Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Ghost Palette


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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Ghost Palette

If you’re looking into the re-release of last year’s Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Ghost Palette, scroll to the end of this post. 

Ahh, yes. It’s that time of the year again.

Hourglass powders are among my favorite makeup products and every year I look forward to the return of their limited edition Ambient Lighting Edit palette.

I went through every single one of them and always bring one with me whenever I travel. Love the quality of their finishing powders, bronzers, and blushes, and the fact that the palettes come in such convenient packaging. BUT this annual tradition of mine might have to come to an end.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Ghost Palette Review and Swatches

Here’s what Hourglass say about their Ambient Lighting Edit Ghost Palette:

What it is:

“The coveted Ambient Lighting Edit returns for its fifth year, featuring 100% vegan blush and bronzer in six shades- three bestselling and three exclusive new hues – for a glowing complexion. This travel-friendly palette of lighting essentials is everything you need to create the perfect light wherever you go. Available this holiday season in a limited-edition compact featuring a translucent and metallic silver finish.”

What it does:

“Everything you need to finish, brighten, contour and highlight your skin in a single compact. Features three exclusive shades of Ambient Lighting Bronzer, Ambient Lighting Blush and Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush. Formulated with Photoluminescent Technology to capture, diffuse and soften surrounding light for skin that appears softer, younger and lit from within.”

Last year Hourglass released two Ambient Lighting Edit palettes: Unlocked (which featured six new exclusive powders) and Edit Volume 4 (included four bestselling powders and 2 new ones). At the time of last year’s release, I was pretty excited to see them release two versions as it’s impossible for a single palette to suit all complexions and skin tones. This year, in addition to the Ambient Lighting Edit Ghost face palette, Hourglass also released Ambient Lighting Blush Quad- Ghost. The blush palette is said to feature an “exclusive quartet of universally flattering hybrid blushes.” 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette

Here are a couple of previous Ambient Lighting Palettes. The size of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Ghost is consistent with previous Ambient Lighting Edit palette releases, containing 0.04oz of each powder product and priced at $80.00. Ambient Lighting Palette contains 0.133oz of each of the 3 powders and was priced at $62.00. Full-sized Ambient Lighting powders are priced at $48.00 for 0.35oz; Ambient Lighting Blushes sell for $40.00 for 0.15 oz; Ambient Lighting Bronzers come in a 0.39oz size and are priced at $52.00.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Ghost Palette in natural, indirect light

Ambient Lighting Edit Ghost contains three best-selling Ambient Lighting Powders: in Dim Light– warm, peach beige finishing powder, Diffused Light-pale yellow finishing powder, and the Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light-light, peachy highlighter with a touch of rose. The bottom row includes three new, exclusive shades: Eternal Bronze Light Bronzer– light bronze with a luminous/satin finish, Iridescent Rose Blush– coral pink blush with a sheen finish, and Sublime Flush Blush– light, pink blush with incandescent finish.


  • I really like the packaging. As with previous releases, the packaging is sturdy, the compact includes a large mirror, which is quite convenient. I’ve seen a few people saying that the packaging is cheap-looking, but I actually really like the look of the translucent+ silver metallic finish combo. Also never had a problem with powders falling out of their pans, etc.
  • the quality and finish of powders are both beautiful and exactly what I expect from and love about Hourglass. They’re very soft, they blend seamlessly, have a stunning finish and the formula is non-drying and long-lasting.
  • since my favorite finishing powder, Diffused Light, is included in this palette, it really has everything I need to put those finishing touches (like setting my concealer, adding delicate contour, blush, and highlighter). This particular powder is my “real-life Photoshop filter.”
  • all powders work well with my fair skin tone; they’re easily buildable as well, so you can go as subtle or as intense as you’d like
  • I like using these powders on my eyes as well and they work quite well when used as eyeshadows


  • I’m disappointed in the fact that only one version of this palette was released. Looking at my swatches you can’t help but see that they’re not universally flattering and won’t suit all complexions. Can’t help but see a lack of inclusivity.
  • as always, the size of the pans can make it difficult to use these powders. They are rather small and with regular use, the pans can get very messy over time. These powders are very delicate, so you have to be gentle with them in order to avoid any fallout and getting the product all over the compact.
  • in terms of the product quantity, you do not get your money’s worth. Multiple-product palettes usually offer more value, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case with Hourglass. Every year when I review them I say the same thing, and I’ll say it again: these palettes are hella overpriced. I love them, I buy them and use them daily, but the price just isn’t fair for the amount of product you’re getting.

