Vogue US: Although I know nothing about Rooney Mara, except as the breakout star in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I love the look she is sporting here: asymmetrical hair with the angular pose and soft, beautiful smoky eye make-up. Vogue was also very clever using an edgy dress with an outlining of a dragon on the back, as if it was a tattoo. Very nice.
Vogue UK: I really love, what appears to be, a beautiful clear blue sky as the background, but I can barely tell that is Rihanna. She looks edgy and editorial while showing off her great body, but with her face tilted up and the blonde wig she is a little bit unrecognizable. Of course, it says her name in gigantic letters on the bottom of the cover, so it may not bother some people. Plus, I like the smaller and more spaced out text on this one better than the slight overcrowding on Vogue US.
WINNER: Vogue US. There is just something more impactful about a close-up shot where you can see the eyes and expression clearly.
Cosmopolitan US: I love Nicki’s look here. She doesn’t look crazy or wearing some kind of ridiculous costume. It’s minimalist, shows her real beauty, and her bangin’ body still looks great in a very “Nicki” dress. Reminds me of batman actually (or I suppose batgirl?). While Cosmo’s covergirls usually aren’t styled in anything besides generic outfits, this cover has character.
Cosmopolitan UK: I’m very confused with Kelly’s styling. A short preppy blazer, with a lingerie bra and rubber-looking booty shorts. Her body looks amazing, of course, but this cover is also OVERLOADED with lead lines, I can barely breathe.
WINNER: Cosmo US. A clean and sharp cover.
GQ US: GQ had quite the challenge this month. They did a “Survivors” issue: showing the music artists they believe will (or already have) survive and thrive throughout the decades. Well, that means they have musicians from multiple genres and multiple styles all in their magazine—including the cover. And what an odd combination—Eminem, Keith Richards and Lil’ Wayne. (Though I’m not sure why they did Eminem AND Lil’ Wayne since they are the same genre… but they are both incredibly famous, so that explains it.) Anyway, to make the cover make sense, GQ decided to dress them in a white and dark blue color palette. See, that’s what’s tricky with multiple people on the cover, how do you make it work? Because this cover looks like a really weird family portrait.
GQ UK: So, since I’m an idiot, I accidentally switched the cover of this month with last month. This month was supposed to be the Kristen Stewart cover I posted about last month and vise versa. Sorry! I’ll just carry on and compare these two. Ok, so I love this cover. It’s actually a series with multiple covers: Bradley Cooper and Hugh Laurie are also included. I chose to show the Mario Testino because he rarely gets the amount of recognition he deserves! He creates so many amazing photos for Vogue and great fashion photography. I love the quality of the cover photos with bright lighting and slight exposure.
WINNER: GQ UK. Look how snazzy Mario looks!
Glamour US: I do not love this styling. Kirsten Stewart looks so out of place wearing those clothes, not to mention boring. It doesn’t help that the colors around her face and body are the most obnoxious shades of pink/purple. Could also use more white space—more lead line overload.
Glamour UK: This magazine usually does not impress me, but I love the 1960s glamour styling... she looks like a proper British bird! I really enjoy it when the cover look is themed. Not all the time, but sometimes when it works. The color combination of a more acceptable shade of pink with a light “Tiffany’s blue” compliments each other fantastically.
WINNER: Glamour UK. That looks suits Amanda Seyfried so well.
InStyle US: This is the second time Gwen Stefani has been horizontal on a magazine cover this past year. Interesting. Anyway she looks so glamorous here, I love it! This styling is just perfect for her… the lipstick, the hair, and the color compliments her so well.
InStyle UK: I love Rosamund Pike. She is just the perfect English rose to me! I love this natural look here, the white and soft colors. It’s minimal, pretty and flawless.
WINNER: InStyle really impressed me this month. Usually they are quite bland, but each magazine really looks fantastic, making this very hard for me to choose. I think I might have to pick InStyle US. The colors and Gwen’s look is just perfect.
Elle US: Does Jennifer Aniston look a little alien-ish to you? And her hair is too perfect, too straight. And she is soooo skinny! And holy lord, look how much text there is on this cover. I mean, there is still white space and breathing room, but only because they are making the text so small but in all caps and so close together. If they are going to make it so unreadable, why even write it?
Elle UK: Can Emma Watson do no wrong? She has such strong features and youthful demeanor; it makes her so versatile for magazine shoots. She can be bubbly and commercial or edgy and editorial. I envy her. Elle did a very youthful and fun styling here, and just look at that make up. Flawless.
WINNER: Elle UK.
Esquire US: It’s Esquire’s annual “Sexiest Woman Alive” issue. I’m not going to say I was a little disappointed when I saw it was Rihanna on the cover… but yes, I was a little bit. I don’t know, I just feel like I see her EVERYWHERE, hear her EVERYWHERE, I’m just getting a little tired. Plus her songs and live shows all revolve around sex, so I can’t help but feel it’s almost cliché that she received this title. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of her pose here, all crunched up, looking moodily into the camera, but then again I am not Esquire’s target market (since I am a female…), so maybe this works for some people. But I do love the signature “wall of words” behind her. It’s what I love about Esquire.
Esquire UK: A very sharp cover! I know it doesn’t have the highest resolution like the photo on the left, but at least I found a picture of the newsstand cover at all! (If you’ve been following these posts, you know I usually have a lot of trouble finding it…) I can just imagine looking at the magazine stand and seeing this bright orange cover catching my eye.
WINNER: Even though I don’t agree with some things about the “Sexiest Woman Alive” cover, it is more engaging than UK. Not just Rihanna’s naked body but the text and photo quality.
8. HARPER'S BAZAAR
Harper’s Bazaar US: I am pleasantly surprised. Even though the font is still way too big, the quantity of the text has gone down, so I’m happy. Usually the covergirl is trapped behind the words. Though Beyoncé looks beautiful, there are just a lot of gold tones happening here.
Harper’s Bazaar UK: The eyes. That black eye liner. Usually HB UK churns out fantastic, edgy covers, but there is nothing happening on this cover except that black eyeliner. It just does not compliment Kate Winslet or enhance her natural beauty. It’s just so damn distracting.
WINNER: Never thought it would happen—Harper’s Bazaar US.
9. MARIE CLAIRE
Marie Claire US: Usually Katie Holmes annoys the hell out of me, but she looks fantastic here. I love jacket and the pushed up sleeves and collar. Its rock ‘n roll while still feminine. She has such strong cheekbones, the contouring and hair over the shoulder just works. Plus, what a beautiful red color. She just looks so pretty.
Marie Claire UK: When I saw this cover I thought I messed up again and switched up the covers from last month. But no, it’s a reprint from Marie Claire US’s cover from last month. Boo.
WINNER: Marie Claire US.
However, my favorite from this month is not from the US. Is it even surprising that I choose...
...Emma Watson's Elle UK cover? I can't help it. Just look at the rest of her photo shoot--it's so fun and beautiful! From this I realized 1. Elle UK is brilliant. 2. Emma Watson is the cutest thing alive... and I want bunny ears.
Which is your favorite for the month?