Saturday Shillery: Paulas Choice

If you know me, I have raved about these products for a long time, just to my friends. But I thought it was high time Paulas Choice got its own shillery post.

Over the past couple of years, people in the skeptic community have mentioned wanting skepticism to branch out into 'lady topics', like encouraging skepticism with cosmetics/beauty products/etc. The thing is, that view is a day late and a dollar short. Because people into cosmetics/beauty products have already branched out into skepticism. Like, for a really long time now. Beauty bloggers are known for buying, testing, and reviewing products for their readers. They might not have the scientific background many of us have, but they can figure out "Does this product do what it says it will, or doesnt it?"

And then there are people who have turned skepticism, research, and cosmetics/beauty into a profession, like Paula Begoun. You can read about her story here, but what you all will be more interested in is her database of ingredients, and database of product reviews.

Want to know about that Lancome mask the lady at the cosmetics counter was trying to pimp out to you? Theyve got a break-down of it. (I picked this one at random, and it is kinda funny)

Want to know what felruic acid is and what its supposed to do? It is in the database.

Really nice resources for Average Joes and Janes investigating cosmetic claims.

October 2012*-- Ive always had acne. Certainly not as bad as some people have it, but it was always there. Always. Go on and hunt down a pic of me from a presentation, or the vids Seth did for me-- I could cover them up with 'stage makeup', but you could always see 'topology'.

Heres one from FreeOK 2012:


Here is one of me just hangin with friends:


I was a cliche 'IVE TRIED EVERYTHING AND NOTHINGS WORKED' person. Everything over-the-counter, prescriptions from physicians, but too scared to try Accutane. Nothing worked. I heard about Paulas Choice after one of my favorite vloggers gave her products a positive review. I started with PCs databases and reading into the science behind the products I was using, and realized why what I was using, wasnt working. Face washes with salicylic acid (wrong pH, gets washed away), toners with alcohol (alcohol is an irritant), benzol peroxide creams (loaded with other irritating ingredients), face scrubs (abrasive, more irritants), even my prescription topical antibiotics (oh, look, more alcohol!).

So I ordered some PC products. Like I said, Id tried everything else, and these were on sale, so why not?

Well, I have been using PC products exclusively for one year now.

Here is a pic from October 2013, right before my defense (the most stressful time of my entire life):

After PC

I got these results without using the official PC Acne line :-|

My Holy Grail products are the Skin Balancing cleanser and toner, and the 2% salicylic acid liquid. I also love and use lots of other stuff (if you want to know about some product, ask, Ive probably tried it), but those are the core of my routine. I didnt need 10% benzol peroxide or prescription stuff-- I needed a salicyclic acid that was at a functional pH.


I really wish I could go back in time and give these products to 15 year old me.


But I cant, so, maybe a Saturday Shillery post will help someone else.



Cosmetics/Beauty is A Lady Thing. Except, its not. Guys get acne too, and they dont have the luxury of layering on make-up to cover it up. Guys worry about aging. Guys need to worry about sunscreen. Older people worry about acne. And younger people worry about preventing wrinkles.

Another reason I love PC is that the packaging is age, sex, and condition neutral. By that, I mean a 45 year old woman and a 16 year old boy could have the *exact* same products on their shelves, and neither one of them would be embarrassed by a friend snooping in their medicine cabinet. It might seem like a 'little thing', but when we are worried about products pandering to women and taking advantage of insecurities about our looks, it is important to mention.

I have been wanting to write a post for Paulas Choice products for a while (like I said, I talk about them with my friends all the time), but Im just now getting around to it. Im actually glad I waited because PC literally just started a referral program, so, disclaimer: If you want to try the products Im shillin, and you follow THIS LINK:

You will get $10 off a $15 purchase, and I will get $10 credit for a future purchase. I will use it cause I love this stuff, but you can buy or not buy anything you want, from wherever you want (PC is also available from and If you add the code EDDLIPS this weekend only, you will also get a free set of new liquid lipsticks with a $50 purchase (for you or a Christmas gift for someone else!). Another great thing about PC is that they are always running sales (monthly cycle-- this month 25% off cleansers and toner) and bonuses (free exfoliants, free trial sized acne kit, free serums, etc, normally on the weekends). I dont think I have ever bought anything full price.

Buy, dont buy, I dont care. All Im saying is, this stuff worked for me. Is my skin perfect? Nope. But Im pretty damn happy :)



More like this

Have you tried the shampoo? I've been on a lifelong quest to find good shampoo for my hairs, which are like unruly strands of titanium rope.

By Optimus Primate (not verified) on 09 Nov 2013 #permalink

Ive said Ive tried pretty much everything, and then you ask about one of the few things I havent tried LOL!

