Will beauty blogs be the death of the magazine?

by Annabella on June 13, 2011 · 33 comments

Before I moved to the UK I had a subscription to Allure, the American beauty bible. My friend Fiona and I would pour over every issue with no page left (pardon the pun) un-turned. Her apartment walls could have crumbled to the ground while we were reading our favourite mag, and we wouldn’t have noticed. Editor in Chief Linda Wells had us captivated with every issue.

When I re-located to these fine British Isles in 1996, it was difficult for me to get my Allure fix as not many newsagents carried it. I did find a host of other monthlies to take it’s place though. I bought at least 5 or 6 different mags before the internet became a regular feature in my life. I had ones for different occasions; beauty/fashion, celeb/gossip, and the occasional health magazine when I was on a weight loss kick for the 100th time. Over the years I’ve stopped buying so many as I’ve lost interest in how much weight Michelle Heaton has lost (again) and if I haven’t started taking garlic supplements by now I doubt I ever will. I realised after I had been blogging for over a year in March that I no longer buy any. When I started my blog I never imagined that my enthusiasm for reading magazines would come to a screeching halt.

At nearly 41 years old I’m at the outer edge of the readership focus of most fashion/beauty magazines that I previously read. While I have an interest in some of the clothes and products they feature, the articles about keeping your fella ‘hot’ in bed, or how to climb the career ladder are clearly aimed at younger women. I’ve done a bit of research and the reader demographics for Glamour (USA Version) are 20 – 40 but I would guess as with the UK version that more 16 year olds read it than your average 38 year old. I could read magazines aimed at my age group however I’m not interested in reading about pensions, gardening, and how to make a Sunday lunch for 12 on a budget. I also want to learn about products from all price ranges, rather than ones that are only sold at Space NK.

Reading beauty blogs has given me the variety I need without assuming that I fit into a certain age, income, or lifestyle bracket. I can read reviews, get information on product launches, and get inspired by women of all ages. A friend at work gave me the latest copy of Glamour magazine (his gf bought three to get the Benefit freebies) and after looking through it I’ve realised that I won’t be buying this or any other magazines in the near future.

Do you still rely on traditional print magazines as well as blogs for your beauty news? I’d love to hear from you! x

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Jude Dunn June 13, 2011 at 1:28 am

Interesting post. I used to buy Glamour religiously, in fact I still have issue no 1. But last year I just got fed up with it as it seemed I no longer fitted the criteria for their readers, nothing in it was aimed at me anymore so I suppose I just outgrew the magazine. I find now that if I want to know about a certain product I can always find a blogger review on it. I think that I trust a blogger’s view of a product much more than that of a beauty journalist. Jude xx @jadlgw


jeanie June 13, 2011 at 1:56 am

I was just thinking about this the other day! I still get many subs in the mail and honestly they SIT! I am more focused on reading blogs. I save my mags for vacations or long car trips. great post xx


Annabella June 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm

@Jade Dunn – Glamour just irritates with it’s condescending writing style, I also can’t believe the ‘women of the year’ winners! WTF??

@Jeanie – I agree with you magazines are still good for those down times like waiting for trains, planes, and automobiles!


Vintage June 13, 2011 at 2:11 am

I still read magazines! :)


Annabella June 13, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Aww bless, I would guess that you read some vintage mags that are more niche right?


Jade June 13, 2011 at 2:14 am

Great post, I must admit magazines don’t excite me so much anymore, I might pick up the occasional copy of InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue but generally they don’t hold my interest, too many advertisements haha


Annabella June 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Yes exactly the excitement is missing! Advertisements for Chanel Chronograph watches that we can’t afford! he he


Sarah Kretchmer June 13, 2011 at 5:36 am

It’s funny you should write this post. I have been blogging for nearly 3 months and in writing my blog I have started to read heaps of blogs as well. I also subscribed to Marie Claire magazine and would buy some of the other trashy gossip mags each month. For the last 3 months I have not bought a new magazine and haven’t gotten around to even opening the last 2 issues if Marie Claire. I used to get antsy wIting for it to arrived as the previous issue had long since been devoured. Now I get my daily beauty fix on blogs and instead of reading biased advertorials I now read honest reviews. I think I will pick up the odd mag if it has a good gwp or if I an flying or on hols and hubby has banned me from the internet but other than that I will be sticking to blogs. Ps I am 30 so right in the middle of their target audience.


