasting power to be better than average, though not as good as NARS. If anything, as much as I've enjoyed Diffused Heat since I purchased it, and I'm truly impressed with how foolproof it is to apply, this whole frenzy with the Ambient Lighting Blushes has reinforced my love for NARS blushes. They might lack the eye-catching marbleisation of the Hourglass, but I feel they are the superior product, and prettier in action.

64 comments:

  1. I actually haven't tested these out and haven't even swatched. I love almost everything by Hourglass but these seem unnecessary somehow and I wish Hourglass had just come out with regular blushes, not infused with the ambient lights. The magenta one is still calling to me though, so who knows when the caving will happen here. Thanks for the comparison swatches - very helpful! I think yours is the only review I saw where dupey comparisons were made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Liz. Yeah, surprisingly I have read lots of reviews of these blushes but didn't see that many comparison swatches, so I definitely felt compelled to include one here. I quite like how they're infused with the powder though, it makes it seem more special and 'personalised' in a way, since (presumably) no two people are going to get the exact same marbleisation. Though the end colour once it's all swirled together probably is exactly the same :p Radiant Magenta is stunning in the pan - I wanted to buy it on looks alone.

      Delete
  2. Oh this looks pretty I have NARS Deep Throat good to hear you think its a better quality x

    Catherines Loves

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do! If you have Deep Throat, then I feel you definitely don't need Diffused Heat :)

      Delete
  3. I feel like the Ambient Powder blushes all turned out rather muted, which is great for their market audience, but I kinda wish there was more kick to the color! As a result, I haven't put any of them on my wishlist. Again, beautiful formula, but I think NARS' has a stronger siren call! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharlynn in the comments below shares very much the same sentiment as you! NARS is still my preferred brand for blush - so I fully support you answering that siren call ;)

      Delete
  4. So beautiful. I don't think I could cope with the veining, I'd always wonder if the colour changed through use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never thought of that - having an inconsistent colour depending on use. I guess the slight unpredictability element when it comes to these (in terms of the random marbling) is an aspect that I find intriguing and something relatively unique :)

      Delete
  5. I'm dying to try one of these. They look so beautiful.

    Katie | and-katie.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you get to try these soon! They are definitely not unattractively presented ;)

      Delete
  6. I have the diffused heat and radiant magenta and I much prefer the diffused heat. As you mentioned, these have much better lasting power and I don't have to re-apply half way through the day and really love the glow. Contemplating on whether I should get Mood Exposure as well as it looks kind of similar to Tarte's amazonian clay blush in Exposed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did read your review on them - and I was pretty interested to hear that you found the two to be a bit different in texture, with Diffused Heat being superior. Do you have Exposed already? I haven't looked into Mood Exposure very much but I think it has the capacity to be a surprising favourite if I did give it a chance.

      Delete
  7. I've discouvered that I'm not a huge fan of Orgasm from NARS, but this one is just briliant.
    The fact that, doesn't contain too much shimmer is a must.

    I'm not sure where I can get Hourglass online in Europe - I know that the UK girls can buy it in stores, but here the brand (just like many other really nice ones) isn't available at Sephora (I'm still wondering how we still have benefit, too faced and urban decay here...)

    Looks so tempting :3

    Take care, have a nice day!*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm ... I'm not sure where you could buy them in Europe online. I just assumed Sephora would stock Hourglass there - apparently not! Hope you find a stockist soon :) Diffused Heat would be a good option if you don't like shimmer in your blushes - the shimmer factor is definitely nowhere near the level of NARS Orgasm.

      Delete
  8. They look so beautiful in the pan, but if NARS are better quality I think I'll just stick with them!

    Catherine, xo // Lady Liquor Vintage

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never a bad idea to stick with NARS blushes :) They're so well known for their blushes for a reason!

      Delete
  9. i havn't tried yet but it is looking adorable

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you get to try these in person soon!

      Delete
  10. I'm still holding off on purchasing this though I did cave into purchasing Dim Light. Just like you, I was so disappointed - forking over $56 for the powder and generally being incredibly disappointed. I really, really like the marbelizing that's going on in your Diffused Light - I think you got really lucky! Love the shade though not enough to fork out the money ($41 + tax + duty in Canada) to only be disappointed again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Dim Light was $62 here in Australia, so even more hideously expensive! That single powder cost more than what I paid for my individual Urban Decay Naked and Naked2 palettes, eeek. I'm glad I'm not alone in my sentiments re: Dim Light. I think if you're already fairly content with your blush collection then you can pass on these Hourglass blushes - they're pretty but nothing spectacular or unique.

      Delete
  11. Oh this blush is so beautiful, I love the marbelling very much. It reminds me a bit of MILANI baked blushes though.
    Diffused heat is a pretty color, it looks beautiful on your cheek! I also like it when blush is not overly pigmented so it is easier to apply..
    Hourglass is not available in Berlin so it is the only reason why I haven't got my hands on their famous powder and blush range but I don't know how long I can hold my self control.... it is so difficult.. lol T.T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that the Milani comparison is apt, though I've personally never tried their blushes. I wish we could buy them in Australia. Must be so difficult having a product you want to buy but that's so difficult to get a hold of - I'm sure it only adds to the appeal! :p Which shade(s) of the powder and blush are you considering purchasing if you could get them shipped to you?

