This post didn’t originally start out as trying to find a dupe for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, but I ended up with a few “glowy” type of face powders / highlighters in my stash so I decided to see how they look against each other.
• Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light – C$55 for 10g
• Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Diffused – C$4.97 for 7.5g
• Wet n Wild “Bronzer” in Reserve Your Cabana – C$5.99 for 13g
• Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in Be My Highlight – C$5.99 for 6.5g
All of the contenders are very affordable – let’s see how they compare to Hourglass!
First, I thought I’d define some terms for various words I will be using to describe the glowy finishes. These are my own interpretations and usage for these words, and your understanding might be different. But to level set, this is what I mean when I say:
• Sheen: is a smooth, even glow with low reflective qualities and no individual sparkle is apparent
• Shimmer: individual scattered sparkles are visible but in small particle sizes, at a distance, looks fairly uniform
• Glitter: individual scattered sparkles that are larger in size, and look distinct even at a distance
• Frost: highly reflective finish with an even, shiny coverage; borderline metallic
(Let me know in the comments if these definitions resonate with you… 😛 )
The highlighter in question is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. Hourglass offers 6 different finishes of their highlighting powders and arguably, Dim Light is their most popular one.
I’ve been contemplating about getting it for ages and then Polished and Inspired give me this travel sized one when we met up last year! 😀
It’s a baked product with the telltale domed shape to the powder and slight texture to the surface.
I would describe the finish as a sheen, without any visible shimmer or glitter. In fact, I wear this as an all over face powder, not as a highlighter. It provides a glowy effect that doesn’t make me look like the Tin Man. 😛 The shade is a touch dark for me but it adds warmth to my complexion and when applied sheerly. I really enjoy this powder and keep it in my purse for touch-ups. Read a more detailed review of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette which includes this shade over at Polished & Inspired’s blog. 🙂
So, originally I was only going to compare the Freedom Pro Highlight Powder in Diffused against the Hourglass because I’d heard that it is a dupe. Where I heard about this was from the person who sent me it!
This came all the way from the UK from Rachael of HelplessWhistDrying, through her massive giveaway!
Here’s her review of this product so I won’t go into too much detail myself. I do want to show how it compares to the Hourglass:
Discounting the difference in undertone (Hourglass is peachy whereas Freedom is light pink), the Freedom powder has a more shimmery, bordering on glitter finish. I tried using it as an all over powder and it was just a bit too much glow for my liking. It is much better served as a highlighter for the high points of the face. It is still a subtle highlight, which is what I prefer. To provide a point of comparison, highlighters like theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer and Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Highlighter are frost finishes and provide very strong highlights. The Freedom highlighter is very pretty as an everyday highlight.
The Wet n Wild “Bronzer” in Reserve Your Cabana (totally not a bronzer, those liars 🙄 ) is the oldest one in this lineup and I’ve always suspected it could be similar to Hourglass in its finish.
I’d say the finish is quite similar – a sheen without any visible shimmer particles or frostiness.
The colour of the Wet n Wild is more of a light beige so it is better suited for lighter skin tones. I do wear this as an all over face powder, especially in the winter months to make my dehydrated skin look more alive. 😛
The Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in Be My Highlight is the newest one on my comparison list which I recently received from Jill Jacks. This product has been the darling of the beauty community lately, and I was curious to see how it compares to the Hourlgass:
I was encouraged by the Essence because, like the Hourglass, it is also a baked product. Colour-wise, they have similar tones – Essence is more of a golden bronze while Hourglass is pinky peach.
The finish of the Essence turned out to be quite shimmery and closer to a frost, along similar vein as theBalm or Becca. I do find Essence to be a nice topper for warm coloured blushes, but it might be a tad dark for those with fair skin (I didn’t even realize that this has a shade name: “#10 Be My Highlight” – as far as I know, it only comes in this shade).
Overall, I would rank these 4 powders in the following order from low sheen to high shine / frost, as follows: Hourglass, Wet n Wild, Freedom, and then Essence.
I’m able to wear both the Hourglass and Wet n Wild as all over face powders whereas I’m not able to with the other 2. For reference, Hourglass is made in Italy, Essence in Poland, and both WnW and Freedom are made in China. For me, the Hourglass hasn’t found its match exactly but I do think Wet n Wild is worth a look. Have you tried any of these items? What low sheen face powders can you recommend for me?
Thank you to Polished and Inspired, Rachael of HelplessWhilstDrying, and Jill Jacks for enabling me with all these highlighters! 😀 Without their contribution, you’d be just reading a post about the Wet n Wild powder. 😉