Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette (Incandescent Electra, Brilliant Nude and Euphoric Fusion) - review and swatches


I've been denting this palette for two weeks now and I'm ready to review it.

Do note that while the palette was limited edition so it's no longer available, the three blushes it contains are available individually so you can still buy them and this review isn't redundant.

I think it's also worth noting from the outset that these blushes are very shimmery and they would be too shimmery for my personal tastes - except that my blushes are swirled in such a way that I can either concentrate my brush in blush pigment or highlighter pigment.

This means that the blushes aren't too shimmery if I focus my brush in the right area, and it also means that I have six separate products in here because I can focus my brush in the highlighter section of each pan if I want to.

Nevertheless, if you don't like blushes that are too glowy or shimmery, then I would steer clear of these and instead opt for Hourglass' standard blush formula.

Hourglass claims/product details:

  • A mesmerising fusion of Hourglass' bestselling Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders with an array of flattering pigments
  • This unique blush hybrid works to instantly boost radiance and drench cheeks in a glowing, lit-from-within flush
  • This airy, lightweight formulation fuses micro-fine pearl particles with modern pigments and Hourglass' iconic Photoluminescent Technology to build depth and dimension with an ethereal luminosity
  • Each powder is handmade, using an advanced miscelare technique to allow for the perfect balance of pigment and powder
  • RRP $55 AUD for 4.2g

The reason why my husband bought this palette for me (in secret: thank you husband!) is because he knew I'd been eyeing it off when it was released, although it was a US exclusive so you couldn't easily buy it in Australia and I didn't want to pay through the teeth for it on eBay so I left it - but eventually the prices came down and he used a discount code it get it even more cheaply.

Also, these three colours are exactly the shades I would put in a blush palette for myself and he knew I would use it, which I absolutely have.

Incandescent Electra, direct sunlight:

Brilliant Nude, direct sunlight:

Euphoric Fusion, direct sunlight:

Now for swatches.

Direct sunlight:

* L-R: Incandescent Electra (heavy and blended), Brilliant Nude (heavy and blended), Euphoric Fusion (heavy and blended)

Indirect sunlight:

Below I've swatched Incandescent Electra, the strobe version (right) beside my original Incandescent Electra (left). 

Hourglass will tell you that they're the same but they're not. The original is more peach and the strobe version is a little brighter and more pink - and I'm not the first person to have said this. Note also that I can really tell the difference between them when they're on the face (even more so than in the swatches), and I prefer the original because it's more peach and therefore suits me better.

Direct sunlight (original, left and strobe version, right):


While I do really enjoy these blushes and think the formula is comparable to all the other Hourglass powders I own, I still prefer Hourglass' original blush formula because these are too glowy and shimmery for me and they therefore have a tendency to emphasise texture on my cheeks (like open pores).

If you're interested, I've reviewed the original Hourglass blush palette here so you can compare the swatches and what I've said about the different formulas.

Still, I'm lucky with my three pans because I can focus my brush in either the blush swirls or the highlighter swirls in all three, which means I can certainly use these blushes for everyday wear. Of course, this also means that I'm getting six separate products in my palette because I've got three highlighters and three blushes, depending on where I place my brush.

As for the formula, it's the same formula we've come to expect from Hourglass: it's soft, silky and finely milled, and it applies and blends like a dream. These things will blend over glue, and I've never over-applied them (despite that they're pigmented) because I can always diffuse them if I need to.

Also, if I'm using mostly blush pigment, then these airbrush the skin and make me look younger because they minimise the look of texture like open pores and fine lines. They truly do give me that lit-from-within look, and it's only when I mix in too much of the highlighter that my skin texture starts to show up.

I love all three shades in this palette. Incandescent Electra is a flattering and brightening pink coral that's great for the warmer months, Brilliant Nude is a peachy brown that's great year-round and will go with any look, while Euphoric Fusion is a mauve that's better for the cooler months. This is indeed a palette I can reach for at any time of year.

Overall I love this palette and I'm really pleased with all three shades, although it's worth noting that I wouldn't buy these individually because they're too shimmery for my personal tastes, and there's no guarantee that I would get a pan that's as separated as the three I own in terms of where the blush and highlighter swirls are, because they're all individual and handmade.

Beautiful, but I would stick with Hourglass' original blush formula unless skin texture isn't an issue for you.

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