      Delete
  12. Not too many of the Hourglass blushers appealed to me.. I picked up Ethereal Glow and it's PERFECT for super pale skin tones and I am thrilled with it. I like how I can wear it lightly for a highlighting/faint blush effect or layer it to create a more pink-cheeked finish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you're so happy with Ethereal Glow - if I were paler (much paler) it'd definitely be one shade that would appeal to me immensely :) I'm sure it looks gorgeous on you.

      Delete
  13. Yeah I really do feel like these blushes are all about the hype and pretty packaging/presentation… but heck, that's the whole appeal to the beauty realm in the first place right? So it must be okay, right? Haha ohhh man it really is a tangled web we weave. If I were more of a blush connoisseur I'd snap at least two of these up in a heartbeat but for now I think I'm happy looking at pretty pictures online and keeping my fingers crossed to win one in a giveaway :p

    ♥Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I'll have my fingers crossed for you as well ;) Hourglass has gotten quite lucky with its powders and blushes - it honestly seems like the hype just created itself!

      Delete
  14. Whenever I see an Hourglass counter, I always go over and swatch these, yet I haven't picked a shade I truly love just yet. I love my NARS blushers but might get sucked into the hype (and let's face it, the packaging) of these if I fancy a splurge x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Sucked into the hype" - well, we've all been there, Evelyn! :p This post attests I am already a victim of said hype, haha. It was a splurge, but hey, on the plus side at least I stopped at one, lol.

      Delete
  15. I just found your blog and I love it! Will definitely follow!!
    Thanks for comparing this to other blushes, because I can't justify the price when I have other blushes that are very similar! I will always love my mars!
    The Beauty Break

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for following :) Yes, these blushes are definitely very pricey. NARS is still my preferred blush brand and it's cheaper as well!

      Delete
  16. I'm so proud of myself for not having jumped on the bandwagon with these hourglass powders! If I were to try one it would be diffused light. This blush reminds me of Milani's Luminosco. Such a great blush, for 10 bucks too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish we could get a hold of Milani blushes here - I've been hearing raves about them for years!

      Delete
  17. Love these, the pigmentation is amazing on these. I have Dim Infusion but I'm dying to try Mood Exposure.

    Love Beth | BethBlogsBeauty
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do like the look of Dim Infusion - it was the one I was interested in trying first when I saw these blushes in person. I don't think I've done as much research into Mood Exposure but it seems like a surprisingly popular shade.

      Delete
  18. Diffused Heat is the one shade I'm wanting to try from this line!

    RIKKI POYNTER
    // RIKKI POYNTER, MAKEUP!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really happy with the shade, though I'm not lacking close alternatives :p I'm sure Diffused Heat would work wonderfully for you :)

      Delete
  19. The swatch is so gorgeous. It' so helpful you compared them to Nars blushes but I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to resist the Hourglass products. The packaging lures me in!! xxx

    Verity | Life of Verity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you found the swatch helpful! The packaging certainly was a convincing factor in luring me to purchase so I can understand, haha :)

      Delete
  20. I am one of the few that didn't go crazy over these :) In all fairness, I haven't checked them out in person! But I felt they were glorified MAC MSFs...perhaps not as shimmery though. I'll stick with my NARS and CARGO blushes...for now anyway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely get the comparison with MAC MSFs - these feel a bit more refined, the texture isn't as baked in my opinion, but it is similarish. Not that I have a MSF though, I'm just going off what I remember they were like when I swatched them at a MAC counter. I think if you have a considerable blush collection already and/or are happy with your existing blushes, you can definitely give these a pass!

      Delete
  21. Thank you for the review! I really appreciate the comparison to the Nars blushes since Deep Throat is my all time favorite. Unfortunately I'm not able to check them out in person so I have to rely on swatches. Luminous Flush and Diffused Heat are the most appealing to me and I think I won't be able to resist any longer :) xx

    beautyvisions.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you found the comparison swatch useful! Hope you are happy with your eventual Ambient Lighting Blush purchase, whether you decide on Luminous Flush or Diffused Heat (or both) ;)

      Delete
  22. Frankly, I'm a little tired of seeing reviews and swatches on them. Having said that, I really appreciated and enjoyed your post, you know?
    And your conclusion makes me feel better about my recent purchase. Out of all the spring blushes came out, I got a NARS! ;D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha thanks Lena :) I'm a bit late to the game when it comes to these blushes anyway - blame Australia for being slow at new releases! :p I did see your post about your newest NARS blush purchase - super pretty pink on you! I just love NARS blushes and they've definitely stood the test of time and competition from all these new, shiny releases.

      Delete
  23. Have to say I totally want to try these out, I still haven't tested them in person yet. I think I'd go for one of the Ambient Lighting powders first though. Love the shade you chose, very pretty on you!

    Emma x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you get to test them out soon! I think the powders were more hyped because they tried to market them as genuinely something revolutionary and not done before - looks like it really worked in terms of the response they received.

