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Beauty Papers, Or Why Niche Magazines Can Save Print Media


I'd like to think magazines will never die. They've just been too important to me throughout my life, buying them off eBay or, when extra desperate, relying on people around the world to scan them in a timely manner and put them on various online forums. I'm proud of the stacks I have, and plan on keeping them forever. I've got Vogue Italias from the '90s, every W from the early 2000s, a few The Face's I picked up off the streets of Bed-Stuy and so, so many more. Sometimes when friends come over for a drink, I drag a couple out just to place on the coffee table for decoration—but also in the hopes that someone will fall for them just like I have.

Old-line print publications are vulnerable these days—if you're the type that checks Fashionista regularly, you know it's a tough time. Why pay $6.99 for a domestic book and somewhere around $20.99 if it's international, when you can be equally entertained by someone's Instagram of the exact same photo?

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I have a hunch that the saviors are going to be fucking amazing publications like Valerie Wickes and Maxine Leonard's Beauty Papers.

Beauty Papers made a splash on Instagram when it launched in July. That's how I heard about it—though it bears repeating that the social media platform is great for discovery, but is in no way a replacement for having the heft of a magazine in hand. Anyway, all the associated makeup artists (hey there, Benjamin Puckey) posted about it, so I made sure to pick one at the nearby Iconic Magazines in Nolita.

I grabbed the copy with my girl Sarah Brannon (there are four different cover girls, so pick your favorite), the hyper close up of her beautiful brows/lids/eye. Skin texture like you're not used to seeing and it's so beautiful. The content inside is gold—at times, literally. Other highlights include: all makeup artists being credited as beauty editors, Benjamin's “Wet' story, a Christiaan profile, Crista Cober looking like a goddess, and a very strong case for the septum ring.

With all the September covers announced and out at this point, let's take a moment and be grateful for guerrilla efforts like this one, keeping the print world alive. Thanks Maxine and Valerie. Issue Zero was everything and I can't wait for the next installment.

—Tom Newton.

Photo by the author.

For more In Print, click through Juergen Teller's un-retouched ode to Lara Stone in System .