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

Filtered by age: 36-43
Paula's Choice Don't go to the cosmetics counter without me 7th edition


12 reviews

25% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.3

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.3

Price: $$$

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on 6/30/2013 4:14:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I bought the first edition and enjoyed it because it was really helpful to have someone point out the BS in a majority of the cosmetics/beauty products' marketing & packaging. I now check on what her staff says about products I hear about or try for the first time -- it's really to get one of many opinions that I do while researching a product and to compare with my own experience. I totally don't agree most of the time. I think the knee-jerk reactions and giving of low ratings just because of the presence of a tiny amount of some ingredient (for example, alcohol) is a bit crazy. Some of the low ratings are just arbitrary. Foundations without sunscreen could get a great rating because it's in the no-spf category, but a great, beautiful foundation with a spf of 4 would get a horrible rating because it's in the 'foundations with spf' category and she thinks all foundations should have a minimum of spf 15. That's just dumb.

Now that she's selling her own line of beauty products, I think there is a HUGE incentive to say overly negative things about okay or decent products because they are ALL her competition. I don't understand how people can overlook this. You can't have the "cosmetics cop" profitting from selling cosmetics! This is a clear and blatant conflict of interest.

I do like the fact that I can at least get a list of ingredients for a product if I can't find it anywhere else. I just wish she didn't sell her own line of products. Then we could actually regard her as a sort of consumer watchdog for us trying not to get ripped off by cosmetics companies, but for now, I really regard her reviews with a lot of skepticism.

11 of 15 people found this helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I agree with some of the other reviewers that rated this book low. I feel that Paula Begoun really is nothing more than a department store makeup counter person. Now don't get me wrong, as I think most of these people are wonderful, and I personally have been offered great advice from them. In addition, these workers are not writing books, and having consumers believe they know everything! Aside from that, these people are in sales and that is what they do: sell their products. Paula Begoun did study science, but does not have a degree. She left university to become a makeup artist. She is the CEO of Paula's Choice Skin Products. In reality, she is just someone that is trying to promote her products. In one of her previous books all of her products received a "Paula's PIck" (Which means they are of the highest standards). Lets get real, a lot of her products contain silicones, which aren't the greatest for your skin. I've tried many of her products, facial wash (burns your eyes), moisturizers (didn't moisturize), serums (full of silicones), etc. I really wasn't impressed with any of her products. The products that she says are great is this book, usually aren't and vice versa. Let's face it everyone's skin is unique. The best product advice is usually from makeup rating sites, like MakeupAlley of course and trial and error.

10 of 16 people found this helpful.

on 8/15/2009 7:53:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Other

Eyes: Brown

First off, let me say I've never been on the Paula hate-train. For those of us here who remember life before the internet, her books were an essential resource in wading through the hype and hypocrisy of the world of cosmetics. However, I do take her advice with a grain of salt. And then another. Okay, maybe a full tablespoon. Through her books, I've found many good skin care products from BHA lotions (saved my skin) to broad spectrum sunscreens without irritating chemicals, and for that I am grateful. However, her makeup advice leaves a lot to be desired. She always seems to be about a decade behind the trends. To her credit, in the latest edition, she seems to have acknowledged that people do come in shades of pink, peach, rose, ash or mahogany. (I'm one of them.) Or, at least, she's not pushing yellow-toned foundation as heavily as she once did.

7 of 8 people found this helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Other, Warm

Hair: Black, Other, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I bought this book after hearing so much hype about it so I ordered it from and zealously began reading the 7th edition of this book. Let me preface this review by saying, yes, there was some good information in the book regarding irritants in products, what to look for in the ingredients list, and being introduced to brands that were unknown to me, so this was a good read on that account. However, was this book something I needed to have in book collection, no; would I recommend this book to someone else, no; do I regret buying the book, no, but I wish I hadn't done so for I didn't get my money's worth.

My recommendation is if you are curious about this book, rent it from a library, try to borrow it from a friend, or buy a used haggard older edition of the book, but don't go out and buy latest edition of this book for it's not worth the $30 investment. You can find most (if not all) of the information in this book on the internet if you have: 1) the inclination & desire to know more about makeup and skin care; and 2) have access to a computer.

Enough said and that's the end of my review.

