Hourglass – ‘Dim Light’ Ambient Lighting Powder

Dim Light


From the minute I began hearing about these new face powders from Hourglass, I couldn’t wait to see/try them for myself – which is actually a turnabout for me, as it’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve begun understanding the impact a product such as this can have on one’s makeup look. Finally released at Sephora (Canada), the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders come in 6 shades, all in neutral-ish hues and with varying levels of “glow”; after much debate (with myself), Dim Light is the powder I opted for.

The aim of Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Powders, is to “recreate the most exquisitely flattering types of light” upon the face. According to the company:

What it does:
Create your perfect light. Ambient Lighting Powder is a groundbreaking collection of finishing powders that capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on your skin. Ambient’s illuminating particles are one of the first ever to exhibit both photoluminescence and color-correcting capabilities. The transparent micron-sized spheres with an entrapped diamond core—called photoluminescent technology—do not simply cloak imperfections like traditional powder, but rather, alter and refine the perceived appearance of the complexion by manipulating and filtering out harsh light. Delivering a multidimensional luminescence to every skintone, skin appears softer, younger, and lit-from-within. With six universal shades available, you can choose to create your desired lighting effect—not unlike having a personal lighting technician. Ambient is free of parabens, talc, gluten, fragrance, and nanoparticles. 

I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of having my very own “personal lighting technician”…


Hourglass Dim Light ingredients

Hourglass – Dim Light (ingredients)


Hourglass Dim Light compact

Hourglass – Dim Light


Hourglass Dim Light compact back

Hourglass – Dim Light


Hourglass Dim Light

Hourglass – Dim Light


Hourglass Dim Light side

Hourglass – Dim Light


Hourglass Dim Light 2

Hourglass – Dim Light


Hourglass Dim Light 3

Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder – (CAD $52.00/US $45.00 10g/0.35 oz) An ultra finely milled powder, with very little kick back once the brush hits it, this shade is easily the most universally neutral of the 6, and bears the least amount of “glow” factor as well. The peachy tint was unexpected, and I was worried that it would ultimately prove to be a little chalky on my skin, but it applies seamlessly – fusing with my own skin tone. It should be noted that there is an accompanying brush (sold separately) that I haven’t tried – I applied Dim Light with a CHANEL powder brush.

The effect was subtle, but pretty much immediate; fine lines were diffused and there was an overall fresher look to my appearance – totally reminded me of that film trick of smearing vaseline on a camera lens to soften one’s face – as well as providing a more even tone to my skin. As far as shimmer goes, there is literally none to speak of with this shade, although I do detect a very understated satin finish, especially when seen under certain light; in the swatch photos below, it was next to impossible to accurately convey this finish that I’m referring to, but trust me, it’s there. Another plus was how well it seemed to keep my natural oils from surfacing, and my t-zone stayed shine-free much longer than usual, even though this is technically a “finishing powder” and not meant to act as an oil-controlling product.

I found these reviews of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, really helpful in making my choice:


Hourglass Dim Light macro

Hourglass – Dim Light


Hourglass Dim Light swatch

Hourglass – Dim Light, swatched heavily (natural light)


Hourglass Dim Light swatch 2

Hourglass – Dim Light, swatched heavily (with flash)


Final thoughts: After having played with Dim Light a few times, I must say that I am impressed with it on many levels – texture, finish, and task. As a finishing powder, it is one of the best I’ve come across – although it’s not like I’ve tried them all, and if you’re looking for something to set your makeup without any overt shimmer, then you need to give this particular hue a look over. Out of the 6 available shades, there are probably 2 that my skin tone wouldn’t be able to pull off, but I’m definitely intrigued enough to give the others a look – curious to see if they do in fact mimic varying lighting conditions as successfully as Dim Light does.

I purchased my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder at Sephora.


Hourglass Dim Light closer

28 Responses to Hourglass – ‘Dim Light’ Ambient Lighting Powder

  1. Sam says:

    Love the sound of the promised result,but i aint so sure on my skin… Is it drying? I havent got oily skin to begin with.

    • Eugenia says:

      I never considered whether or not these powders are “drying”, as that’s not a factor I usually associate with this type of product, so I’m afraid I couldn’t really offer and opinion here – sorry!

  2. Just bought this one and love it a lot too!! I have to explore more Hourglass products, I think they’re awesome!

    • Eugenia says:

      It took me a little while to get the hang of using it and I experimented over various foundations as a base — not all were compatible, but most were; I find that instead of applying it to every inch of skin, I concentrate more on key areas such as cheeks, forehead, chin & bridge of the nose, and it works wonderfully for me that way! Enjoy your new beauty toy!

  3. Ellie says:

    I need to get this…. They have been getting so much love in the blogosphere!

    • Eugenia says:

      One word of warning is that this is a product that you definitely need to try before you buy; I thought I wanted another shade, but it turned out to not suit me as well as this one. Still, it’s an amazing powder!

