Hello reader! I understand you like to read things, since you're a blog reader and all, so I thought you might like to read a review about something I read! Confused yet?
I picked up the January/February 2014 edition of Nail It! magazine while I was at the supermarket a couple weeks ago, curious to see what one of the only nail-focused 'zines was like. Magazines aren't something that get a lot of serious reviewing, so I wanted to share my first look at this relatively new bimonthly magazine. Want to see if Nail It! earned my subscription?
From The Cover:
First impressions/the cover itself: I like that it isn't too busy, the cover art nicely displays the model's nails and face. The magazine's spine simply states "Nail Trends & Style Secrets" and the back cover was a big ad for Seche. Now, when a cover article catches my eye I hate flipping through a magazine to see that it is either A) horrible/lame/boring, or B) a half page column with no substance at all. Let's see how the cover topics held up!
Heart-Stopping Nail Art (pg 70):
This is a winner to me! Very little to actually read, but 6 full pages of reader nail art! Quite the variety of nail shapes, colors and techniques. I think this feature is a great idea and very well executed. The photos are the perfect size to show detail and the nail artist is clearly credited, so it is easy to find more of their work.
35 Nail Colors You Need For Winter (pg 88):
This article fell flat for me, mainly because it ended up not being very wintery at all. The actual title of it is "The Great Escape", and it features various nail polishes and wraps paired up to 8 different getaway destinations. Mainly reds, earthtones and neutrals were featured, so the article could just as well have been called "35 Nail Colors That We've Already Seen (And Still Enjoy)". I will give them credit for featuring many different products, but didn't care for the polaroid hodge-podge they came in.
Fashion & Nail Preview (pg 104):
This was pretty neat. 10 pages of artists recreating trends from New York Fashion Week. I'll come right out and say it: I don't care about NYFW. I get a little bit irritated with it clogging up my feeds once a year, even. But 5 artists created halfmoons, creative french tips, blingy nails, and art focused on lines. It was quite readable and some of the looks appealed to me.
Best Nails, Shoes & Bags (pg 114):
Designed to feature accessories and the nail art trends that compliment them, these 10 pages showed off exactly those things without showing a single model's face. Most shots were heavy on the rings and bracelets (hey, they are the closest to your nails!) but otherwise felt like your standard fashion magazine spread of outfits. They listed every single polish color used, too! A few looks were definitely more artsy than wearable. Two manicures featured studs matching the polish. These probably jumped out at me because pastel.
Obviously different readers have different tastes, but personally I thought the cover articles held up better than the average magazine's. By only having 4 From the Cover features Nail It! was able to feature articles that were substantial enough to be worthy of catching your interest. 35 Colors was a letdown, but I loved the reader submissions and the other two articles were acceptable eye candy & inspiration.
What I Noticed:
Ads. Of course there are ads, and many of them. Fortunately most brands present their products in an artful way, and I was happy to see the absence of those full page, looks-like-an-article ads that have to say "Advertisement" in fine print at the top. So the ads weren't annoying and it was neat to see some brands that I'm not familiar with, as well as ones I know and love. You know what would make them way better, though? Coupons.
Nail art tutorials. There are a few step-by-step pictorials for a variety of looks. Nail It! even did a nice job of explaining how the looks for the cover shoot were done. In particular I enjoyed this one:
Variety of articles. This isn't nails-only, but it is nails-mostly. Almost every accessory, cosmetic item or dress that gets featured on the fashion end of the spectrum was directly tied to a bottle of lacquer or a nail art look. There was a wide assortment of featured articles on polish. Artist interviews, vegan brands, indie polish... when you love polish you'll always find something to write about it!
I learned some things. I was so glad that this was reader-friendly and not reader-is-dumb-so-water-it-down. The tips & tricks weren't ground breaking but they felt fresh. Am I right in thinking that we all enjoy nail care refreshers? (I always click a blogger's "nail routine/care" post, always!) And I was especially happy to be enlightened in regards to the origin of the "Ruffian Manicure" that we've seen so much lately:
The look was created by a brand named Ruffian. Ohhh. Now I get it. See, this is what happens when you pay 0 attention to fashion! I was super pleased to find out this tidbit that I kept forgetting to Google! And it was presented to me in a palatable way!
Nail It! is doing well filling the empty niche that exists between the fashion magazines that occasionally show nails and the magazines that are aimed at nail salons. It is light reading but if you're a polish addict you should enjoy it. It is only published every two months and this is probably needed for it to remain focused on such a relatively small topic.
I'd love to see more in-depth articles, and I feel this magazine is lacking in the "ooo, bonus!" department. You know, the ad for a new drugstore line of polish that includes a coupon. From my research the first issue featured nail decals tucked into the pages, and I'd love to see that sort of thing happen again. How cool would it be if a brand included exclusive stickers and ran a contest for the readers who used them? Of course, it would be too bad for the digital subscribers...
Speaking of subscribers, yes, I did start a subscription for the magazine in print. I enjoyed leafing through it and I prefer getting each issue for less than half of the store price!:
http://www.nailitmag.com/ - full of online content, a preview of the current issue, and of course a page where you can set up your own subscription.
Would a nail polish magazine interest you, or are you happy to keep your polish news limited to blog feeds and company newsletters? Were you willing to give Nail It! a chance when it debuted last year, or were you like me and waited to see what people thought first? If you've already read this issue tell me what you thought of it!