Paula's Choice Don't go to the cosmetics counter without me 7th edition

Filtered by age: 19-24
Paula's Choice Don't go to the cosmetics counter without me 7th edition


10 reviews

40% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals


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on 5/16/2009 2:13:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Kinky, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

This is OK as an intro to beauty items but the key is to take everything PB says with a grain of salt. I like to use this as a quick filter for certain types of products where I know her views and mine agree. For example, finding out which AHA/BHA products have the right ph level and sunscreen info.

She's quite biased in her opinions and doesn't give manufacturers a fair chance of defending themselves as in her opinion, she cannot be argued with since she's always right. I don't think she manages to convince that what she says is fact merely because she's able to quote a scientific paper. Her opinions are quite subjective so you'll find that a lot of HG products don't agree with her. Each person is different and if I had to rely on anyone's opinion, I'd prefer to come to MUA.

She loses all impartiality and credibility in giving every single one of her products a Paula's Pick rating, which is the highest rating you can get. In her favour, she does well to educate on BHAs, AHAs and sunscreens. I have the 6th and 7th editions and won't be repurchasing if another edition comes out. The 7th edition has less information than the 6th and the opinions in it are more self-righteous.

6 of 11 people found this helpful.

on 4/20/2009 7:01:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I can understand why Paula and her books aren't taken very seriously but I found this book really helpful. I live in Australia and had heard nothing about her before buying this book and I still don't know much about her so her reputation doesn't have an impact on my review.

The book introduced me to AHA/BHA which has completely changed my skin. I have also learnt about antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients and what to check for in ingredient lists. And if I am thinking of buying a product, I'll have a look at how she rates it and then I jump onto Makeupalley to make up my mind.

I think it's important to take her opinions at face value. Everyone's skin is different and different products will have different results. I've tried a few items she has rated highly and they didn't work for me but I still find the book very useful.

I took a lippie off because I'm undecided about her reviewing her own products in the book. It's a good marketing tactic no doubt, especially for someone who as far as I know, isn't known by everyone. But it is annoying nontheless because of course she is going to rate her products highly.

Decide for yourself. Borrow it or read it at the book store and see how you like it.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

on 4/3/2009 6:35:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I was lost in the vast amounts of skin care products that are available, and didn't know what to use, or what would be most effective for my combination (mild to moderate acne) skin. Then I came across this book one day and it provided me with guidance.

I found Paula's advice on how to tackle acne very valuable and I started a skin-care routine following it, and it is working well so far..Now, i get acne only occasionally and my skin looks great, much better than it did before. I totally agree with her on the necessity of sun protection and regular exfoliation. I usually check beautypedia (her web version of the book) before buying a new product, or at least check the ingredients list so I can make sure there are no irritating ingredients, like alcohol, menthol, etc.

However, not everything she writes can be perfect...for example she cites that avobenzone is a completely stable ingredient that protects from UVA rays. While it does protect from UVA, some websites mention that is not very stable, and starts to deteriorate within an hour of sun exposure. They say other ingredients have to be there to support it like "octocrylene", which can be found in Neutrogena's helioplex and some other products..

Her reviews on make-up are good too, and I wouldn't buy anything she rates as poor..but make-up tends to depend more on your skin and your preferences, and she cannot possibly capture all that.

In the end, I would say that Paula is a very informative source about skin care, and I have her to thank for letting me know how to create an effective skin-care routine.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

on 3/30/2009 2:12:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I loved Paula's books growing up! I even subscribed to her newsletter. When I was just starting to wear make-up and think about skin care her books made me a more educated consumer. She is the person who inspired me to start reading ingredient lists and forever changed my conception of expensive=quality.

2 of 3 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I found paula's book very its not the catch all to end all and this website and personal experience are also very valuable tools.

In her book and on her website she mentions that if something works for you and gets a bad rating then great keep using it and go for it...she says these are her personal opinions from her research and testing. She has lots of people who work for her testing products so its not just her.

Everyones skin is different. Some tolerate things that others dont. I have used products i thought were amazing and read paulas review that was bad...if this product works for me im not gonna stop using it. However on some products that ive considered that paula found harmful im not going to try bc my skin is so sensitive id rather stay away.

Its just a reference. Not all references agree. You can find research to support mineral oil is good and mineral oil is bad. It has to be up to you in the end.

All and all this is a good reference to learn about skincare and makeup. She DOES preach the necessity of sunscreen over and over and over! in fact she rates alot of Revlon Colorstay neutral because its a good makeup but she doesnt like the fact that it has low suncreen!

As for her product line ive been using it for a few weeks and i love it! the redness of my skin has gone down alot!!!!

