Paula's Choice


125 reviews

58% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.1

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.1

Price: $$

Not tested on animals


on 1/24/2015 12:25:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

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.

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

on 1/8/2015 5:31:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

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?

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

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.

on 1/1/2015 11:44:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

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)

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

on 7/23/2014 12:41:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Fair, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

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.

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 7/11/2014 8:17:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

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".....

20 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

on 6/26/2014 11:22:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

I've used both Paula Begoun's books and Beautypedia for years. Despite what people think, she's not completely biased towards her own line. This is proven by the many good reviews she gives other products from various other companies. Beautypedia is just another resource for making decisions before purchasing beauty products, and I'm sure it's saved me money over the years just like MUA has. Does that mean I always take her advice? Of course not! At some point you have to use your own good judgement before making a purchase. Beautypedia is just a tool to help you do that.

14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

on 6/24/2014 8:51:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

This eh hem...woman is not a dermatologist, just a makeup artist turned capitist harpie.
Any recommendations I've taken from her website and books have been a disaster. I think she craps on popular brands at the same price point as her own to market her line of skin care. I'll add Paula's choice stuff is awful.

on 4/28/2014 6:47:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

After finding products based on their website, i realized that Paulas Choice has their own brand of products... how can they rate all the other brands without bias?! They can't. I've tried numerous products from their line and from other that they rated horribly and time after time, i have found that their products are just overpriced drug store quality. They do the job mostly, but it's just not worth what they charge. Nothing stood out and the website is just decieving.

14 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

on 3/26/2014 12:04:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Regardless of whether her website is useful, I really appreciate what she does. Paula's book was my introduction to the whole idea of basing your purchase decision on the ingredients of a product, not what the marketing messages say or how pretty the packaging looks. I find her website useful in two ways. First, she gives a list of potentially irritating ingredients that you should seek to avoid when buying products. Second, she teaches you the basics about taking care of your skin, such as always putting on a sunscreen no matter what the weather or season is.

That said, my attitude towards her reviews has changed--I don't rely on her reviews as much as I used to, because I've found many products that are bashed in her review but are loved by many people on Makeupalley, including myself. There were also many instances where I (and may other people) didn't like the highly rated products on her website, including some products from her own line.

I guess a part of the answer to this paradox lies in the nature of scientific research. Paula's reviews are based on scientific studies, which are probably the most credible sources available to evaluate a skincare ingredient. But one needs to understand that many things could mess up the validity of a study--it is not uncommon in scientific research that you could find a certain result with one sample and not finding it with another. This is especially the case when you are studying something as the skin's reactions to a certain ingredient, which is highly susceptible to the influence of individual differences. I'm not advocating that we shouldn't trust the results of scientific research. I'm simply saying that scientific research has its own drawbacks despite that it's the best available tool for us to systematically find out about how things work.

Next, consider the information that Paula use to evaluate a product, which in most cases is no more than the ingredient label of a product. I'm not a skincare expert, but I think one would need more information to give a comprehensive and unbiased review of a product than what's listed on the label, such as the percentage of the ingredients. That said, her reviews are helpful in the sense that they help you to identify the ingredients that are widely established to be harmful and are absolutely not supposed to be present in your products.

So here's how I make use of the information on Beautypedia: if I'm interested in a product, I'll first check whether there's any deadly hurting ingredients in it from Paula's website. As long as the rating there is not "poor" (she normally give products with harmful ingredients a "poor"), I'll proceed to websites like Makeuplley and see what other users have said about the product, and then make up my mind about whether to purchase it or not.

Having said all of the above, I firmly believe that the ultimate criteria to evaluate a beauty product is your own experience. You know the best whether your skin is happy with a product or not. If it works, it works.These review websites are just supposed to give you information that helps you to narrow down your choices, not to give an absolute verdict of how good or bad a certain product is.

26 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

Popular Other Products

27 Reviews
71 Reviews
Baking Soda
Baking Soda
485 Reviews
Vicks Vapor Rub
Vicks Vapor Rub
46 Reviews
Back to Top