Today I’m reviewing Dim Light and Mood Light Ambient Lighting Powders ($45 each) by Hourglass. Whoever wrote the copy for these powders deserves an award; I think just about everyone who read the promises of perfectly lit skin developed an immediate craving.
Dim Light is a peachy beige and Mood Light is a dusky, muted pink. Given their softness and their finishes–Dim is satin and Mood is extra-satiny–they’re best used as sheer finishing powders (which is their intended purpose) rather than highlighters.
Influenced by the great ad copy and some before-and-afters on blogs, I hoped that Dim would impart a warm glow on my fair skin (think peaches ‘n’ cream) and I wanted Mood to impart a soft brightness (not necessarily pinkness).
After using both (applied with an EcoTools powder brush), I concluded that they don’t make a discernible difference in my look or in the lasting power of my makeup. I looked as pallid as usual, and I didn’t notice any brightening. And in fact, on my first day wearing Dim in place of my usual topping of Tarte Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder, my face was oilier than usual by midday and remained that way. I’ve used Dim and Mood a few more times since then without the extra oiliness, but that was likely due to the primer I was using. Lesson learned: these don’t control oil well. They do leave a soft, satin finish to the skin, but the overall effect is less dramatic–less special–than one might expect.
In the finger swatches, Dim is on the left and Mood on the right; in the arm swatches, it’s reversed. You can tell that Mood has a slightly more satiny, reflective finish. But keep in mind that these are swatched heavily in order to show the difference in color and finish. The difference on the face is negligible and no obvious sheen is apparent.
Both have a delicate, soft, powdery, buttery texture, and the packaging warns you to handle the powder carefully. I’m reluctant to pack these in my travel makeup case because I fear they wouldn’t survive a hard bump.
Overall, my hopes for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders were so high that it’s unlikely any powder could have met them. Even after adjusting my expectations–it’s just makeup after all, not unicorn dust–I cannot recommend these. I admit I enjoy a little placebo effect from using these and plan to continue using them. But given the lack of oil control (JoshCollierMUA recommended using a silica powder beneath them), they just don’t serve the full purpose of a finishing powder: setting my makeup and enhancing the texture of my skin. The dream remains illusive.