It will simply ignore the nginx -s reload command (and possibly throw an error line).
For example, when I was trying to reload the config file, I've encountered this line:
nginx: [emerg] getgrnam("web") failed in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf:7
It's not enough that nginx -s reload goes ok.
You also should make sure that nginx -t is successful.
Also, full settings reload is achieved by nginx -s reload && nginx -s reopen (reopens log files).
In case your log files are not being generated, it's probable that nginx -t fails for some reason. Since, it's just an interpreter, any further action in setup will be discarded.