I bought the first edition and enjoyed it because it was really helpful to have someone point out the BS in a majority of the cosmetics/beauty products' marketing & packaging. I now check on what her staff says about products I hear about or try for the first time -- it's really to get one of many opinions that I do while researching a product and to compare with my own experience. I totally don't agree most of the time. I think the knee-jerk reactions and giving of low ratings just because of the presence of a tiny amount of some ingredient (for example, alcohol) is a bit crazy. Some of the low ratings are just arbitrary. Foundations without sunscreen could get a great rating because it's in the no-spf category, but a great, beautiful foundation with a spf of 4 would get a horrible rating because it's in the 'foundations with spf' category and she thinks all foundations should have a minimum of spf 15. That's just dumb.
Now that she's selling her own line of beauty products, I think there is a HUGE incentive to say overly negative things about okay or decent products because they are ALL her competition. I don't understand how people can overlook this. You can't have the "cosmetics cop" profitting from selling cosmetics! This is a clear and blatant conflict of interest.
I do like the fact that I can at least get a list of ingredients for a product if I can't find it anywhere else. I just wish she didn't sell her own line of products. Then we could actually regard her as a sort of consumer watchdog for us trying not to get ripped off by cosmetics companies, but for now, I really regard her reviews with a lot of skepticism.
This is like Consumer Reports for makeup. It will save you a ton of money and you can get the best products in every category. She is not pushing her own brand; I don't think people who say that really read the book. I now go to her website frequently and have not been disappointed yet.
I agree with some of the other reviewers that rated this book low. I feel that Paula Begoun really is nothing more than a department store makeup counter person. Now don't get me wrong, as I think most of these people are wonderful, and I personally have been offered great advice from them. In addition, these workers are not writing books, and having consumers believe they know everything! Aside from that, these people are in sales and that is what they do: sell their products. Paula Begoun did study science, but does not have a degree. She left university to become a makeup artist. She is the CEO of Paula's Choice Skin Products. In reality, she is just someone that is trying to promote her products. In one of her previous books all of her products received a "Paula's PIck" (Which means they are of the highest standards). Lets get real, a lot of her products contain silicones, which aren't the greatest for your skin. I've tried many of her products, facial wash (burns your eyes), moisturizers (didn't moisturize), serums (full of silicones), etc. I really wasn't impressed with any of her products. The products that she says are great is this book, usually aren't and vice versa. Let's face it everyone's skin is unique. The best product advice is usually from makeup rating sites, like MakeupAlley of course and trial and error.
I have found Paula's information to be extremely helpful. I think she really knows what she is talking about, especially with skincare, and I think my skin looks better because of it!
I am 49 and still get compliments on my complexion. 'Nuff said!
I also recently started using her products and I think they work very well.
Two big thubs up! I almost never do go to the cosmetics counter without her. I even have her app on my phone.
As far as rating her own products "Paula's pick"- I think it makes total sense. Why would she make a product that she didn't think was good?
My only complaint with edition is that Paula has given all of her products a Paula's Pick designation.
Her previous books listed her products but did not rate them which seems like a better choice.
I must say i do reference back to this book often, mostly curious to see the comments she makes regarding products, she definitely helped me to pick better bha options for my sometimes zitty skin. but it's funny how all her paula's choise products are all top rated... and some of the sunscreens that she says are great for oily sking are so greasy , who is testing all these products and what kind of skin do they have???? ......
First off, let me say I've never been on the Paula hate-train. For those of us here who remember life before the internet, her books were an essential resource in wading through the hype and hypocrisy of the world of cosmetics. However, I do take her advice with a grain of salt. And then another. Okay, maybe a full tablespoon. Through her books, I've found many good skin care products from BHA lotions (saved my skin) to broad spectrum sunscreens without irritating chemicals, and for that I am grateful. However, her makeup advice leaves a lot to be desired. She always seems to be about a decade behind the trends. To her credit, in the latest edition, she seems to have acknowledged that people do come in shades of pink, peach, rose, ash or mahogany. (I'm one of them.) Or, at least, she's not pushing yellow-toned foundation as heavily as she once did.
I bought this book after hearing so much hype about it so I ordered it from Amazon.com and zealously began reading the 7th edition of this book. Let me preface this review by saying, yes, there was some good information in the book regarding irritants in products, what to look for in the ingredients list, and being introduced to brands that were unknown to me, so this was a good read on that account. However, was this book something I needed to have in book collection, no; would I recommend this book to someone else, no; do I regret buying the book, no, but I wish I hadn't done so for I didn't get my money's worth.
My recommendation is if you are curious about this book, rent it from a library, try to borrow it from a friend, or buy a used haggard older edition of the book, but don't go out and buy latest edition of this book for it's not worth the $30 investment. You can find most (if not all) of the information in this book on the internet if you have: 1) the inclination & desire to know more about makeup and skin care; and 2) have access to a computer.
Enough said and that's the end of my review.
I loved reading about the vast amount of cosmetic products out there, but other than that I didn't find this book that helpful. Many of her reviews were based solely on irritants and chemicals that many are already aware of, as she states at the beginning of the book. I would much rather refer to MUA :)
P.S. This was bugging me.. how is she supposed to rate her own brand fairly?
I am amazed at the number of people who reviewed this book, yet have never even read it, much less purchased it. I have purchased, read, re-read and continue to reference her books before making a new make-up or skin care purchase. Does it mean I take her word as Gospel? No. However, before Paula came on the market with her reviews, keep in mind there were very few (if any) broad-spectrum sunscreens, very few (if any) products for sensitive skin, and very few (if any) products that contained anti-oxidants in stable packaging. Before she came on the scene, menthol, alcohol, heavy fragrance and other irritants were staples in many skin care products. Before she came on the scene, we would judge the quality of a product by the price, the name, and the advertising, thinking it would work miracles simply because it was an expensive product from an expensive department store. Now, largely due to the pressure her reviews have put on these companies, more and more high-quality products are there for reasonable prices. In short, she holds these companies accountable in a market where false advertising largely goes unchecked. The ingredient glossary alone is worth the price of the book. Yes, sometimes I do not agree with her: some picks for her are not picks for me, and vice versa. By and large, however, she is dead on target, if not at least in the ballpark. Since I am over 40, my skin care needs change with the tides it seems, and what I use in the fall/winter, will not be the same things I use in the spring/summer. I take into account the reviews from make-up alley, my esthetician, my hair stylist, my sisters, my dear husband...but I will not make a purchase without consulting this book. She has been in this business for many, many years. As far as recommending her own products is concerned, I would expect her to do that. I would expect that all of the knowledge she has gained over the years would translate into state-of-the-art products with her name on them. Look at the ingredient list and price of her Super Antioxidant Concentrate, for example...then, look at the ingredient list and price of another well-known company's "anti-aging" serum. Her formula will most likely be superior; it will most definitely be cheaper. To not give her any credit for objectivity is narrow-minded and unfair. To not at least read this book cover to cover before forming an opinion is uneducated and ignorant. But hey...it's your money and your skin.