4 of 6 people found this helpful.

on 3/17/2009 1:04:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

ive always taken paula's advice with a grain of salt and this book was no exception. i typically follow her reviews for information about what the main ingredients are in products, before ive had a chance to take a look at them myself, and then make my own decision about whether or not they seem suitable to my skin. i respect her dedication to what she does but shes only human and, as such, she is biased. and she doesnt know everything. its important to keep that in mind!

my biggest gripe about this book, and her reviews in general, is that she doesnt give a lot of thought to acne prone skin issues. her attitude seems to be, "just throw some bp and bha at it." im 24 years old and ive matured a bit past plain ol' acne creams. now i need to know what moisturizers, antioxident serums and sunscreens are safe for me. she will sometimes advice against "oily" types to use something but she doesnt take into account a skin type that may be acne-prone AND prone to dryness. a lot of her paulas picks contain oils which are a big no-no for me. she also heavily favors avo sunscreens and doesnt make much of an effort to seek out as many physical ss's which are often better for sensitive and acne prone individuals. and of course, like everyone else, i have my own little disagreements with some of her advice. she repeatedly emphasizes that acne-prone skin will repond better to bha's than aha's, which is absolutely not true for me.

i disregard her makeup reviews completely. makeup, especially when youre getting into colors, is too subjective a topic to be able to advice millions of people about. and this is an area where her biases become very evident. also, again, she rarely gets into comodegenic ingredients in blushes or foundations which would be much more valuable to me than, say, what eyeshadows are too shimmery.

as far as her own line goes, i dont have a problem with it. she is obviously passionate about skincare and makeup so it kindof makes sense to me that she would branch out into something like that. as long as she still stays current on other brand reviews and doesnt start magically giving horrible ratings to all products besides her own, it doesnt seem hypocritical to me. as someone else mentioned, i dont see it as being that different from all the dermatologist lines available. this book contains more than a thousand pages, 99% of them discussing other lines so i dont think she is unfairly highlighting her own stuff.

overall, its an interesting read and a good way to build up some basic knowledge about ingredients and different brands. if you are already familiar with your own skin and its general likes and dislikes, its a good way to get info on products so that you can choose what you think would benefit you. id recommend checking it out from the library which is what i did. honestly though, MUA is a much better resource!

3 of 4 people found this helpful.

on 2/24/2009 8:35:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

oh well, this is my first skincare book that I have. It is quite expensive in singapore, I got it off a japanese bookstore.

Before reading this book, i had really bad skin. But after reading up and understanding how our skin works, its a 360 degree change. I now have skin that I am very proud of ! :D Basically, I feel that she backs herself up with proofs (and they are proofs that are reliable). The only thing she shouldn't do in her books is to give full marks for all of her own products. How possible can her whole range of products be perfect? I think she could have just left her products out of her ratings. We would have approached her products if we are interested in them.

Anyway, its a good book for beginners in skincare!
Understand your skin type, know your problems and deal with it accordingly.
Everyone deserves good skin. (:

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 2/15/2009 1:09:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I am giving this a 3/5 because its not necessarily a horribly book for someone exploring cosmetics, but PLEASE do NOT rely on this as your cosmetics bible because she is NOT a scientist of any sort and I think she might be confused when translating research for some ingredients... Be meticulous in reading labels and knowing what your skin works with best, read reviews, etc.

For example, anything with lavender oil she will give a "sad face" and not recommend, claiming that lavender oil will damage the skin. While this might be true, no one is putting that high of a concentrate on their skin, and these test only show skin damage in vitro, no on a living, walking human skin organ. That being said, lavender oil in small amounts can act as a antibacterial agent. (She rates Philosophy's Shelter poorly because of the lavender, though the antioxidants and UVA/UVB protection she says is superb. The lavender is in a small amount that may also shelter from bacterial breakouts aka acne!)

She says similar negative things about several other natural oils that CAN be an irritant, and if you know you are allergic, don't use them. But, a lot of these oils have natural antibacterial properties, are antioxidants, and are in such small amounts. continued >>

3 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 1/30/2009 1:30:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Olive, Cool

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

I never bought this book, so But I did spend some time reading it at the bookstore because I didn't want to pony up the cash. All I really have to say is she gives HER opinions, and really who is she? Would you take just MY opinion about a product and buy it because what I think? No, you wouldn't! We don't need her or her stinkin reviews, we have MUA. MUA gives up COLLECTIVE reviews from many different people. I mean, if 2,000 people have tried something and even 70% like it, isn't there a much better chance of you liking it, then just based on the opinion of Paula. Anyways you know what they say about opinions, but I won't go there!

8 of 14 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

While her book is handy in telling you which products are worth trying, and which ones are a waste of your money, I would never buy one of her "Paula's Picks" without visiting MakeupAlley first. So many of her recommended products do not perform well on consumers, as I verified on this site. Some she claims are gentle are highly irritating...others she hates people generally love!

Also, if you are a fan of her book, be aware that she eschews ALL bar cleansers indiscriminately, which makes no sense. Just read all the raves about Dove and Olay bar cleansers on this site, and you'll realize that her claim that "all bar cleansers are drying" is false! She seems to have overlooked the glaring research implicating Sulfates (SLS and SLES) with irritation, acne, eczema, allergies, and other problematic skin conditions. Me for example. I found out recently that I am highly allergic to sulfates. As sulfates are found in over 90% of cleansers, but in very few of the bar cleansers, avoiding them obviously means choosing Dove beauty bar over many of her recommended favorites.

8 of 9 people found this helpful.

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