I get asked some questions quite often, and among the most prevalent is this: What is the Guerlain Meteorites Powder used for, and if I were to pick one, which do I pick?
A close runner-up is the question : How do I use the Guerlain Meteorites powders? I mean, they’re expensive, and I don’t want to just buy and stare at them, as pretty as they are!
For some reason, people seem to think I’m an authority on Guerlain’s bestselling Meteorites Powder Pearls LOL! 😀
Well, I’m no authority, but I do own enough of them, and have used them long enough to know their quirks and how best to get around them by now.
My review on the Meteorites was among the first reviews I wrote on this blog way back in 2007 when I started MWS! That’s yonks ago.
So, here’s my quick 101 primer on the popular, Instagram-worthy Guerlain Meteorites Pearls (or what I affectionately call the “bebola” – balls in the Malay language, or just “balls” or as some friends will have it, “ballz”!) and which to pick, if you want just one, or want to get your first Meteorites 🙂
What are the Guerlain Meteorites powders used for?
The Guerlain Meteorites are what is known as ‘finishing powders’. To the naked eye, they serve little to no purpose, and you may never notice much of a difference. But the coloured powders meld together in a translucent glow, to give your skin a lovely, glow-from-within that is imperceptible; yet, when you catch that glimpse of yourself, you may notice how your skin just looks…. better.
It’s pretty magical, if I don’t say so myself, and while there are many who are happy to disagree with me, I stand by my experience.
It’s not something you can photograph, and it’s not even meant to control oil (so everyone complaining about how it does nothing for oil control? That’s your answer – it’s not supposed to! 😛 )
In fact, you can use loose/pressed powder to set your makeup and then use this powder over, to lift the complexion. Sometimes, if my base/foundation looks a little dull or flat, I use the Meteorites pearls in 02 Clair to boost the glow. No shine, no glitter, but just a natural looking lifting of the colour.
Other times, if my base looks too warm, a touch of 02 Clair does the same. Sometimes, if the base looks too light or shiny, 03 Medium comes to my rescue.
Think of these as a product you put right after you’re done with your makeup, just to bring it together. Not necessary at all, but magical when it happens.
If I were to buy my first tub of Guerlain Meteorites Pearls, which should I go for?
At present, there are 4 permanent shades, and I always suggest that you look at the permanent collection, as you will ever only need 1 tub, and you don’t really want to go for the limited edition tubs, which maybe pretty to look at, but from experience, are less functional.
- 01 Blanc de Perles – these used to be just a tub of pure white powders available only in Asia. The new version is predominantly white, with a smattering of pink, lilac and gold powders in there. I find this one a little “whitening” on skin so it works as either a very subtle highlighter or if used all over, lifts a very dull complexion. I’m not sure if it’s still only available in Asia so I’d appreciate confirmation 🙂
- 02 Clair – Previously known as Mythic and then, Teint Rose, this is the one most people are familiar with, as despite the name change, this combination has been with us for years and years! This is one in the bottom left of the picture above, instantly recognisable. This has a brightening effect to the skin and if not careful, can exude some shine/shimmer. If my skin looks or feels dull, this one lifts and adds a glow. If my base looks too flat (matte or anything too full coverage) then this one lifts it to look more flattering. While this is commonly touted as the “universally flattering” choice of Meteorites, I will not agree.
- 03 Medium – Previously known as Teint Beige, this is the one in the bottom right of the picture above. This is not the same colour combination as the even older Beige Chic which is more brown. Interestingly enough, this is the one I’d recommend for most people who ask me this question. The reason is thus. Although it says “Medium”, it isn’t very deep in colour. In fact, it is mostly translucent, with only a tiny hint of depth. The primary reason I suggest 03 Medium to most people, is because it contains the least shimmer. In fact, it has a more satin finish, and that is what most people prefer. Also, this has a nice unifying effect, perhaps due to the combination of shades, and suits most skintones, unless you are very very pale, in which case, it might be a touch warming. I use this one quite often, just to unify my base. If my foundation looks too pale or glowy (it happens) this tones it down. It just makes my makeup look better.
