Review: Hourglass Holiday 2020

Hourglass Holiday 2020 Mecca Review - Ambient Lighting Edit Mini, AMbiet Lighting Edit Sculpture, Confessions Lipstick Duo

This product was sent to me for review purposes. I was not paid and affiliate links are not used in this post.

It’s the new year! I tried out a lot of products in December but didn’t have time to write about them all so I figured that it would be best to start off with my favourite Holiday Release of 2020 – the Hourglass Sculpture collection.

I’m a big fan of Hourglass products and have been for quite a few years now – I love their aesthetic, formulas and packaging. The only main downside to their range is the price point (I have also been made aware of some recent controversy in regards to diversity in their shade ranges, but won’t be discussing that as it’s a much bigger conversation), which is why I’m always eying their holiday collections.

Their Ambient Lighting Products usually range from AUD$64 – AUD$83 (depending on whether it’s a face powder, blush or bronzer). I much prefer to invest in these limited edition palettes, rather than buying a full size, so I can get a better variety of shades and product types. They also have a duo of their Confessions Lipsticks, which are a cult favourite for so many.

In addition to the value, they also have new limited edition packaging every year. This year’s concept features a gold, architectural design that’s super modern and subtle. The collection contains the Ambient Lighting Edit, Ambient Lighting Edit Mini and Confessions Refillable Lipstick Duo.

These are available on the Mecca website for a limited time (and they’re going fast). If you are outside of Australia or Zealand though, you can also head to the official Hourglass website to shop or find your nearest stockist.

But before you do that, let’s get into my thoughts on all three products!


Hourglass Holiday 2020 Mecca Review - Ambient Lighting Edit Mini, AMbiet Lighting Edit Sculpture, Confessions Lipstick Duo

Ambient Lighting Edit – Sculpture | AUS$128

The Ambient Lighting Edit palette is a six pan palette of finishing powers, blush, bronzer and highlighters. This edit contains both existing and new shades, so it’s suitable for both Hourglass newcomers and regular fans.

Shades include:

  • Ambient Lighting Finishing Powder – Dim Light
  • Ambient Lighting Finishing Powder – Diffused Light
  • Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder – Glistening Strobe Light (Exclusive Shade)
  • Ambient Lighting Bronzer – Natural Bronze Light (Exclusive Shade)
  • Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush – Vibrant Flush (Exclusive Shade)
  • Ambient Lighting Blush – Mood Exposure

It is described as a “palette of lighting essentials [with] everything you need to create the perfect light wherever you go.” According to the official website, the powders are formulated with “Photoluminescent Technology to diffuse surrounding light for skin that appears lit from within,” and is both Vegan and Cruelty Free.

Hourglass Holiday 2020 Mecca Review - Ambient Lighting Edit Mini, AMbiet Lighting Edit Sculpture, Confessions Lipstick Duo
Hourglass Holiday 2020 Mecca Review - Ambient Lighting Edit Mini, AMbiet Lighting Edit Sculpture, Confessions Lipstick Duo
Swatches of the palette from left to right, top to bottom. Please note that these swatches have been built up to show the colour but do not reflect how the product will apply with a brush.

The pan sizes in this palette are significantly smaller than the full size powders but, for my own makeup habits, I enjoy having the variety; it’s versatile and really covers everything I need.

I’m a big fan of the highlight shades (I have the Hourglass Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette that I love as well), and the blushes are super pretty. They’re quite pigmented so I would recommend using a light hand and gradually building up the colour. The bronzer has a nicely blend-able consistency too but I usually use it more as a cheek product – it’s a bit too warm for me to use as contour.

The only product from Hourglass that I don’t just as much use out of is their original Ambient Lighting Powder – which is funny because it’s also their top selling product. The finishing powder is finely milled and gives skin a softened appearance, but the effect is so subtle that I often forget about it, so I only use it when I know I will be on camera or for special occasions.

Overall though, I think this palette is great for people who like the Ambient Lighting powders. People who want more variety, or are perhaps more familiar with their formulas, would be more interested in this. For people who are newer to Hourglass though, I would look into the Edit Mini instead (more on that below).

Here’s the verdict!

SO WHAT IS IT?

A six pan palette of finishing powders, highlight, bronzer and blushes

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 2/5
  • PACKAGING | 4/5
  • PIGMENTATION | 5/5
  • BLENDABILITY | 4/5
  • VARIETY | 5/5
  • LONGEVITY | 5/5

OVERALL RATING? 8.3/10

THOUGHTS? I reach for this Hourglass palette often and have no regrets about it. The formulas are beautiful (even if I don’t use the finishing powder too often) and I also love the limited edition packaging. The main downside here is the price point which isn’t too bad if you’re used to the regular Hourglass prices but… doesn’t change the fact that it’s like AUD$128.

In my opinion, it’s a bit of an investment but will be something with plenty of versatility. The powders will also last quite a long time and I know of a lot of people who totally pan these! The shades can be a bit similar or repetitive from year-to-year too, so I don’t feel that this is something necessary to collect all the time.


Hourglass Holiday 2020 Mecca Review - Ambient Lighting Edit Mini, AMbiet Lighting Edit Sculpture, Confessions Lipstick Duo

Ambient Lighting Edit Mini – Sculpture Unlocked | AUS$93

As mentioned previously, there is also the Ambient Lighting Edit Mini which is a great option for people who are totally new to Hourglass. The price point is also a bit nicer on the wallet too – which is always appreciated. This quad contains a condensed edit of four shades (one each of a finishing powder, bronzer, blush and highlight), including:

  • Ambient Lighting Finishing Powder – Soft Light
  • Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder – Champagne Strobe Light
  • Ambient Lighting Bronzer – Golden Bronze Light
  • Ambient Lighting Blush – Mood Flush

Similarly to the previous, the powders are also formulated with Photoluminescent Technology, as well as Vegan and Cruelty Free.

