This paper was written for my Rhetorical Theory class, I worked many days to write this analysis for my class and wanted to share it.
I analyzed two magazines from Allure, May 2018 and May 2019 magazines from cover to the last page. I was to pretend as if I was on a marketing team to design an advertisement for a company. My job was to create a memo of an analysis report about the profile of the readership and the profile of the magazine. This is just my critical analysis of the magazine.
Overly confident, superficial, and deeply insecure women over the age of 21 with money to blow that is the readership of the Allure Magazine. Allure was founded in 1991 by Linda Wells, with the main focus on providing an insight into what products and beauty in devours were like before spending your own money on it. Allure readers seek out information on skincare, makeup, and hair care. More recently, it has covered information on beauty devices, apps, cosmetic surgery, supplements, mental health, LGBTQ, and well-being. Women desperately seeking for the latest and newest thing to help them reach the standards of beauty.
Allure magazine caters to women who care about their appearance on the outside with makeup and skincare products. With one page sprinkled within the first half of the magazine, products that staff has tested out for a review for a topic discussion. Specifically, a topic about a new way to exfoliate by using updated toners that offer chemicals. (page 16, 2019) The articles aren’t limited to new devices or apps that pop up in the beauty industry. A one-page, 300-word article written by Jessica Chia in the May 2018 issue about a “device that syncs to an app and reminds you to do all the things you should be doing but probably aren’t, like apply (and reapplying, and reapplying) sunscreen and seeking shade.” A device created by the multi-million-dollar company Roche-Posay, that is provided by dermatologists on the nail and removed when you change your nail polish. Other articles, such as a writer going to the dermatologist for depression as an experiment with psychodermatology. (page 77-84, 2019). The experience of skincare, but also touching base on mental health, as well as the merge of technology and beauty, attracting a larger readership with different interests. The topics in the magazine may not be a normal conversation we will have with our friends or even our family members. However, it is to be relatable and attract women whose focal point is to gain information on what will make them beautiful.
Consequently, it comes to no surprise that the advertisements are the bulk of the magazine with numerous ads clinging to the articles presented in the magazine with similarities. However, the apparent advertisements that average anywhere between 40-50 ads that start from the first page. The advertisements have a vast spectrum ranging from drug store brands to high-end department stores; most are two-page spread advertisements right next to each other. The most excitement of the advertisements is the fragrance samplers giving the reader a full experience of the product before even stepping into the store. Ironically, the whole magazine seems to be an advertisement being that the majority of the one to two pages of topics such as sunscreen, hair clips, fragrance seems to feature products that only the writer or editor tried, which most likely were received as a freebie to review. Allure Magazine is known for its Allures Best Beauty Award that is published yearly in the Fall. It would be ideal for brands and companies to send Allure all the latest products they offer to be up for consideration.
Without a doubt, there are a few articles that spotlighted women of color who had a braiding salon that used weave to establish a specific style. Pantene utilizes the two-page space next to the two-page spread to include their line that tailors to women of color. The ad showed a black woman with braids that included weave. (page 50-53, 2018) It appears to be a common trend as one year later, and Allure strategically places Herbal Essence’s three-page ad next to a three-page article spread about Climate change with the keywords “clean” and “beauty” in large font. The ad made sure to put badges to inform the reader that their products were made from recyclable material and didn’t test on animals. (page 86-91, 2019) Both of these ads placed directly to market to a specific group of women. Women of color who wear natural hair and protective hairstyles and women who care about the environment and want beautiful, clean hair.
In contrast to other magazines, Allure offers a subscription box called the Beauty Box for their readers to receive sample sizes of products that’s a stamp of approval from the magazine’s editors. Allure places promotional pages throughout the magazine to entice their readers to purchase their monthly subscription boxes. Advertisers like QVC and HSN also advertise to the women that they can get the high-end brand makeup for a monthly fee instead of paying the full price at once. Companies like QVC and HSN intentionally market to women who are in a lower income bracket. It gives the woman a sense that they can still achieve the level of beauty, even on a budget.
Since the beginning, Allure has used numerous women of all ages and ethnicity on their covers. Just recently, Allure placed a man on their cover, but inside the magazine, they have their very own writer Brennan Kilbane, who is a man, writing great featured articles for the magazine—even going as far as getting hypnosis and Botox for the psychodermatology. “How do I look? I feel better. I still have no idea if crying at your dermatologist – or hypnosis or botox – is the key to happiness, but man, was it nice to talk about it for a few hours. For the first time in a while, my heart swells with hope.” (page 84, 2019). Depending on the trend or excitement of a celebrity or model, that is who gets the cover. Minimalist with the words and font to give the classic, sophisticated vibe for the upper-class women. Yet, celebrity used on the cover is to be relatable to the reader whether its Rihanna, Taylor Swift, or Ashley Greene.
Between the young and old celebrities to attract the younger generation to the older generation. The covers go from high fashion, full glam to as bare and natural with the “I woke up like this” makeup look. Each cover represents that person on the cover, the May 2019 cover was given of the hippy vibe with soft and pastel colors with actress Sasha Lane. The actress is wearing her hair in dreads and a flowy yellow summer dress. With a blue tint, dark cocoa complexion, red cat eyeglasses and red blouse worn by Adut Akech, fashion model with the words Bright Ideas Bold, Rich Colors in large white font, the May 2018 cover had a mysterious but, but the terms gave it the illusion of it being bold and bright.
Allure features are innovative people that influence or create a buzz in the beauty community. Whether it’s an eight-page spread of social media influencers, entrepreneurs, or backstage beauty trends. Allure captures their reader’s attention by giving them a taste of unrealistic looks and creating it to be a reality in everyday life. Topics discussed that are highly featured in the table of contents tend to be a discussion that may not even be about beauty products but are meshed with the beauty industry. Discussions about cosmetic surgery, social media, and depression are topics that are relatable to the average woman. “Now that social media has infiltrated our collective consciousness, those seeking cosmetic enhancements have turned to their feeds to inspire their procedures.” Said Brennan Kilbane for the abstract of the article on the one page for the title with an image of Kylie Jenner with her overly enlarged lips. It captioned: “Lip fillers spiked in popularity after Kylie Jenner said, in May 2015 (issue), that she got them.” With social media being the go-to for women to gain information about the latest products and looking to influencers like Kylie Jenner for what to do to get that Instagram look. Articles like these help women feel that they aren’t the only ones who are going through a similar thought process about cosmetic surgery. With writers like Kilbane who connect with experts, the writers ask for the things that people want to know without feeling ashamed or stupid. The article gives women an insight into what is available to them to feel beautiful despite their insecurities and superficial beliefs about the standard of beauty.
With that being said, Allure Magazine readers are women who inadvertently seek validation and acceptance within a society based on their physical appearance. Their insecurities and need to uphold a beauty standard placed on by society through the media. The shift to technology and social media, women, are now looking to people like celebrities and social media influencers for a stamp of approval to what is trending. With their superficial beliefs that cosmetic surgery, devices, or a $50 face cream that will make them feel beautiful. Even using their mental health to seek a dermatologist as studies have found that certain skin disorders do have a crippling effect on emotional health. Not surprisingly, these women are willing to blow money to get it.
Reference: Allure Magazine. Issues: May 2018; May 2019