- 04 Dore – This is the deepest shade, but I hesitate to recommend this even if you have very deep colouring, because I find that it’s very brown and that can actually dull the skin. For me, this is my favourite bronzer because it is so translucent and gives such a subtle hint of shade to the skin so as to look natural instead of like cocoa powder. However, it is also very noticeably shimmery, which is why I hesitate to suggest this. For someone with a very deep skintone, even Medium could work, and might even offer some brightening effect.
IN A NUTSHELL
My suggestion for your very first tub of Meteorites, will be either 02 Clair (if you are fair or want something that will brighten the skin) or 03 Medium (for most skintones and if you prefer something not so shimmery).
Guerlain Meteorites Perles – 03 Medium aka Teint Beige – my recommended Meteorites
Do I need more than 1 tub of Meteorites?
Nope, absolutely not! In fact, you may even be wondering why you even own this one tub, if you feel you’re not seeing the magical effects everyone raves over. But whether you WANT another, that’s a whole different story altogether! 😀 Welcome to my world LOL! 😀
Should I buy the permanent or limited edition Guerlain Meteorites for my first tub?
My suggestion is always to go for the permanent ones, if you aren’t a collector or swayed by pretty makeup. The reason is simple.
I personally feel that the permanent range is more flattering.
From experience, the limited edition versions can sometimes be too warm (Pucci Meteorites) although that might suit some, too pale (Dragon Meteorites) or too shimmery (Aquarella, Perles de Nuit Meteorites – albeit the last is the one that gives the most beautiful candlelit glow to the skin).
Once in a blue moon, like a unicorn, a very nice one appears that is flattering (Rainbow pearls) but otherwise, I’d stick to the permanent range for your first tub.
Should I buy the limited edition Meteorites at all?
The short answer – only if you’re a collector. As I’ve noted, the limited edition Meteorites tend to be a little hit or miss. They work, but only if you are willing to get them to work.
The ones that are released for Christmas/Holidays tend to be fairly shimmery or pale. The ones released at other times of the year (occasionally Spring or Summer collections) vary in quality. Besides, these aren’t cheap and if you don’t plan to use them, don’t buy them. Well, unless you’re a collector, as I’ve noted.
Ok, so I want to buy one, how do I use the Meteorites?
Congratulations on making up your mind!
How to use the Meteorites is very simple.
Take a fluffy brush, swirl it or tap it GENTLY in the tub (be careful, the balls have a tendency to want to escape from their tub) and then, apply it all over your face AFTER you are done with your base (primer, foundation, concealer and/or powder) or after you’ve put all your makeup on.
Don’t worry if it seems like there’s no colour on your brush. Depending on the brush I use, it sometimes looks like it didn’t pick any product up, but it does.
Gently brush over your whole face, and you’re good to go. The new formula is more powdery than before, so brushes actually pick up more product now. Don’t overdo it. You aren’t supposed to SEE the powder on your skin. If you do, chances are, you’re using too much product.
I’ve seen people suggest to use Meteorites for highlighting. While you could, I don’t see the point, because they aren’t shimmery enough, nor can you pick up enough product to use just for highlighting. The powders are fairly light and translucent, despite how colourful they look in the tub, so to me, they don’t serve much of a highlighting function at all. You’d be better off using a proper highlighter instead.
What brush do I use with the Guerlain Meteorites pearls?
I can tell you what brush NOT to use with it – the one that Guerlain sells.
Guerlain sells a pink bristled brush under the Meteorites range and you may be persuaded to get it because it’s supposedly for use with these Meteorites perles and because it’s pink. DO NOT GET THIS PINK BRUSH! 😛
This brush is one of the WORST brushes I’ve ever come across, and it is so expensive too. It feels like a loo brush. That’s how stiff and rough it is, and it has absolutely NOTHING going for it but looks. Avoid like the plague – and this is coming from a huge huge Guerlain fan 😛
For me, I use any fairly dense but flexible powder brush. The reason I pick something more dense, is because I find that it picks up the powder more easily due to the surface area, and being flexible, it applies better on skin as well.
I use a bronzer brush by Trish McEvoy, but the Real Techniques Blush brush works just as well and I use them interchangeably. I’d even suggest using the Nars bronzer brush, which has a lovely dense and flat head, but in recent times, I’ve found it shedding and that pisses me off. So I’d actually suggest sticking to the Real Techniques brush – affordable and perfect for use with the Meteorites.
