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 best­selling 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 Beautypedia reviewing other brands as well as Paula’s Choice Skincare (Paula’s own skincare line). For some history, Paula and her team have been reviewing and analyzing cosmetics since 1979, 16 years before Paula’s Choice Skincare launched in 1995. Today, Paula proudly continues to do what she has always done: help women find the best beauty products available from a wide range of brands that offer products for every skin type and beauty concern.

Some people wonder about Paula’s Choice Skincare products being in competition with the brands we review on Beautypedia because of course they are. While we do love when you use skincare products created by Paula and her team that has never affected our objectivity or dedication to the facts. A quick look at our work over the years on Beautypedia shows we haven’t changed our standards or integrity whatsoever.

In fact, we are aware of no other cosmetic companies who do what we do by honestly recommending products from other companies in addition to their own. That’s exactly what we do on Beautypedia.com and have done in all of our books for the past 30 years.

We offer our research­-driven viewpoints 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 scientific research—not our feelings 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 their opinions of 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 and most importantly brilliant for your skin:

  • 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.