4 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 6/16/2009 11:28:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I am amazed at the number of people who reviewed this book, yet have never even read it, much less purchased it. I have purchased, read, re-read and continue to reference her books before making a new make-up or skin care purchase. Does it mean I take her word as Gospel? No. However, before Paula came on the market with her reviews, keep in mind there were very few (if any) broad-spectrum sunscreens, very few (if any) products for sensitive skin, and very few (if any) products that contained anti-oxidants in stable packaging. Before she came on the scene, menthol, alcohol, heavy fragrance and other irritants were staples in many skin care products. Before she came on the scene, we would judge the quality of a product by the price, the name, and the advertising, thinking it would work miracles simply because it was an expensive product from an expensive department store. Now, largely due to the pressure her reviews have put on these companies, more and more high-quality products are there for reasonable prices. In short, she holds these companies accountable in a market where false advertising largely goes unchecked. The ingredient glossary alone is worth the price of the book. Yes, sometimes I do not agree with her: some picks for her are not picks for me, and vice versa. By and large, however, she is dead on target, if not at least in the ballpark. Since I am over 40, my skin care needs change with the tides it seems, and what I use in the fall/winter, will not be the same things I use in the spring/summer. I take into account the reviews from make-up alley, my esthetician, my hair stylist, my sisters, my dear husband...but I will not make a purchase without consulting this book. She has been in this business for many, many years. As far as recommending her own products is concerned, I would expect her to do that. I would expect that all of the knowledge she has gained over the years would translate into state-of-the-art products with her name on them. Look at the ingredient list and price of her Super Antioxidant Concentrate, for example...then, look at the ingredient list and price of another well-known company's "anti-aging" serum. Her formula will most likely be superior; it will most definitely be cheaper. To not give her any credit for objectivity is narrow-minded and unfair. To not at least read this book cover to cover before forming an opinion is uneducated and ignorant. But's your money and your skin.

27 of 38 people found this helpful.

on 3/30/2009 8:15:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Red, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Green

This is a review of Paula and her CosmeticCop garbage. She is not a scientist. I am a scientist. She can cite as many articles as she wants but there are personal experiences of people who can say without reservation that the ingredients she says are great are HORRIBLE and ingredients she says are bad are EXCELLENT. My two examples are Mineral Oil and Lavender Oil.

Mineral Oil is what is left in the sand particles after an oil spill and can't be removed without an infusion of Rapeseed oil to dissolve it. It makes a barrier on the skin that prevents the skin from breathing - expelling toxins through sweat (water). This may not cause an instant reaction for everyone, just the very sensitive like me, but WILL CAUSE LONG-TERM DAMAGE TO EVERYONE. Mineral Oil does not soak into skin. I can cite peer reviewed papers on attempts to force Mineral Oil into skin and it would not go. It is a crude oil distillate and Paula - I'm going to have to judge this as voluntarily airheaded - says that it's just as natural as any other oil because it used to be organic matter before it was buried in the ground. Okay, from the perspective of evolution, it was buried away from human reach and humans evolved long after this stuff was buried far from where a human couldn't get to it without a high powered drill! So, come on, that is truly the most idiotic logic. I eliminated petroleum products from my life when I was 15. I'm 39 now and I look 26 (I can provide photos and numerous testimonials from 23 year old guys who thought I was their age when they hit on me). That is the result of skin that has been allowed to breathe and eliminate toxins. The American Academy of Dermatology, although they do not know what causes Perioral Dermatitis advises to avoid petroleum products (paraffin, petrolatum). The AAD doesn't know everything but they will report what they have recognised as triggers to skin disorders. Unlike Paula they can admit they don't know everything.

Lavender hydrosol is in my Holy Grail cleansing milk and moisturiser and in small amounts Lavender Oil. What does she have against Lavender? This is just a case of a little bit of knowledge is more dangerous than being just flat-out ignorant.

