When I was an impressionable teen living in St. Louis so many years ago, I would religiously save my hard-earned, part-time, after school wages to indulge in all the teen-friendly fashion, hair and beauty magazines.
Back then, before the existence of Vogue Teen my reading addictions included Teen, Seventeen and of course YM.
(Image of March 22, 2004 issue of Star Magazine - all rights reserved).
As I moved from naive teen to more worldly college student, or at least I thought so, my tastes in fashion magazines evolved to include Glamour. I also shared the required college girl addiction to Cosmopolitan and eventually Allure.
As I moved away from my college years into the world of business my reading tastes for fashion focused magazines continued to evolve according to my age and spending budgets. Although I continued to regularly check out Cosmo, Glamour and Allure, I added the ultimate beauty and fashion bible, Vogue to my monthly magazine splurges.
Techie Mags Meet Vogue, Elle & Bazaar
Since I was toiling in the "real world" of software and systems engineering, I would mix up some techhead Dr. Dobbs Journal purchases with my Vogue, Elle and Bazaar. Yes, I got really strange looks from the bookstore checkout dudes trying to figure out if I was a computer nerd dressed as a fashionista or vice versa.
In 1998 when my karma sucked me kicking and screaming into the hair and beauty worlds, I found myself buying and devouring any and all publications that had anything even remotely to do with fashion, hair or beauty.
As the gigantic packrattish stacks of hair, beauty and fashion related magazines took over my humble abode, I became overwhelmed with my inability to manage my fashionista inspired research materials.
Color Coding My Magazine Collections
After some thought, my engineering evil twin emerged with an organization plan to help restore order to my magazine chaos. I implemented a color coded post-it style system of flags that allowed me to mark pages and sections of each magazine for future retrieval.
Red flags were designated markers for any information related to hair care and styling. Blue was allocated for beauty while green won the fashion category. Yellow, which reminded me of real gold were used for my true passion, hair or related accessories. As my interests expanded, I added new colored flags. In some cases I even had a patchwork of colored flags to signify a major hair, fashion or accessory find.
Although it sounds crazy, if you understood my flagging system and could somehow make your way into my HairBoutique.com library, you could instantly spot topic concentrations by little flags peeking out over the tops of a dizzying array of magazine publications spanning many years. And no, I do not have a lending program.
Rag Mags To The Rescue
After my addiction to hair, beauty and fashion magazines had stabilized I discovered that I was unwilling to take my precious magazine cargo on any out-of-town trips. While some people buy and easily discard those mags that they pick up in the airport news shops, once I own any type of glossy publication, it is mine for life. Which meant lugging extra baggage full of newly purchase airport reading goodies.
Consequently I started to feed my voracious reading addiction on business trips with the so-call "rags" designed to titillate with stories of celebrity scandals. While I was often skeptical about some of the latest reports on Britney, Jessica, Demi or Oprah, I was always entertained. Even better, I had no pangs of guilt when I donated my fingerprint stained copies to flight attendants or fellow airport travelers.
During my early rag days I didn't have a noticeable preference for any particular scandal magazine. While I read the Star, I also sucked the print off the pages of the National Enquirer and Globe. I was also a fan of People and eventually US Weekly and InTouch which were designed to be scandal tomes "in disguise as weeklies".
Star Magazine Breaks Out
Imagine my surprise and total joy when Star magazine started focusing on hair, beauty and fashion. Ahhh, topics so near and dear to my heart that I was beside myself with happiness. Whereas in past times I would quickly flip through Star to check out the latest celeb gossip, I found myself lingering over the new sections that included celebrity fashions.
(Image from August 23, 2004 issue of Star Magazine - all rights reserved).
Towards the end of 2003 I noticed that my weekly Star purchases were requiring a much larger percentage of colored flag utilization. I also found myself unwilling to discard a single issue of any Star Magazines purchased at checkout counters or in airport news stands. In fact, I started to routinely travel out of my way to a Barnes and Nobles bookstore to buy my weekly issue since I was no longer willing to throw caution to the fates and try to grab a Star at the local 7-11. Heavens, what if they were sold out or didn't have the latest copies?
By early 2004 I purchased a Star issue that used every single color of my flag indexing system. I created a special place in my Hairboutique.com library for Star magazine. Needless to say, this was a first since I previously only preserved hair, beauty and fashion editions.
The look of Star continued to change as each week's edition got bigger, glossier and jammed chock full of incredible fashion, beauty and hair information. The magazine evolved from the old newsprint style of paper to gorgeous slick paper with full technicolor spreads.
I was overcome with a pure fit of shopping frenzy when the June 28th issue had a two page full color spread on Baby Doll fashions. The Baby Doll Shoes blew me away. In fact, I still have dreams about the Michael Antonio heels that were included in that feature.
I would never have believed that Star could get any better but whoa, they continue to blow my Steve Madden zippered leggings off every week.
Now when I buy my weekly copy at Barnes & Noble right after I get my daily Starbucks, I have to stop and flip immediately to the fashion pages or risk an accident while motoring. One week I tried to eyeball the latest fashion and hair pages while driving to work. I came very close to getting a speeding ticket for Driving Under The Influence Of Star (DUISTAR).
What else can I say about The Star other than when it comes to hair, beauty and fashion information it is perfectly named. And yes, you can relax, Star still has all the latest on celebrity nuptials, weight changes and scandals. Even better are the What's In & Out, the Hey! Remember Me and Star Style Stalkers features. The Stalkers weigh in on Worst of the Week and Most Gorgeous of the Week with amazing accuracy. Sometimes I could swear they are reading my own thoughts when I check out some of the celebs.
Victoria Gotti, when not busy being a sizzling reality star shares hot celebrity secrets. Meanwhile you can find Athena's famous lucky star to give you an energy boost and a fun StarScope. I could babble on indefinitely about Star but hey, this publication is so fabulous you have to experience it real and in person to understand.
Just be sure to have a designated driver present so you can enjoy every single page without even the tiniest distraction.
Kudos to all the fabulous folks at Star!