One luxury makeup brand that everyone seems to love is Hourglass. You only have to take one scroll on any beauty obsessive’s FYP to creators singing the praises of the TikTok-viral Glossy Balms or the Vanish Airbrush Concealer. One thing that sets Hourglass apart from other luxury makeup brands out there is that the products are cruelty-free, with the majority being vegan too. It also partners with the Nonhuman Rights Project, donating 1% of its sales to the charity, which supports animal rights, and 5% from its Unlocked collection. It has even used a patent-pending vegan replacement for carmine, a red dye used in cosmetics which comes from insects.
In addition to supporting animal welfare, the products are also incredibly luxurious, both in formulas the luxe gold and brown packaging they are housed in. The Ambient Lighting powders have long been a beauty editor favourite for their soft-focus finishes, while the Glossy Balms have practically become internet famous for imparting a glossy shine to the lips.
However, Hourglass’ makeup is certainly on the investment spectrum when it comes to its price point. I was curious to find out what Hourglass makeup products are really worth the money, so I tried some brand favourites and a couple of new products to see which ones are really worth the hype. Spoiler alert: Several now have a permanent spot in my makeup bag. Scroll ahead for the best Hourglass makeup products that I think are worth it.
The Best Hourglass Makeup Products, Tried and Tested
1. Hourglass Glossy Balm
Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm
These TikTok-viral glossy balms are one of the brand’s bestsellers. Housed in a bullet applicator, you twist the product up to reveal a highly pigmented, glossy lacquer that imparts a creamy shine to lips. On contact, they have a slightly minty, tingling sensation that gives a plumping effect, but they’re also very hydrating too. I like to wear these on their own or paired with a lipliner or layered over lipstick, and they really do last well on the lips without the need to constantly reapply. I do think £35 for 1.7g of product is steep, but that being said, you don’t need much as the product is very pigmented—one swipe is enough. The gold packaging is also a luxe edition to your makeup bag, and pulling this out of your handbag always feels like a treat.
Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm Set
This duo set contains two shades, including Haze, a red-brown and Crave, a peony pink, which comes with a big saving too.
2. Hourglass Shape and Sculpt Lip Liner
Shape and Sculpt Lip Liner
These lip liners feel luxuriously creamy and glide onto lips with amazing definition which then set into place and stay put throughout the day. They pair really well with the Glossy Balms or the Unlocked Soft Matte lipsticks to define, sculpt and help your lip products wear better throughout the day.
3. Hourglass Unlocked Soft Matte Lipstick
Unlocked Soft Matte Lipstick
I have to caveat this review by saying that I’m not usually a fan of matte lipsticks. I’m prone to dry lips and they can become sensitive after using matte formulas—but not with this one. While it has a soft matte finish, it’s not drying and feels like a lip balm on the lips; it actually feels hydrating. The shades span neutrals from pinks to deep browns as well as statement reds, but my favourite is Foxglove, a pink-brown which can be patted on the lips for a flush of colour or layered for more impact.
4. Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara
Caution Extreme Lash Mascara
The Caution mascara is a great formula if you want to prioritise volume with a fanned out effect. The wand features a bristled brush which evenly coats lashes from root to tip and even manages to catch the shorter ones to maximise all lashes to their full potential. If you want a false-lash effect, this also layers nicely if you need a second coat. What I love about Hourglass’ mascaras is that they don’t smudge or flake throughout the day, but you can also wash them off easily with warm water. I personally prefer my mascaras to be lengthening and lifting, so I favour the Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara below which holds a curl better on my stubbornly straight lashes. But if volume is your goal, I’d go for this.
5. Hourglass Unlocked Extensions Mascara
Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara
This may be my favourite product from Hourglass. Featuring a flexible moulded brush, it stretches lashes with incredible length and definition. My lashes are straight and struggle to hold a curl, but this mascara both lifted and kept them in place all day long—it really looked like I was wearing lash extensions. The formula also feels very light to wear and like the Caution mascara, it doesn’t smudge or flake. This particular formula is a tubing mascara, which coats lashes in a film that means they simply slide off the lashes in tiny tubes between your fingertips with warm water.
6. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
Veil Mineral Primer
The Veil Mineral Primer is another hero amongst Hourglass’ range. As someone who doesn’t love makeup primers, this is one of the few I can count on one hand that I genuinely rate. It’s ultra lightweight, yet blurs fines lines and pores to give the skin a soft-focused effect with a silky suede finish that provides a perfect base for makeup. It’s also oily free, which will come as good news for those with oily or acne-prone skin‚ this won’t exacerbate any problems. I’ve really noticed a difference in how my makeup applies over this primer. It’s smoother and the matte finish helps to mitigate shine throughout the day. It even repels water—so it’s practically bulletproof. As I tested this, I noticed that it significantly improves the application of my foundation and ensures it looks freshly applied all day. The only caveat is that because it contains minerals zinc and titanium, it does leave a white cast on the initial application but it does disappear into an invisible finish once blended into the skin.