Do the Guerlain loose Meteorites travel well?
Short answer – no.
You see, the new metal tubs come with a flat lid that only covers the top of the tub. This can loosen easily and cover the inside of your makeup bag with a fine layer of shimmer. When they came in cardboard tubs, the cover would actually slide down all the way to the bottom of the tub.
Ironically then, it was more portable than now. So no. Unless you tape the cover down, don’t travel with these. You can get the pressed version if you prefer, which are more portable. To me however, I find the quality of the pressed Meteorites too inconsistent to recommend.
Should I get the mini travel sized Meteorites from duty free?
Short answer – no.
If you travel often, you may come across some mini Meteorites perles available at duty free counters. If they come with the brush attached or included, you’re faced with, and paying for, that terrible pink loo brush.
If they come in the mini tubs, you’ll find that they’re far too tiny and fiddly, and you’ll eventually hate it because it’s just too fiddly to use. The balls will disappear the minute you sneeze.
Personally, I feel that this makes a poor introduction to these cult powders, and I’d instead just get 1 full sized tub, and scratch that itch for good.
Are the Guerlain Meteorites worth the money?
This is arbitrary. I’d say yes but only because I totally GET that magic glow they give my skin. It’s the reason I’m such a huge fan of them, and extol their virtues to anyone who’d listen.
But I do not deny that these are expensive. At today’s prices, they’re something like RM195 or maybe more (US$62) and that’s a huge chunk of change for one makeup item. If you consider that it’ll last you nigh forever, then it makes sense as well, as the prices have been and will keep going up. But if it’s something you won’t likely use, or don’t get the hype about, then don’t spend that money just because everyone else is.
2019 update: It’s now RM269 | US$63 a tub. While the US prices hasn’t gone up by very much, the RM price is now hard for even me, a die-hard Meteorites collector, to swallow. For this reason, I have stopped collecting the newer ones post 2018, unless there is one that really catches my fancy.
Are there dupes for the Meteorites?
I’m sure there are – aren’t there dupes for everything out there? You can find similar looking colourful powders made in the form of pearls, or just similar colourful powders in many brands, from very affordable brands like NYX, Physician’s Formula and ELF to higher end brands like Shiseido Maquillage, Paul & Joe, even The Body Shop at one point.
From what I have seen, the ones from other brands tend to be heavy on the shimmer and are usually marketed as highlighting powders. The Guerlain Meteorites are more GLOW than SHIMMER and are marketed as illuminating powders, so there’s a very subtle difference, that translates differently on skin. Personally, I have not tried any of the ‘dupes’ so I will reserve comment. But if you find some dupes, and are happy with them, that’s great 🙂
What about the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders? Are they Meteorites dupes?
I’d say they aren’t. I did a little comparison when I reviewed the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder in Diffused Light. In short, Hourglass powders have more coverage and have more colour to them, so you have to be sure to get it right, or you won’t like them, or they might look off. Meteorites are far more translucent and much more forgiving as a result.
I hope I’ve helped answer some of the most common questions about these Meteorites perles powders. I thought it would be helpful to have them all in one place so I can just direct queries to this post, instead of repeating myself in every email reply I send LOL! 😀
Do you own any Meteorites Illuminating Powder Perles? Do you get the magical hype, or do you think it’s just another overhyped makeup product that serves no purpose but to suck your wallet dry?
I naturally love these, and I use them practically everyday. Sometimes, I use these powders over a thin layer of BB or CC Cream, and they do wonders to make me look awake and perky, when I feel like something the cat dragged in. Other times, I use it to finish and perfect my makeup so it looks just so. It’s not something I can pin my finger on and say “This makes me look flawless!” but it’s that moment when I catch the light, or I catch a glimpse in the mirror and I go “Man, you look amazing for an insomniac!” and that’s when I know – Meteorites Magic has done it again 😀 What say you?
59 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Hi there! I know I am late and this post was written a while back, but I wanted to ask the opinion of a Guerlain guru. I am debating whether to get the Meteorites Voyage (although I’m thinking about just getting the pan as the compact is beautiful but very pricey) or to get the Meteorites #1. I am extremely fair with cool undertones. I am always the lightest foundation shade, if they even have a shade light enough. I’m sure that the #1 shade would work for me as I’ve yet to find anything too light, but I’m not sure whether it will give me the same effect that everyone else gets from the darker shades, or if I should just get the #2. I know you said that #1 is super light/white, but super light is my “normal”, so I never know how advice applies to me as most are not as fair as I am. I hope that makes sense and I appreciate any suggestions you have as to which shade I should consider!
