The title of this post could have been “Same, same, but oh so different”. Laura Mercier recently came out with illuminating finishing powders which immediately makes beauty aficionados think of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders and the question is are they copycats, are they dupes? Quick answer: nope, they have important similarities but also so relevant differences.

The greatest similarity of them both is that they are both illuminating finishing and setting powders, both take their inspiration from the way the skin looks in different lighting settings.

The greatest difference in the products is apparent is when you look up the shade range online.

Hourglass has six shades, each representative of a different lighting setting the shade names are  Dim Light neutral peach beige powder, Ethereal Light opalescent sheer, cool white powder, Diffused Light soft, warm pale yellow powder, Mood Light soft, sheer lavender pink powder, Luminous Light champagne pearl powder and the darkest shade is Radiant Light golden beige powder. I bought Mood Light, a pinkish powder for the purpose of comparison, which as it turns out is the most incomparable shade to the Laura Mercier Products.

Laura Mercier also has six shades, they go by the rather unimaginative names of fair, light, light to medium, medium, medium to deep and deep. The Laura Mercier range focuses more on matching skin tones and the advertising suggests, the lighter skinned users can use the darker shades to bronze with. Here a comparison of Hourglass deepest tone with that of Laura Mercier.

Contrary to common misconception, both these products are finishing powders, not highlighters and both impart radiance. Both products are also sheer, but the difference in the shades does mean that they will appeal to different consumers. The Hourglass shade i picked up “Mood Light” is pink and great for addressing any sallowness, the Laura Mercier shades are more neutral and also with their deeper shades more natural looking on deeper skintones.

At touch the Hourglass powder appears to be silkier, it lifts out of the pan easier. The Laura Mercier powder has less kick up, at first it appears grittier, but it actually requires a little more effort to lift product as it is baked very well in the pan. The actual consistency of the powders if you rub them between the fingers feel exactly the same.

To the price point, a full size Hourglass product is 46 USD for 10 grams, Laura Mercier retails at 38 USD for 8 grams meaning that Laura Mercier is slightly more expensive per gram. (Sephora prices). I don’t however think pricing is going to be the deciding factor regarding purchase here.

Both powders apply well and have really good staying power, I do not see either of them as performing better than the other.

Had I not been particularly interested in the pinky shade by Hourglass (as Laura Mercier has no comparable shade) and had I not been interested in doing a comparison, I would not have bought the Hourglass product. The reason being something you probably don’t expect: Geography. Hourglass products do not openly retail in Germany and many other countries, and getting your hands on them is a real pain.

If you live in a country where you can not easily get Hourglass but can easily get Laura Mercier, go for Laura Mercier, you are not missing anything except for the one pinky shade, infact you may be doing better due to the deeper shade range available with Laura Mercier, which given the skin tones represented across the world makes Laura Mercier the more versatile range.