In the past year and a half, I have moved to a quality over quantity approach in my makeup acquisition. When I was just starting out, it didn’t make sense to pay big prices for products that I didn’t know how to use. Now, though, I have everything I reasonably need (insofar as anybody can “need” makeup), and my purchasing has decreased at a steady rate. I’m a big fan of regularly evaluating my collection and decluttering items I’m not using, but I’m also decidedly not a minimalist. I will continue to acquire new makeup – just at a slower pace.
Although I do love a good bargain and swear by many a drugstore product, much of my makeup interest lies on the more expensive side of things these days. Well, that’s not strictly true. For boring things (the necessities, you might say), I’m more likely to spend my money at the drugstore. But for colour cosmetics, things that excite me, I’m all about those fancy products!
I wholly acknowledge that, often, higher end products are all about marketing and nice packaging. I used to scoff at people who shopped at Sephora, thinking that there was no way any of those products were worth it. But, well, some of those products are worth it.
This probably doesn’t come as any surprise to those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, but I adamantly believe that the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes are worth their weight in gold. (Incidentally, ounce for ounce, gold is currently worth almost six times as much as an ALB. Adjusting for Canadian price differentials, the closest blush I could find to the weight of gold was Tom Ford, at $313.71/oz.) Aisling gave me Diffused Heat in January 2015, and over the course of that year I collected four of the seven shades, adding Luminous Flush in June and Radiant Magenta and Mood Exposure in December.
Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places, but I feel like a lot of the time blush reviews talk about colours, pigmentation, texture, and blendability and completely skip over longevity. I don’t know about you guys, but I have a lot of blushes that are beautiful colours and textures that fade fairly quickly. These blushes are the antithesis to that – they check every box, including longevity. I always put products to the work test – if they can survive eight hours of me being run off my feet in a busy retail environment, they can’t be too bad. The other week, I applied Diffused Heat at 2pm and got home past 12am. When I looked in the mirror, it had not budged. That’s why I think Hourglass has managed to edge out some of the other more expensive blushes that may be pigmented, soft, and blendable but not intensely long-wearing. They also give the most gorgeous glow to the face without ever looking shimmery. I was not a fan of the Ambient Lighting Powders, but damn they’re nice mixed in with a blush.
My only real complaint with these (other than the obvious – the price point) is that the shade range is not great. There are only seven shades to begin with – which seems to be about average compared to luxury brands like Tom Ford and Guerlain – and, more disappointingly, the actual range is honestly not the best. There is only one truly cool-toned blush out of the bunch, Ethereal Glow, and it’s so pale that I can’t imagine it would be serviceable for a very wide range of skin tones. Mood Exposure is the only other standout in terms of sheer difference; it’s a warm mauvey plum. The others are all variations of coral or peach – and, let’s face it, when blended out they’re not going to look that different. I wish that Hourglass would bring out more shades, but also that they’d thought through the original six a little more fully. I think a deep, cool pink is missing from the range, and a deeper berry or soft rose would be welcome additions in my mind!
You can see what I’m talking about in my swatches:
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes retail for $45 CAD for 0.15oz, or $300 per oz. (For those wondering, at the time of writing, gold is currently $1730 CAD per oz.)
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