How We Review Sets Us Apart

Beautypedia follows the latest research to bring you the most reliable reviews on thousands of products—information you can use to find products to help you look your absolute best!

Who We Are

Beautypedia is the creation of beauty expert Paula Begoun, worldwide best-selling author of nine editions of Don’t Go to The Cosmetics Counter Without Me and founder of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula and her team are committed to the highest standards of facts, excellence, and honesty alongside a passionate community who add their diverse ideas and feedback to our reviews.

How Our Controversial Reviews Can Help You

We understand what we do is different. Not everyone will agree with our reviewing other brands and having our own skincare line. For some history, Paula and her team have been reviewing and analyzing beauty formulas since 1979, 16 years before Paula’s Choice Skincare launched in 1995. Paula simply continued to do what she had always done: Today, Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Skincare fulfill her lifelong goal to help women find the best beauty products available.

Some people wonder about Paula’s Choice Skincare being in competition with the brands we review and of course we are; we love when you use our products, but that has never affected our objectivity or dedication to the facts. A quick look at our work over the years shows we haven’t changed our standards or integrity whatsoever.

In fact, Paula’s Choice Skincare remains the only cosmetic company in the world that openly recommends products other than our own, both on this website and in all of our books.

We offer our research-driven viewpoint on products from other brands as well as our own products and then you can decide what works best for you. We love the power of that!

How We Do It

We assign products a rating of one to five stars.

  • Five stars: Superior. These are industry-leading, world-class products that contain an intriguing amount or combination of research-proven ingredients.
  • Four stars: Excellent. These are some of the best products around but have minor formulary, aesthetic, or performance issues that can affect a decision to purchase or results you’ll see.
  • Three stars: Good—product may have certain issues such as a lack of key ingredients or a more basic or one-note formula, but might still be worth considering, especially if the price is low.
  • Two stars: Average to below average. These products are disappointing on many levels, from formula to packaging or value for the money. Not worth strong consideration.
  • One star: An irritant-laden or otherwise disappointing formula, bad performance, poor packaging, or a combination of these make such products a must to avoid.

Skincare review ratings are based on published medical and scientific research—not our opinions after using the products. No one needs to use a product to find out that it’s bad for their skin, the same way you don’t need to smoke a cigarette to find out that it’s bad for you. The research is there to inform us, and when it comes to skincare, it’s the research that matters most.

Makeup ratings are based on the team’s color specialists who test and compare products to let you know exactly how they perform. Each category of skincare and makeup products have their own unique criteria that determine its final rating, but here’s the basic checklist we use to determine if a product is worth your time and money:

  • Who is the product best for, and how easy is it to use?
  • Can the product live up to all (or any) of its claims?
  • Does it contain effective amounts of ingredients proven to make skin look younger?
  • Does the product contain any ingredients research has shown can irritate skin?
  • How does the product differ from similar types of products—is it worth its price?
  • How does its packaging impact performance, ingredient stability, and ease of use?

You can learn about the criteria we’ve established for each category of products by visiting the Best Products section where each category has these details summarized for your convenience!

Why Ratings Might Change

We periodically re-evaluate our criteria for each product category and, always keeping the latest research and current selection of similar products in mind, may change some ratings with or without notice. Whenever this occurs, we do our best to make sure the rating changes are uniformly and fairly applied.