Hourglass Ambient Light Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light - review and swatches


I've owned this bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light (the full size) ever since it was released in Australia, and I bought this mini in Luminous Bronze Light sometime before Christmas last year.

I've also recently bought one of the new shades (Nude Bronze Light) and I'd been holding off on posting my reviews of the other bronzers until I had that shade so I could do comparison swatches. 

However, since I don't intend to open Nude Bronze Light until I've finished off a bronzer in my collection, those comparison swatches could take a while - so best I post this review now. I can always update the swatches later on.

When I first bought this bronzer, I was annoyed with myself because I couldn't believe how small it was (I'd bought it online). It cost something like $34 AUD for this tiny 1.4g compact, so it's definitely not good value.

Having said this, I'm now pleased that I only bought the small one because the reality is that I would probably have bought the large one if this smaller one wasn't available, which would have cost $72 AUD and I'd have wound up with yet another full-sized bronzer that I couldn't hope to get through any time soon.

So in the end, this was the right choice for me: I do like this shade but I prefer Radiant Bronze Light and I have a feeling I'll prefer Nude Bronze Light too. Luminous Bronze Light pulls a little too peach on me and that's not my preferred undertone for bronzers.

Hourglass claims/product details:
  • Blends the illuminating effects of Ambient Lighting Powder with the warming effects of a bronzer to deliver a naturally glowing complexion
  • Airy, weightless formula utilises photo-luminescent technology to provide depth and dimension to the face
  • Ultra blendable
  • Naturally contour the face for a sunkissed, lustrous complexion
  • RRP $72 AUD for 11g

I must say, I'm pleased that Hourglass decided to add two new shades to the existing range: Luminous Bronze Light and Radiant Bronze Light are both quite warm and they're not that different from each other in terms of depth so there were holes in the original range.

Of the new shades, Diffused Bronze Light is cool-toned and Nude Bronze Light is neutral (and it's the only matte of the four shades), so hopefully there's now something for most people.

There's the pan in direct sunlight:

And in natural light:

Now for swatches. 

Below I've done a heavy and a blended swatch in different lights.  

Direct sunlight (outdoors):

Indirect sunlight (indoors): 

And in natural light (indoors): 


These are my favourite bronzers on the market, hands down. The formula is my HG for bronzing and I honestly think it can't be beat.

I own one of Laura Mercier's fabled bronzers, one from Bobbi Brown and Benefit's Hoola to name a few. These Hourglass bronzers remain the ones I reach for when I want to look my best or when I just want to feel a little bit special for the day.

Now let's talk about the visible flecks of glitter: you guys know that I'm not a fan of that in my face products (including highlighters), so in theory it should bother me here. But for some reason, the glitter doesn't translate to the face and never once have I seen a speck of it when I've been wearing one of these. I have no idea why that is - especially because I can see the flecks on my face with the Ambient Lighting Powders that contain them - but I can't with these bronzers. So I wouldn't be worried about the shimmer, but certainly test these first if you're concerned.

Luminous Bronze Light is a nice, warm shade that should suit light-to-medium skintones. If you're paler it may well pull orange on you, but on me it's more of a peachy brown. While I do prefer Radiant Bronze Light because it has more of a red undertone, I can certainly get away with this shade year-round.

Why do I love this formula so much? Because I honestly can't fault it. These bronzers can blend over glue (so I don't need to set my tinted moisturiser unless I want to) and they apply effortlessly and beautifully. Every single time. No other formula I've tried to date does it quite like this one does.

While I need to be careful with Radiant Bronze Light because it's so pigmented, Luminous Bronze Light is more forgiving so I've never accidentally over-applied it - perhaps in part because it's a little paler. Yes the pigment is there, but it's more of a buildable formula so for me it's foolproof.

Better yet, the soft-focus effect these bronzers give takes years off my face. When I have a face full of Hourglass on (as I so often do), I just look younger and healthier - and you can't see my facial texture (pores, fine lines etc) as much as you can when I wear other products.

Indeed, if I had to part with all my collection and just keep one of everything, I would absolutely have one of Hourglass - including one of these bronzers.

In sum, I can't rave about these enough. Yes they're expensive, but they last forever and I honestly believe they're worth every penny.


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