      Delete
  24. This is the perfect review, everyone should read this if they're considering buying one of these blushers. Yes I agree in that they look visually stunning, the shade you have chosen here is beautiful and looks so pretty on. I have to admit I'm so tempted to buy one despite the price, however seeing as I already own NARS Deep Throat I'm a bit more reluctant now considering you class NARS as the superior product.

    Amy x | A Little Boat Sailing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, thanks Amy! :) If you have Deep Throat I definitely think you can skip these, at least Diffused Heat. But I can understand if you still want to take one home anyway - I certainly felt the same way. Sometimes with the latest "it" product, it's about not wanting to miss out on the fun and discussion :p

      Delete
  25. Agh, there was really no escaping this hype. They had gorgeous swirls of color and gloriously classy packaging to boot. I'm broke so that's why I haven't picked one up but if I could I SO WOULD. I agree with you and that you really have to find a color to compliment your skin type to really, really, really love these blushes. I think the color you chose is so lovely on you and now I can't remember which ONE I wanted. Haha, guess I'm saving up for two!!

    - Jess
    The Mod Mermaid

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha the shade names can be confusing and it took me a good few weeks to really remember them all. It wasn't still I saw them all in person and swatched them that I could tell a few of them apart. The hype for these was/is enormous, but at the end of the day I don't feel they're a must-have. Plus you know how it is in the makeup world, one new shiny thing launches and everyone goes crazy, then less than a couple of months later it's old news and everyone's moved onto the next thing, repeat ad nauseam :p

      Delete
  26. This is a great review on this blush! It looks fantastic in the pan, of course, but I swatched them in stores a few weeks back and it just wasn't all that special. I love that you swatched it between some other more popular blushes that are relatively more affordable. xx
    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Celina :) I always try to do comparison swatches where appropriate, I find them really useful when reading product reviews on other blogs so I figure comparison swatches might be helpful in my own posts. I can totally understand why you'd think they weren't all that special when you swatched them in person ... I still couldn't resist just one though!

      Delete
  27. These blushes look absolutely gorgeous in the pan, but from the swatches I've seen they actually don't look all that special or revolutionary. A lot of the colours look very similar when swatched too. I'll probably gives these a miss but I won't resist having a swatch!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, the shade range could have been more inspiring - I think one of the main criticisms of the line is a few of them are very similar (too similar) on the cheek. Definitely swatch them in person if you can though, it'll give you a better idea of what they're really like. Generally I agree, they're well made and a nice product, but nothing revolutionary.

      Delete
  28. I really love the packaging and the look of the blush is definitely very beautiful, but it's quite sad how most of them are so lightly pigmented and just a 'glow' of color and nothing more! I guess if you're a fan of hourglass and you don't mind a light blush it's a good deal but I need something stronger!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do prefer lighter blushes so the pigmentation of the Hourglass is great for me. But I understand if you like your blushes more pigmented - Sleek is great for that and I know you love your Sleek blushes (and wear them to perfection) :)

      Delete
  29. I've swatched the powders in Mecca but not the blushes. SO soft and powdery but they've got a lovely glow. I don't find NARS DT lasts thaaat long on me though! Maybe I don't apply enough to start with. You chose a gorgeous shade- I was leaning towards Dim Infusion or Mood Exposure (not that I'd get any because I am intent on finishing at least one before I buy another). I didn't realise Frat Boy looked so reddish but it's such a popular pick I guess it doesn't suffer for it. Yay NARS though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well the one NARS blush I had in mind when I was thinking about lasting power was Luster ... but generally I've always found NARS blushes to last the longest on me of all the blush brands I've tried. This Hourglass one is pretty decent though, definitely miles ahead of theBalm FratBoy at least. FratBoy is a bit too red for my liking and very pigmented - only works for me if I take my makeup brush and dab the product off on my wrist first before applying to my cheek. I think you definitely need to swatch the blushes and see them in person to decide properly on the shade - what really sold Diffused Heat for me was the Diffused Light swirls ... it added something extra that the other shades didn't have in my opinion.

      Delete
  30. What a very concise and en-pointe review! I totally agree with everything you wrote here. I wish I'd tried the powders in person too so I could've chosen better shades. I should've gotten Mood Exposure instead of Ethereal Light which just looks like light pink powder on me :| I bought Mood Light with my blush purchases and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Dim Light didn't do so much for me but MOOD LIGHT... I think it's what solidly etched Hourglass' brand name in my heart LOL. Even in the worst acne breakouts I'm experiencing now, it managed to blur and minimize the pulsating pus coming out (TMI SORRY!) with concealer beneath it. Anyway I'm rambling.. sorry! But yes, Hourglass powders > Hourglass blushes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I knew Ethereal Light probably wasn't going to work for me, so I didn't even try that one on my cheeks. Plus, I prefer peach/coral blushes to pinks, even neutral pinks or browny pinks. I would've never thought to try Mood Light - interesting! I just read Christine of Temptalia's review on it and she wrote glowingly about it ... may have to have a closer inspection of that one next time I'm at an Hourglass counter :)

      Delete
  31. I have yet to succumb to this, though now I really want to! I love how this wears on you, it's subtle, but just very pretty!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...