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.
Had a year's subscription for half price. Like many others, I would cross reference products from Paula's lists to MUA usually finding that opinions differed greatly. When it came time to renew this year, I choose not too. I've found that using MUA's filters on age & skin type give me a better idea if a product might work for me than Beautypedia which only filters on skin type.
Used the coupon code and received half-off discount.
I have to credit Paula for really educating me about skin care and makeup. At the age of 15, I checked out her book DGTTCCWOM and my interest in skin care began. Or maybe I should say obsession? I’m always on the lookout for more information and better products. Not to mention, beauty products are real luxury items for me these days. I can no longer afford to throw money away on impulse purchases. I highly recommend using beautypedia.com in conjunction with this site. By checking her review, then the general consensus here, you can be informed before you buy. The only gripe I can muster about Paula’s site is the limited amount of brand reviews. She doesn’t add many new reviews very often, either. For this reason, I can’t justify renewing (though the discounted cost is certainly reasonable), save for reference purposes. As with her book, there are far too many new products to keep up with (it would be impossible to do so). While I do agree with others that she *should* actually test the products, rather than just check ingredient lists, I find MUA more than makes up for that. All in all, beautypedia is a great resource-just don’t see myself “buying again”. Though I will certainly update if I should change my mind.
Like others have said here, don't go EXACTLY about what Paula says. Some of her reviews I dont agree with specially for make up. I have some products that I love and she hates. But when it comes to skin care I listen carefully but I never base everything on her opinion only. Thank god for MUA, I love MUA!!! But keep in mind she favours some brands more than others, her own ofcourse, Olay I tink is her fave beause I havent seen a product she gives a sad face. The worst she gives them is Neutral. I mean they must have ONE that's really not good or neutral. Dont get me wrong I LOVE Olay, I use most of their stuff but there are other comparable.
Love MUA more than beautypedia since real people do the reviews because I think if you are reviewing for a living you probably dont use a product for a long time to if at all. I just consult beautypedia for skincare. For makeup i stongnly disagree with some stuff. But both these sites complement eachother and I've saved some money and spent it on some great products otherwise I'd never consider. I will subscribe again and again for the 50% off I get to beautypedia.
Ohhh.. beautypedia. What can I say? I have found many inconsistencies in ingredient lists, and very much disagree with some of her ratings on some products, although I do like to check it occasionally. I'm also mad because all her Paula's Picks for the anti acne section contain BP. HELLO?! What about people that can't use it, or are allergic? NO ALTERNATIVES. it just makes me mad :(