Beauty News

101 Guide To Hourglass

a model holding the hourglass ambient light palette and a brush to her cheeks

Whether you’re a forever fan or new to Hourglass’ sophisticated line up, prepare to learn more about this cult-classic brand. Created to bridge the gap between innovation and luxury, the brand melds Hollywood glamour with modern design and scientific technology. The result? A complete collection of complexion, lip, eye make up and daily skin care staples.  

To celebrate Hourglass’ world-wide success, here at Cult Beauty we’ve uncovered everything you need to know – from the brand’s history and what it’s famous for, to which celebs are fans and of course introduce you to its beauty bestsellers… 

So, strap in, pick up a brush and get acquainted with this fan-favourite range… 

a dark skinned model with her eye closed wearing a pink scattered light eyeshadow


Beginning her career as one of the brains behind Urban Decay, Carissa Janes entered the beauty world in 1996, after graduating from the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York. In 1997 she created a colour line for Body & Soul Cosmetics, catering to the Hawaiian fashion scene and Sugar Cosmetics in 1994. Not only all that, but she also established a beauty-consulting firm working with some of the world’s most iconic beauty brands. Having such a vast understanding of the industry, Carissa noticed a gap in the market for luxurious make up that focused on active ingredients, modern design and groundbreaking formulations… And so, Hourglass was born, launching into the world in 2004.   Since then, the brand has grown and amassed a serious cult-following. In 2017, Hourglass was bought by Uniliver, but Carisa continues to be CEO and is still at the helm today. Under her leadership, Hourglass now has standalone stores in New York and a flagship store in Venice Beach, California as well as being stocked across some of the world’s most renowned department stores…  


Wanting to create luxurious make up that worked for everyone, Hourglass melds quality and sophistication with innovation and high performance. Working with chemists and product developers, Carissa Janes takes Hourglass’ formulations incredibly seriously. The brand first made headlines after the release of its Veil Fluid Makeup. Created without any fragrances or oil, it was an SPF rich formula that was used on Angelina Jolie during the filming of Mr & Mrs Smith. Since then, it has developed a plethora of hardworking make up and skin care staples — like the viral Veil Hydrating Skin Tint loved by Bella Hadid and Haily Bieber. Not only are the brand’s formulas housed in sleek packaging that are a nod to old Hollywood glamour, but every Hourglass product is cruelty-free and customisable, thanks to the refillable pans…  

an hourglass lipstick balm in the red shade against a red background




An icon for a reason, Hourglass’ Veil Mineral Primer changed the cosmetic game with its state-of-the-art formulation. Not only does this smooth your complexion, creating an even canvas the rest of your make up, but it also conceals redness, minimises the appearance of pores and fine lines, prolongs the staying power of anything you put on top and even waterproofs your look! With its silky, cloud-light texture it glides on skin smoothly, enhancing it without adding weight (or glitter). 


With a full coverage finish that doesn’t look cakey, Hourglass’ Vanish Airbrush Concealer has had pride of place in many a make up bags. Formulated with micro-spherical powders that blur and brighten for up to 16-hours, this light reflecting cover up blends seamlessly into the skin to even out skin tone and conceal dark circles for a smooth, natural and airbrushed finish.  


Suitable for every tone and texture, Hourglass’ Veil Translucent Setting Powder sinks into skin for an invisible, natural-looking finish. Ideal for setting your make up and your under eyes (minus any creasing), it delivers a soft-focus finish thanks to its light-reflecting particles and utterly weightless formula. Plus, housed in an innovative and stylish sifter means you can use this mess-free powder everywhere and anywhere! 


We’re sure you’ve seen this all over your FYP or Instagram and for good reason too! Delivering a dewy, healthy-looking glow, Hourglass’ Veil Hydrating Skin Tint melts into skin providing all day glow and a sheer veil of coverage. Formulated with 94% naturally derived ingredients – including hydrating hero hyaluronic acid and plant-based squalane – this lightweight enhancer plumps your complexion for a finish that looks and feels soft and smooth.  


