Paula's Choice


117 reviews

62% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$

Not tested on animals


on 10/10/2012 7:59:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I use and faithfully as sources of information about beauty products I'm interested in purchasing. Makeupalley is my primary source of consumer opinion and beautypedia is my primary source of research and comparison data, though I also use skindeep, cosdna, totalbeauty, and other resources. I don't agree with all of Paula's reviews, though I generally find them to be pretty accurate, especially regarding skincare. I appreciate her approach, and I particularly like the listing of ingredients and explanation of the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of each product's "star" ingredients. Yes, she reviews her own line and rates her own products as "Paula's Picks." I have no issue with this because I've tried many of her products and have found them to be well-formulated and effective. In some cases, they are unique within their price range, and I like having the information on these and other products available in one easily-searchable place. The thing that bothers me about beautypedia is that whole lines disappear from there with no explanation. I'm sure Nuxe and Arcona were once listed, because I remember reading her opinions of some of their products. Now they are gone. Sometimes her reviews are a bit self-righteous and strident, and I don't care for her personality. For the most part, though, I read beautypedia for the facts about what ingredients and formulations can and cannot do, and have found the information very useful in helping me avoid costly mistakes and ineffective formulations. I just wish more lines and products were covered.

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I think this is an excellent website for finding out which products are likely to irritate your skin or are highly overrated or overpriced. It should be used as a reference guide for ingredients in cosmetics and how skin may respond to these ingredients. Beautypedia especially is interested in antioxidants to improve skin and harsh ingredients like unneeded fragrance that can actually irritate or harm skin. However, I don't always agree with the reviews of products as to how they work on my face. I do like cosmetic websites that ask for age, type of skin, etc. so that I can make comparisons.

on 9/24/2012 10:11:00 PM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Other, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Other

While some have reviewed PB's "paula's choice" line under this category. I'll stick to reviewing her website Beauytpedia.

I've been using Beautypedia, ( Paid and free), as a tool for looking for specific make up and skin care products. example: If you want to find a foundation for oily skin, that is fragrance free, without sunscreen, and not tested on animals for under 20 dollars. You can quickly find find that out! Then take your choices and check them out here at MUA. You'll end up saving time and money.
Paula Begoun started a personal mission to try to stop cosmetic and skin care companies from screwing over consumers, which is admirable. It's true that her passion could be overbearing, and yes she eventually added her own products and gives them all the highest rating, but that's business and this is a free country.
I've found her ratings of make up and skin care to be for the most part, accurate, but I'm the judge if I like something or not.
Beauytpedia just lets me know if that $60 moisturizer I've been eyeing at Sephora may have an ingredient that may leave me with a red ugly rash on my face...nothing wrong with that!

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Paula has been bashing other beauty product lines under the guise of being a "consumer advocate" for years. She's not an expert at anything, she's simply someone that has done a little research and passed judgment on perfectly good products. She sensationalizes. I loathed her very first book. Imagine my surprise when she came out with a product line! Way to go Paula in setting your consumer up and then profiting off of it. Brilliant strategy. Everything else not so brilliant.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

*updated 1/2015; I swear by Paula Begoun's products and think they have done more for my skin, than most money I have wasted on other skincare products. I have used her entire skincare line protocol for over 10 years with great love and success.I think you need to remember that her opinion is a GUIDE for recommendations not that her opinion is the only one to listen to. Listen to yourself, if you like it and can afford it..more power to you. I do think it deserves to be said that more average consumers need to read her books and read the reviews about the products you use though. I think her view on open jar containers, following a regimen of cleanse, tone, moisturize, and protect, and that you don't need a separate night cream or eye cream are worth every bit of hype she gives them. Those simple rules of basic skincare are fact based and fundamentally sound. Her own line of makeup is not my favorite, but like I said earlier, follow your own intuition. Who else spends millions on rating other people's products, and yet has their own lines as well. {No one else.} You owe it to yourself if you are reading this, to go to beautypedia to check it out. Your skin will thank you later.

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 7/5/2012 10:28:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Paula started off as a consumer advocate, but now with the growth of her own products, the line of independence on her behalf, is starting to blur. Of course she's going to review her products favourably or point you to one of her own as an alternative to a product she doesn't review well, but I've just taken that as the cost of providing an excellent and FREE service to savvy shoppers.

I discovered her reviews via her original books and was shocked to learn the level of deceit and plain out lying that happens when marketing beauty and makeup products and how blatantly companies get away with making such absurd claims! Even my most skeptical and logical friends, often with science backgrounds, have a hard time not buying into the hype simply because it's so seductive and surely 'the product says it does this so it must do this'. Sigh. So for that reason I am SO HAPPY beautypedia exists.

