Magazine Mixup: W, Lucky, Self and Glamour Review

In September, I shared my thoughts on a bunch of magazines I subscribed to courtesy of all the airline miles I racked up in 2011. Where do they stand seven months later? Keep reading to find out my thoughts on W, Lucky, Self and Glamour.


Initial Impression: I wasn’t sure what it’s goal is since it seems to be an odd mix of celebrity pop culture, current events and high fashion.

Seven Months Later: Still no clue. I haven’t read a full article, and to date there has been nothing on the cover that has compeled me to crack it open. It’s large. It doesn’t fit in my mailbox and barely fits on my bookshelf. It arrives and every month I think, “Wow, I totally forgot I actually subscribed to this!”


Initial Impression: Lucky is a magazine that wishes it was a blog. I visit my favorite blogs instead of opening a magazine.

Seven Months Later: Oh Lucky, Lucky, Lucky. I cannot count how many times I’ve shaken my head while reading this magazine. Let me jump straight to my number one pet peeve: This magazine is a way for the editors and writers of the magazine to showcase what they’re wearing, what they love and where they’re traveling. Lucky is a very self-absorbed magazine and I honestly wonder how much the editors at Lucky truly think about what their readers want.


Initial Impression: Self is off putting because it forces me to consider what others are doing when it comes to healthiness and exercise.

Seven Months Later: Self is a great place to start for getting fit without totally going overboard. It has a down-to-earth attitude that doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m not doing enough when it comes to being fit. Its exercises aren’t pushy or overly complicated. Its recipes feature ingredients found in the average kitchen. One thing I do wish Self would get rid of is its fashion section, which just comes off as an add on. It feels formulalic and boring as if Self is saying, “We know we’re a women’s magazine so we know we need a fashion section, but we’re just kind of going to throw it in there.”


Initial Impression: It’s fun yet informative but not in a condescending way.

Seven Months Later: If this post had a subtitle it would have to be: An ode to Glamour. I think I love this magazine so much that it has replaced Elle as my absolute favorite. Glamour is honest, funny and non-pretentious. It talks about sex in a way that doesn’t make you feel awkward. It has interesting celebrity interviews that don’t focus solely on what the celebrity is eating or wearing (one of my pet peeves for celebrity interviews!). Glamour gives women a platform to tell their story in a non-judgmental/we’ve all been there kind of way. Even though it’s a magazine, I feel like it’s very interactive and I never feel left out.

Verdict & What Do You Think?
At the end of the day, I would probably drop my subscriptions to every magazine on this list except Glamour. In the coming year, I plan to subscribe to other magazines including Elle (of course), Nylon and Seventeen. As a reader, I like magazines with variety and reader engagement, so we’ll see if this new batch makes the cut.

Do you subscribe to any of these magazines? Do you agree with my assessment? Would you subscribe to any of them? Are there any magazines that I should subscribe to? Share by commenting!

About Courtney Mirenzi

Courtney Mirenzi is the voice behind Those Graces. She has been named one of the 50 Most Fashionable People in Boston, one of The Boston Globe's Top Bloggers and favorite human of one of her cats. She loves red lipstick, hiking and traveling. (Find out more.)


  1. Bhahahahaha, I’m sorry what you said about lucky is totally true. It is completely a blog. I never thought of it that way and I can completely see why you say that.

    I actually love W, so found it interesting you really didn’t like it. I really like their covers for the most part and find their articles on design really interesting. But different strokes for different folks.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    • I have yet to run into one reader or friend who like Lucky! It’s very strange. I think I follow one person on Twitter who loves it, but that’s about it.

      I wouldn’t say I *dislike* W, but I haven’t felt compelled to open it up and read a full issue. I think part of the problem is I have three other magazines laying around and W always goes to the wayside.

  2. This is such a great blog post! I’ve been a loyal subscriber to numerous magazines over the years…but I have also let a lot of them drop because I no longer find the content as inspiring as it once was. I now find ways to get magazines for free instead of through a subscription. I think this is largely in part because content in the magazines are also found online (sometimes) and I feel kind of like I’m not getting my money’s worth.

    It’s interesting with Lucky of all the choices you mentioned above. I LOVED that magazine when it was first published. It was so different. While they are working with a new Editor in Chief, I actually agree with a lot of your comments. Although (unlike you) I still like flipping through its pages, I’m not sure that it’s the same feeling anymore of inspiration so for that reason, it has lost its luster with me. It’s too bad. =(

    I’m still a fan of getting magazines and actually flipping through pages (rather than on an iPad), but I do have to be careful about my choices.

    • Thank you Nancy!

      I like having both blogs and sites online as well as a magazine, but like you, I wait until the magazine is basically begging me to subscribe. Or I try to get it for free.

