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  • Brynnie

Holy Grail or Mega Fail? $80 Hourglass Surreal Lighting Edit (repost)

Hi! Today I'm going to be doing the first post for my series Holy Grail or Mega Fail. Within this series I'm going to be reviewing very hyped up products that I have heard so much about on YouTube or on beauty blogs. I'm so excited to be doing this series, as I love reading posts about hyped up products and I can't wait to try out these types of products for myself.

So, to start with I'm going to be reviewing the Hourglass Lighting edit palette for holiday 2016. This palette is not hyped up in the way that the Urban Decay Naked Palettes or Mac Lipsticks are. But, this can be due to Hourglass's relatively short history in comparison to those brands. Additionally, it is a high end brand that is borderline luxury makeup, so it also targets a more specific audience. So, basically every year, Hourglass comes out with a holiday palette that combines multiple aspects of the ranges products and it comes with a high price tag. Last years palette sold out very quickly, and the reviews were mixed due to the high price. So, I knew I wanted to try out this years palette to see if it was worth the hype.

To start with I'm going to talk about the overall packaging and product.

This palette comes in the traditional paper hourglass box packaging with a sleek gold metallic box. The actual outside of this packaging is actually very different then usual Hourglass stuff, as usally it comes in a sleek reflective metal case. While this palette has very different packing that is a very sturdy hard plastic with a white marble effect. It also has Hourglass written in gold in the middle, and the details about the product on the back of the packaging. Personally, I'm not really bothered by the change in packaging as it is still beautiful and sturdy. I would say the only draw back is that the metal used in many of the past Hourglass products feels heavier, so it seems very luxurious. But, honestly, the packaging is beautiful so I'm totally in love with it.

This palette is called the Surreal Lighting Edit as it includes the finishing powder in Surreal Light as well as a blush, bronzer, and a highlighter that is combined with it. This gives these products a marble effect and allows them to mesh so perfectly together on the face. As far as I know right now all the Surreal lightning shades (finishing powder, blush, bronzer, highlighter) are all limited edition shades that are not going to be used beyond this palette. But. I have to wonder if this palette was released as a sampler of new single products that are going to be released in the future.

Now, I'm going to be going over the five different shades:

  1. Surreal Light (finishing powder) - This is the largest sized powder in the palette, and it is the part that I was the most excited to try as the Hourglass finishing powders are raved over and I knew I wanted to try it but the issue was the price. The full size of an Hourglass finishing powder is $46, although there is a small "travel size" one that is $22. But, what I really mean is that it is pricey! So, having the opportunity to have a sampler of all these Hourglass products that would retail for a much more expensive price is the real benefit of this palette. The trade off of course is the size of product which is much smaller. For this powder specifically, I love it! I honestly wasn't sure if it would work as when you swatch it it shows up as a finely milled powder with some reflective particles. Not glitter, but translucent particles inside the powder that give it such a perfect sheen for the skin. Now, before anyone gets worried, you can not see these particles on the skin its only when you swatch it and look at it that you see them. Overall, I love this powder, it's an amazing quality and it really does give your skin the look that it is the "magic hour"(a perfect time of day at dusk) like the creators of this product intended.

  2. Bronzer Surreal Light (bronzer) - This is a marbled product that combines a mid tone bronzing shade with the surreal light finishing powder. This is formulated in the same way as the other Hourglass bronzers although it is lighter bronzing shade. This product is amazing based on formulation; as it is pigmented, finely milled, and it has reflective particles that give the skin an incredible glowing look. The thing that I don't like about this bronzer is that it is so light! This whole palette except the bronzer is good for a variety of skin tones but this bronzer is probably much too light to show up on medium to dark skin tones. I have been using this bronzer everyday and I love how it just gives the perfect suttle glow. It just really sucks that it isn't a darker bornzer as I do have to use a decent amount of products to get a good bronze.

  3. Surreal Glow (blush)- This is the first of the two blushes and it is a plumy pink. It is not a super pigmented blush, but it is a shade that is used as a wash of color. It is so natural and luminescent and it gives the perfect no-makeup makeup look.

  4. Surreal Effect (blush)- This is the second of the two blushes and it is a bright pink and orangey coral marbled blush. This one is much more intense than Surreal Glow and it is a blush that you would use sparingly as it is so pigmented. On the sheet that is included in this palette, that talks about application, it suggests that you ​use Surreal glow all over your cheeks as a beautiful pinky nude base for your blush and Surreal effect as a way to add some more life and color to the apples of your cheek. Think the swish and pop blushes from Charlotte Tillbury as a similar idea behind a product.

  5. Surreal Strobe light (strobe powder)- Hourglass highlighters are some of my favorite highlighters as they have an incredible consistency due to the finely milled powder that they are made off. They go onto the skin effortlessly and give the skin such a natural highlight. As a disclaimer, this is not a highlighter that you would be a favorite of people who want a very shimmery sparkly highlight. While it has shimmer it is really used for strobing as it just naturally highlights the high points of your face and it isn't obvious that you have put a ton of glitter on your cheeks. I love these highlighters because of that, and I especially love the golden tones in this one. It is a champagne pinky gold that can be used on many skin tones depending on how you layer it. I think this shade will be prefect for Christmas party makeup to give such a golden festive glow.

So is it a holy grail or mega fail?

I think that this is a holy grail product! When considering that Hourglass is a luxury makeup brand that has very expensive products, it is unbelievable how amazing it is to be able to try out so many of their products. For the price of this palette ($80), you would only be able to get a blush/highlighter and a face powder. And in general due to the high price of their individual products I don't think I would ever be able to try this many of their products without this palette. So based on someone who is interested in this brand it is amazing as a sampler. I also think that 4/5 of the shades are a hit for me. The bronzer is beautiful, but needs more pigment and color to be a universally flattering shade. This causes those with darker skin tones to be unable to use this shade, and therefore the palette does lose some of its value. I don't believe this will be as much of a problem, but if you are extremely fair the highlight could be too dark for you as it is a gold tone But, I think this will be much less common as it will only be for those with very light skin. The products themselves are incredible as they are some of the best quality powders and the packaging is so beautiful it would be amazing to have on any vanity.

So to sum it all up, yes I think its worth it as they are amazing quality powders that give an amazing look when used together or alone... But the bronzer and highlighter could be a fail for those with too light or too dark skin tones, so this palette could not be for you depending on your skin tone. As for the price, for a sampling of this many Hourglass products it has an immense value in my opinion and depending on how many shades work for your skin tone it is a steal!

Thanks for reading :)


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