Last post, I lamented about my grease-monkey debacle with Murad’s skincare products… the ones Joan Lunden talked me into on a late-night infomercial (duh).  Anyway, I was kicking myself for not consulting Paula Begoun’s Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me which basically pans the entire Murad Resurgence skincare line.

I know better.  Paula Begoun is a one-woman “cosmetics cop” that publishes reviews on virtually every beauty product on the market and I’ve been following her gospel for years.  I have the 8th edition of her latest bible in my go-to book pile and her website bookmarked… for a reason.

The Robert Parker of beauty products, she accepts no kick-backs and takes no prisoners with cosmetic product reviews based on science and performance. 

Paula cuts through the marketing fluff of the hottest brands, debunking beauty myths that have tricked me and everyone else into spending stupid money on products that do not deliver.

She demystifies and unabashedly trashes any and all products that pretend to be something they’re not.  At the same time, she supports numerous cheap n’cheerful under-dog products/brands that make up for what they’re lacking in marketing clout with results and value.

More on Paula:

Books – Author of 18 best-selling books including Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, Blue Eyeshadow Should Be Illegal, The Original Beauty Bible, and Don’t Go Shopping for Hair-Care Products Without Me–over 2.5 million books sold. – profiling 45,000+ skincare/makeup products; reviews are updated weekly.  The $24.95 annual subscription also includes access to cool tools like customized, printable shopping lists, a mobile app for your PDA and more.

Media maven – repeat appearances on CNN, Oprah, The Today Show, 20/20, Dateline NBC, The View, and Dr. Oz and more.

Private label – creator of Paula’s Choice skin care and cosmetics which is essentially the “greatest hits” of products/ingredients from her research under a private label that’s sold on  I have not tried any Paula’s Choice products but I respect that it’s a very separate spin-off from her impartial reviews of the industry.

I recently saw Paula speak at a book-signing.  She took questions from the crowd… it was light, fun and informative but have to say I cringed at the lady who “assertively” challenged Paula on “why you should bother wearing sunscreen when it’s cloudy”.  Hmmm… (a) Pardon?; and (b) who takes on the merits of sunscreen in this day and age… let alone with Paula Begoun?

After a pregnant pause, Paula took on the uptight neophyte and the question.

Meantime, we were all there to listen to this cosmetics expert and buy her books because we’d already bought into “Paula Begoun”–a brand created around that expertise.


Paula Begoun is a case-study in personal branding.

Since 1985, she’s carved out a niche AND following in a beauty-driven world that wants answers and unbiased advice.  She’s opened eyes, earned consumer trust and positioned herself as a reliable resource, educating information hungry shoppers at every Begoun touch-point.

Add the economic realities of an aging population spending billions on “beauty solutions”, and I’d say her timing is as bang-on as her reviews.

SIDEBAR:  Her tried, tested and true wisdom can help avoid sucking you and your wallet down a rabbit hole.