To me, Beautypedia provides a useful perspective. It is really helpful to have a voice of reason out there debunking some of the nonsense that the cosmetic companies try to put over on consumers. (I have first hand experience with this as I worked in the industry for years). I think that is exactly what Paula set out to do, and that is what she does. However, I make up my own mind about these things. Skin care, cosmetics is very subjective and just because something doesn't work for someone else doesn't mean it won't work for me. Where skincare and make up are concerned its always a combination of ingredients, desired effect etc. that are all very personal. She just provides another perspective, and btw I quite enjoy her touch of humor. I have enjoyed reading her reviews, but by no means to I take it as gospel. You have to take charge of your own decisions, and Paula's site just provides information so that you can do that! Go Paula.....
Hello MUAers. Longtime reader, first time poster!
I though it would be fitting to write my first review on a website that reviews products. I am an everything beauty related junkie, and I will read anything and everything on the topic. I also enjoy sharing what I learn with friends and family.
That being said, I used to read fashion magazines to educate myself about the cosmetics industry. The problem is that cosmetics companies advertise in the magazines and the editors can't say anything negative about their advertisers. Going to the drugstore or department store can be overwhelming with all of the choices they offer. I started to read Paula Begoun's books and discovered a whole new perspective on the business that is beauty. Granted she is not a physician, but she is a unique voice in the media. And don't forget, lots of M.D's endorse products, which makes it a matter of $$$ and not necessarily what is good for the consumer. I subscribed to her newsletter for product reviews that were not in her books. With the exception of her own brand (which I will get into later), she does not profit from the companies that she reviews. Paula has been researching the industry for years and is an informed source. I think any consumer should refer to many resources for information, not just one. Which is why I also have been reading reviews for years on MUA (thanks ladies!).
As for Beautypedia:
Convenience- I like being able to access Paula's reviews from a computer. I may be interested in a product and not have access to her books at the time and can look to see if a product has been reveiwed.
I think they do a pretty good job in updating the products that are being reviewed, they are always new products on the market so there will be products and brands that have not yet been reviewed. I could research the ingredients myself and try to analyze the products, but I probably would just purchase the item instead of looking up all the ingredients.
I find it helpful to know if there could be potentially irritating ingredients in the product before hand.
The price for a yearly subscription is not that much more than a magazine subsrciption, so I dont find it to be expensive. If it is something you refer to frequently, it will be worth the money.
I find the content to be useful, especially the products she gives a very good or a very bad rating.I like that she compares expensive and inexpensive products, I may want to try the inexpensive version before splurging for the expensive version of a product. I also want to know if an SPF product will actually provide sun protection. Its not the gospel, but a good resource. And I can follow up reading reviews on MUA to see other's opinions on products.
CONS- I think one of the biggest complaints about Paula is how can she be objective when she sells her own products? Of course she gives Paula's Choice products her Paula's Picks. I don't go to Beautypedia to read reveiews on her products, but on other companies' products. I can always come to makeupalley if I want to read reviews on Paula's Choice products. It could be considered to be a conflict of interest that she reviews competitors' products and promoting her own, however, I just take it with a grain of salt. She does give positive reviews to products that aren't hers. Besides, if every other celebrity can sell their own product, why can't Paula? She does have some valuable knowledge and expertise. But I will just stick to the topic of Beautypedia for this review.
There are times I have a difference of opinion from Paula when reading her reviews. Sometimes it comes to a matter of preference instead of science. She may give a product a neutral rating to a good product because she feels it is overpriced. I may find that particular product work better on me than some less expensive products. That is why I may still try something even if she gives it a less than favorable rating. I will just have a little bit more information on it than I would have if I didn't go to Beautypedia beforehand.
I find that her personal opinions really come into play when she reveiws makeup. She tends to prefer a natural or neutral, matte look. That is one makeup look, I like to experiment with different looks. Just because something is colorful or shimmery doesn't make it a bad product. I like to use a variety of products depending on what look I am going for. I find (for me) Beautypedia is a better resource for skincare products than makeup products. But I may consider a product that I could otherwise overlook if I read an interesting review.
Again, its all about the information.
Whether it be Beautypedia, MUA, other websites, books, magazines, tv shows or even word of mouth; its import to weigh the options and figure out what works for you at the end of the day.
Everyone is different and has their own likes and dislikes. I like to try products and see how they might work on me (or share with people around me if I think it could benefit them). I appreciate the work that Paula does on her website and thinks she provides a valuable service. It may not be for everyone, but I like to refer to Beautypedia when I get the chance. I will probable renew my subscription when it expires, as well as continue to come to this site and refer to other resources.
I like Paula's book and website (I subscribed at half price). She provides very useful yet very accessible information on the composition of products and strip them of all the fancy marketing claims. I think she is doing a great job at informing and educating consumers.
I got rid of some Elemis, Eau Thermale, Nars, Giorgio Armani and other products that were potentially unsutable for my skin. By reading Paula's reviews I discovered other products that otherwise I would have not used.
It is still up to me if I want to splurge on a Bumble & Bumble shampoo even if a high street shampoo would deliver the same result. But now I make a choice based on objective facts.
4 lippies as I do not like Paula's bitter/critical approach of some of her reviews.
** EDIT: I have now used this website for over 8 months and I do not agree with 90% of the reviews, Paula says some products are rubbish and they work great for me, Paula says some products are great and they work rubbish for me. I can't understand how she can say that something is good/bad just by looking at the ingredients. Especially make up:you have to try products to say what they are like. I hate Clinique and I think it is total rubbish, she raves about it. Kerastase? Nowhere to be found. It is a decent point of reference, but take it with a pinch of salt. Now the website is free and you have to claim the refund within a certain deadline. Really cheap, the refund should be automatic. And the special refund/gift does not work fir the UK. Paula, you should start walk the talk. Less than impressed.
