October 8, 2019

Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Palette Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.
4 stars out of 5

Hourglass Cosmetics Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Palette ($58) for Holiday 2019 is a new, limited edition blush quad that includes three brand new shades and one shade that’s available in the permanent range. The three new shades in the palette are Surreal Effect, Lucid Glow, and Infinite Flush with Brilliant Nude being the only shade available as a full-size. I thought Brilliant Nude was the least pigmented of the three on my skin tone which brings up the issue of why Hourglass hasn’t created these in a few different tones. I mean even two would be helpful? Maybe a light and a dark shade selection? I could see myself going with a darker shade choice to be honest as I do so love my blush pigmented.

A few people had written to in warning me against purchasing this as they heard bad reviews about it. I actually have a love hate relationship with the Ambient Lighting Blush. When they originally launched I was so excited as I really love Ambient Lighting Powder and here they were presenting me with a blush option! WOW! Turns out it wasn’t quite as exciting as I had hoped as I was hoping for something luminous but I don’t really get the luminosity from these blushes! They are a little flat and dulling on me. Over the years, I’ve grown to enjoy a few of them but I swear I still do so wish they had a bit more glow you know? Anyone feel that way?

Anyway, I did go ahead and purchase the palette but haven’t watched or read any reviews. I tend to avoid reviews until I can make up my own mine about a product. I think most of the ranting is concerning the packaging which I agree with completely. The packaging is awful compared to year’s past. I’m confused why they did what they did with the compact. Is it keeping with the “ghost” theme? Are they just trying to make things a bit cheaper? I have no idea.

I love that this year they went with a silver compact instead of a gold. That’s nice! New, refreshing, different. However, the compact only featured a mirror silver face place as the bottom part is a translucent plastic which gives the entire thing a really cheap, unfinished look. Again, I have no idea why they did this. Compared to palettes they launched in the past it feels a good deal lighter as well.

It holds a total of 0.16 oz of product for $58. Keeping in mind palettes in the past like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette from Holiday 2014 had three shades at the same $58 price tag and held 0.33 oz of product. You’re getting more variety with a four shades in the Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Palette but also, less product overall. A full-size Ambient Lighting Blush is 0.15 oz for $40 and this holds four smaller sizes (.04 oz each) $58. Ouch!

If the smaller size and weird packaging doesn’t turn you off too much I will say the quality and formula is spot on.

When it comes to Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes they really have an absolute seamless finish. You really can’t tell where your skin begins and the color ends. It’s a natural, even finish! They look incredibly no matter how lightly or heavily you apply them and lord knows, I have a heavy-hand as you know. The formula is powdery but not dry nor chalky and very, very finely milled and silky.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I do think where the formula misses sometimes when it comes to the glow factor. I don’t really get that candlelit glow that I get from the Ambient Lighting Powder formula. No shimmer, no glitter, sparkle, or luminosity! The blush formula seems buff out to a very soft, even finish but I’m never noticed any glow to it. This is all rather ironic since the palette contains two Strobe Blush shades and even those don’t produce the glow I was hoping for.

All in all, the Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Palette has a great formula but it misses the mark with the packaging and the price. None the less, I can see it being a hit with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush fans! The quality is here even if the packaging and price is lacking!

Hourglass Surreal Effect

Hourglass Lucid Glow

Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Palette is available now.

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

Where to buy

Nordstrom Hourglass Sephora Beautylish

Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Palette is a new, limited edition blush quad that launched with the Hourglass Holiday 2019 Collection that includes three new shades of Ambient Lighting and Ambient Strobe Bluish as well as one permanent shade. Each blush is 0.04 oz in size and the quad is $58 making it a lot smaller than what has been offered in the past (more details about the size and value can be read in the full review above). The blush formula has a powdery kick up but isn’t dry or chalky. It’s very finely milled, silky, easy to apply, and blend seamlessly creating a beautifully smooth layer of color that adheres to skin flawlessly.