As I already said, the pans in Ambient Lighting Edit palettes pretty small. Especially as this is a face palette where you sometimes want to reach for a big, fluffy brush when using a bronzer or finishing powder. You do have to work with smaller brushes to avoid picking up multiple powders at once and mixing them together. My favorite brushes to use with these palettes are Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Brush, Sephora Pro Small Blush and Contour #74 Brush and Pixi Strobe and Sculpt Brush. They all play nice with this palette.


Left to right: Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light, Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light, Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Eternal Bronze Light, Ambient Lighting Blushes in Iridescent Rose and Sublime Flush. (Click to enlarge)

While I do love this palette, I think that this might be my last one. Considering the quantity of the product included in these palettes, you’re just not getting a very good value. Personally, I don’t mind the splurge because I love the product, but as far as giving an honest review, I have to say that the value just isn’t there. I do think that while beautiful, these palettes are getting a bit repetitive, too (with the exception of last year’s Unlocked palette which I still reach for all the time), despite featuring a few new, exclusive colors. With that being said, this palette is a good introduction to Hourglass powder products if you haven’t used them before.

October 29, 2019 edit: It looks like Hourglass listened to what people wanted! :) They re-released last year’s Unlocked palette as Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked-Ghost on World Vegan Day, Friday, November 1, 2019. So, it’s the same palette as last year but housed in new packaging. As was the case with last year’s release, 5% of the profits from this palette will go to support the Nonhuman Rights Project, nonprofit animal rights organization. You can find my review and swatches of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked palette right here

November 10, 2019 edit: Right now it looks like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Ghost is out of stock at Sephora, but you can find it at Nordstrom right here

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Ghost Palette

Here’s last year’s Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette

If you’re deciding between the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Ghost Palette and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked-Ghost, I would suggest getting the Unlocked (as long as the colors work with your skin tone, of course). The reason is that the Unlocked palette features six, all-new, exclusive shades of powder, bronzer, blush, and metallic strobe powder. Below are the swatches of the Unlocked palette. 

HOURGLASS ambient lighting edit unlocked ghost swatches

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Swatches


  • Reply
    October 15, 2019 at 4:03 am

    I so wish they would re-release the Unlocked one.

    • Reply
      October 15, 2019 at 9:41 am

      I know! Would be amazing if they made it a part of their permanent collection.

    • Reply
      October 29, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      I just saw Unlocked (but in the Ghost packaging) on Bluemercury! Now I’m torn between the one in this post and Unlocked, so I went on the hunt for reviews and swatches :)

      • Reply
        October 30, 2019 at 5:58 am

        Yes! They’re re-releasing it November 1st! Alyssa, I’d get the Unlocked, if I were you- all shades are exclusive in that one and they’re very beautiful.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Thanks for the blog for great ghost palette!

  • Reply
    Via Singh
    October 17, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Oh yes! It is that time of the year when we look forward to so many new and limited edition palettes. This one again is gorgeous. I don’t own all of them. But this year I want to get the blush palette. :-)

    Via |

    • Reply
      October 30, 2019 at 5:56 am

      I was thinking about getting the blush palette too, it looks so beautiful! I’m not too crazy about blush in general but still tempted to get it, haha! :)

  • Reply
    October 17, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    I never bought into the hype (probably because I am not about the glow), so I didn´t keep up, but the reviews I have seen about this one were mixed.

    Anne from “Doctor Anne” (former Linda, Libra, Loca)

    • Reply
      October 30, 2019 at 5:54 am

      Yes, I loved last year’s Unlocked palette since all powders were new. So happy to hear that they’re re-releasing it.

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