New magazine dissects the essence of Allure


Beauty is the subject of Allure, a new Conde Nast women's magazine. Allure's premier March issue goes beyond makeup and hair to discuss beauty in terms of sociology, the arts, health, food and people.

Linda Wells, a former New York Times Magazine contributing editor who is editor-in-chief of "Allure," describes the magazine's identity in the first issue.

"Beauty can sometimes be mistaken for perfection," writes Wells. Allure is, blessedly, something else altogether. It is beauty with personality -- a nose that stretches a bit too long, a hairstyle that has more to do with wind than a blow-dryer, a mole that never met a plastic surgeon...It is that untouchable, indefinable element that travels far beyond physical beauty."

Allure's 158-page, oversized square format includes a snippy critique of a cosmetic company's stance on animal testing, an essay on the power of high heels and the dos and don'ts of teeth bleaching. Well-known contributors to the magazine include writer Edna O'Brien, veteran photographer Irving Penn, and feminist Betty Friedan, whose essay, "Can a feminist be beautiful?" argues a place for liberated good looks. The attraction of Barbie is also given feminist interpretation in "Living Dolls: The Barbie Syndrome," by Anne Taylor Fleming. Women and beauty in the Soviet Union is also discussed.

Regular features in the magazine include "road tests" of cosmetics, comparing the effectiveness of different brands of eye makeup removers in the March issue. There are also some fashion stories and articles on celebrities and food.

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