During a pre-Christmas haul from Sephora, I picked up Hourglass Ambient Powder in Luminous Light.
I think it was a bit too light for my skin tone and a bit too shimmery for a full face, so I exchanged it for the shade Dim Light. That was a wise choice.
I was influenced to give this brand a try from one of my favorite Youtubers, Julia Graf aka Misschievous. She absolutely loves and recommends this powder (understandably), so I had to try it. During one of her videos she asks the question, “How does Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder work?!” Click that video here. This is a very good question and aroused my curiosity! So, right when I bought it I started doing some ingredient investigations. I’ve discovered what created the “soft blur” effect! Eureka! If you are not interested in reading about the ingredients, scroll down to the end paragraph.
- The main ingredient is Mica, which is made from natural mineral rocks broken up into a finely milled powder. It’s usually extremely luminous and shimmery. In fact, most eyeshadow pigments are made from this ingredient. Here is what Mica looks like as a 100% concentrated powder. This is my own collection.
- Next ingredient is Synthetic Fluorphlogopite – A synthetic mineral based on fluorine, aluminum and silicate; also known as synthetic fluorine mica; used as a bulking agent.
- Boron Nitride – Boron nitride is a synthetic boron-based inorganic compound used in cosmetics and personal care products to increase adherence and act as oil absorbent. It’s function is slip modifier, Absorbent, Opacify, and skin condition.
- HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer- This ingredient is a synthetic polymer and acts as an anti-caking agent.
- Polymethyl Methacrylate – a synthetic polymer. This ingredient is rated a moderate organ system toxicity. Meaning, it’s not good for you.
- Octydodecanol – Its emollient and lubricating properties give skin a soft feel. In addition, it helps to form emulsions and prevents the oil and liquid components of a product’s formula from separating.
It also acts as an anti-foaming agent, helping reduce the tendency of products to produce foam when they are shaken.
- Silica – Very commonly used in cosmetics. A common constituent of sand.
- ****Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethlsilsesquioxane – This is where the “soft focus” or “line blurring” effect comes from. With age, skin loses its ability to reflect blue and green light, resulting in a prematurely aged, dull apperance. This ingredient helps reduce the apperance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots by both emitting and scattering blue and green light to emulate the light reflection patterns of younger skin. It is particularly effective in producing a “soft focus” effect, rather than creating the masking effect of commonly used pigments and masking agents, thus allowing skin to look healthy and radiant without heavy makeup. I found a company that described the ingredient well here. They also sell a powder.
- Sorbitan Sesquioleate – are lipophilic nonionic surfactants that are used as emulsifying agents in the preparation of emulsions, creams, and ointments for pharmaceutical and cosmetic use. Commonly used in topical corticosteroids, topical antibiotics, topical antifungals, moisturizing creams and lotions, and topical retinoids.
- Magnesium Aluminum Silicate – found in many cosmetics as a texture enhancement. Any substance with aluminum compounds is an known neurotoxin. However, magnesium aluminum silicate has such large molecules that it shouldn’t be able to pass through the skin.
So, there you have it. This is approximately half of the ingredients but I presume the remaining are in small ratios. I hope this helps answer questions about the product. Nothing in the mixture is potentially rare or ground breaking. It’s a good mix of ingredients but are found in cheaper alternatives. Some links may or may not work as businesses change/products change over time.
- bareMinerals – Mineral Veil $32
- Aromaleigh Illuminata Luxe $12
- Purely Cosmetics Perfect Finish $20
- Ben Nye Luxury Powders $8
The Hourglass Ambient Powder photographs beautifully, I cannot deny. You can see in the fingertip shot above. The powder would be great for weddings or any occasion that involves flash photography. If you’re looking for a powder that is reliable in that aspect and are not afraid of the price, go for it!
I’m not so convinced this powder is worth $45 and personally prefer Ben Nye Luxury powders as an alternative.