A game-changer in the glow- giving space, Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Palette is the answer to multi-dimensional, soft-focus luminosity. Uniting a trio of peach, golden beige and opalescent pearl, this ethereal illuminating powder gives skin a universally flattering finish. Taking inspiration from the most forgiving light sources — think candlelight, moonlight and sunset — this innovative palette is infused with ground-breaking ‘Photoluminescent Technology’ to capture, diffuse and soften surrounding light and blur imperfections, pores and fine lines so skin looks lit-from-within. 


Featuring a high concentration of crushed pearls and light-reflecting glitter, Hourglass’ Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadows create , sparkling high-octane looks. With a unique cream-to-powder formula, theyglide on lids effortlessly and can be built up to create reflective dimension with serious colour pay-off.    


Delivering a colour wash of a lipstick, a high-shine like a gloss and nourishment of a balm, Hourglass’ Volumising Glossy Balm is the ultimate triple threat. Formulated with the brand’s Conditioning Complex to intensely nourish and replenish your pout, the creamy formula sits comfortably on the skin delivering full-bodied 3D colour. What’s more, with its gleaming finish it means your puckers look fuller too. 




A primer and serum in one, Hourglass’ Nº 28 Primer Serum is infused with (you guessed it) 28 beneficial ingredients to nourish skin and prepare your skin for make up application. Silky and lightweight, it sinks into skin to create a refined, retexturised surface. But that’s not all… Formulated with 14 essential oils, 10 lipid-rich plant oils, and four nourishing vitamins, you can use this everyday essential as a night serum or on hair to seal split ends. We love a multi-tasker! 

Powered by the brand’s ‘Cell Balancing Complex’ of youth lipids (phospholipids and prolipids), Hourglass’ Equilibrium Restorative Hydrating Cream helps to restore, rebalance and renew the skin. What’s more with the addition of niacinamide and hydrating hyaluronic acid, this moisturising essential evens skin tone and texture, smoothes fine lines and adds a dose of deep nourishment for a complexion that feels healthy and plump. 

Caring for delicate under eyes while reflecting light (and therefore minimising the look of dark circles…), Hourglass’ Equilibrium Instant Plumping Eye Mask is a potent potion that packs a punch. Lightweight with a gel-like texture, it’s infused with the brand’s ‘Plumping Complex’ and ‘Cell Balancing Complex.’ The result? A smoother, firmer-looking undereye area that appears as if a filter has been applied. Who doesn’t want luminescent-looking peepers? 

Powered by the brand’s proprietary ‘Cell Balancing Complex’, Hourglass’ Equilibrium Skin Active time-defying serum works to strengthen skins defence. With an oil-free formula, that is quickly absorbed, it gets to work deep in the dermis. Supercharged by squalane to maintain moisture levels, angelica root to boost microcirculation and dunaliella salina extract to promote skins equilibrium, this antioxidant rich concoction keeps your complexion balanced, strong and supple. 

And there you have it — the ins and out of everything Hourglass… Now all that’s left to do is figure out your concealer shade (which you can do here), choose the perfect Scattered Light eyeshadow and finish with a glossy lip…. 


Rina Teslica

Rina Teslica

Junior SEO Copywriter

Rina is Cult Beauty’s Junior SEO Copywriter and has always had a passion for beauty and skin care (rich moisturisers are her obsession). What started as a love for The Body Shop and their famed Born Lippy lip balms (in ‘Watermelon’ of course!), she is now more interested in finding products with proven effectiveness instead of broken promises. A loud and proud VIEVE fan, Rina owns nearly every item of the range and recommends the brand to anyone who will listen... When she’s not intently reading ingredient lists, you can find her either immersed in multiple true crime podcasts or co-hosting her own parenting one, with an *extra* hot cappuccino in hand.

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