I find the Beautypedia website indispensable. Their articles and reviews alerted me to the ingredients I was having irritation and rashes from--esp Methylwhatever, that long name. That's why products that people generally rave about (eg WnW coverall foundation) destroy my skin. They point out fragrance/formula/etc issues, and are quite generous in recommending all kinds of brands for all budgets. To those reiterating that Paula doesn't have specialized degrees/ experience: she hires a team for this stuff, you can't miss their names on the site. Duh.
They aren't as quickly updated as MUA when it comes to specific products. They hate Lush, but I have found some gems from there which haven't been reviewed on BP website.
Their articles have helped me pick out effective products for hair, skin, makeup. It is a great resource combined with MUA for a broader range of opinions and experiences. I don't understand the bad reviews at all.... The reviewers always leave a margin for preference, but with makeup it's obvious they prefer a certain aesthetic. So what? They always mention products other than their own, and I love the videos/podcasts they come out with. If you think they are too biased towards PC items you haven't seen their videos. They sometimes mention PC products not being optimal for them. E.g one of them mentioned that the PC array of sunscreens don't work for him, the finish or feel of them, so he goes for Skinceuticals. There are more examples of this type of honest feedback.
Have not purchased even one PC item and have used Beautypedia as a resource for years.
Paula has saved my skin more than once. In the late 90's, I read her book, "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," and learned why all of the acne products never worked at clearing up my skin. Even worse, they were breaking me out even more. So basically, I was paying money for more acne. I started using the cleansers she recommended, then purchased her BHA 2% Gel when she first came out with it in the late 90's. This has kept my skin clear for more than 15 years. Yes, I'm 55 and I still break out.
Now, I have new issues. I've suddenly developed very sensitive skin. Everything she has said about fragrance, plant and chemical, has proven true for me. It breaks me out horribly around my eyes. I can't even use it in my shampoos and conditioners. The Ingredient Dictionary on her website has been a skin lifesaver for me. On a side note, my skin and hair have never looked better using completely fragrance free products.
I've also found her reviews on makeup to be accurate about 90% of the time. I'll buy a product some You Tuber recommends, then find it doesn't work for me. I'll look it up on Beautypedia, and will discover a poor or average review. I don't always agree with her reviews on her own makeup products. I think that's an area where that still needs some work.
I also like the company's honesty over how much their products can do for you. If you watch their Q&A You Tube videos, they admit the limits, and that it's not Botox in a jar.
Do I consider them infallible or completely unbiased? No. However, no one on the planet is infallible or unbiased. I appreciate what Paula has done for the skincare industry, and I think we've all benefitted, whether you use her products or not.
While I find some of Paula's reviews to be over the top with the warnings about fragrance and natural oils, I do regard Beautypedia as a fantastic resource for sensitive skin care products.
I have purchased many products based on the "Best" rating and found them to be very effective. I do hesitate to purchase any product that she has given a poor rating to, and I really appreciate the ingredients list. Several products I used to wear were loaded with alcohol, and I had no idea until I read the review on Beautypedia.
My skin has improved since switching to alcohol-free products (less dry patches and sensitivity) and I am much more aware of the ingredients to avoid now.
My only issue with the website is that makeup reviews only give the perspective from one person, and makeup is such a YMMV item that you do need several reviews to get a feel for a product, hence my love for MUA.
So MUA and Beautypedia together give me a wide range of viewpoints plus a comprehensive ingredients list and products to avoid. I do check Beautypedia daily for new product reviews, and I am so glad that this website exists.
I really like Paula's reviews. I have very sensitive combination skin so her reviews have been of great use to me with finding products that will work for me. Many of her reviews also helped me to understand why previous products that I was using were causing irritation to my skin (looking at you, Lush's Celestial moisturizer and Philosophy's Purity face wash).
She is indeed very biased towards her own products but I would expect that from someone who made their own products. She does however give credit to other brands when they create something truly exceptional, and because of that I have found products that ended up working for me because of Paula (Kiss My Face sunscreen, Olay sensitive face wash, Eucerin daily replenishing lotion, the list goes on).
If Paula and MUA both have good reviews about a product, then it helps me to feel more comfortable about purchasing the product.
