July 22, 2014 03:38 PM

Preserve; Inset: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

We’ve been eagerly awaiting its arrival, and Blake Lively‘s new lifestyle site Preserve is finally here. Our first impression? Well, it’s not what we expected.

Based on the celebrity sites we’re used to — Gwyneth Paltrow‘s Goop and Lauren Conrad’s website — we were anticipating a bright, Pinterest-plucked look and not the bright dark, moody e-zine we found. As we dug into some of the articles (and the about page, FAQ and so on) it seems that Preserve isn’t geared toward just female readers, but might actually skew more towards a male audience. (The answer to whether or not your credit card is safe on Preserve: “Safer than with your wife.” Ouch.)

RELATED: Blake Lively’s Favorite Healthy Smoothie Recipe

The mission statement, and genesis for the name, is a desire to preserve American artisans and stories. Everything has a focus on American traditions and memories.

So how does Preserve stack up to Goop and LC’s site? Let’s take a look at how they each cover recipes, entertaining and shopping:

Preserve: Of course, this is the first area we clicked on but, since the site is new, it’s light on recipes. There’s an interview with bartender Bobby Hicks that includes two cocktail recipes and a mouth-watering barbecue rib recipe to go along with their backyard barbecue entertaining story. Like most entertaining stories, recipes are attached to larger articles and are developed by chefs and bartenders.

Lauren Conrad: Conrad’s site is more of a traditional blog. Not only does she include original recipes and snack ideas, but she also tries recipes and tips from Pinterest. Her recipes aren’t generally part of a larger feature, but rather are the feature themselves.

Goop: Recipes on Goop fall somewhere in between a magazine format and a blog format. Yes, they all link back to issues of the newsletter, but they are generally the story themselves, and not tied to a larger entertaining piece or interview like on Preserve. We do appreciate how well organized everything is, though. Being able to filter by ingredient and see related recipes in the newsletter issues is a great feature.

LaurenConrad.com; Inset: John Lamparski/WireImage

Preserve: The one entertaining feature  currently online — “The Great Gathering” —  brings to mind indie-mag Kinfolk more than any other celeb-based site. The writing is lofty, includes footnotes, and gives each guest a title. The host is the “summoner,” the cook is the “grill master” and the DJ the “troubadour.” Betwixt us, we’re a little confused.

Lauren Conrad: While there’s no dedicated entertaining section on LC’s site, there are plenty of party ideas mixed in to the rest of the site — especially the craft category. We just want to know if Conrad herself is actually breaking out the glue gun.

Goop: Paltrow’s entertaining stories are a mix of party planning advice — think countdown to Hanukkah or Christmas dinner — and party photos from her superstar collaboration launches. If only we could score an invite to a Goop party.

RELATED: Get the Look: Lauren Conrad’s Home Office

Goop; Inset: Kevin Mazur/Getty

Preserve: The online store includes a curated collection of fashion, food and housewares that are all made in America. The food is all artisanal and, while we weren’t familiar with all the brands, most of the products are similar to ones we’ve seen elsewhere.

Lauren Conrad: Conrad isn’t messing around with e-commerce on her site. Yes, she does have a boutique, but it’s simply a landing page for her fashion line at Kohl’s.

Goop: The Goop shop features many exclusive (and often pricey!) items that you can’t find anywhere else. Yes, you might be able to buy a similar Steven Alan shirt, but it won’t carry the prestige of being hand-picked by Gwyenth.

RELATED: We Tried It: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop 3-Day Food Cleanse

When you check out Preserve for yourself, keep in mind that it’s been live for less than 24 hours. But we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it to see how it evolves.

What do you think of Preserve? Tell us in the comments.

—Kristin Appenbrink


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