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

Filtered by skin type : Combination
Paula's Choice Don't go to the cosmetics counter without me 7th edition

3.1

19 reviews

31% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals

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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: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This is like Consumer Reports for makeup. It will save you a ton of money and you can get the best products in every category. She is not pushing her own brand; I don't think people who say that really read the book. I now go to her website frequently and have not been disappointed yet.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I have found Paula's information to be extremely helpful. I think she really knows what she is talking about, especially with skincare, and I think my skin looks better because of it!
I am 49 and still get compliments on my complexion. 'Nuff said!

I also recently started using her products and I think they work very well.

Two big thubs up! I almost never do go to the cosmetics counter without her. I even have her app on my phone.

As far as rating her own products "Paula's pick"- I think it makes total sense. Why would she make a product that she didn't think was good?


on 3/7/2011 2:36:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

My only complaint with edition is that Paula has given all of her products a Paula's Pick designation.
Her previous books listed her products but did not rate them which seems like a better choice.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 2/27/2010 5:08:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Olive, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I must say i do reference back to this book often, mostly curious to see the comments she makes regarding products, she definitely helped me to pick better bha options for my sometimes zitty skin. but it's funny how all her paula's choise products are all top rated... and some of the sunscreens that she says are great for oily sking are so greasy , who is testing all these products and what kind of skin do they have???? ......

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 6/16/2009 1:16:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I loved reading about the vast amount of cosmetic products out there, but other than that I didn't find this book that helpful. Many of her reviews were based solely on irritants and chemicals that many are already aware of, as she states at the beginning of the book. I would much rather refer to MUA :)

P.S. This was bugging me.. how is she supposed to rate her own brand fairly?

12 of 14 people found this helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Other, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Pros: this book is ok as a general survey of what products are out there in the marketplace (keeping in mind that this is continually changing). The author has a reasonable amount of of knowledge involving makeup artistry and gives some decent recommendations in that area.
Cons: beware of Ms. Begoun's pretense of expertise in interpreting research studies. She doesn't have the background to decide whether a study is credible or not. Also, I find that her reports on products are inconsistent (poor eval in one edition, great one in the next-same exact product) and have numerous errors.

Bottom line: This book is frequently misleading. You can get better (and more accurate and current) advice from Allure mag and Makeupalley.


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.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I found paula's book very helpful...no 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 makeups...like 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 3/30/2009 7:13:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Like so many other MUA'ers, I have become very disillusioned with Paula, and have found, over and over, that she slams products I have found to be very effective (she seems to have a positively fanatical dislike for Erno Laszlo, for example, who actually makes some good products) and praises to the skies things that, when i buy them on her recommendation, I find to be worse than useless, in fact downright harmful to my skin or, in the case of makeup, something that highlights every imperfection and goes on so thick it makes me look like Tammy Fay Bakker (for those old enough to remember who she is).

I too find it distasteful that she pushes her own products so relentlessly -- it's ridiculous for her to "review" them as though she could be objective -- especially when some of them are actually far from wonderful.

In the end, the book is better for entertainment than it is for any useful advice. It's like reading the Beauty section of twenty women's magazines at once.

8 of 11 people found this helpful.


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