Honestly, I'm at a loss why people are bashing Paula Begoun so much. Before I learned of Beautypedia, I primarily read reviews of beauty products by consumers, which yes, many times was helpful, especially with makeup, but after trying countless popular skin- care products, my face was still a red, flaky, pimply mess. It made perfect sense to go to Beautypedia, because, after all, everyone wants what is best for their skin, and Paula's reviews are backed by science- what ingredients have proven to irritate skin and what ingredients help it function more normally. Not every one of her recommendations has worked miracles for me, but in general, her research is solid, and my skin is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. If you take her reviews with a grain of salt like you should with everything, this website will prove very handy for you.
So when you go shopping for a product, do you step into the stores of certain brands and ask them to rate the products of other companies? I didn't think so. Why would you do it with Paula?
Having a scientist or research papers to quote does not a reliable source make, nor does it mean the conclusion is correct. Bottom line is that any personailty, guru or otherwise, has a stake in making money. I would suggest EWG website over Paula's after having a look through. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
I really don't understand why so many people hate her.
Sure, when creating your own line of cosmetic products you might fall into the same mistakes that the other companies you are criticizing made, but as common sense suggests, we all have to take reviews (from ANYONE) with a grain of salt.
--Edit: what I mean is: if a product contains a potential irritant ingredient, she can't say "oh hey use it as you please you definetly won't get a reaction from it!" Because there are people out there that will. But how common sense suggests, if you know that your skin is not sensitive, and the only drawback of the said product is that irritant ingredient, then you can do the math yourself and buy it. That's commonsense. I see many people criticizing Paula for rating products as "poor" when then can be good for some people and I really don't get it.--
what I think she is trying to do is EDUCATING consumers: that's why she's fighting against emotional marketing and one-star-ingredient skin care lines! brands worldwide are always trying to convince us to buy more and more things we don't need by putting exotic and fascinating ingredients in them, such as argan oil (which is an absolutely plain oil alike many others, now WAY overpriced thanks to marketing) or goji extact and so on.
remember: companies may have scientist working for them, but that's exactly why they should not be trusted in totum: they work to make the company earn more money. if a lower quality ingredient is cheaper, they won't really take into consideration the fact that it could irritate consumers' skin in the long run.
plus, she was one of the first to fight against fragrance-free products (remember, fragrance might not irritate YOUR skin, but it does have a huge potential irritant effect on many people, and this is why companies should not use it, hence the bag rating. just because YOUR skin didn't react it does not mean that that product is safe for everyone!), alcohol free skin care, sunblocks, jar packaging and so on.
personally, when eyeing a new product, I always look it up on beautypedia. that does not mean that I take her word like liquid gold and neither should you, but she and her team sure know better than me and most of you all how to read and ingredient list and how will they work and react to one another and how a product will work.
plus, nowadays there are way too many "beauty gurus" here on the internet that talk like they got a degree in chemistry and cosmetology, so it's nice to have someone who makes an attempt to tell you the truth and quotes scientific papers to prove himself.
Yes, she has her own standards and rate products based on those standards, and if you don't agree with them well that doesn't mean she is wrong anyway, you two just have different opinions on what a good product should be/contain.
overall, I think that what Paula's trying to do is educating comsumers, and if she's not perfect, well no one is.
(this is not a review on paula's products but only on Beautipedia. I personally find that many people are reviewing both in this thread)
I use her website to check out possibly irritating ingredients, but otherwise I don't generally listen to her reviews. I absolutely love her products but it's very odd to see her own products all labeled as "BEST" on Beautypedia.
I completely understand why she would give poor ratings to products with fragrance though. My beloved Nivea Creme is rated poorly on her site, but I understand that even though I don't get a reaction from it, it is *potentially* more irritating than a non-fragranced cream.
Overall, it's a good starting point but I would take her reviews with a grain of salt.
My main problem with "beautypedia" is that it is subtly marketed as a dictionary of un-biased product reviews and 'professional" opinions....which it is FAR from.
Firstly the reviews written by i presume paula should not be taken as fact as she only has experience not a degree in skin sciences, its great to look at skincare from an ingredients point of view but that's all that is clever about the idea and even that is just common sense. Paula puts way too much emotion into some of the reviews taking personal jabs at companies and at some points sounding more like an annoyed customer and less like someone who is giving a 'Professional" opinion/review.
I think the site is a great idea it just should never have been set up by some who owns and sells a skincare brand and who rates all her own products as "best".....