Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Palette: Review and Swatches

It’s that season again – holiday season. Which, in beauty world, means endless new releases and limited edition products. 

It’s reliably my favorite time of year for makeup shopping, but it seems to get crazier every year, and the holiday releases seem to come out earlier and earlier. I inevitably start to feel shopping fatigued well before the holidays, but when everything is just coming out in October I feel like I am constantly checking for new arrivals and reviews 

In the past few years, Hourglass’s holiday palettes have become one of the most anticipated holiday releases. They always have stunning packaging, and it’s a great way to try their signature ambient lighting powders and blushes together. 

The Ghost Palette 

This year’s palettes are no exception, and in addition to their usual mixed powder/bronzer/blush palette (I didn’t pick that one up, but it also looks stunning!), they released another blush palette – the ghost palette. This palette comes with 3 new blush shades in addition to Brilliant Nude, already a best seller, and It also comes in a beautiful chrome lid…and I am an absolute sucker for chrome packaging. The rest of the packaging is plastic, which I know some people have complained about, but feels like a nice heavy plastic. 


Let’s talk value for a second. it retails for $58 for .28oz/5.6g of product. You are not getting a lot of product for this price. And many people have expressed their dislike for the value of this since each blush is about the same size as a standard eyeshadow pan,but like many Hourglass products, the actual weight of the product doesn’t determine the value for me. The formula does. I talked a little about this in my review of their Confession Ultra Slim Lipsticks last year, and the same reasoning applies for their powders. 


Hourglass’s powders – whether it’s a face powder, bronzer, or blush – are extremely finely milled and pigmented. They don’t swatch that way – in fact, they almost seem somewhat chalky and unpigmented when swatched with fingers, but somehow applying it with a brush on my face leaves the most beautiful perfected glow. The blushes and bronzers seem to blend themselves and melt into the skin. And I swear the blushes seem to become more pigmented after a few seconds of blending, once they blend in with your skin. I’ve been using the same ambient lighting powder palette for a good 4 years (on and off, but nearly daily in the winters), and I just hit pan on them this year. A little goes a long with these powder. 

All of that is to say that I think that palette is worth its price for me. Is it expensive? Yes, but I know that these blushes will last me much longer than other blushes that might have the same weight.

The blushes also last really well on my face. With my oily skin, it’s rare that a blush will actually last a whole day without fading significantly, but these blushes last all sday, and the formula in this palette is no different. I rarely feel like I need to reapply these blushes. 


I like to apply these with a soft and dense but still somewhat fluffy brush. A stiff brush will kick up too much powder and probably apply too much product, but a really lightweight brush like the Wayne Goss Air brush applies too soft of a wash for my liking. I really like an angled cheek brush like the Surratt sculpting brush, or even a more traditional brush like the Ecotools blush brush


 Anyway, onto the shades. I picked up this year’s palette because I felt like it actually had shades that would flatter my medium-medium tan skintone. The only reason I didn’t get previous years’ versions is because I felt like they were more suitable for a lighter and cooler skin tone, but this quad has some warmer and darker shades that I know I’ll get a ton of use out of. The shades include 2 of their regular ambient blushes, and 2 of their ambient strobe blushes, which ave some more shimmer in them. As mentioned earlier, Brilliant Nude is the only pre-existing shade, so the 3 other shades are new. 

  • Surreal Effect is a cool pink
  • Brilliant Nude (strobe) is a shimmery beigey nude blush
  • Lucid Glow (strobe) is a coral 
  • Infinite Flush is a warm pinkish raspberry 

Again, since they swatch more softly, it’s hard to see how they would show up on the face, but all shades are quite pigmented on my face, while Brilliant Nude just gives me the most subtle glow. 

Here are swatches of the palette:

I also added some comparisons to the other Hourglass blushes I own. I only have one full size blush in Diffused Heat and the holiday blush palette from 2014 (!!!).

Surreal Effect, Luminous Flush, Lucid Glow, Incandescent Electra, Infinite Flush, Mood Exposure, Diffused Heat

Surreal Effect is lighter and cooler than Luminous Flush. Lucid Glow and is much warmer and more orange than Incadescent Electra. Infinite Flush is warmer and more red than Mood Exposure, and slightly deeper than Diffused Heat. 

I can’t speak for the other Hourglass blushes since I don’t have them, but these shades are distinct from all of the Hourglass blushes I have. Overall, I’m very happy with the shades in this palette and the stellar formula I’ve come to know Hourglass to have. If you’re a fan of Hourglass’s powder products or want to try them, this is a great palette to start with. 

If you have this palette, I’d love to know your experience with them too! 

As always, thanks for reading. 

One thought on “Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Blush Palette: Review and Swatches

  1. Like you, this palette fits well on my “morena” skin (warm beige to tan skin tone). The colors are so pigmented also. However, I didn’t like how each has a lot of shimmer when I applied it on my face 😔 maybe it’s just me? But I would like this palette better if the colors have less shine and are more matte.


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