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Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me: 7th Edition Paperback – Jan 4 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1184 pages
  • Publisher: Beginning Press; 7 edition (Jan. 4 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1877988324
  • ISBN-13: 978-1877988325
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 4.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #511,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Women spend an extraordinary amount of money on cosmetics--$45 billion a year in the U.S. alone. Now in its fourth edition, Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me strikes fear in cosmetics-counter consultants everywhere. First off, Begoun has deconstructed ingredient lists. Ever wonder what methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben are doing in your mascara? And what is diazolidinyl urea? All four are potential irritants, and the latter is a preservative that can release formaldehyde, a class A carcinogen. Buyer beware.

Begoun also lists which companies are cruelty-free and which continue to conduct animal testing. The majority of the book--and that's nearly 800 pages--is devoted to reviews of thousands of cosmetics, from cleansers, foundations, alpha-hydroxy acids, and moisturizers to lip liners, eye shadows, and concealers, all of which Begoun has personally tested. (There are no hair care products listed, as that warrants another book entirely: Don't Go Shopping for Hair Care Products Without Me.)

She's perfectly frank and tells it like it is. (On Revlon's ColorStay Makeup: "goes far beyond the claim of 'It won't come off on him.' It won't come off when you want it to.") You'll learn how to tell when you're being boondoggled by a salesperson, what's overpriced and overhyped, as well as what's overlooked. More than 200 brands are included, along with a helpful summary at the end that lists the best products for each cosmetic category. It should be noted that not only is Begoun a fine consumer advocate, she's also a self-esteem advocate: she mentions time and again that even the best cosmetics won't necessarily improve your life, and that's a point well taken. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

PAULA BEGOUN (Seattle) has been reporting on the beauty industry for more than 25 years. Her unique angle on the cosmetics industry has earned her nicknames such as "The Ralph Nader of Rouge" and the "Cosmetics Cop." She is an internationally recognized authority as a consumer advocate for the cosmetics and hair-care industries and appears regularly on television and radio and in magazines. Begoun has a syndicated column with Knight-Ridder News Tribune Service and has appeared on CNN, Oprah, 20/20, ABC's Primetime, Dateline NBC, the View, the Today Show, CBS This Morning and Good Morning America.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This Cosmetics Guide used to have a complete list of cosmetics ingredients which she refers to in her reviews of cosmetics section. In the version I had from the library on numerous occasions previously, there was detailed reference information on a huge compendium of ingredients. Unfortunately, I didn't' note in the Amazon description, or it wasn't addressed, that the ingredients section had been taken out. The fact that it is now available through an online is great ultimately, especially if it is being kept up-to-date regularly; however, I now found the information in the book much less useful.

My main interest was in the reviews of non- and natural soap and bath products to contrast with the customers of my hobby soapmaking/bath basket business.
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Format: Paperback
This book will change how you shop for cosmetic products.
I am not a very girly-girl and find cosmetic shopping to be more than a little baffling. (I mean really! Does anyone actually NEED $300 skin cream?!?)
Paula is like the girlfriend that everyone needs. She walks you through what all of the products do, so if you don't know why people buy toner, she explains it to you. And she tells you what to look for when you do decide to buy the stuff.
It doesn't feel like she's plugging any specific line of products (except for her own brand, but what do you expect?) and you are given good options in every price range. So, if you are dying to spend $300 on a product, go ahead. If you want to know what the $9.99 equivalent is, she tells you that too.
As a self-confessed lip-balm addict, this was the section that I found most helpful. She explained what ingredients you should make sure are NOT in your lipbalm, as certain ingredients actually make your lips worse! This segment alone made the whole book a worthwhile purchase for me.
Highly, highly recommended, for everyone from your grandmother, to any young teen girls just entering the land of cosmetics. I wish I'd had this book when I just started out.
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Format: Paperback
I am amazed at some of the reviews which demonstrate that some alleged readers didn't read the book very carefully at all. Paula clearly admits that the reviews in her book are her opinions. However, I've been reading her books for over a decade, and her opinions are based on solid, thorough, scientific research NOT funded by anyone other than herself. I don't know of another book that can make that claim. She mixes her opinions with facts that few others dare because she has nothing to lose in the process. When she tells the truth, we all benefit. Articles in women's magazines stand to lose an enormous amount of advertising revenue if any editorials threaten to blow Estee Lauder, Lancome, Clinique, Maybelline, or any cosmetics company that spends literally millions of dollars in ads off their solid gold pedestals. Paula also states quite clearly that if a certain regime or product works for the consumer, then the consumer should stick with it.
However, for the rest of us who need guidance in choosing what is best for our skin and make-up routines, this book is a godsend. She rates products on the ingredients they contain, their effect on the skin, and how well they work. She never claims that all products purchased in a drugstore are as good as those purchased at expensive prices in department stores. She freely acknowledges some poor products that are inexpensive do exist. And she also acknowledges that some poor products which are expensive also exist. In other words, the price of the cosmetic has nothing to do with its effectiveness, safety, or application.
What this book really does is give facts to help the consumer separate fact from fiction.
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Format: Paperback
I have been reading Paula's books for years, and have been a industry pro in hair/make-up/skin care for over 15 years. She is on the money. After working with huge companies for years. The parent company is in for one thing...MONEY people! There are fabulous products in many high end and lower end ranges. It's all about prestige, packaging, frangrance, not always quaility. Even if they do use the best ingredients out there, does it even it do what it claims? Not likely.

I like her keep it simply attitude. As for "not being an expert" This is laughable. Let's see....your average estetician has less then a high school education, trained at or with a major cosmetics company ( spoon fed all the info based on the products the company wants to sell or a low rent trade school) Paula has spent years, researching with hunderd of doctors, manufacturers, and actual experts to write her books. I don't know, but if there where PHD's in this, she would have three by now.

Since I left the sales/education part of my industry, I focus on giving my clients the TRUTH about what is out there. I ask them, ( ask yourself too) Has ther ever been a product you have tried that actually 100% did exactly what it promised it would do? Is your hair, skin, body totally changed for the better with long lasting results? Are your split ends mended? Your wrinkles smaller? The celulite gone? Dark cirlces erased? Fuller thicker hair with bounce, shine and no frizz? Doubtful.

She debunks that you need to spend hundreds on crap. Unless you like to waste your money. She gives honest reviews based on trials, and scientific research with independant labs. You make the choice in the end.
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