The site isn't perfect nor is the app, and she does recommend her own line of products a lot, but come on, it's a small price to pay for a FREE service that has saved me probably THOUSANDS of dollars on unnecesary beauty buys over the years. There are a few gaps in the site in so far as providing reviews for *every* brand of skincare/makeup but they're often quite niche brands and I think the variety of content is very extensive and robust overall.

I hate that people are saying her reviews are 'psuedo science' - if you read a review, you'll notice she always provides links and references to scientific journals/publications SCIENTIFICALLY PROVING statements where she needs to. Since when do other companies do this? I have yet to find one that backs up their research definitively and with as much thoroughness as beautypedia/paula's choice when making claims or giving information.

The only downsides for me are the fact that a few brands are missing and sometimes I find her reviews a little scathing, but given the amount of deceit companies will go to in order to basically steal our money through thinly disguised LIES, she has every right to be as scathing as she wants! In the end, she remains a consumer advocate and I applaud her for giving people such important and thorough information so we can go off and make an informed decision about our beauty buys.

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

when i first discovered this iPhone app i was so excited! then suddenly horrified! i became so paranoid about all of my products and trashed a few that i really liked! now when i go to the store i get really nervous about buying something if i don't check the app first. yesterday i went to buy a toner but i couldn't get a signal and i wanted to double check the app (even though i had already decided what to buy after researching it first) so because i didn't have a signal for the app i left the store. now i don't have a toner. i think that made me realize that i was too dependent on the pseudo-scientific explanations she provided. that and the fact that i read the product reviews on her website concerning the dissatisfaction of her customers. wow! i really needed that kick in the face! literally in the face! i think i know what my skin needs, and i will check with the app from time to time but i find that MUA helps me so much more! thank you all at MUA who take the time to write reviews and guide those of us who need it!

8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

on 6/19/2012 3:55:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Grey, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I used to refer to the Beautypedia pretty regularly, but lately it seems like it's gotten less broad in the number and types of products it reviews. I have to think that it's part of Paula's marketing not to review any products less expensive than hers -- that's what it seems like. Still, it's a good resource for looking up mainstream product ingredients and high-end stuff.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 6/16/2012 11:52:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

as much as I adore and use her products, I just can not like her, or her website!
The basic thing that annoys me is this: She mixes up "science" with "marketing". If a moisturiser is hailed as "a miracle that will transform your skin" she berates it, despite maybe having OK ingredients. If something is just a bit basic, she will berate it as well. In my opinion there is nothing wrong for example with the emollient properties of plain moisturisers. They don't need to have all the antioxidants in the world. Or be protected from the sun if they are a plain mineral oil based product. Yet she berates all of these mercilessly.
She goes as far as also berating colours in eyeshadows and foundations "too orange" "too pink" question is...for who? I've seen her make up tutorials and she looks dire and mask-like.As much as her beautypedia ingredient list is something I go back to again and again, and as much as I read reviews for certain products, I would never take her advice on make up!

14 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Black

At first, I really liked Paula and what she did in reviewing ingredients. One thing I did gain was a knock on the head about my natural phase, and the ability to research my products.

However, Paula's tone of voice is very condescending and arrogant. Some products she recommends are great (cerave for example. Olay ultra moisture is another treasure), but I don't think she realizes the value of less ingredients. Too many ingredients can overwhelm skin. Use a FEW ingredients to achieve desired results. Companies that formulate their products with only as many ingredients as are necessary will have products that are more likely to suit a wider array of skin types. And when you need a product because of the one thing it does, that's very important! That's like saying every medication should have vitamins included in the capsule. (anyone see the flaw in logic there?)

I used her products, for sufficient time periods, and through a wide range. None of them worked particularly well. Her BHA may be the only worthwhile product in the line, but I can't use it, because BHA is too harsh for my skin. (or maybe it's all the extra ingredients!) Funny thing is, her BP doesn't work on me. Other BP's that I've used work quite well, so I really think it is her excessive ingredients!

Examples: La Roche Posay, for example is a good line that she gives bad reviews, because of the fact that it's products focus on doing the only one thing they claim. Especially the Anthelios XL sunscreen. For someone with darker skin, who can't go around wearing Zinc Oxide on their skin everyday, (and lives in the south) a non-physical sunscreen that provides full spectrum UVA protection is indispensable. (On amazon, not much more expensive than neutrogena.) Sunscreen is like medication--it's worth spending money on sunscreen!

She gives Dermablend a bad review too, because it's not "skin-like", but it's very skin like--you just have to use less.

I really think she should aim to make more people check the ingredients label and understand the ingredients and their function. I think her reviews are useless in and of themselves, particularly in terms of makeup. (I don't think she knows how to use makeup properly). I find the reviews on MUA, by gurus, and good old fashioned trial and error more effective.

I also think she should tell people to go to the dermatologist if they have an issue with persistent acne. Try one or two products with SA, BPO, and a good moisturizer and facewash (cerave). If neither of those work, go to the dermatologist before you destroy your skin.

22 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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