August Favourites / Market Research

favourite beauty products august

The August Favourites are in – but I have a burning question before you start devouring the various little beauty morsels I’ve prepared. It concerns video “thumbnails” (those little pictures that appear along with the title so that you know vaguely what you’re about to watch) and – more specifically – the types of thumbnail that grab your attention.

Now I’ve always assumed that people like to see me, preferably wearing a smarmy grin and grasping a product in my hand like a QVC presenter, but recently my confidence in this has wavered. Wouldn’t a still life photograph be more chic, more representative of the content people are about to see? I think to myself. Would a beautiful close-up picture of a Chanel lipstick be more enticing than yet another photo of my face, hair scraped back, skin looking moon-like against a dark grey background?

august favourites

Tell me, my ever-brilliant sounding board: which of the pictures on this page would make you more likely to click through and watch a video on “favourite products”? A photo of the products (top) or a photo of my face (above)? I’ve added a little voting app on the page, to make things easier:

Which thumbnail image would most convince you to click on today's video?

And now that I’ve rinsed you for some valuable information and insight, it’s time for the August Favourites. Settle in and get ready to take a bit of a fancy to a new eye cream I’ve discovered…

 Chanel Longwear Nail Polish:

Colab Dry Shampoo at ASOS:

Sisley Eye Mask:

First Aid Beauty AM Eye Gel Cream:

Pai Rosehip Oil:

James Read H2O Mist:

Boots No7 Essentially Natural Foundation:

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5:

Lancome Teint Idole Cushion:

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. Sarah Johnston
    August 31, 2016 / 8:18 am

    Absolutely your face Ruth! A still life would be… too generic. It’s for your opinion that I watch the videos xx

    • Vesna
      August 31, 2016 / 2:40 pm

      I totally agree! When I see your face on my youtube home page I instantly click the video. Otherwise it would be just one in a milion thumbnails.
      P.s. Brilliant idea for voting app within the post, so easy for us, your readers, to give you an opinion.

  2. August 31, 2016 / 8:21 am

    Just toss up a picture of the baby, I’ll click every time! Honestly, I really haven’t paid attention to the thumbnails. I click based on the title and what the video is about.

  3. Fleur
    August 31, 2016 / 8:29 am

    Definitely your face. I like the products to be a surprise :-)

  4. Tiffany
    August 31, 2016 / 8:41 am

    Hi Ruth,
    Great video again!
    I am impressed by the express Amazon delivery as well.
    The name of your last product is pronounced “see-kha-plast” and you can actually use it to relieve diaper rash on Angelica’s bum, it works great.

  5. Jaime
    August 31, 2016 / 8:53 am

    The issue with showing a still of the products is that the viewer then knows all of your favorites. It can take away from the surprise of the video, and may make people feel they do not need to watch at all. It does not matter as much for other types of videos. At least in my opinion!

  6. philippa
    August 31, 2016 / 8:54 am

    So excited colab is now on ASOS, will be much easier to stock up! (:
    Philippa x

  7. August 31, 2016 / 9:11 am

    Hi Ruth,

    There are so many beautifully styled product shots all over instgram that one actually has to stand out for me to click onto it. I just think your lovely face might persuade more people to click through or press play on the video as they recognise and relate to you.

    Love your blog Ruth, a perfect mix of lovely products, insider knowledge and humour!

    Aisling xx

  8. Rachel Richardson
    August 31, 2016 / 9:17 am

    Hi Ruth
    I’ve been following your blogs etc for ages and personally I don’t really care what the thumbnail is (although I have voted!) I really enjoy your writing and humour and THAT is the reason I always click on the email when it lands in my inbox. You always make me giggle to myself and I find the content intelligent and informative. BTW if you did write a novel i would be first in the queue to buy it! Keep up the fantastic work Ms. Crilly!

  9. Hella
    August 31, 2016 / 10:07 am

    I have voted for your face, because I think a picture of you along with the title makes it more clear that those products are _your_ favorites and things you actually use (as opposed to, say, things that are new and perhaps worth our attention). Have a good day!

  10. Jen pledger
    August 31, 2016 / 10:19 am

    I voted ‘your face’ but in all honesty Ruth it wouldn’t matter what picture you had as a thumbnail, love your vids! You could have a picture of your cutlery draw and I’d still click to watch!

  11. Micha
    August 31, 2016 / 10:39 am

    It might just be me, but I actually like to NOT to see the products in favorites-videos beforehand, as I like to get “surprised”….if I’d already seen all the products that are going to be mentioned, I kind of tend to not be so focused on what’s being said. So ALWAYS a lovely photo of your gorgeous face, please :D

  12. Diana
    August 31, 2016 / 11:44 am

    I think a “natural” picture of you or the products. The standard photo of you holding a product sometimes looks too much. When I say this, I don’t mean you personally, but in general, when I see the YT standard pose with products, it makes me cringe a little. I know it can be effective in telling what the video is about, but maybe it is too overdone by everyone now?

    • Elisa
      August 31, 2016 / 12:36 pm

      I absolutely agree with you. I think that a shot taken from the video itself in a moment when she holds the product but with a more natural expression would be the happy medium.