Paris B says
Hi Lauren 🙂 I’m no guru, just a huge fan of Guerlain Meteorites pearls 😀 I personally haven’t gotten the Meteorites Voyage simply due to the prohibitive cost. I still need to eat LOL! In your case, I’d suggest looking at either #2 Clair (which is really translucent with some brightening effect) or #1 Blanc de Perle. But I’d suggest #2 first because I feel it is better rounded as a finishing powder. #1 Blanc de Pearl has a touch more sparkles which might show up on skin. I hope this helps! 🙂
I love your article! You have such a nice collection, and are so knowledgeable.
I am a new Guerlain addict – I love the fragrances (so very much), I love the Meteorites Baby Glow product, and I LOVE the Meteorites Pearls! I have the 03 shade, as well as the Birthday Candles edition from this year. I have to say, the glow that this stuff gives you is amazing. Sometimes I put this on when I am not wearing a lick of make up and it just makes my skin look so illuminated.
BTW, I do use the pink brush that Guerlain sells to go with the pearls, and I do enjoy it! I enjoy the texture 🙂
Question for you, do you know where, if at all, one could buy some of the older limited editions? I was able to get the Birthday Candles edition (in December) from my local Guerlain boutique, but they did not have any others. I would love to get the more bronzy and blusher types.
Paris B says
Hi Anna, I’m glad you found this post useful 🙂 I don’t think the Meteorites from a few years ago are available anymore as they would be too old to go on sale. You can try looking on some sites like Strawberrynet, but I won’t vouch for their freshness. I’m quite sure that Guerlain will launch newer shades in similar blush/bronzer tones to come, so it’s best to wait for those. If you want something with more colour, consider #4 Dore in the permanent range. That one is more colour in it and I use it as a very light bronzer 🙂
Wow what a comprehensive page on Guerlain Meteorites. Thank you for answering ALL of my questions on this product. I keep hearing all the rave about it and want to try it but just wasn’t sure which one to get and what to expect from it. So now i know! 02 Clair it is! And i have that same Real Technique you showed in the pictures, so I am set. Thank you again for taking the time to explain in so much details.
Paris B says
I’m happy you found this guide to Guerlain Meteorites helpful, Carmen 🙂 I hope you’ve been enjoying your tub of pearls 🙂
Thank you so much for breaking this down–it’s SO hard to tell what each shade is meant for; even Guerlain’s site does little to differentiate. I really appreciate your easy to follow guide and was able to FINALLY make a decision (went with Medium). All the best to you!
Paris B says
Thank you for letting me know it was helpful for you Megan. I’m so happy it helped you and I do hope that you love your Meteorites as much as I do mine! <3
I wish I read your review before buying my first balls. I always wanted to buy but did not like the price. A few months ago, I was at Paris airport, since it was my anniversary vacation, I splurged and bought the travel set. It costs almost $82! Gosh, it is so difficult to use. I have been very careful when I use my brush in the balls! I lost 1-2 balls during first-month coz I move the brush out too quick! Anyway, they seem last long time though.
Paris B says
I’m sorry to hear that Yvonne. Here’s a tip. You can try getting a bigger container, tip all the balls into it and then use your brush to pick it up from there. It might make it less stressful! 🙂
Erin L. says
Yay! Your article was exactly what I needed. I’m a huge fan of Meteorites – and am never without it. But because it lasts so long, by the time I need more, I’m unclear about what color to get. My skin tans, and I typically need different foundations and powders at various times of the year. Skin is currently tan, was curious about whether I needed 04, but couldn’t decide. Thank you for describing exactly each color and the effect on your skin. I will choose 03 – my usual – because I am looking for a brightening, subtle effect. Great work!
Paris B says
Happy that you’ve found it helpful Erin! <3
Costco carries these for less than $40. Great deal. I bought all three colors.
