Paula Begoun is the founder and innovative force behind Paula's Choice skin care and cosmetics. She is the author of twenty bestselling books on skin care, makeup, and hair care. Well known for her extensive knowledge of the cosmetics industry, she is a recognized consumer expert and has appeared on CNN, as well as programs such as "Oprah," "The Today Show," "20/20," "Dateline NBC," "The View," and "Dr. Oz."Q: What's your beauty philosophy?
A: I have many as there are many definitions and influences when it comes to beauty. Primarily, I think it is finding the balance between our own self-esteem and sense of self-beauty and societal and cultural influences. Try as we may we can never escape the way fashion magazines, celebrities, movies, and TV portray beauty but with creativity and self-awareness, we can adopt what works for us and avoid like the plague what doesn't.
Q: Who is your beauty icon?
A: That's always a hard one because people are beautiful to me in many different ways. Everyone from Kate Winslet (mother, actress, businesswoman, beautiful in a down-to-earth, natural way); Condoleezza Rice (an elegant woman who is accomplished in a world where women are still only making strides); Eleanor Roosevelt (a traditionally unattractive woman who had grace and courage, and touched the lives of millions and was one of the first civil rights leaders); and Benazir Bhutto, prime minister of Pakistan (who was not only stunning, but a visionary who truly changed her country, but was tragically assassinated in 2007). There are more, but these are the ones that come to mind first.
Q: What is the best beauty advice you've received?
A: It was actually the worst beauty advice I received that ended up being the best because it framed and molded my career. The sales manager who was training me at the first department store I worked at told me to sell moisturizers from the line I was selling. She told me to say it would get rid of wrinkles and make women look years younger and the eye cream would get rid of dark circles and puffiness. I said back to her, "But you have lots of wrinkles and your eyes are puffy, obviously it isn't working." I was young and cocky but everything else, along with my own experience of using products that didn't work, led to my first book, and it all took off from there!
Q: What would you say is the standout reason to try Paula's Choice?
A: My products are unique for four basic reasons: they are fragrance free; clinically proven to be non-irritating; all the formulations are backed by published research; and panels of real women test the products. We also have many one-of-a-kind formulations you simply will not find anyplace else in the world, with data showing them to be effective.
Q: What is the one product from your line that you think everyone should try regardless of age, skin tone, skin concern?
A: That's a hard one because an individual's skin type and concerns play a critical role in how you take care of your skin, which is the major reason we have so many products. Our formulas are meant to address the needs of those with dry skin, dry skin with acne, dry skin with rosacea, combination skin, blackheads, acne, oily skin, oily skin with rosacea, brown spots, sensitive skin, and on and on. There is very little overlap between skin types and the products someone should be using. One category I feel strongly everyone can benefit from is our BHA and AHA exfoliants. The Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant and Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel can make skin look smoother, correct texture issues, reduce wrinkles, and eliminate blackheads. Many will see the difference overnight!
Q: Where do you get your best beauty trend info?
A: Fashion magazines – just like you do – but as a company and personally, we aren't interested in trends, we are focused on what works. Most trends don't have staying power because they jump on an ingredient that is either just plain ridiculous or ends up being a problem or a do-nothing experience for skin.
Q: Do you have a favorite beauty blog, Instagram or Pinterest page?
A: Probably, The Beauty Brains – they get it right more often than not and I can't tell you how rare that is in the world of beauty.
Q: What was your last great beauty discovery?
A: We are very excited about our new, stable, high-concentration retinol products: RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol and Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol. While this ingredient has been around for a while, keeping it stable isn't easy and then formulating it in a time-release and with potent antioxidants makes it without comparison in the world of skin care. Plus, the new research showing it is as effective as the prescription versions is just thrilling.
Q: What do you think the next big trend in beauty will be?
A: That's a good question, but we ignore trends as they are transient. We are looking for what works and is truly potent and stable that can be formulated for different skin types. I know that may seem boring, but I guarantee our products are the most effective you will find for a wide range of skin types. I stand behind that 100%!
Q: Do you have a new favorite product?
A: Nothing really new but I couldn't live without my BHA, sunscreen, flat iron, Rogaine, RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum and RESIST C15 Super Booster.