Oh, Hello My Darling: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

I add my name to the ever-expanding list of bloggers who have fallen under the spell of this little beauty. And I don’t even care about blush all that much.
Now, I will admit that when I saw the images on Teh Intertubes, I thought that the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette would be bigger, in terms of the compact-size itself {rather an oxymoron, I know} and that the pans were much larger. I wasn’t impressed when I opened it, and wasn’t sure that the brush I usually used to apply blush was even going to work. And if I had to use a smaller one? What is worse than stripey-looking blush? Not much.

Ah, but these are to be filed under Perfectly Formed, because as small as they are, the quality of the powder is such that it distributes evenly on the brush, and the pigment is so rich and has such depth that it goes on like a dream. And it stays on like a.. like something that stays on forever and ever until you take it off yourself.

From left we have Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra and Mood Exposure: or rose, peach and plum. My favourite of all these faves? Unexpectedly, the plum: it is muted, but so flattering. The veins of goodness are the caches of Ambient Lighting Powder, which reflects light to the exact perfect degree that conveys youth and dewiness.

This is perfect and I love it. I am so in love that I keep it in its box when its sleeping. No fraternising with the rest of the cosmetics, who knows what it’ll get up to, and what the others, in their jealousy and spite, will do to it!

Oookay. I was thinking about how much I want the Ambient Lighting Trio, but that might just get me a date with the men in the white coats…


€72/£56/$56 — Hmmm. Not a price point differential to enjoy, from a euro point of view…


Hourglass Cosmetics: Can I Be Me, Only Better, If I Do It Myself?

Hourglass Cosmetics founder Carisa Janes’ best known quote regards her reason for creating the brand:  “I just want to look like me—only better.”

Can it be done? Yeah, pretty much!

At left, post-make up session at Harvey Nichols with Hourglass’ European training manager Mel Leonard; at right, face by meself.

Not bad! I always feel a little dubious after a makeover — how in the world am I ever going to replicate the pro touch? — but in fairness:

1} I have had a lot of practice, in my life, as regards the application of make up;
2} The brand is really quite ‘true’, by which I mean, it looks good even if you aren’t a trained professional.

Now, the eyes are lacking a wee bit. I didn’t have any eyeshadow on that day… did I? But the foundation is flawless mainly because the actual product, Veil Fluid Makeup SPF 15 in  Sand is pretty feckin’ flawless.

Or should I say products: beneath the veil of foundation is the Mineral Veil Primer: so smooth, so silky, so gentle, it is like spreading the cream of angel feathers all over your face.

Also in play: Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Rose; would very much like to have the Empress as used in the session. I am finding the lippy to be somewhat drying: balm before ends in tears, but a touch of something, like Carmex, on top, helps it feel less itchy. Drying = itch-making, in this case.

I am very, very pleased with these products. Very pleased.

Hair at right courtesy of a breeze blowing through the window of the bus, which made the photo look exactly like a Mario Testino for Vogue photo shoot.



Available in Ireland at Harvey Nichols; in the USA at Sephora and Bergdorf Goodman; and from Liberty in London.


You, Only Better {And Me, Too!}: Hourglass Cosmetics

‘I love make up,’ I sighed as MUA and Hourglass Cosmetics European training manager Mel Leonard put the finishing touches on my face.

Always have, always will, and this love results not only in this blog, but also in an unending quest to try out new things. The Venice CA-based cosmetics company is chock full of new things, and many of them ended up on me gob — not that I knew it. The defining characteristic of the products are their lightness of texture; paradoxically, they very much punch above their weight in terms of what they can do for your complexion.

Founded by Carisa Janes, the collection features anti-aging and sun-filtering ingredients that contribute to the health of your skin, as well as making it look beautiful. As Janes says herself, “I just want to look like me—only better.”

So: me, only better?


At left, that post-facial face. At right, a full complement of Hourglass, professionally applied. And by full complement, I mean: two primers, foundation, eye concealer, face concealer, blush, bronzer, illuminator, eyeshadow liquid liner, mascara and lip rouge.

The leading lights of the brand are the primers: No. 28 Primer Serum and Mineral Veil Primer. As to the former, the number in the name refers to the ingredients — fourteen essential oils, ten plant oils, and four vitamins. The latter is water-resistant, minimises pores and fine lines, and feels like you are applying liquid satin to your face.

Plus? This stuff lasts for hours and hours. Hence, I reckon, the name. The sands may have been flowing through the glaSs, but you’d never know it by looking at me.

Eh, so, you know: iPhone. But still.That is some class of consistency, when you consider, clockwise from upper left, we are covering the hours from 4.30 pm to midnight.

Mel did such an extraordinary job on my eyes, right? I must get my paws on that Calligraphy Liquid Liner: also waterproof/smudgeproof, I can use it on my upper inner eyelid, and one blink will not make me look like a panda. That’s the part of my ‘look’ that I find the most high maintenance, and I’d like to minimise the reapplication in that department.

Also, four words: Film Noir Lash Lacquer. Mel painted this on my lashes after one coat of mascara. It is exactly what it says, lacquer for the lashes, making them look thicker and richer than any mascara could possibly hope to achieve. She did warn that it would make my whole face black when I went to wipe it off, and suggested an oil-based eye make up remover — and it disappeared with no fuss, and no more muss than conventional lash stuff.

Lips! Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Empress. I had to goose it a bit with some lipgloss as I found it slightly drying, but it didn’t budge an inch in over six hours.

I had a long day yesterday. I was all over town in that blustery, awful rain, and my feet hurt. I had meetings, I went from home to town to Dundrum to town to theatre and all I kept thinking about at one stage was going hoooome. Hourglass helped me put a brave face on it — and if we have the winter it looks like we may be having, I’m going to want the means of making this brave face myself.


Available in Ireland at Harvey Nichols; in the USA at Sephora and Bergdorf Goodman; and from Liberty in London.