When the Essence "Me & My Ice Cream" Shimmer Pearls came out, I thought they looked very similar to Guerlain Meteorites. It took me a while to get my hands on the Essence pearls - they sold like wildfire! - but I finally did, thanks to a wonderful beauty consultant at my local Priceline store who actually found them for me ON HER DAY OFF, how good is that?!?
Pictured below is a mini travel size of Guerlain Meteorites in shade 01 "Mythic" (this is the classic original shade) on the left, and Essence Shimmer Pearls on the right. Guerlain usually packages their Meteorites (mini and full size) in strengthened cardboard with a lid that slips on and off, while Essence has a plastic pot with a screw top lid. Essence definitely wins on packaging, it's much more practical.
Guerlain Meteorites have a very distinctive powdery, violet scent; the Essence Shimmer Pearls have a sweet candy scent that reminds me of strawberry or cherry sherbert powder. Neither scent lasts long on the skin so if it bothers you it will fade quickly, but I adore the Guerlain scent.
The products look quite similar in the little pots, with the Guerlain having a slightly more chalky appearance with gold sparkle, and Essence having more of an even sheen.
When applied to the skin there is a distinct difference. The Guerlain Meteorites have more of a scattered sparkle, while the Essence Pearls have a smooth sheen. Sorry it's hard to swatch them with my pale skin - I have packed on the products so you can see the difference, it's much more subtle when applied properly.
On the left is the Essence Pearls - as you can see they have a champagne sheen and make a lovely highlighter. The Guerlain Meteorites, when applied this heavily, have pronounced sparkle and a pinker tone.
These are two very different products, despite their similar appearance. When I use Meteorites as intended, dusted lightly over the face, there's no obvious difference to my skin, except that it looks...better. The Meteorites diffuse the light and the slightly pink undertone lifts my complexion and makes it look clearer and smoother. I use Meteorites over my whole face.
The Essence pearls create a definite sheen when swiped across the cheekbones and temples, creating a highlight effect that is finer and more subtle than a straight shimmer powder, but definitely visible. I wouldn't use the Essence Pearls over my whole face or I'd look like a disco ball!
Being two different products I wouldn't normally choose a favourite, but is it blasphemy to say I like the Essence Shimmer Pearls a teeny bit better?
It's true! I think the Essence Pearls have the same cute concept, a more practical container, and are a very useful highlighter. They give a more visible result and are ten thousand times better value for money! The Guerlain Meteorites are a nice-to-have, not a must-have, and while 20 years ago they were an innovation in light diffusing skin brightening powder, there are many more practical and cost-effective options available these days. I still love them but I wouldn't repurchase.