Fantastic! What a purrfectly precise viewpoint/explaination of the strangest make-up product I’ve come across since my very first make-up purchase, at 14yrs. of age (a wonderful Lancome mascara. Although there are MANY more types now, Lancome is still my favorite brand of mascara!). And, yes, I’m now in my early 50’s! When I was beginning my 30’s, I decidedto try a LOT of new products. Meteorites was one of them. I bought all 3 products one day…the regular size “box,” the travel size mini “box,” & that soon-to-be-discovered CRAPPY pink brush (giggling now!). I just realized today why I always believed that I had paid over $100. for that first box of Meteorites. I bought all three products at once (more laughing)! Duh. So I get this new luxury find home, & dunk the pink brush in the regular size box (those lids were truly awesome), & proceed to cover my face. Yes, even a towel couldn’t get that off. Had to go for the soap & water. The next try I used it sparingly. STILL had to wipe some off with my hands to get rid of a plastic face look. Tried those beautiful balls a couple of more times, but they really made me look somewhere between plastic, & — yikes! — old. Ufffh. Ugh. Maybe it was my super oily skin then, maybe it was my tan, or the fact that I looked 10yrs younger than I was. Granted, this was back at the turn-of-the-century, around the year 2000. Make-up (science in general) has advanced so phenomenally in the past 20 or so years, that we really can’t compare anything to the products we had back then (& although Lancome mascara is still my favorite, as was that first tube in the 80’s, it’s a different formula now). Anyway, through all of the people I’ve loved, all of the carers I’ve had, all of the different homes I’ve lived in (6? 7?), I STILL have that FIRST BOX (& mini travel box!)of METEORITES!!! The difference now? It actually, applied with a good brush (I use an IT brush at home) & a light hand, perks up my complexion now. Wait…what???…did I just say that I’ve been using Meteorites that I bought about 20 YEARS ago? Yes! My box literally still looks recently-bought, & the balls still have the same lovely scent to them! Talk about a quality product. Literally incomparable. Now, ur question must be why am I reading ur blog about Guerlain’s beautifully unique product? It’s because I’ve decided that although I like my original purchase now (I could never bring myself to throw it away because it always smelt good when I would check it before a move, because it was so expensive — remember I thought I had paid well over one-hundred, even tho it was actually several products. I also forgot to mention that I bought the pressed powder Meteorites the same day. I haven’t thought about that, our mentioned it, becausethe compact truly is a different product — & because it’s just so darned PRETTY.), I want to try a new version of this product. I don’t remember there being a choice of different types 20 or so years ago, & ur comments on Meteorites has helped me decide, definitely, which type to try (03). I no longer tan, & highlighter only looks good on me at night (ohhhh…to be a 20-something girl again 🙂 ), & my old Meteorites actually works for me now. But a woman’s age doesn’t matter when it comes to always wanting to look better, & I’m super excited to order my all new Meteorites tin! Thanks for ur help, ur article was simply fabulous.
Just came across this post and found it so helpful! Very thorough and informative. Makes me want to give them a try!! Thank you Paris, I’m going to be checking out some of your other articles. I’m glad I discovered your website!!
Paris B says
Happy you found it helpful Carol! 🙂 I hope it helps you decide if you need a tub haha! 😀
Emma Walker says
Yesterday, one of my friends was talking about Guerlain meteorites; it was the first time I even heard the name. Anyhow, I was curious and went through your article. I must say you have written a much-detailed blog that has cleared my mind. With this, I am a little upset because I hadn’t used it before. But, I will surely use it from now on, ordering one for myself. Thanks, dear.
I enjoyed your article so much! I’ve never been good with make-up and I’ve officially given up on foundation *lol*. Since I’m already in my 40s, I find foundation powder always settling into my fine/smile lines and I’m just too lazy to go through the full make-up drill since I work from home mostly (most products will go to waste before I’m done with them). When I do go out, I’m now using a tinted matte sunscreen and concealer. I’m seriously considering getting these pretty pearls but I’m wondering if you have any experience using them without foundation? My skin is a little dull and I just want something to make it brighter without worrying about powder settling into lines. Thanks!
Paris B says
Apologies for the late reply. Yes I sometimes use them on their own on bare skin. It doesn’t settle, and it doesn’t look shiny or shimmery. Just looks like skin but a touch better 🙂