In Discussions, Life, Reviews, Shopping, Style, What I bought

Paula’s Choice: The Brand and its Products (Review)

I was a huge fan of Paula’s Choice back in the day before I went on this natural kick and tried to switch over to products that were more “natural” (by natural I mean names I can pronounce, things from essential oils or plants).

The one thing that I found I can’t really get away from, is a good cleanser and an excellent exfoliator.

If I don’t use a good cleanser and exfoliate religiously, within about 3 days, my skin will break out in spots and just look dull and awful.

I’ve tried SO MANY cleansers in the past, including natural ones from Pure & Simple’s Holistic Vanity Line as well as their regular Pure & Simple line, but they haven’t quite worked on my skin to really get rid of the oil and grime.

… and just recently Money Goddess turned me onto Paula’s Choice again, raving about how awesome all of her products are. She was SO NICE that she even gave me samples from her order so I could try out the line without committing to it, and out of everything she gave me, I was completely, utterly hooked on the cleanser.

I totally, highly recommend that you buy samples of everything you want to try and test it out on your skin before committing to the full-sized product.

More on that later, I’ll give you the rundown of everything I tried.

The one thing I should note before I do some mini reviews is that my skin is horribly sensitive and absolutely hates anything with oil and silicones of any kind on it. It breaks out in little white bumps or pimples.

You really can’t convince me that it has nothing to do with the oil or silicones in a product, because it happens every. single. time.

Onto the reviews!


PAULA’S CHOICE SKIN BALANCING OIL REDUCING CLEANSER

[ MUST BUY ]

paulas-choice-skin-balancing-oil-reducing-cleanser-review

This cleanser is incredible. MG gave me samples and I was squeezing them out until they were bone dry.

I love it, I LOVE IT.

I don’t even care that it’s chock full of stuff I was trying to avoid for my skin because IT WORKS. It also washes very cleanly off your face as a cleanser, so anything in there that might make you feel queasy, doesn’t absorb or stay on your skin.

It also doesn’t stink or smell, it doesn’t have unnecessary ingredients or perfumes, and the price can’t be beat for the amount that you get.

I literally gasped when I saw how big the bottle was, I had no idea for $18 I’d get something the size of a Pringle’s chips can.

Plus, I like the packaging because it isn’t hard to squeeze out just the right amount of cleanser because of the great flip top on it.

I like it for these reasons:

  • You get a huge 16 oz bottle for about $18 (when on sale) — imagine the size of a Pringles can. It was so big it shocked me.
  • Very cheap for the amount of cleanser you get; I bought 2 bottles and I’m sure they’ll last me at least a year or longer
  • You only need VERY LITTLE to wash your entire face (about a pea-sized drop)
  • It foams beautifully — I know this is just a trick, cleansers don’t need to foam to work but I like it
  • It washes off very cleanly
  • It removes all traces of oil, dirt and grime, even claiming to remove makeup but I’d use a remover just in case
  • I haven’t gotten any pimples from oil and dirt-clogged pores

INGREDIENTS:

Water, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (gentle cleansing agents), Stearic Acid (fatty acid thickener), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Glycol Distearate (skin-conditioning/opacifying agent), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (non-fragrant plant oil), Acrylates Copolymer (film-forming agent), Cetearyl Alcohol (thickener), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (water-binding agent), Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide (stabilizer and pH-adjusting agents), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

As you can see, the ingredients aren’t that bad.

No parabens, no sulfates, no phthalates or perfumes.

PAULA’S CHOICE SKIN BALANCING MOISTURE GEL

[ GAVE IT A PASS BECAUSE OF THE SILICONES ]

http://paula-choice-usca.pxf.io/c/1130686/311423/4801

I really, desperately wanted to love this moisturizer but I couldn’t because it has silicones in it. I tried the sample, and it felt AWESOME on my skin.

It was light, it was moisturizing, and it felt great… until the next day when I noticed my skin started to break out a little in spots. That’s when I knew, it is completely confirmed that I cannot have anything that has silicones in it on my face because it WILL break me out.

That said… MG totally swears by it. She loves this moisturizer and I wanted to love it too but I couldn’t. It doesn’t let my skin breathe and I react badly to silicones. Even in makeup. It doesn’t matter what the product is or how much I pay for it, silicones = NO.

INGREDIENTS

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Glycerin, (skin-identical ingredient) Laminaria Saccharina (Seaweed) Extract (water-binding agent), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract (antioxidants), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil (emollient plant oil/lubricant), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E/antioxidant), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3/cell-communicating ingredient), Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, Bis-Phenylpropyl Dimethicone (silicones/slip agents), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (licorice/anti-irritant), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C/antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-identical ingredient), Phospholipids (cell-communicating ingredient), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), Isohexadecane (emulsifier), Panthenol (Vitamin B5/water-binding agent), Propylene Glycol (slip agent), Sodium Carbomer (gel-based thickener), Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer (film-forming/water-binding agent), Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer (silicone film-forming agent), Polysorbate 80 (thickener), Hydroxyethylcellulose (gel-based thickener), Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben (all preservatives)

PAULA’S CHOICE SKIN BALANCING OIL ABSORBING MASK

[ WAS GOOD BUT NOT NECESSARY FOR MY SKIN ]

paulas-choice-skin-balancing-oil-absorbing-mask

While I didn’t hate this product, I didn’t love it. I guess I didn’t really see any benefit of it on my skin.