Annabella June 13, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I used to be the same with my Marie Claire too! I’d devour the entire thing like a tub of ice cream then I would have to wait patiently for the next issue. Maybe you can use your old issues of MC for firewood in the winter!


Louisa June 13, 2011 at 6:40 am

I Don’t think its so much replacing magazines as a form of them evolving. The beauty blogging world is essentially made up of loads of articles which you use to tailor make your own virtual magazine.
When you read online beauty blogs you can pick what you read, and as its free you’re not disappointed if there’s nothing of interest on that particular blog.
As well as having access to so many different product reviews and swatches. You also can be more sure that a review is more honest online, rather than company’s paying a magazine to talk about their wonderful product.


Annabella June 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Hey Louisa, you are right there is that element of disappointment when you get through the entire magazine and only a few pages have interested you. It’s okay if the blogs I read don’t always have something I’m interested in because I read so many so I’m always able to get my beauty fix.


Pinkty June 13, 2011 at 9:58 am

You made me laugh so much about gardening, and cooking on a budget !!
I have the same issue with magazine in france, I read Elle every week as I receive it at home but the other magazines seem to be for younger girl (and I am 28). There is a beauty magazine I like “Votre beauté” but sometimes they are talking about such complicated stuff that I don’t understand (the last beauty treatments in beauty spa which cost an arm AND a leg !)


Annabella June 13, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Bonjour ma cherie! I get to see you soon he he he. Glad I made you laugh hunny bun!


Sultry Red June 13, 2011 at 10:33 am

I still buy Glamour but I don’t seem to inhale it as much as I used to do.. I read it once then it goes on the pile… I no longer buy Cosmo at all, I know how to keep my guy happy (food) and i don’t need those icky centrefolds they do.
I’ll probably still buy magazines, especially for the freebies (hehe) but not all the time, I like to have a quick look to see if theres anything interesting in it before I buy these days.



Annabella June 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm

You’re not wrong about food! Maybe you should tell the editors that you’ve got the whole man thing sussed so they can stop writing such dire articles!


Jenni @ YourBeautyIndustry June 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

This is an interesting read, thank you. I often hear people say this, and I have spoken to some publishers who have worried about this themselves. Personally I dont think blogs will cause the death of magazines – I think there is a place for both of them, magazines just need to work out what they can offer the reader, that blogs can’t.

What I do think will happen is that the thousands of magazines all speaking to the same reader about the same subjects will eventually whittle down to a smaller selection of magazines that do their job really well. Which may create a smaller job market but will also hopefully leave us with only the best magazines on-shelf (and will also make it easier for advertisers to select which magazines to spend their money with!).


Annabella June 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Hi Jenni – I think magazines have gotten complacent with their look and content and assumed that we’d all be hanging on their every word not disimilar to newspapers. I agree with you that it will be last magazine standing when enough people stop buying then for editors to take notice. Thanks for your insight!


The Nail Buff June 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Very interesting! I really think you are making some good points. I don’t buy many magazines at all anymore, it’s mostly for a trip or something like that, when I need a portable read, but to be honest I prefer a book.
I can get so excited when I see a magazine, there is something special about the shiny pages and big colour photos, but they leave me sadly disappointed. I want to see how I can look better, and for me there is no inspiration in seeing an anorexic 15 year old with bad hair wearing ridiculously priced clothes. And the mags that focus on “high street fashion” are usually really bad. I think with beauty and fashion blogs I feel that the items delivered are fairly assessed and not particularly influenced by the free stuff – contrary to the PR/blogger debate going on. Magazines seem to promote any old crap they get sent, and a lot of the time I wonder if they have even tried the products.
Maybe that’s why there are so many freebies? Easier and cheaper than producing a quality read.


