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I can’t imagine one without photos, but the insight and information are all in your carefully thought out words. You can’t envision the product easily with no image, and you can’t assess performance without the words. Your ideas, honesty, and reasoning are what drive me to read your blog. And you could make dog poop look good in photos, so how would we know if a product was wonky?

Only pictures.
In my opinion, when it comes to beauty, words, at times, do not carry as much weight as an image. People love imagery! Nowadays, most attention spans are even shorter, so a picture is enough to fill a curious appetite.

Even though I voted “only words”, I found the either/ or choice too limiting! There ought to be a “Both” choice, or something. For myself, I definitely appreciate actually reading the blogger/reviewer’s thoughts on how a product performs and wears, the quality or lack thereof, and list of dupes. In other words: comprehensive. But I CANNOT imagine a blog without pictures of the product being reviewed and swatches! I need BOTH!

I love that you want to add the choice of “Both.” Then what’s the use of asking the question? ?
Of course everyone would prefer both which is why this question was asked. Like you, I’m having a hard time choosing one over the other.

Photos. I go for Beauty blogs for swatches mainly. All else is pretty much subjective since product’s perfomances vary depending on hair, skin type… even weather conditions.

Wow! I am in the minority! LOL. I chose words mostly because I know how easy it is to alter a photo to make it look good. Also many times when I go to blogs to research a product I’m there to get an individual’s personal experience with a product. If they liked it or not, how it worked for them, was there any downfalls, etc. I think that info is better conveyed in words.

I chose words for just about the same reason. I can easily see beauty shots of the product on the retailers website – what’s most useful to me from an independent blogger is a real review.

I agree. For most products I can go to the store and swatch it myself if there was no picture. But without the review, I would be taking a chance on the product. If forced to choose, I value the reviews more than the photos, although I definitely want both!

I have to have both, but blogs that have only pictures seem half-baked to me. I mean, anyone can throw a photo up. What kills me is when someone posts nothing but photos directly from the company and calls it a review. Hate that!

Yes! What also gets me is when there IS text accompanying company photos (despite being a review and not a press release post), but the review is just the official description of the product from the company website (which tells me nothing new, and of course it won’t reveal any shortcomings), maybe with something like, ‘This was perfect’ as the ‘review’. What’s the point, even? I think a good blog would have both photos and words, but they both also have to be high quality and useful.

Another minority voter here so far in that I prefer words (yes, I know, big shock for those who read my posts here 😛 CELIA LIKES WORDS!). There’s something about descriptive wording that truly captures a product beyond what pictures can. Especially now with so many dishonestly presented pictures from less reputable blogs than this wonderful, accurate one we’re all on and love with editing beyond mild correction. Of course, I would prefer a mix of both as I assume most would but the detail and descriptive power of language makes me most excited/informed on a product personally. Plus, I’m always interested in the nitty-gritty of personal experience which is best written out. The subtleties and nuances between similar products can be better captured.

If everyone was as accurate as Christine in their photos, that may be different story though 😉

I choose photos, after thinking about, I think it’s possible to use images in a creative way to send the message across about a certain product. Facial expressions, creative posing and arranging of the products, comparative photos, time lapse images… A lot can be shown with imagery alone. I can’t imagine reading about beauty products and not being able to see them at all.

I don’t think I would like either, all pictures or all words. I need to see the colors and read an educated review or it’s of no help.

Only photos but only if they showed swatches on many different people and mixed with different primers and the like so you your get an idea of the performance of the item.

Only photos! Don’t get me wrong, I like reading about the performance of different products but I’m way more picky about color than I am about formula, and it’s hard to get a read on color from just text! I tend to look at photos first to see if there are any shades from a particular line that I’d be interested in and only then do I bother to read the reviews. Because if a particular cosmetics product has an amazing formula but has zero colors that would work on me, I’d almost rather not know what good that product is.

Must have both!! I can’t choose….. If you forced me, I would have to say words. They are far more descriptive of the product.

I have actually followed a beauty blog that relied on words. Rarely were photos of the products included – usually one of a swatch or the closed product. Once there was a photo of lip swatches on her lips. So it was her description of the product and her explanation of her experience that carried the blog. Other than that one blog it doesn’t work unless you have both pictures and words but for the purpose of this survey I said words. I can read your posts that don’t include swatches but I prefer the ones that include a review and swatches.

Only words (assuming that other blogs, Instagram, etc. still exist). It’s easy to find photos; it’s hard to find thoughtful / thorough reviews.

Words. I can put links to great photos from other bloggers to give them traffic too. While I agree with a picture painting a thousand words, how would anyone know how that picture came to be in order to trust me? It is the words added to this blog of also photos that really tell me what I need to know. How the color is described by eye as all monitors are different. How things feel blend work… A picture can’t tell me that unless I already know the formula and the formula hasn’t changed.. Which can again only be told in words. So I choose words and to link another person for pictures! Friendly blogs!

A beauty blog should have both photos and words. I voted for Only Words just because for SEO purposes lol but if the photos have alt and title tags, they’re still searchable I guess. Sorry talking technical.

If I had to choose one, I’d pick photos. However, I’ve been really frustrated at times when I’ve come across photos of beautiful swatches with little or no information about the product. Also, when someone has swatches but the names of the colors listed below them do not match up… I don’t even understand why you would go to the trouble of listing the names but not list them in the correct order. :-/

I too am in the minority! I’d go for words only over photos only. Photos can show what a product looks like and swatches like but don’t describe how it performs, what it feels like, who it’d suit. This is particularly true of skincare and base products like foundation, primers etc.

I thought this was a really odd question to just go with either one or the other. Maybe a ‘more words’ or ‘more pictures’ option would have been better? I’m really stumped right now revamping my own blog; I love words, but I think people tend to lean on the pictures side.

It’s just supposed to be a fun question – similar in concept to “if you could only use one eyeshadow palette for the rest of your life” kind of questions – the idea of if you had to choose, which would you choose, but obviously in an ideal world you would have both!

I initially chose photos only, under the reasoning that I have to like what a product looks like before I’ll even be interested in it and I like browsing blogs quickly if it’s one I’m not familiar with. But after thinking about it more and reading other people’s comments, I’d change my answer to words only! These days, it’s easy to find multiple photographs for anything, and like others mentioned, photographs can be deceiving and/or not convey important information that only words can. And I don’t know how many times I’ve been frustrated with blog posts that are supposedly reviews and have great photos, but the words are just copied and pasted from a press release with a vague, ‘This was perfect!’ comment. That might as well have no words at all, and isn’t particularly helpful.

That said, I think context is important as well. If a blog advertises itself as a beauty blog focused on photography, then only pictures is fine! If, however, it’s supposed to be a review blog, then words are also important, if not more so — I can find other photos if they’re not great, but I really appreciate honest, detailed information.

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