7. Hourglass Veil Hydrating Skin Tint
Veil Hydrating Skin Tint Foundation
I could talk at length at how much I like this skin tint. I chose the shade 3 online on recommendation of the shade matching quiz on Hourglass’ website, and it was a perfect match. The lightweight liquid formula delivers a light coverage that still lets your skin shine through, but it disguises redness and uneven areas while looking undetectable on the skin. I’d describe the finish as radiant matte. It’s neither dewy nor mattifying, but has a satin finish which lends itself well to both those with dry or oily skin. Ingredients wise, it contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and squalene, making it a nourishing choice to add moisture into your skin. It holds up well throughout the day without separating (particularly when paired with the Veil Mineral Primer). I know I’m going to be reaching for this a lot on days when I want sheer coverage.
8. Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer
Vanish Airbrush Concealer
One of these concealers is sold every 30 seconds, making it one of Hourglass’ most popular products. I’ll admit, I’ve heard mixed reviews about this concealer and I can see why it’s divisive. It’s a full coverage concealer, which makes it amazing for brightening up dark circles and concealing blemishes or pigmentation. You only need a tiny amount and it blends into a totally flawless finish. It does dry down into a matte finish, however, which might not make it suitable for dry skin. And if you prefer light coverage, you might find this too heavy. For my combination skin, however, it’s a great option for when I require a full coverage moment, partiucularly to brighten the under eye area and conceal acne scarring. Because it dries matte I ensure my skin is primed with a hydrating eye cream and primer first so that it sits well underneath my eyes. My parting advice would be to use less than what you need, because its very pigmented.
9. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Ambient Lighting Palette Volume II
The Ambient Lighting Powders are probably Hourglass’ most famous product, and I can see why. The line features a range of finishing powders, blushers, bronzers and highlighters, which feature photoluminescent technology, which captures and diffuses light in any lighting, be it artificial, natural daylight or in photography. You can buy the shades individually and also in palettes, such as this one which I tried.
It comes in three different shades to suit different skin tones, and contains three finishing powders that can be used to set makeup and add radiance to cheekbones, or anywhere else you require glow. And they are truly are amazing. I like using this to set my makeup. As someone with oily skin, I still like a radiant look to my complexion, and these powders allow me to mattify my skin without compromising on glow. The powder is silky soft and blends effortlessly into the skin, making them a dream to use.
10. Hourglass Brow Micro Sculpting Pencil
Arch Brow Micro Sculpting Pencil
I find myself reaching for this brow pencil daily, which is a testament to how much I like it. The nib is fine, meaning you can get precise shading on sparse areas of your brows and the formula is neither too hard that it drags or too soft that is smudges. I like to fill in and then use the spoolie brush on the other ends to diffusion the brow strokes for a seamless result. The shade range is also well-considered catering to both cool and warm hair colours so that you can find a natural-looking match for your brows.
11. Voyeur Eyeshadow Stick
Voyeur Eyeshadow Stick
These eyeshadow sticks are stunning. The shades are all metallic here, but they can be applied as a sheer wash of colour or layered for more pigment. I chose the shade Equinox, a metallic taupe, and it glides onto the eyes, allowing you to blend with enough time before it sets into place for eight hours of wear. They wear really well throughout the day but I would probably top up after about six hours to refresh the colour a little.
12. Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow
Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow
If you love a wet-looking metallic eyeshadow, you absolutely must try these. The cream formula imparts a subtle glimmer that can be built up to a full molten shimmer that catches the light in the prettiest way and lasts so well. You only need a tiny amount, so this pot will last you forever. I’m keeping this on standby for evenings and party season.
13. Hourglass Translucent Setting Powder
Veil Translucent Setting Powder
This might be the best loose powder I’ve ever used. It’s incredibly fine, making it almost undetectable on the skin for setting your makeup into place. It comes in three shades to cater to deep, medium and fair skin tones and features light-reflecting particles to blur pores and fines lines, ensuring your makeup looks great in any light. A little goes a long way, so it’s a worthwhile investment if you’re in the market for a new translucent powder. In know this is going to become my forever setting powder.
14. Hourglass Soft Glow Foundation Brush
Hourglass Soft Glow Foundation Brush
I’ve had this foundation brush in my arsenal for a while and I reach for it often. The bristles are densely packed together, which results in an airbrushed effect for foundation application. It’s the perfect shape and density for blending and buffing in foundation.
15. Hourglass Veil Powder Brush
Veil Powder Brush
I’ve seen Hailey Bieber using these brushes, so I knew they had to be good, and I can confirm they are so soft. The price tag does make me wince a little, but seeing as your get two brushes in one (which will also save space in your makeup bag) my beauty editor math justifies it. The smaller end is ideal for applying powder around the under eyes or nose, and the larger end is great for all-over powder application and is also large enough to double up as a bronzer brush too.
16. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Brush
Hourglass Ambient® Lighting Edit Brush
The dual-ended brush is ideal for using with the Ambient Lighting powders, whether it be the finishing powders, blushers or bronzers. The tapered end is perfect for highlighter and brush, and larger end is effective for bronzer and powder application.
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