I will note that after I applied it, my skin felt nice and smooth, but when I went to go use an exfoliator on it, I noticed the clay had left a light film on my skin which is probably why it felt so nice, tight and smooth…

I don’t think it’s a bad thing, in fact, I had purchased clay powders before to use as as mask on my skin, but I don’t think my skin really needs this extra step.

If you have oily, acne-prone skin though, you might want to give this a shot. MG swears by it.

INGREDIENTS

Water, Kaolin (clay/absorbent), Bentonite (white clay/absorbent), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract (anti-inflammatory), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder (water-binding/soothing agent), Sea Whip Extract (anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent), Colloidal Oatmeal, Bisabolol (anti-irritants), Ascorbyl Palmitate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Phospholipids (skin-repairing ingredient), Panthenol (skin-conditioning agent), Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A/antioxidant), Stearic Acid, Steareth-2 (thickeners), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

PAULA’S CHOICE GENTLE TOUCH MAKEUP REMOVER

[ WAS GOOD BUT I RARELY WEAR HEAVY MAKEUP ]

It works. It really removes everything off my face, but I don’t think I’d buy it again because I don’t really wear enough makeup to justify purchasing this.

The one thing that is kind of bothersome about it is that you have to shake it really well before using it, so that the product mixes and removes your makeup.

I might have to wear a full face of makeup (to go get my driver’s license renewed), so I’ll post an update on how it did.

Apparently, the cleanser also removes makeup but I like having two cleansers when I wear makeup to make sure it’s really off my skin before it clogs anything.

INGREDIENTS

Water, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone solvents/skin-conditioning agents), Isohexadecane (mild solvent), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin (slip agents/water-binding agents), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (soothing plant extract), Bisabolol (antioxidant/soothing agent), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidant), Poloxamer 184 (surfactant polymer), Sodium Dehydroacetate, Benzalkonium Chloride (preservatives), Allantoin (soothing agent), Glycyrrhetinic Acid (licorice-derived anti-irritant), Sodium Chloride, Disodium EDTA (stabilizers), Methylparaben (preservative), Benzyl Alcohol (preservatives).

Again, it does have silicone in it but I am not too concerned about it (nor the parabens or the butylene glycol) because I use it to remove makeup from my face and then I wash my face at least twice, which cleans away any trace of these products before they absorb into my skin.

PAULA’S CHOICE CONCEALER

[ WOULD PURCHASE AGAIN ]

paulas-choice-soft-cream-concealer

Surprisingly, I liked her concealer.

I have a serious need for a heavy concealer and I’ve tried TimeBalm TheBalm’s concealer, Makeup Forever, and Amazing Cosmetics. They’re all great concealers too, but I am always looking for the BEST concealer.

This one is a good one. Decent coverage without looking fake, it’s soft and it’s pretty good. I tried putting a light layer of concealer underneath one of my eyes and then standing back to compare it with the other, and I could see an immediate difference.

I think her makeup is good as well.

WHAT I WANT TO TRY NEXT:

  • Her matte eyeshadow palette looks great but at $40 I hesitated, but I may not the next time
  • C15 Serum Booster — it’s the only antioxidant without any silicones in it, and MG swears by it

PAULA’S CHOICE REFERRAL LINK FOR $10 OFF

If you use this referral link to buy from Paula’s Choice (thanks!) you will get $10 off your order.

I highly recommend you wait until they have 20% – 25% off sales on their products before placing an order for anything (more bang for your buck), and then use this link: http://paula-choice-usca.pxf.io/c/1130686/311423/4801 to get your $10 off.


(I’ll get $10 off too.)

I totally, highly recommend that you buy samples of everything you want to try and test it out on your skin before committing to the full-sized product.

Samples are only around $0.80 each packet and something like the cleanser, can last for at least 4 – 5 face washes or more.

Out of all of the products above, I can say without a doubt that her stuff is quite cheap for the quantity that you get. I even got a cute little book in my order detailing out all the myths of skincare (which I already knew).

See, I am not someone who believes in magic apples in moisturizers or moonbeams plucked by elves under a blue moon and mixed with sea fungi costing $100/oz being the only product you should use on your skin.

I think it’s a load of hogwash and Paula’s Choice doesn’t believe in that crap either, which is why I love the brand, but can’t love all of her products with silicone in it (unfortunately).

So, what are your favourite beauty products?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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4 Comments

  1. Lisa

    Love the toner. – it really is a must have!

    Lisa | lisawoodbeauty.com

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I wore it alone during the summer without moisturizer.

      Reply
  2. Helen

    I’ve been quite happy with Blissoma for their skin serums and cleanser. My skin has become more combination over time, with oily t-zone and dry cheeks, and her cleanser doesn’t strip my skin of moisture like the other natural cleansers I’ve tried.

    Also, check out Silk Naturals for makeup. The prices are a bargain for the quality of product, and sample sizes are available.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I will take a look!!

      Reply

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