  • Beautifully textured blushes.
  • Blushes apply smoothly and seamlessly.


  • Poor packaging.
  • Smaller size versus previous Holiday releases.


Although smaller compared to previous Holiday releases with poorer packaging the Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Palette will still be a welcome addition into the homes of Ambient Lighting Blush lovers! The quality is here even if the packaging and price is lacking!

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Denise

    It’s a hard pass from me, due to cheap appearance and price per ounce. Which makes me really sad, since I’ve got a gift card from Sephora burning a hole in my pocket!

    • Isabella Muse

      quality is good but the price and packaging was confusing AF. Why though!?

      • Colleenie

        I hate that translucent part of the packaging so very much; however, I will likely pick this up if it is still available during the Sephora sale. I don’t have many blushes and I could wear all of these shades easily. Thanks for the thorough review and great swatches!

        • Isabella Muse

          me too! WHY did they do that?! It’s awful! It really cheapens the palette! My pleasure <3!

  • kjh

    I cannot believe you used hourglass and ‘make things cheaper‘ in the same sentence. Hah! Maybe cheaper for them to mfg, but not for the consumer. Except for Mood, they all run too warm for me. I’ve been trying to get into the original ALP trio, when i wear warmer colored m/u, but HG, much like CT, just reads wrong to/on me. I guess i think Meteorites serve the same purpose as ALP, but better for me. They sure are pretty, though, and look grand on you.

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL i know. Aw thanks <3! I know they aren't everyone's cuppa tea my own included but sometimes I'm tempted!

  • Dee

    I agree on the packaging, but I am loving mine! Beautiful colors and I do get a bit of a glow. I’m not big on highlighting so these are perfect for me. Wish the size of each blush were bigger but I don’t regret getting this at all.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m glad to hear it 🙂 the quality is here no doubt but the packaging irks me for some reason!

  • TC

    I got it. I can look passed packaging for a good product, plus this contains four of the mini sizes for cheaper than buying 4 mini singles. I’ll never go through a full blush so to get 4 minis in a palette is convenient and good for options. That said I’m incredibly disappointed in the formula. It goes on really pigmented, blends away to nothing, has no staying power and as you say muse, no luminosity. I have better drugstore blushes. I’m returning mine.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m trying to look past the packaging but I’m just trying to understand why they did it? It’s awful! I’m so sorry! That’s awful! I didn’t have that problem but I def hate the fact I never get “the glow” that’s promised. they just don’t really have the luminosity one would expect from the formula!

  • Helene

    Isabella, you own the Lucid Glow! It looks as if it was made just for you. It looks beautiful with your skin tone. I think for that shade alone, you were smart to get the palette.

  • Cat

    Surreal Effect was originally in the 2016 holiday palette. They never released if as a single, but it is technically a repromote. I’m really torn on this one, as I love blushes palettes and Hourglass blush, but the packaging!

  • Kish

    Let me just say that you are my favorite blogger and I know you will always give an honest opinion. The first time I saw this palette on IG, I commented that the packaging looked really cheap. I was immediately told that it was “chic” and “much nicer in person” and one person even said I must be poor! What a world. At any rate, I am glad I’m not the only rational person who was less than impressed with the packaging. I do like the colors, but I do have the original three pan blush palette they released a few years back, so I’m sure I don’t need this.

    • Isabella Muse

      It’s not chic LOL! It’s cheap haha! I’m sorry but that’s my god honest truth. The plastic in the back really throws off the entire thing imho! omg who are these people? They sound horrid! People are strange! Honestly, the shades are great and the formula is good but the packaging just throws it off and if you have a three pan already you likely don’t need it. and thank you 🙂 I’m honored to be one of your favs!

    • Denise

      Funny, I was still on the fence about the Ghost palettes UNTIL I saw them in person. They look like someone got distracted halfway through assembling them. I’ll stick with my trios (original LE blush and the ambient lighting powders), which are beautiful inside AND out.