The holidays are coming up and you can’t hide from them anymore. Luckily, the December magazines are here with oodles of tips on how to give awesome gifts and look your best. Read on to see which of this month’s mags gives you the most for $3.99, and don’t be afraid to get a few gift ideas for what to get your favorite Frisky writer. Glamour
Who knows the definition of the word Glamour better than Fergie? I mean, she wrote a whole annoyingly catchy song about. Unfortunately, her interview isn’t anywhere near as attention-grabbing. Katie Couric talks to the singer for Glamour‘s “Women of the Year” article and once you get past Couric’s unnecessary usage of phrases like “woman” and “damn girl,” you will see there isn’t much new to learn. Though Fergie does share that she has been doing some late spring cleaning—including throwing out a sweater from her middle school days—after watching a few too many episodes of “Hoarders.” The rest of the recognized women are a mix of Hollywood, fashion royalty (including Donatella Versace, looking more Muppet than ever), and unsung activists. The true shining moment of this issue lies in all the gleaming gold accessories it dishes out, which be would great for tree trimming but more ideal for decking out an ensemble. Clutches, cuffs, watches, and rings all get highlighted in this style feature and are all going to be added to my wish list. The rest of the content focuses on how to rock the right glitzy outfit for the sparkling season of winter. Then goes into Cosmo territory with very specific and somewhat off-putting tips on how to talk to your guy. My advice: open mouth and speak.
This month’s Elle does a little bit of a flip-flop from Glamour. The interviews and personal tales that weave throughout the pages are some pretty captivating fare, while for me the fashion isn’t working it too hard. Let’s start with the good news. This is the issue where Jessica Alba utters the line, which I am sure she now regrets, about how good actors never go by what’s in the script. But aside from this juicy morsel, Alba lets her guard down more than I have seen in previous interviews where she just talks about cellulite and sex appeal. Here, Jessica is all about self-esteem and being a mom. The actress admits to wanting to quit acting because people just want her to be pretty, even she is crying for the camera, and also acknowledges that she picked some fairly crappy movie roles in the past. The other need-to-read article is “Love, Actually,” the story of a mother who fought for new legislation after the man who struck her daughter with his car while looking for a parking spot only got a traffic ticket. Fashion in this issue, on the other hand, has nowhere near the same captivating power. While the cover proclaims that is the accessories issue, what is offered is a sad disconnected hodgepodge of expensive things that most people can’t pull off—myself included. This time around it is best to ignore the pictures and just focus on what the mag has to say.
Emma Watson is gracing this month’s issue rocking her relatively new short ‘do, looking equal parts edgy and adorable. But just because Emma is a child star coming to an adult age doesn’t mean this is some semi-slutty, all-grown-up spread. Why? Because Watson is just too normal and ladylike for that to happen. This is a girl who grew up fast, but she is not doing any parent blaming, admitting, “My parents wanted to protect me , but they no idea how to. I had to learn as I went and make my own mistakes.” With most of the mistakes out of her system now, Emma is focused on making friends, going to school and figuring out her personal style sans a stylist. While Emma is keeping things pretty serious, so is the rest of the content of this MC. The most startling feature gives a revealing look at how China enforces its one-child-limit laws. Some parts of the country go as far as forcing sterilization and late-term abortions as well as jailing family members of women who have had more than one child until they agree to be sterilized. On the brighter side this issue is also full of gleaming bags, baubles, and even baby clothes that would make any stocking salivate, wishing for these goodies to be stuffed inside them. The only weird thing is how all the loot is split up into oddly specific styles. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have many “Warhol Fanatics” to shop for.
Sometimes I love Allure because it doles out the somewhat obvious beauty info that I feel people have been hiding from me. But other times, it’s really just a silly regurgitation of things I first learned in my middle school health class. This issue is a mix of both. Cover girl Taylor Swift gives another girl-next-door-slash-revenge-song-writer interview. The only thing new here is that Swift has put on a darker purple lipstick instead of her normal bright red hue. Also, the singer admits to having a six-foot bunny-topiary in her living room. Where this issue is at its best is when it is providing lovely listicles. I ripped out “The Look-Amazing Race” and taped it up in my bathroom for reference. It’s a compilation of how to do some of the most annoying beauty tasks in less than 10 minutes, which means 10 more minutes of sleep or TV-watching. Another piece I loved: “8 Top Trends From The Runways.” Using my limited fashion savvy it looks like recent runway shows are trying to give us a lesson in playing with color, whether it be Day-Glo lips or bright eye shadows. The gift guide and beauty spreads reflect this point, churning out colorful and glittery looks to keep you cheery throughout winter. Unfortunately, what doesn’t get highlighted is the scene piece “Making it Big,” which is a respectful look at the life of the late plastic surgeon Frank Ryan, also known as the man responsible for Heidi Montag‘s 10 surgeries. It was a must-read.
Vogue seemed especially daunting this go-around, maybe because of the blah articles or the Angelina Jolie interview that feels like it’s been done five times before. I found myself treating this issue like a flipbook, rapidly churning through the pages. Let’s start with our good friend Angie. I want to begin by saying she looks goooood in the subtly naughty attire, so I totally understood when the writer said she couldn’t stop gazing at her. But eye-balling the rest of the interview, I found that all the major talking points are the same fodder the tabloids repackage to death. She and Johnny Depp had chemistry on the set of the “The Tourist.” Shiloh has many stereotypically male interests, most recently developing a fancy for a dead bird. Oh, and Angelina loves Brad and her kids. As for the rest of the content … I—like a dignified Playboy reader—usually read this mag for the articles, but this time I found myself thinking about how good I would look cavorting about in the clothes from these fashion spreads. I think it’s because the frocks took inspiration from Spider-Man and neon colors, so my inner child was giddy. For once, I could wrap my head around the idea of people wearing some of the clothes out in the real world. Also this issue welcomes the return of Tom Ford, and after seeing “A Single Man,” I’m pretty sure I would praise a potato sack if this man created it. Otherwise, most of the articles came across as too entitled and distant. But than who am I trying to kid? It’s not like my lifestyle and mindset are part of the Vogue demographic.
Grade: B -
Lucky is 10 years old, y’all, and to celebrate they have recounted some of fashion’s most memorable moments. A decade-long time line contains all the celebrated and shunned style moments you would expect to find: Bjork’s swan dress, Demi Moore‘s beach body, Lady Gaga in general, and Uggs. Lucky keeps the lists coming with a rundown of the 10 clothing must-haves, beauty tips, and beauty products. Which by the end left me feeling inadequately prepared for womanhood, material-wise. But all these little lists led to the big mother of countdowns—the 100 edicts of fashion and beauty that Lucky editors have learned after a decade. Overall, the list has some interesting things to point out, such as Hanky Panky underwear are the only drawers you can keep donning while pregnant without buying a new size. Some of the other tidbits come off a tad condescending for all of us non-professional fashionistas out there. But, a little harshness doesn’t prevent this list from providing every woman with at least one helpful piece of advice. This issue also sets you up for the short-term, providing easy and affordable ways to dress up this holiday season. Because, you know, everyone is going to remember what you wore last year. So go forth, and prepare yourself for the holidays.