If you've been reading my blog for a while you know that I am obsessed with powder products and one of the best I've come across are the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. When I bought mine they cost a pretty penny at AU$56 for 10g of product; now the price has jumped to a hefty AU$66...yikes. Hopefully my own two cents - amongst many many others - of the three I own will help you work out which one you want and which will be worth your hard earned money.
Hourglass describes these as "...universal setting powders that feature cutting edge technology to mimic the effects of the most flattering types of light..." which for the most part is true. These are expensive finishing powders that enliven skin according to the different shades available. I am a huge advocate for subtle highlighting and healthy looking skin; my own skin tone is incredibly dull and sallow so I find that the Ambient Powders work wonders for me.
It looks like I haven't even touched them but I promise I use these very often, there is quite a bit of product to get through. Packaging wise, they come in pretty plastic compacts which are quite fingerprint prone. Don't count on the powders being intact if you drop them; the case is kind of bulky, not shock absorbent.
The textures of these powders are so ridiculously soft, but have little to no flyaway. You don't mindlessly waste product because it's just that hard to overdo with the subtlety these babies give. Keep in mind they aren't marketed as anything oil-controlling and are tinted, so they will change the final affect your base makeup has accordingly, in the best way possible of course.
This is a very light, bone shaded powder which I use as an all over finishing powder. Ethereal has the least shimmer, blurs unevenness and helps my skin have a smoother overall appearance. I use this one most often and there is actually a small dent in the powder which I'm overly pleased to report. Ethereal applies easily with most of my powder brushes, but I love using Zoeva's 101 Luxe Face Definer to softly sweep this on.
Even though Ethereal is very sheer, it does lighten my skin tone a teeny bit, thus making it not very ideal for anyone with a deeper skin tone than medium as it has the potential to wash out the natural depth of your skin. I find that this isn't a very "cool" toned powder, it is more brightening. Honestly, that's why I love it.
I adore Diffused. It has a very similar effect to Ethereal, but the touch of very pale yellow really enlivens my skin, especially on all the highpoints of my face and under eye area. I wear glasses 24/7 and using Diffused just brings out the best in my features. There is no noticeable sheen or shimmer when lightly applied onto skin. This also subtly neutralises a some discolouration around my eye area.
I use the Morphe G5 brush to apply it to the under eye area, around the temples, on my forehead and bridge of nose. Depending on your preference you could use any highlighting or powder brush. If you're looking for a non cakey powder that is brightening without highlighting, evens out skin tone, prolongs wear time for another half hour or so, and gives a wonderfully natural luminescence to the look of your skin, Diffused is for you.
Before Luminous, I was all about heavy highlighting (i.e. Mary-Lou Manizer gave me life). However, since I started interning and working in white-collar environments, I've come to appreciate glowing and healthy skin. Luminous Light was my first foray into softly lit skin and I could not be happier using this as an everyday highlighter.
Although it's one of the more tinted powders in the range as a light beige peach, once applied onto skin it melts in and just gives luminosity. It's a bit more than a sheen and ya just look healthy afterwards. I love using Zoeva's 105 Luxe Highlight for this as my fan brushes are usually reserved for the more striking highlighters. Stunnniinngggg.