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

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


8 reviews

50% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$

Not tested on animals


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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?

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 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: Unknown

Skin: Other, Other, Neutral

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I learned a lot while reading this book.
And it really helped me buy better products for my skin.
I can't wait for an 8th edition.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 3/30/2009 1:33:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This has been on my desk at virtually every job I've had, starting with the 2nd version. (I'm a beauty copywriter.) The glossary is invaluable...a listing of gazillions of cosmetic ingredients...what they are, what they do, good, bad or indifferent. I'm a big fan of the reviews as well - and like most people here - do not agree with all of them. The fact that I may hate products she touts, or love products that get a frownie-face does not make Paula Begoun a moron or liar, which seems to be the conclusion drawn by a few reviewers. These are simply her opinions...and opinions can differ wildly as evidenced by our own MakeUpAlley reviews! Common sense tells you different people will have different results with a certain foundation or cleanser. She has gushed over a few mascaras that I've loathed. But there have been far more hits than misses with her reviews, at least for me. I use this book as a guide...not a Bible. I'm sorry there will be no 8th edition, although at this point it would probably be too heavy to lift, lol.

10 of 14 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: 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 5/27/2008 6:26:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Other, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I am a subscriber of Beautypedia and for the most part agree with Annie B's review below. I use the website to get an idea about a product- that is for which skin type a particular foundation or moisturizer is best for; and knowing about ingredients which may cause breakouts for blemish-prone skin or if a powder is best for oily or dry skin, etc. Using this site AND the MUA site has helped me to save money and be much happier with the products I purchase. I, too, don't like that Paula rates her own products. I do think it is questionable as far as her ability to be objective is concerned. After all, she does use peer-reviewed scientific articles and data in her research about effective skin care. Though, obviously she isn't a scientist, I have and do rely on her ability to relate this info. to me as a consumer and that does mean trying one's best to be objective. It is why Consumer Reports magazine does not accept advertising. Anyway, despite this, I find that it is really worth the money to learn which sunscreens and foundations have both UVA and UVB protection b/c I cannot always read through all of the ingredients on the bottles. I will say that I have learned not to believe the hype of what a product says it can do. I can use Paula's info. so that I can have realistic expectations about products. This is a big money and time saver! I do sometime return makeup but mostly it is b/c of wrong color choice and not due to poor product performance.
Like the reviewer below, I am annoyed at P's lack of reviews for Tarte, NYX, and other lines that have been around for a while now.
I will say, the Beauypedia site has helped me find lower priced substitutes for some of Paula's own products! (Though I do stick with a couple of her skin care products.)

6 of 8 people found this helpful.

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