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

Filtered by skin tone : Fair-Medium
Paula's Choice Don't go to the cosmetics counter without me 7th edition

3.4

10 reviews

50% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals

INGREDIENTS


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on 1/19/2008 6:39:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

This is Paulas newst book. I have read her past books, and also having the 6th edition so I just had to order this. The overall review is that this one is better then the past. The idea is the same, also the ratings and the criterias. Whats new in this version is that se gives a "At-a-Glaze" about every brand features in the book, she writes strenghts and weaknesses, and that gives a better balance. In the past version she was a bit hard, but this makes it more reader friendly. Reviews has also changed, on the basis of new better products, new research or companies has changed the product. Some new brands are featured and some are gone.
The best of summary at the end is also shorter, and eatch category is split in half, like fore example products under $15 or product with/without spf. At the end of the Best of list she features a list of the companies with most Paulas pick. Clinique has the most, M.A.C. second, Estee Lauder, Neutrogena, Presciptives... That means that 4 of 5 companies are Estee Lauder companies, that means that Estee Lauder is a top choice for buying top cosmetica!

5 of 6 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.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have to change my once glowing review of this woman. I too used to worship Paula Begoun. If she hated something, I would too. But after a few years of following her advice, I've lost respect for her.


For one, she disses products if they even so much as have one of her much hated irritants. Some things irritate me, and others don't. It's the same way for everybody, regardless of skin type. She fails to see this. What works for me may do the exact opposite for you. It took me some risks and time to learn this. For a long time, I was avoiding anything with even the slightest chance of irritation according to her cosmetics dictionary. But I've found that I can handle peppermint in small to moderate amounts. I can also handle BBW body creams (all have lemon and pine extract) and I could even handle their Cool Citrus Basil shower gel, which has citrus extracts in it. I've also found bodywashes that have dried my skin out even though they have no irritants whatsoever. Again, what works for some may not work for all.


Another thing: My skin gets dry from time to time (probably from heeding her advice), and even the gel cleansers that she would tout as good for dry skin would still dry me out. Even when my skin was oily, a lot of the gel cleansers she'd recommend would dry me out as well. Speaking of skin type, over the last year my skin has always been either dry and tight or an oil slick, regardless of which one of her regimens I choose to follow. I never had problems with this before I read her books.


As far as her recommended skin care program: She complains that other lines have way too many steps, yet hers has five. I've tried her five-step programs with products recommended by her as per my skin type at the given moment, and it seems like it all either dries me out or the stuff just sits on my skin and creates an oilslick. There's just no in-between for me. In addition, to solve problems with combination skin, she recommends a bunch of her different products for oily areas, and others for your dry areas. So much for keeping it simple. Who has time for all those extra steps? Sounds like she's trying to milk a cash cow here.


In addition, she recommends products that totally contradict her beliefs about skincare. This was the last straw for me, IME. For example, she recommended Oxy pads for exfoliating your feet during an appearance on Oprah, yet they contain menthol and ammonium xylenosulfonate, which are two irritants in her book. She also claims in her books that St. Ives Apricot scrubs contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, yet when I looked at the bottles at the store recently, there was no such ingredient listed. In fact, I remember using it a couple years ago, and it wasn't an ingredient used then either. I may sound like I'm being overly critical here, but it just ruins her credibility IMO.


And another thing: Benzoyl Peroxide does absolutely NOTHING for my zits! When it comes to those big ones that won't pop, I NEED tea tree oil (which she claims doesn't work as well as BP) or something with alcohol in it!


Read her stuff if you must, but just understand that she's not the be all, end all of the comsetics world. Like a lot of other MUAer's, I'm also starting to come to my senses about her.
continued >>

23 of 24 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 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 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: 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 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 hey...it's your money and your skin.

27 of 38 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.


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.


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