  4. Jackie says:

    Thank you so much for this review. I was literally drooling reading about this product on Sephora, and you answered a bunch of my questions. :)

  5. Latoya says:

    I had every intention of buying one of these, and went to Sephora and had the SA apply ‘Diffused’ light on me all over my face. I checked it out in store, outside, and at home, and just wasn’t wowed – at least not enough to pay the price. While that’s only one of 6, and I’d still like to do more swatching, I think I’m going to go with the new NARS Light-Reflecting powders for now, as I feel it’ll give a similar effect and control oil, which is really a must for me. Having said that, I haven’t decided against these…just need a bit more research :)

    • Eugenia says:

      Toya, you definitely need to swatch these before buying; I picked mine up and even after trying it at home, I wasn’t 100% convinced. Over some foundations, I don’t like the finish this powder gives, but overall, I do love how it seems to just blur away imperfections.

  6. Sandra says:

    I really want to try this one, i have Luminous light and I really like it. I just did a blog post on it:) Through pictures you cant really tell how they are going to look right? I felt it was best to go to the store and swatch them.

    • Eugenia says:

      You’re 100% correct, sandra; these powders definitely need to be swatched at the counter then taken out in different lighting to really see their true effect. I wasn’t convinced even when I brought it home, but now — I wear it daily!

  7. Do you know the ‘Lash Lacquer’? I am trying to get my hands on it, but it’s way more difficult than I thought. So mabe you can tell me if it’s worth the effort 😉

    • Eugenia says:

      While I have heard of it, I personally have no experience with this product and wouldn’t be able to direct you – sorry! I suggest you google reviews on it, and see if that can give you some direction.

  8. OMG.. Everyone seems to be raving about this product in the beauty blogosphere! I need to check this out and see it myself :) I don’t know if I need this as I am currently using my NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder. Ahh your post is always pretty and makes me want to buy everything!! 😀

    • Eugenia says:

      I haven’t tried the NARS yet, but I did swatch it quickly in-store – I definitely want to give it a better & more thorough swatch, though. Yesterday, I wore Dim Light all over my face & over my foundation, and I found that as the day wore on, my skin seemed to have this absolutely beautiful tone; not exactly glowing, but almost – really, really beautiful — and the first time I found myself blown over by this product. Now I want to test out a few more, lol!

  9. Mara says:

    I confess…. I got Two Ambient Powders!! I got Dim Light and Diffused light. I love both, but Diffused light is my favorite so far, gives me a radiant and luminous skin. I also got the brush, just because I don’t have many brushes and it works perfectly!!
    I knew you were going to like them too!!! Now I want to get the darker shade for the summer!!!!
    I found the review from Josh Collier in you tube very extensive and helpful showing the differences among them :-)

    • Eugenia says:

      Oooh…thanks for the tip, Mara – I’ll be sure to check out that review!

      So…you bought 2, did you?! LOL! I have to be honest and say that I want to go and check them out again, because sometimes, a girls wants a bit more radiance — and Dim Light is not the powder for that. Still, I do love how it seems to blur imperfections and take like 10 years off my face!

  10. I’m going to have to give this thing another look, thanks to you. I tested it at Sephora (forget which shade but I think it was Dim) and didn’t see a huge difference and walked out feeling underwhelmed. But I’ve never not liked anything from Hourglass as they clearly know what they’re doing (I still want that No. 28 primer with a vengeance!), so BACK TO SEPHORA I GO. Oh man. LOL

    • Eugenia says:

      Yeah — I know all about you and Hourglass products, missy! LOL! Definitely test before you splurge (and splurge it is *gulp*) but Dim Light is the subtlest of the bunch – although I remember seeing more of a sheen when I swatched it in store. Still, they’re an interesting take on finishing powders!

  11. Hey Big Sis! Yay you got one! Thanks for the shout out btw!
    I’m glad you like it too! I love how my skin looks when I use this-I look 10 years younger I swear. I like that it’s not overly glowy too-who want to walk around looking greasy I say? I bought Ethereal Light the other day-the moon light one and it’s really nice for me too. It’s like Galadriel skin with that one!

    • Eugenia says:

      You’re welcome, Lil Sis — plus, you’re basically to blame for my having picked this up in the first place, lol! And yeah – with my combination skin & slightly visible pores, greasy is so NOT the look I want either!!! I don’t remember what Ethereal Light looks like on me; I remember one shade was way too pale & frosty for my light Mediterranean skin, but I sure hope it wasn’t Ethereal — I want Galadriel skin too!

  12. Sarah says:

    That looks beautiful. Do you apply it over foundation, etc., or can it go directly on bare skin? I don’t wear foundation but I like the idea of this.

    • Eugenia says:

      Hi Sarah! I’ve worn this powder over foundation, but before blush, as well as as a finishing touch (over foundation + blush) and have found it works well that way. I haven’t tried it on bare skin, but something tells me that unless you have a flawless complexion to begin with, this particular shade will not significantly add anything to your look worn solo. It’s definitely one of those products that I recommend you try before you buy, to see which of the 6 shades suits your particular skin tone & type, as well as the various finishes.

  13. There are so many, I still haven’t decided which one I would want T_T I think I just have to swatch ’em all, but that sounds dangerous, no?

    • Eugenia says:

      No…you NEED to swatch them before you buy, like I did, and you’ll find that none of them give the same effect AND not all suit one’s skin tone, contrary to what the brand says. Dim Light is the most subtle – no real sheen or shine, and it’s way peachier than I expected, but it still blends into my skin quite well. I may go back for one with more “glow” – we’ll see….

What are your thoughts, beautiful?