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Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me: A unique guide to skin care and makeup products from today's hottest brands — shop smarter and find products that really work! Paperback – October 16, 2012

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Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me: A unique guide to skin care and makeup products from today's hottest brands — shop smarter and find products that really work! + The Original Beauty Bible: Skin Care Facts for Ageless Beauty
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Product Details

  • Series: Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me
  • Paperback: 950 pages
  • Publisher: Beginning Press; Ninth Edition edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1877988359
  • ISBN-13: 978-1877988356
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paula Begoun is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop for her role as a consumer advocate and investigative researcher on skin care and makeup. From an early age, Paula struggled with skin issues including acne and debilitating bouts of eczema. Frustrated by the ineffective treatments and products at the cosmetic counters and from dermatologists, Paula started examining the scientific research herself. Soon, she solved her skin problems by following published research on how skin works and which cosmetic ingredients really work. Determined to help others find the best products for their skin, Paula has written 19 books on cosmetics and is one of the best-selling beauty authors of all time. Her books Blue Eyeshadow Should Be Illegal, Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, and The Original Beauty Bible have helped women all over the world take the best possible care of their skin, while exposing what the cosmetics industry doesn’t want you to know. In 1995, Paula launched Paula’s Choice which offers skin-care solutions for everything from acne to wrinkles. With a devoted international following due to the quality of her products, Paula’s Choice is sold in 52 countries.

Always up for the latest Broadway show or Bollywood film (accompanied by a well-chilled martini) Paula lives in Seattle surrounded by her family and dogs.

Bryan Barron has been working closely with Paula for 12 years. He spent many years working for various cosmetic lines in the retail sector, as a makeup artist, educator, and manager. His first project with Paula was the fifth edition of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. Since then, he has played an integral role in subsequent editions of that book along with The Beauty Bible. Bryan also served as co-writer and editor of Paula’s former newsletter Cosmetics Counter Update. He currently manages and writes content for the Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Web sites and continues to evaluate the latest research with Paula and the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

A Michigan native, Bryan has lived in the Seattle area long enough to consider the Northwest home. Along with his husband Ben, he is a doting “Dad” to three Pomeranians, one of whom routinely accompanies him to the office.

Desiree Stordahl is an ongoing contributor to articles concerning skin care and makeup at CosmeticsCop.com and has been trained under the personal guidance of Paula. Her writing flows from her passion for researching the cosmetics industry combined with her desire to help people find the best products for their skin. As part of the Paula’s Choice Research Team, Stordahl’s role includes evaluating cosmetic ingredients, investigating the physiological effects of skin-care products, and writing product reviews. She also travels around the world with Paula as a brand ambassador for Paula’s Choice, educating consumers near and far about skin care.

Stordahl was born and raised in Zillah, Washington and now calls the Seattle area home. She enjoys planning trips with her husband Jason, doing makeovers, and testing out her cooking skills on anyone who is willing to try her meals.

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Customer Reviews

Will not go to the cosmetic counter again without Paula's help.
You will save MEGA BUCKS with this book, more than enough to buy the book, and get a kindle copy too, with money left over.
Thanks to this book, I was able to find economical products at the drug store which make my wrinkles go away.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Hummingbirder TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How can one trust reviews of cosmetics written by someone who has her own product line? Yes, it defies logic, but come closer and let me tell you what happened to me.

I don't read women's magazines; I don't particularly like magazines. I don't watch daytime television, either, because I'm working. And I don't care for daytime television for the same reasons I don't like magazines: From one issue or episode to the next, they offer conflicting information. You know it's true, even if you do like the magazines and shows.

The library is my friend. Since I got my first library card, I have used the library to research anything I want to learn. In 2005 or 2006, I saw a copy of "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter without Me" on the shelf and checked it out. I wasn't expecting much, but it didn't cost me anything. I'd never heard of Paula Begoun, but I do try to be an informed consumer. I figured that book couldn't be any worse than other skin care books I'd read. I skipped over most of the beginning chapters and went straight for the reviews, and it hadn't really sunk in there might be a conflict of interest until I was convinced I'd found a worthy source of information. Finally!

We have, in this edition, a brief overview of Paula's rather checkered career and some chapters that discuss skin care and makeup industry claims, packaging, ingredients to avoid, ingredients to seek, and basic skin care regimes. These chapters are thorough but succinct. Then there is the good stuff: product reviews of many skin care and makeup lines. Not all of them, but a lot.

And it gets juicy. Paula doesn't want you to waste your money. She doesn't pan department store products altogether, nor gush over all drugstore products.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By overtakenbyanap on November 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
I ALWAYS buy the current copy of this manual in paper and in kindle. There are some significant changes, mostly good. Here is what I saw.

Good stuff:
-She is relying on a team now to critique what is out there. The team approach is better, it avoids some of the one sided likes and dislikes. I appreciated the new reviews done by the team.

-She uses peer reviewed journals and respected dermatologists to base her critiques on as she always has done. She mentions when a dermatologist has funding from a company or when a company funded the research.

a little aside--- if you as a reader want to know how something works on a larger number of people then I suggest balancing this book by ALSO reading the reviews on Makeup Alley, often written by more than a hundred different people who actually used it, and thought enough about it to write recommendations or warnings about the product. (down side to Makeup Alley? Often the reviewers are influenced by a pretty scent, or a pretty jar and don't account for the potential for harm or the costs involved) When you have over 4000 reviewers disliking something (Maybelline Great Lash) or over 3000 LOVING something (Maybelline Full N Soft) it is worth looking at. Often but not always, Paula and Makeup Alley agree. Revlon Fabulash which over 300 reviewed was an almost universal fail, while Paula gave it a top pick. I like to check BOTH Paula, AND Makeup Alley before buying anything.

-She looks at the chemistry and gives points and takes them away based on actual known reactions to ingredients. This is the ONLY place I've ever found where I can trust the chemistry knowledge on things like potential sensitizing chemicals.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By M on October 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thanks to this book, I was able to find economical products at the drug store which make my wrinkles go away. That alone is worth the price!

You might be tempted to just look up the best product in whatever category and go with it. But I'd encourage spending time with this book. There are too many well-rated products to simply use it as a source for quick lookups.

After identifying the options that suit your skin type, age, etc., then comes the fun part - you get to decide if you like the color and texture choices, packaging, and price. Maybe the top rated products aren't the ones to get if have a very particular beauty issue to correct. For example, if you are looking for a lipstick guaranteed not to feather, it's best to read through all the lipstick reviews to find those that are exceptional for that quality.

You might disagree with these reviews too, and this is another reason to read the the content - see why something is rated well or not. For example, foundations lacking sunscreen are graded down in this book. I don't like sunscreen in my foundation, so I would ignore a bad rating in that case.

Thanks to this book I was able to advise my husband to stop using alcohol based aftershave, and lavender-scented anything, both of which have been scientifically proven to be bad for skin.

Finally, for mature ladies, I recommend another book in conjunction with this one: "Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45" by Christopher Hopkins. First use Paula's book as a consumer guide to select the kind of products that you want to have. Then use Hopkin's book for advice about makeup application along with color and aesthetic choices that work best for older women. The two books cover different topic areas for sure, but the complement each other quite well.
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