  13. Mia
    August 31, 2016 / 12:32 pm

    I do think the products pic is chic but I like the face, if i’m doing a quick flick of recently uploaded it’s nice to see the face of the youtuber so I can easily click through. Yes, this is lazy but it’s important for if I only have a small window….I like to be able to quickly pick a fav! (which OF COURSE you are….welcome) xx

  14. Jorgelina
    August 31, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    I personally prefer you holding/showing the products. It gives the video a feel of “personal opinion” instead of just a spread of products on a table. Now, I like your thumbnails but in regards to other Youtubers / Bloggers, I don’t like it when their thumbnail is of their face and all the products held framing their face and/or making silly faces. Maybe it’s because I’m not a teenager anymore, but that just doesn’t give me the confidence of a thoughtful review of the products.

  15. Sadiyyah
    August 31, 2016 / 1:09 pm

    Genuinely speaking your face should be fine if you are posting products such as lipsticks and makeup however once in a while just posting products for a change would be appropriate too especially when showing products like serums body care or skin care

  16. August 31, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    No offense (you’re stunning and all :-) ), but I’m a product-junkie, and the thing that makes me skip a post (especially a video) is if I can’t get an instant overview of what will be discussed.

  17. Charlotte
    August 31, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    Oh no, I just wanted to order your Colab shampoo from Asos, but they do not ship it outside of the UK :-(. Do you know where I could get it in Germany?
    Love your blog!

    • August 31, 2016 / 4:24 pm

      Finding out now for you! Most likely I’ll update the stockist’s page on the homepage – top menu bar. xx

      • Charlotte
        August 31, 2016 / 10:00 pm

        Thank you! I have my heart set on the Monaco scent and the golden one, really looking forward to trying those out.

  18. August 31, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    I like the product photos, though if it’s a “look” type video or a fashion video, then it makes more sense to go with your lovely visage!

    I really need to get my hands on the Pai oil.

  19. Roisin
    August 31, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    When it comes to makeup specifically- your face. I am sick of trawling through swatches. I want to see a makeup look with the products or to see what it looks like on a specific skin tone etc….for other products it doesn’t really matter unless there has been some sort of dramatic difference and there are before and after pictures etc…

  20. Bertha
    August 31, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    I think thumbnails might be more important to people who aren’t already subscribed to you, like something to grab the attention of people who might see the video on their “recommended for you” page? Personally, I don’t care a whit about the video thumbnails of people I’m subscribed to; if I’m subscribed, I’m going to watch your content. The only content I’m not going to watch is something like a review of a product I have no interest in, like products specifically for thick, curly hair when I have fine, straight hair for example. The most beautiful thumbnail in the world isn’t going to make me click on a video about something I’m uninterested in. I do enjoy seeing your face in my feed, however!

  21. Lindsey Amtmann
    August 31, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    How about you, with the items on a shelf behind you? Best of both worlds! I’m going to read and watch everything from you no matter what!

  22. Katy B-B
    August 31, 2016 / 4:35 pm

    Your face! It’s too hard to see what the products are in thunbnail photos! xx

  23. August 31, 2016 / 5:46 pm

    Always the face for a YouTube thumbnail, I love a bit of personality when talking about beauty and fashion! xx

  24. Sandie
    August 31, 2016 / 6:16 pm

    Hi Ruth, I voted for you rather than photos of the products under review, because I am tuning in to watch you rather than the latest foundation or Autumn lipstick shades! All your videos are brilliant whether they are for skincare, make up, books, recipes, travel or baby updates! I think you are instantly recognisable to your viewers and it’s like “Ah another Ruth Vlog! Awesome!”

  25. August 31, 2016 / 6:41 pm

    I love the colour of that nail polish! Also, I’d rather see a picture of your face on the thumbnail than the products :) x

  26. Julie Fernandez
    August 31, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    Very happy to see your face in a L’Oréal TV advert !
    You’re as beautiful as ever ! Congrats !


    Julie xx

  27. Fateha
    August 31, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    Definitely your face. You are a brand. What you say, I’m buying

  28. August 31, 2016 / 11:42 pm

    I like seeing your face! Anyone can take a still life, but only you get your face. I find it much more personal :)

  29. Laura
    September 1, 2016 / 7:19 am

    No more bloody flat lays – I’m getting flat lay overload!! If I see one more white marble/gold accent/white fluffy rug flat lay I may scream! Your blog is perfect as it is Ruth don’t buckle and do what everyone else is doing!

  30. September 1, 2016 / 3:30 pm

    Lay down on the floor and put all the bottles on your face, that way, we can have it all!

  31. September 1, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    Yo face Ruth. Everytime. You have poses and continue to use them ; )

  32. Minty
    September 1, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    Although I started watching you because I was interested in the subject, I now watch you because it’s you speaking about a subject I am passionate about. I love it that you ask though.

    I so hope I don’t sound stalker like…,

  33. Alison Ward
    September 2, 2016 / 9:38 am

    Hiya. Have been so impressed since finding you and The Hirons online! I bought colab sheer the other day and I am SO impressed. It’s not heavy, doesn’t make my head itchy, hair greasy, or my hair look powdery or grey (I have very dark brunette hair). Well done Crilly! Ali xx

  34. Maaike
    September 2, 2016 / 10:34 am

    So glad Asos is stocking your dry shamoos!! :) Just ordered the Monaco and London, can’t wait to try it.

  35. Maaike
    September 2, 2016 / 10:38 am

    Oh no, i just wanted to pay and it’s only UK delivery. :(

  36. September 4, 2016 / 11:40 am

    Why not a still of your face AND the products? So we immediately recognise you, but alto know in advance which products you’ll be talking about in the video ;)

  37. September 12, 2016 / 1:06 pm

    I adore La Roche-Posay products! I will definitely try out this baume. Great post and video, you look amazing!

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