Annabella June 14, 2011 at 8:02 am

Everything you’ve said is true! I get lured in by the shiny pages and the promise to lose 2 stone in a 2 two weeks, affordable clothes, and get your best skin evah type articles and then like you said it’s full of children! Glamour must know that every summer there will be a scrum to get their magazine for the free stuff!


Ayshe June 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Such an interesting post. I only buy magazines now for the freebies. Personally, everything I want to know is online so they don’t serve a purpose for me any more. I never liked that the same topics seem to get rehashed every few issues, there never seemed to be genuinely new content.


Annabella June 14, 2011 at 8:04 am

No there is never ever any new content! It’s always the same stuff acrobatics in bed, how to move up the career ladder (these always make me laugh), and what trendy clothes to wear to a festival! Freebies are good though especially if they are full size products!


vonnie June 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm

i used to hoard magazines and i basically subscribe to none now. my blogreader has like 500 blogs, so i think i’m fine with information lol


Annabella June 14, 2011 at 8:05 am

Hey Vonnie – I’m getting near the same with that number too! I used to save all my magazines thinking I’ll look back at them one day but I never did they just got in the way.


Lindsay June 14, 2011 at 7:45 am

great post! I’m in the US so still get Allure, but I definitely think editors can have ulterior motives, so blogs I trust more. But can’t resist paper mags for my gossip!


Annabella June 14, 2011 at 8:07 am

Hello Lindsay – I used to drink up the ‘Editors picks’ section of Allure but now we can have our own which is why blogs are so great! Thanks for your comment. x


Aysh June 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Heya lovely! Great post darl! I only discovered the wonderful world of blogging just over a year ago now & since then I can safely say I no longer looked towards magazines again!! Erm well except from when there are amazing freebies on offer (*cough! Glamour*) then I will buy in bulk, but even then I find myself just skimming through because I feel i have too as I did pay for it! Lol! Nope, I am loving the whole blogging community for all the information I need (plus being in contact with lotsa lovely people!) & will stick to that I think :)

Love Aysh xoxo


Annabella June 14, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Well the consensus seems to be that magazines are only good for freebies or for long trips in the car or going abroad! I think I’ll ask this question in another years time to see if anything has changed. x


Me, my best and I June 21, 2011 at 3:38 am

Totally agree- I don’t really buy mags anymore I get all my beauty info on blogs. I find the beauty content in mags is always repeated, not original and quite aloof and not specific. Blogs are honest and insightful!!


Annabella June 22, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Aloof is a good description of a lot of content, and things never seem to be properly reviewed – just wow buy this it’s great! Thanks for your comments hun. x


DK June 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I disagree. Blogs just rant on about stuf I don’t care for. Between their garish ads & product reviews that show off the mediocre products, I find them boring. No to say mags with ads were any better. But, with companies just sending out their products, bloggers really waste my time by writing about stuff that sometimes works, didn’t works, or giving them C- grades. I want to read about the good stuff, hot off the runway stuff. And the writing soooooo mediocre on the blogs! I dunno, I’m in the minority but when an Elle editor says it’s the hot lipstick, I want it. Not when a 20-something chick says so who got the stick for me.


Annabella June 22, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Hi DK, it’s shame you haven’t found any beauty blogs that you really enjoy reading but if you’d rather get your beauty news from Elle or other top magazines I understand. Magazines will always feature the latest must haves and clearly that’s important to you. Thanks for comments, it’s good to hear from the other side of the debate! :D


AJ@Citra Spa September 7, 2011 at 4:33 am

Thank you for sharing this blog entry about Will beauty blogs be the death of the magazine? I’ve got to contemplate about the same thing, but for me, as long as the magazine publishes interesting and new articles then why not just continue. Keep your posts coming! Will definitely read them all. ;)


Annabella September 7, 2011 at 7:34 am

Thanks for your comment AJ! I guess the magazines in Singapore are more interesting than the ones in the UK! xoxo


Leave a Comment