      A few people in the comments made the same comments about Lucky–they were excited when it first came out but it’s changed a lot. I only read it randomly when it first came out, but have not be impressed at all by it. I think, for me, it offers the least contrast to the blogs I read. For example, when I pick of Elle or Glamour, I never feel like I’m reading something I can find on a blog. However, Lucky just feels like Polyvore and someone’s “what I wore” blog post. Why? That’s all I have to say.

  3. I only subscribe to Glamour because it’s one of the few fashion magazines that I actually want to read! The other ones I occasionally purchase if I’m traveling somewhere and need some airport reading, but I don’t think I would subscribe to them because they don’t hold my attention.

    • I always end up buying magazines I would never subscribe to while I’m in the airport. I think it’s an unwritten rule that you buy things in the airport that you would never buy in real life!

  4. I’m a huge fan of Glamour. I love that it often features women with a normal body size and that the magazine addresses serious women’s issues yet is still a fun read.

  5. Your opinion of Lucky made me think back to earlier issues. This is why I am opting not to buy it again.

  6. I am almost done with school and will be moving to my first place. I’ve put off magazine subscriptions, because I want them to go to my new place. Thank you for an honest assessment of all of these magazines. At the moment I have the March edition of Glamour, Lucky, and Cosmo on my desk. After reading your review, one of them will not be purchased again.

    • To each their own! I’m sure there’s lots of people out there who love Lucky, but I’m definitely not one of them. When I first started it, I always found myself disappointed that it was such a fast read since it’s mostly photos. However, over time I great to dislike the tone of the magazine.

      I like Cosmo as well, but only read it randomly. Glamour is like Cosmo’s classier older sister, in my opinion :)

  7. Aside from W, I’ve subscribed to all of these at one point and time. Right now, I’ve been having a very weird relationships with magazines. So many have lost the luster that they used to have, but some I still subscribe to because I’ve done it for so long (if that makes sense). I use to rush to read issues but now many stack up bc I don’t really feel like I’m missing anything.

    I just re-upped my subsciption to Elle and Harper’s Bazaar (I actually like those better than Vogue, believe it or not) and I’m thinking about doing the same with Marie Claire, Glamour, and Teen Vogue.

    Lucky used to be one of my all-time faves but you’re right, something HAS changed about it but I could never place my finger on it. The content is not how it use to be. I used to tear sheets out every issue but now I just flip through really quickly and toss it to the side. I did like suscribing to Self in the past and may do so again another day. I’ve NEVER been able to get into W. Outside of a few cover stories, it’s never really appealed to me.

    • I totally agree! I think I follow fashion trends more so online now, but I still like having magazines around. I like that they’re tangible and portable.

      I’ve never been subscribed to Harper’s Bazaar, but I have read a few issues and liked it. I was subscribed to Marie Claire once but got angry at some sorry they did so I unsubscribed rather childishly. Oh well! I haven’t really missed it, so I probably won’t subscribe again.

      So many people have mentioned Teen Vogue to me–I definitely have to get a subscription now!

      Lucky is just bleh along with all the other things I said. I have that half the magazine is like, “Look pretty items on a page!” No….literally….just a row of ten purses. So boring. I need context Lucky–I can see all this online by going to an website and clicking “See All Items.”

  8. It’s funny, because Glamour is the only one I subscribe to– but over the past few years, it’s started to lose its luster! I feel like it just kind of promotes those same “women’s values” that I’m over– being a great sex partner, losing weight, etc. It’s why, when I get an Elle, I feel refreshed. Because while it has fewer models of every size, it’s not quite as focused on those topics? Like I feel like they’re usually more thoughtful and cultural….

    It’s really fun to read these reviews though, and see what I’m missing– or not!

    • So, in a sense, Glamour is like a classier version of Cosmo! LOL. I like Glamour, but I can imagine that after a few years you would start to get tired of it. I stopped Elle for about a year because I got to that point, but I’m ready to go back to it.

  9. Glad to hear Glamour is still bringing the goods every month. It used to be my favourite back in the 90s.

  10. I do not subscribe to any of these magazines. I used to subscribe to teen vogue but got tired of it after a while.
    Maybe I should check out what glamour has to offer.

    • I wouldn’t subscribe to this many if I didn’t get them for “free.” Free being a relative term for all the money spent flying LOL.

      I really want to try Teen Vogue now.

  11. I currently subscribe to lucky, teen vogue and vogue. My favorite? Teen vogue. It’s funny because I haven’t been a teenager in a very long time, but I love the fashion section. It’s fun and inspirational. I kind of agree with you about lucky, which is too bad because it used to be a really great magazine. I don’t know what has happened to it. I think it does want to be a blog! I’ll have to check out glamour too.

    • I remember Lucky when it first came out as well and I remember thinking how different it was. However, it’s not whatever it was when it started. Maybe I never liked it in the first place!

      I’ve heard a few people say the same about Teen Vogue. I’ll have to keep my eye out for any offers they have. I always wait until I get the best deal in the mail :)


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