Paula Begoun’s Don’t Go to the Cosmetic Counter Without Me Review

Paula Begoun’s Don’t Go to the Cosmetic Counter Without Me ($29.95)

Paula Begoun published her 7th edition of this book just this past December 2007, and it is definitely an interesting read. First, it is important to note that a great deal of information found in the book is also available [for free] at, Paula’s website, which makes it easy to search, find products you want or ingredients, etc. Plus, the website will be updated continuously and seamlessly, whereas the book is more stagnant.

I liked the book because it does introduce you to the concept of ingredient and cosmetic awareness. It raises your outlook on product claims vs. product results. It is also fascinating just to read what someone else has to say, especially because she pays most of her attention to ingredients. Unfortunately, on the same token, I find the reviews less thorough and helpful because most of them are based on ingredient lists rather than actual trial and error. She also hates on frosts/shimmers, even though it stems more from an idea that older women should avoid them (but there is always a time and place, and I think it’s obviously a personal bias-not something as concrete as alcohol will dry out your skin!).

This book is also insanely heavy, which makes me laugh at the irony of the title-I’ll be going to the counter without this two-pound book! I definitely believe this book can be a valuable resource, but it is important to note that you should do your own fact-checking and whatnot to find out what works, what doesn’t, etc. Believing what one reviewer tells you without researching into their data is no different than believing the claims of a miracle beauty product.

I do think it is worth checking out, whether if you peruse through the pages at your local book store or if you pick it up at the library. It’s always fun to look up your favorite or holy grail products and see how they measure up!

Read it? What’d you think?