Hourglass Holiday 2020 Mecca Review - Ambient Lighting Edit Mini, AMbiet Lighting Edit Sculpture, Confessions Lipstick Duo
Hourglass Holiday 2020 Mecca Review - Ambient Lighting Edit Mini, AMbiet Lighting Edit Sculpture, Confessions Lipstick Duo
Swatches of the palette from left to right, top to bottom. Please note that these swatches have been built up to show the colour but do not reflect how the product will apply with a brush.

This palette has that same softly blendable formula as the six pan. The shades are nice too though I think that blush is best suited for light-medium skin tones. It’s a touch too dark on me though I can make it work by using a much lighter hand than usual. The bronzer works well as cheek shade (again too warm for my skin) and I quite like the intensity of the highlighter too. The finishing powder has a nice matte finish that softly blurs skin – compared to the Dim Light shade in the six pan, I think that this works better for me.

I feel like the marbled design of the six pan palette shade is more aesthetically pleasing than these regular pans. However, the products work just as well and the more compacted edit means the actual packaging is a lot smaller. If you’re looking for something suitable for travel and want essentials rather than options, then this is a good one – I like that it covers all bases.

Here’s the verdict!

SO WHAT IS IT?

A quad containing a finishing powder, highlight, bronzer and blush

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 3/5
  • PACKAGING | 4/5
  • PIGMENTATION | 5/5
  • BLENDABILITY | 4/5
  • VARIETY | 4/5
  • LONGEVITY | 5/5

OVERALL RATING? 8.3/10

THOUGHTS? The price point here is definitely a lot better. Again, these pans are much smaller than the full size but you do get all four product types for just a bit more than their regular Bronzer. If you’re new to Hourglass, then I would be recommending this – it’s not something to buy every year though since, as mentioned earlier, this edit is repeated. It’s a good entry into the brand and, if you are also a fan of this, I would then recommend looking into either the six pan or the full sizes.


Hourglass Holiday 2020 Mecca Review - Ambient Lighting Edit Mini, AMbiet Lighting Edit Sculpture, Confessions Lipstick Duo

Confessions Refillable Lipstick Duo | AUS$77

For those who are more interested in lip products though (or if you’re like me and enjoy both), then there’s also the Confessions Refillable Lipstick Duo. I’d been eying this for quite a while because I’ve heard great things about the formula, and also because the regular packaging is absolutely stunning. Compared to a regular bullet product, this has a luxe feel that reminiscent of vintage lipstick holders, as well as a slim design for precise application.

This limited edition duo contains one full lipstick with the applicator (usually AUD$58 each) and an additional refill (usually AUD$35), so this is pretty decent value. You can reuse the packaging for their permanent range as well, but the shades included in this set are actually limited edition:

  • At Dusk (Cranberry) 
  • At Dawn (Deep Rose)
Hourglass Holiday 2020 Mecca Review - Ambient Lighting Edit Mini, AMbiet Lighting Edit Sculpture, Confessions Lipstick Duo
Swatches from top to bottom: At Dusk and Deep Rose

The lipsticks have a smooth, satin formula that applies evenly with no drag. It’s comfortable on the lips and wears pretty decently too, though is prone to transferring (expected for a non-matte formula). The pigmentation is also really nice where you can get close to full opacity in a single swipe or simply blend it out for a softer, feathered look.

Colour wise, I like that Hourglass always include both a nude and bolder shade in these duos so that there’s versatility for different looks. I’m usually very cautious of nudes (as they often wash me out) but find both of these shades pretty flattering. At Dawn has a cool undertone cranberry shade which wears easily for both day and night. At Dusk, on the other hand, is a perfect balance of being neither too dark nor too light. Rather than being a deep rose, I would say that this has more of a medium depth. It looks pink in the tube but, on application, feels more nude.

The only criticism I have, which is specific to this collection, is that I’m not a fan of this limited edition packaging. It carried the sculptural concept over well but unfortunately sacrificed the sleekness of the original design. I feel like this doesn’t have the same refined, luxe aesthetic – which is a shame. A more subtle application of the theme would’ve been better.

Overall, the concept of the refillable lipstick can be a bit finnicky but the nod to traditional lipstick holders is pretty cool. I’ll definitely be wanting to try out more of these in the future but I think I will go ahead and buy the ‘full’ lipstick with the regular holder design.

Here’s the verdict!

SO WHAT IS IT?

A refillable lipstick holder with two highly pigmented, satin lipsticks

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 3/5
  • PACKAGING | 2/5
  • SHADE RANGE | 5/5
  • PIGMENTATION | 5/5
  • FINISH | 5/5
  • LONGEVITY | 3/5

OVERALL RATING? 7.7/10

THOUGHTS? I enjoy the formula of these and I really like the colour range too. In retrospect though, I definitely prefer the original packaging to this which is the main reason why the overall rating it a bit lower. The longevity is quite average, but the finish and pigmentation make up for it!


And that’s last year’s Hourglass collection! This was the one I was most excited about last year and, overall, I think that they did a great job. I have good experiences with their products in general so will likely continue to purchase them – though I do hope that they will make more of an effort this year to release some more diversity-friendly shade ranges. As a fairly pale skinned Asian myself, I’m lucky that all of these (especially the palettes) work quite well for my skin tone but can’t say it would be the same for those with medium to deeper tones.

I’m also excited to see what they will be releasing for 2021’s Holiday collection – any predictions?

Until then, pop over to Mecca to check out the Hourglass offerings – the Holiday products are still up but will likely be sold out soon enough so get in quick!

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