Booker, November 5, 2008 (view all comments by Booker)
Paula's knowlege of the complicated cosmetics industry makes it easy for the reader to decipher the best products at reasonable prices! I have been following Paula's work for years. Thanks, Paula!
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I first heard about "Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me" a number of years ago. A couple of women at work were raving about it, and I remember enjoying an inner smugness about my own makeup-free beauty.
I rarely wear cosmetics, and pretty much consider it a waste of money, time and synaptic activity. (We can send a man to the moon, so why are we spending time engineering new lip liners?)
Fast forward to age 40.
My casual prettiness is showing its age, and my kids are entering the pre-teen complexion-angst age.
I want to go buy some face creams and pimple-goo, but have no idea where to start. I don’t want to waste my money on products that don’t live up to their claims.
A quick trip to the library, and enter "Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me" by Paula Begoun, with Bryan Barron (Beginning Press).
Begoun’s message quickly won me over.
“Consumers (including myself) deserved better. I wasn’t anti-makeup — just the opposite — but I was (and am) anti-hype, and against misleading information.”
Consumer rights? That’s right up my alley!
The 2008 seventh edition, is a seriously heavy debunking of false scientific cosmetics claims. It weighs in at a staggering 1187 pages.
Every single product from all the major cosmetic lines, as well as many of the smaller lines, are analyzed. The reviews are based on ingredients, percentages, packaging, (light infiltration can deactivate some products), pH, appearance, price — All reviewed in spectacular detail.
“Natural” and “organic” claims especially bother her.
“Natural ingredient claims are not regulated by the FDA. Although the FDA has tried to establish official definitions and guidelines for the use of terms such as “natural,” its regulation proposals were overturned in court. Therefore, cosmetics companies can use the ‘all natural’ term on ingredient lists to mean anything they want, and almost always it means nothing at all.”
Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Poison ivy face mask, anyone?
Other interesting points:
- You don’t need different moisturizers for the different areas of your body. Eyes, hands, face, etc.
- You can’t just stick to one brand. No one product line receives across the board recommendations.
- The number one thing to prevent skin damage/aged appearance is sunscreen vigilance.
- The $1 lipstick I prefer for those rare occasions calling for my “fancy face,” is actually very highly rated. (Way to go, Wet ‘n
- The best treatment for pimples is just a generic tube of benzoyl peroxide.
- A regular washcloth cleans your face just as well as a store-bought abrasive scrub.
The book ends with a summary of recommended cosmetic products. So if you’re looking for something specific, you can simply flip to the back.
The upshot of this book? I ended up buying a $3.50 tube of benzoyl peroxide for my son and a huge jug of sunscreen for myself.
Thank you, Paula Begoun!
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This well-organized, authoritative book helps women find products that make them look great without spending a fortune. From drugstores and home shopping to department stores and catalogs, Paula Begoun reviews all the major cosmetic and skin-care lines, product by product, with more than 30,000 total. Regardless of cost, there are good and bad products in almost every line, and with the turn of a page, readers can get concise reviews and fast answers. A user-friendly rating system makes it easy to find items worth trying.
This well-organized, authoritative book helps women find products that make them look great without spending a fortune. From drugstores and home shopping to department stores and catalogs, Begoun reviews all the major cosmetic and skin-care lines, product by product.
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