I'm not even going to address her slamming other products whilst touting her own. The woman makes me ill. She offends me as a scientist.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I've purchased just about all of Paula's Choice books & used to live by them even when most, more than most, of her recommendations left me disappointed after trying/purchasing the one's she "deemed" worthy beyond a doubt. I have since been "educated," and no longer read, refer, use, nor recommend these books (personal preference/experience). I'm sure many have benefited from Paula's books & reviews, and if it works for the individual (which is in my experience exactly what it's all about anyway), then great! Just didn't turn out that way for me personally. I've saved so much TIME and MONEY since joining this site that I don't feel the need to purchase anymore books like these. I've had more success using this site when trying/purchasing products than any book I've ever read. Glad I found this site! And my "wallet" is a "happy-camper," too! ;-))

8 of 10 people found this helpful.

on 2/1/2009 2:25:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Other

Eyes: Green

This book is saving me a fortune...I'll explain. I'm an over 40 woman with very dry skin, who woke up one morning and realized I was spending a fortune using 3 HE moisturizers twice a day and STILL had dry skin, so I gave Paula's ratings a try. After reviewing several product lines, I have found a new routine with lots less products and my dry skin is 1000 times improved! So yes, now I am consulting her book religiously and plan to subscribe to Beautypedia. Also, her reviews have influenced me to shop a highly accessible and reasonably priced line and I am tickled pink with the results.
As for the bad reviews of this book and Paula in general, consider these facts : 1) So what if she sells her own line? She still reviews other lines and gives her recommendations in all price levels, and if reviews of her line offend you simply bypass them for the others.
2) Her expertise comes from years in the industry, developing her own products and researching those sold by others so I do consider her an expert and unbiased. 3) Many leading and highly respected dermatologists also have their own line, as do makeup artists and others who are considered "experts." Her opinion is just as valid as theirs if not more so. 4) Even with this experience, her opinion is just that, an opinion. If she gives a product a negative review and it works for you, why wouldn't you keep using it? Likewise, if she gives a product a positive review and it doesn't work for you, just stop using it. That doesn't make all her reviews invalid. I'm no expert, but I do know everyone's skin is different. I check this book, Allure Best of Beauty AND Makeup Alley for opinions. And I save $ that way...
In summation, I found these reviews to be informative, helpful, unbiased, and well researched, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get the most value for their $$ while looking their best.

5 of 8 people found this helpful.

on 1/30/2009 12:35:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I stopped reading her after her first book. Why? Because I worked for a few years for the cosmetics industry, and saw great results in my clients from many of the products Paula claims are worthless. I have seen pores tightened, wrinkles greatly diminished, spots lightened, jawlines firmed--all from products Paula claims are just worthless junk. You know, some women buy pricey products for a REASON, and that reason is that they are getting visible results. (Not always, but far more often than Paula would like to admit.) Many products keep their promises or even exceed them, and these are the products women come back for time and again even if they are pricey. Cosmetics companies WANT their products to work so they can keep their customers coming back. Makes sense, right? It's not all just a big scam as Paula would like us to believe.

Also, how can ANYONE take her seriously when she SELLS HER OWN LINE...? Of course she's going to trash talk all the other lines. Furthermore, a lot of the ingredients she claims are worthless/irritating/pore-clogging etc. somehow magically end up in some of her own products! So, what to believe...? The ingredients are bad unless Paula decides to use them...?

Last but not least, a lot of her reviews for products are clearly WAY off-base--as if she's never actually tried them or even felt them. I've seen lightweight gels accused of being heavy and greasy, and positively caustic products praised as being suitable for sensitive skin! Practically fragrance-free, very gentle products are smacked down as "irritating" due to lavender oil listed like twenty ingredients down. Just silly. They say a "little" knowledge can be a dangerous thing--and that phrase certainly rings true in the case of Paula Begoun. I WILL go to the cosmetics counter without her, because frankly, I know most of the products better than she does--and my skin looks better, too. ;)

21 of 27 people found this helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

Disappointing compared to her earlier books. Although her opinions on ingredients have changed over the years, this latest book seems a bit abridged compared to the 6th edition. I was a bit surprised that she omitted so many lines this time around, and, as far as I saw, didn't include many new ones.
I was also surprised she rated her own products this time around (could she possibly think any of her own products were less than wonderful?) and preferred the earlier version where she described her products but left them unrated.
Overall, this felt like more of an advertisement of her Beautypedia website, which has many more lines reviewed.

I have been reading these since the first was published in 1990 (1989/1991?), and, pre-internet days, they were extremely useful, but I think the wealth of information and opinions on the web has made them somewhat obsolete.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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