I would say two things--
1-- They have sample sizes available if you just want to try a little bit.
2-- Their customer service is great. If you buy it, use it a few times, and you totally hate it, drop them an email within 60 days. They will exchange/credit/refund.

Big 'Thank you!' to those of you who ordered through my link!

Please feel free to leave your own reviews here of what you got, positive or negative :)

Whenever I post a review on one of Paula's Choice products that is negative, it is never posted. I take that back, one of them was posted and I gave that one a few stars. You can't trust her review lineup as they are cherry picked to look legit. I do love many of her products but there were a few that I had issues with but she wouldn't let me post a review that was carefully thought out. I have read that she has done this to others as well.

By earthly diva (not verified) on 17 Feb 2014 #permalink

My daughter has been to dermatologist and also tried products on the market and products you send away for. The only, only thing that I can Honestly say worked for her, is Evening Primrose Oil. She followed the directions on the bottle and it took about a month to see the difference, but It's incredible. Thanks to the lady in a Hollywood, FL who mentioned it to us. All I money I spent sure could use now.

Thanks for sharing your experience about Paula's Choice products. I normally read her reviews on other products but have never read reviews about her products. My question is, how do I know what products to pick? my skin concern is that it looks kind of irritated and when I wear make up, my pores seem to enlarge, I don't know if the problem is the makeup brand I'm using..

Hello, please can someone advise me. A dear friend has given me the new Chanel Le Lift face-cream and eye cream to go with it. She was attracted by an article she read about the cream in the Financial Review and felt that that article gave it credibility. Now I read about this product on Paula's Choice and don't want to use it as Paula has reviewed it as have way too much alcohol in it which is not good, actually brings on ageing to the skin.
How can a company say they have spent 12 years and so many millions on research and create a product, according to Paula's Choice, as doing the very opposite of what it claims.? It isn't just a case of falling for advertising - my poor friend has believed the hype. I feel sorry for her for spending all this money and I want to know am I stuck with $300+ worth of cosmetic junk or is it a good skin maintenance product? If it does damage the skin because all of the alcohol it contains then I think she should go to Chanel and get her money back. Would anyone please know of any lobby groups who tackle these kinds of issues with cosmetic companies? If they are making products which do the opposite of what they claim then they need to be taken on and exposed so that more women don't waste their money. Thank you. Lily

By Lily Ascher (not verified) on 14 Mar 2014 #permalink

I have tried many PC products and I've loved most of them, but I gave a bad review to her new matte eye shadow palette a few weeks ago and they never posted it. Nearly every review is 5 stars, a couple of 4's, and one 3. I found the eye shadows to be unblendable and of poor quality for the price. I get better results from drugstore shadows. I came here from Google after researching whether other people had difficulties posting a bad review on the PC site. Apparently earthly diva had a similar experience. I find this to be kind of shady and although I do like many PC products, I would like to feel confident about the reviews on her site. I guess I was naive in thinking all this time that the reviews were reliable.

Paula's Choice offers many samples of available products. I have had real face issues with hormone rosacia cystic acne. I have used a lot of different things from dermatologists and over counter as well. I mean LOTS of stuff. Nothing worked as well as Paula's stuff. She has an awesome return policy and even sent me a complete acne sample kit free of charge to assure a satified

By Paula Baudoin (not verified) on 10 Apr 2014 #permalink

It's possible that the Nude Mattes shadow pallet works differently for some? This pallet is actually THE FIRST Paulas Choice product I've ever used. I found it to be of very high quality, highly Pigmented, and very bendable. In fact, the days I get the most compliments are the ones when I am using THIS pallet. I had been searching for a Matte pallet for quite some time and love this one. It is also a very versatile pallet for me; I can get many different looks from it. The nude mattes pallet was so good for me that it lead to my replacing all my skin care products with Paula's Choice products from various lines. After using the products for about 6 weeks I thought I was seeing a great improvement in not only how my skin looked, but also in how it felt. Over the course of the last week I have started to get compliments at work on my complexion too! I hadn't even told my co-workers that I started using Paula's Choice products! I can honestly say I've had great results with everything I've tried from Paula's Choice and will continue to use her products going forward.

By Julie Taylor (not verified) on 30 Apr 2014 #permalink

I also feel compelled to say that I do see plenty of reviews, on Paula's Choice, from people who weren't happy with the results they were having. I then see plenty of follow ups from Paulas Choice with offers to have phone consults with these people, so that they can be better matched to a particular product for exchanges; or just to receive a refund. So I guess I'm Still a believer in regard to the review system on Paula's website being fairly open and honest.

By Julie Taylor (not verified) on 30 Apr 2014 #permalink