ast month we asked the leading beauty magazines what their editorial policy is regarding coverage of nail care. Although we were able to get most of the editors of these magazines to talk to us, we were disappointed to discover that nails receive little coverage in the magazines. But as I browse through the fashion magazines each month, I begin to think we needn’t worry about the message these so-called beauty authorities are sending about nail care because they’re on such a different wavelength from us anyway.

Take the December 1993 issue of Allure, for example. As I look at its fashion spreads, I have to remind myself that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Is this what American women really want to look like?

In an article titled “Vivid Beauty,” Allure says. “Vivid makeup, along with a perilously short skirt, will draw plenty of attention.” The model displaying this look stands in the middle of a crowd looking like a Times Square hooker. She’s wearing a cropped, sleeveless sweater with an extremely short skirt, thick black hose like my grandmother used to wear (pulled up just over the knees), and silver platform sandals.

Things get worse on pages 118 and 119. On one side of this fashion spread, a model is wearing her $1,900 coat inside out. On the opposite page, the model is standing thigh-deep in a river, wearing a dirty T-shirt (which, the credits tell us, goes for $82), black panties, and what looks like a gun holster.

In this same issue, in a fashion feature called “Beauty on the Fly,” stick-figure model Kate Moss models undergarments. On the opener she is wearing a white dress shirt that is so torn and ragged it should never see the light of day, let alone be featured in one of the biggest beauty magazines.

My “favorite” was an article on linen. On a page with the headline “Wrinkles don’t have to look sloppy” was the sloppiest outfit in the magazine: a platinum-haired model wearing a long, wrinkled brown skirt and a shirt that seemed to be unfinished. Heavy clogs finished off the outfit.

If I were a salon professional challenged by clients about what they read in mainstream beauty magazines. I’d keep this particular copy of Allure at my station and use it to remind clients not to believe everything the)’ read in fashion magazines. If the magazines are this far off on fashion, they certainly aren’t any closer on nail care.

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