NAILS Magazine: Editor Feature

Photo from NAILS Magazine Facebook Page
In the October 2011 edition of NAILS Magazine, there is an editor's letter from Hannah Lee titled "Move Over, Bloggers!".  You can read it here.  

Now NAILS Magazine states on its spine that it's "dedicated to the success of nail professionals."  I am not a nail professional.  I am merely someone who loves nail polish.  I have not taken any courses or classes on nails or cosmetology in general.  While I have a bachelor's degree in Communications: Speech - Radio/TV with a minor in Journalism, I don't consider myself to be a professional in it since my actual daytime job has nothing to do with radio, tv, or writing.  The reason I have a subscription to NAILS Magazine is because at Christmas last year, my dear friends E and B decided to gift me a 2 year subscription.  They used my blog name (which I registered as a company in my county) as the "salon name", from my understanding.

When I get my NAILS Magazine each month, I read it from cover to cover.  I was even mentioned in their April 2011 issue in the Facebook Fans section (page 30) about how I can't stop reading.  That's true, I love to read this magazine.  Unfortunately, a lot of the information is either (a) outdated for me or (b) not applicable to me.  Since I receive press releases electronically from the company or public relations company directly, I see the information weeks and sometimes months before it will be printed in a magazine.  Secondly, I do not own a salon but I do like reading about what salons are doing or trying.  There are some great interviews in the magazine, like the cover feature on Katie Cazorla in the June 2011 issue, or "My Day As a Beauty Industry Lobbyist" (September 2011).

When Ms. Lee's article came out, there was a huge uproar in the blogging community.  Here are some of the blogger responses that I read:

As well as a huge uproar on both NAILS Magazine Facebook Page, several beauty related Facebook pages, Twitter and I know at least one person text messaged me about it.  It was so much in so little time that Ms. Lee decided to write this follow up.

I decided to wait until I got my issue of NAILS Magazine to read to see if I could maybe see something (anything) that would have led Ms. Lee to write the things she did... and I think I found it.

As you know, I was one of the over 100 bloggers that was given the ability to attend Cosmoprof North America 2011.  I'm sure you've read my Cosmoprof coverage and how I focused on brands that I already know (China Glaze, OPI, Zoya) and included some I had never heard of before (Prolana, No-Miss Ltd, Cyclic).  It was a great honor and privilege to attend, as bloggers are still paving their way into the beauty community as a whole.  I loved coming home and being able to share new colors, finishes, collections, and even techniques.  I spent my last pedicure telling my nail tech how CND Shellac works (she had no idea), and how magnetic polish is going to be the next big thing.  That's information I can share and want to share with others.  I don't know anything about hybrid gels or how to clean dried acrylic off a nail brush - it's just not important to me.

So when I was reading Ms. Lee's words "I see as many bloggers taking meetings with manufacturers and hanging out in the press room at trade shows as I do actual journalists", I was taken back.  Am I not an "actual" journalist when I am posting something online for tens of thousands to read?  (For larger bloggers, this number is MUCH larger.)  Then I started thinking more... I did not recall see Ms. Lee at Cosmoprof this year, but there is plenty of coverage starting on page 62 of the October 2011 issue.  I also didn't attend (or get invited to) the "Happy Hour" held by NAILS Magazine on August 1st.  So maybe Ms. Lee did see me when I was meeting with OPI, Zoya, Prolana, Essie or any of the other companies I had meetings with... I really don't know.  Maybe I'm one of the bloggers she was talking about because I sure did enjoy my catered breakfasts and lunches in the press room, and met with Deborah Lippmann and Cala Nails, while scribbling notes on my iPad and carrying around stacks of paper press packets.

At the end of the convention, I was talking with the President of Y! Public Relations, Yvette Masterson, who is in charge of Cosmoprof North America (and who allowed me to attend), and she only had one criticism for me in case I attend again.  She simply said "Dress more professionally."  Honestly, I had to agree.  Now I am only speaking for myself - no other blogger... but I was wearing shorts and a tank top for the majority of the show (along with my knee-high walking boot and a tennis shoe).  Now here in my home in South Texas, no big deal... but in a professional trade show - not the most appropriate.  She gave me a few tips, including how she loved the shirts that BeautyJudy wore with her website's name printed on them.  It's been years since I worked at a TV station where appearance was everything, especially during interviews.  I just happened to drop the ball, and it's possible that my inexperience in the convention world, showed through.  Maybe Ms. Lee was irritated in seeing me get as much attention as her as a journalist, when I looked like I belonged at home on the couch?

Another thing that was written in the article that I want to address was the line about "polish junkies who are looking for free handouts of the latest collections from manufacturers."  Yes, I'm a polish junkie.  Yes, I get press samples of the latest collections from manufacturers which I then review each color in a separate post on my blog.  I do not profit off my "freebies" because I do not sell them or charge my friends to use them.  That is why I feel nail techs and bloggers should work together... a person will read about a color's appearance, finish and formula on my blog, then go to their nail tech and request that color.  Why would a company send the latest collections to a nail tech who will then profit off that collection every time she paints a client's nails?  Also, I am grateful for bloggers' reviews, instead of a magazine pouring one color on a piece of paper, taking a photograph and then writing "Purchase this polish online for $8.50."  But is that shimmer apparent on the nail?  Is that glitter super gritty?

Overall,  I totally agree with Ms. Lee that nail techs need to step it up and communicate better in their knowledge of nail collections, trends, and styles.  However, I do not appreciate or agree with how she chose to say it.  Instead of "moving over" how about "let's share the journey"?  Or "let's work together"?  It's not an US versus YOU... we all love the same thing and there's room for us all.

Just as a final note, I did get the chance to say hi to Stephanie Mills, senior editor of NAILPRO Magazine while at Cosmoprof North America and she was super nice... same with their associate editor Stephanie Corbin-Mills who helped me with my NAILPRO subscription (which I paid for) and got me hooked on Pintrest!  In case you're wanting another paper publication on nails, here's another one!