MAC Product Reviews The Highlighter Chronicles

the highlighter chronicles: mac vibe tribe dunes at dusk

May 17, 2016

Vibe Tribe is one of the more completely-wearable collections that MAC has launched in a while. In my opinion, it hits that sweet spot between a tightly executed theme and user-friendly colours, which makes my inner designer as happy as my outer makeup addict.

The standout product in the collection to me is of course their limited edition Gleamtone Powder in Dunes at Dusk, which you know I had to chronicle. Technically it’s meant to be sort of an overall illuminating powder, but since I have normal-oily skin I much prefer it just on my cheeks. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous southwestern-inspired motif (that extends from the packaging to the actual product, woohoo!) before I dig into it:



It includes 4 shades with a fairly uniform frost finish: a warm white, a golden peach, a dusty mauve and light lilac which has a faint pinky-purple iridescence. As you can see, it’s well named: there’s an earthy dustiness to the hues that really does echo the colours of a desert landscape at sunset. Trust me. I’m in California a lot.



You can wear the colours individually or swirled together to create a beautiful, shimmery dusty rose shade. I believe this is MAC’s first iteration of a “Gleamtones Powder”, so I have nothing to directly compare it to texturally, but I found it was less dry and had more slip than MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish highlighters like Lightscapade and Otherearthly (reviewed here and here).

MAC Vibe Tribe Dunes at Dusk Swatches

Since the colours were quite sheer, I was able to be a little more liberal with my placement…which is another way of saying I went a little crazy and brushed it all over my cheeks. Needless to say, I’m very happy with the sheerness – though the colours looked dauntingly pigmented in the pan, they didn’t register as a distinct tint on my skin.

MAC Vibe Tribe 3

And although it did add a visibly shimmery topcoat to my skin it didn’t emphasise pores. I went over my cheekbones with a mix of the white and lilac to give the area more pop.

MAC Vibe Tribe 1

The colours were a bit too sheer to wear alone as eyeshadows but (for science!) I used it as sort of a shimmer-boost, layered over MAC eyeshadows in Beautiful Iris, Haux and Deep Damson. It was a nice way to tie in the tones of my eyeshadow with my cheeks/highlight, so although the colours didn’t stand out on their own I liked the harmony it created on my face.

MAC Vibe Tribe 2

I definitely need to play with Dunes at Dusk more, but so far I’m really liking it. The individual colours are beautiful, and I enjoy the mix of conventional (white and bronze) and unique (mauve and lilac) highlighter/cheek colour shades. The dusty rose colour you get from mixing everything together was a lovely neutral blush-topper on me, but would no doubt look gorgeous as a lightly-applied finishing powder on someone with a deeper skin tone. I might get brave and try that on myself once I get a little bit of summer colour!




This product was provided as a press sample, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.

  • Reply
    July 21, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Hi, I recently found your highlighter chronicles, because I was also searching all over Google for the highlighters Ania uses, wasn’t lucky on that one either lol. But i just wanted to leave a comment to let u know Ania has been working for Laura Mercier recently maybe you would like to try out some of their highlighters and listed on your chronicles, would be very appreciated 🙂

    • Reply
      July 23, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Hi Andrea! I did see her posts about training staff for Laura Mercier and incidentally do have an LM highlighter I’ve been meaning to review. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    As Runa asked…what lipstick shade is that because it is very nice. Would like to try it. Great post.

    • Reply
      June 4, 2016 at 12:21 am

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Please see below. I’m kicking myself for not noting it down, but if I figure it out I’ll update!

      • Elizabeth
        June 4, 2016 at 2:26 am

        It’s perfectly understandable, Emily. Thank you so much for responding!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Which lipstick you are wearing here ? Very pretty …..

    • Reply
      June 4, 2016 at 12:20 am

      Hi Runa, I’m so sorry but I don’t seem to have written this one down. I think it was NARS Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte, but don’t quote me on that!

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