I really liked the idea that a professional reviews the products of other brands other than hers. I thought that she made an honest job and still think in a way that she still does. Personally, I do not have an easy skin, which is dry and sensitive and therefore, I have to be very picky. Her choices and recommendations rarely coincide with mine. Evertime, I have to come back to MUA and research her thoughts and recommendations. But still, it could be used as a second source.
I have a love/hate relationship with Paula. The "love" is that she is doing something that nobody did before she came along and she is taking on a big industry. The "hate" is that she makes her own products out to be the best of the best when they are simply like many products on the market: Good for some and not so good for others. Plus the tone gets really bitter and sometimes she is just WRONG. Just a few weeks ago, I emailed the staff to tell them that a product that they called out for being packaged in a jar was really packaged in an air-less jar. Big difference. They did change the review. But here is where it all gets confusing. She is citing research. But her research conflicts with other research from other experts and I just end up with a headache. I do think it is helpful to have her reviews but all things are not equal in her world. For example, her love of Olay(which other reviewers have mentioned.) dislike Olay. I don't like the textures. I don't like the scent. I rarely like the brand. And yet, thanks to Paula, I go back to it from time to time and end up throwing it away. Then there is the whole exfoliation dance: Her nine exfoliating products even recommended for rosacea sufferers. The consensus is NOT in on this. I could go on but you all get the idea.
I could repeat much of what others have said about this site, but I'll try to add something if I can. The fact is that the general information in first chapters is so useful and sensible that it seems I've always known this stuff...but I haven't. I'm grateful to know which cosmetic companies fall into which corporate families. The info is available elsewhere, surely - but I learned it in this book. The same is true of the explanation of many product ingredients. I don't take treat it as gospel, but as a moderately credible, relatively informed source of makeup info.
That said, Paula Begoun stresses a few themes in her book that I simply do not share. The main example is her abhorrence of anything remotely resembling "peach" in undertones when it comes to foundation. I laugh to think of it, because, in her review of a foundation, she is careful to recommend against specific shades with the tiniest hint of "peach." Most often, one of the de-selected shades is the only shade possible for me, the only one that disappears against my skin. Could this disconnect between opinions regarding peach undertones have anything to do with the fact that my complexion reflects my African-American heritage? In all honesty, I have no idea. I just know better than to march with her recommendation over the truth I see in the mirror. And -- sorry, but I can't resist this echo -- I don't know what it is about Olay that bought her undying (uncritical?) loyalty, anymore than I know who at Neutrogena tinkled in her Post Toasties (showing my age on that one, I know), but her biases can be so obvious as to be amusing. I sidestep, move on, and still feel more informed than ripped off. I've tried, but Olay and I don't get along. I can't counter her info point for point; I just know that stuff doesn't like my face and vice versa.
P.S. MUA's cool, too, but I'm looking for and receiving a different sort of information here...and getting it...mostly...I think.
Finally, I too signed on at half-price. I'll renew.
I have very sensitive, reactive, acne-prone and oily skin. I'm very grateful for beautypedia.com for educating me on skincare and skin products. Before discovering this website, I had wasted sooo much money on products that either didn't work or aggravated my sensitive skin. Now, for the most part, I just save my money and stick to her recommendations and my skin has been happier for it. I recommend this for sensitive skin types looking for products truly for sensitive skin. This is a good value. Thank you Paula for helping me navigate the seemingly overwelming barrage of skin care products and trends and empowering me as a consumer.
Personally, I found a great moisturiser, foundation, mascara and lip gloss all from Paula's recommendations, and I am not switching, therefore potentially saving a lot of money and wasted products sitting in my bathroom.
I am just about to renew my subscription at half price.
A lot of people have said that MUA reviews have the advantage over Paula's reviews because MUA-ers are people actually using the product. The problem with that is that a reviewer could unknowingly be using a product unsuitable for his/her skin type, or using it in in conjunction with an incompatible product, or using too much. The reader can't know. In those circumstance, it would not be surprising if the product doesn't work, or causes irritation.
So I think there is some point to Paul's reviews, which compare the manufacturers' claims with the ingredients lists. It's always fascinating when she says - 'Yes, such-and-such an ingredient (or skin-care technology) is effective, but you don't have to pay this much for it. The drug store version is just as good.' You don't get that sort of insight so easily on MUA.
Paula is not a dermatologist but aims to translate the science for the every day consumer. Reading her reviews in conjunction with the experienced-based reviews on MUA means that consumers can be far better informed than they were a decade ago.
I also like Paula's general advice that the cosmetic and skin care lines put out some of the high end companies (Chanel, Dior etc) are often not value for money. She seems to be saying that taken as a whole, many of them go for style over substance and you just don't have to pay stratospheric prices to get good products that work for you. Sounds reasonable to me. Note that you can read her brand summaries for free.
I also got my Beautypedia subscription at 50% off. I love Paula's expertise, but sometimes her snarky reviews and smugness grate on my nerves. Still, the snark has saved my skin a lot of grief and hassle, as I am able to steer clear of beauty disasters instead of throwing money down the drain like I used to. Her reviews are scientific and I think she's trustworthy. I still read reviews on MUA, but I really like Paula's Beautypedia.
Like many others, I don't like how she has the site set up. I like to open links in a new tab, but the site won't let you do that. It makes the site slow and awkward to navigate.