Saturday, 26 January 2013

Soap & Glory Sit Tight Firming Gel

After my friendship with the Soap & Glory Serum blossomed I decided to try out the Sit Tight Firming Gel, purely because the idea of it intrigued me. It's one of the more expensive S&G products at £16.50 but the quality of the product is very very good. Basically, the gel based serum is meant for the bum and thighs, to tighten and smooth the skin. Now the bizarre bit of this product is the tech behind it. The product works as soon as you sit down. It's the strangest thing when you apply it, when stood up you don't feel a thing (you don't even feel like you've applied anything!) then the moment you sit down you get a tingling across your skin as the product gets to work. The first time I applied it I got the shock of my life, it's actually such a fun product to use. It makes you wonder how it 'knows' when you sit down. I didn't use this on my bum, purely because I knew it could get messy with my clothes. However I didn't noticed a firmer thigh after using it there. It's advised you apply this daily as the effects are only temporary. Overall I think I'd definitely repurchase this, I think the novelty feeling alone is worth £16.50!

Have you ever tried firming gels?

Friday, 25 January 2013

Januarys Featured Blogger!

I'm pretty excited to finally have a fashion blogger featured here on A Is For Ayla! Although I don't post fashion or ootds I do love to read them, this months featured Blogger does tons of lovely outfit posts! On that note I shall introduce my featured blogger for the month of January, Kristy from Smugpug.

In less than 50 words tell us a little about yourself and your blog.
I am a 24 year old ginger style enthusiast from Suffolk - the farm county. I adore the countryside and the little things in life make me happy. I use smugpug to share my style and love of fashion with the other beautiful bloggers out there. 

When and why did you initially start blogging?
I started blogging in 2011 but only as of late have I got into my own routine and used it to the best of my ability. I originally started blogging as not a lot of people appreciate someones style in the countryside, so I decided to share it online instead, to not feel like the "odd one out".

Do you have any tips or ideas for someone wishing to start a successful blog?
The usual tip would be "be yourself". Which i definitely agree with however, having a good camera and someone willing to stand in all weather conditions to take your outfit photo's helps! Plus, I think its important not to feel self conscious, blogging is a way to express yourself.
Do you feel you've taken anything out of being part of the blogger community?
I have met some lovely people although I wish I could find more local bloggers in East Anglia. I hope to meet new people and attend more events this year. Every blogger is lovely.

What are your 5 favourite products right now?
1. REN Clear Calm 3 Clay Cleanser
2. REN Clear Calm 3 Anti Blemish treatment mask
3. Collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer
4. Sleek Contouring Kit
5. Real Techniques Buffing Brush
Who are your 5 favourite bloggers right now?
4. Ella at
Where can we find you?
You can find my twitter here: @kwigg
Pinterest: Kristy Nickels
Instagram: @kwigg
Any final words of wisdom?
I always believe you should live your life the way you want to. Do things for your own happiness. Give more, expect less. This also goes with blogging.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

16 Before 17...

I've always wanted to do one of these posts for some reason. Basically a *16* before *17* post features all the things you want to achieve before your next birthday, quite like a bucket list I guess. As you may know I recently turned 16 and I'm super excited to be able to live my first year slightly more adult like. Can you believe I can legally drive a tractor? So these are 16 things I want to do in my hopefully rather exciting year.

1. Finally be able to say I own my first YSL product
2. Host a huge party
3. Learn how to swim
4. Try portrait photography
5. Be fully fluent in 3+ languages (getting there)
6. Visit America
7. Go on a staycation with my friends after exams
8. Get my first job! woooo!
9. ...Then spend my wages on a new laptop and camera
10. Legally be old enough to use my Body Shop card (shh don't tell!)
11. Get a perfume collection going
12. Go for lunch in the City a couple of times a month
13. Go to a fashion or beauty trade show
14. Leave school with 12 A*-B's
15. Get a year long gym membership (and actually use it!)
16. Go on holiday with my friends!

What goals would be on your bucket list?

Monday, 21 January 2013

Birthday Wishlist

My 16th Birthday is coming up TOMORROW!!!  and me and my best friend (who's birthday is a couple of days later) have planned a few shopping dates out ahead. These are a few of the things I want to try and pick up, as a birthday treat from me to myself! On another note I'm on snow day today, hoping and praying that i'll be off tomorrow too, birthday + snow day = happy Rachael!

Have you tried any of these products?
I'd love to read posts on them!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Topshop Wishlist

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

As Christmas has just been and my Birthday is just around the corner I've found myself to be in a pretty nice position with money to spend. Topshop have so much nice stuff in at the moment with the new stock coming in after the Boxing Day sales (which I'll admit Topshop had the best of, everywhere else was rubbish!) although I'm quite reluctant to post this as so much of my wishlist is black, no idea why! A few of the pieces are inspired by other Bloggers. Shirely from Meek n Mild (I'm sure most of you are familiar) posted an OOTD with a bodycon midi dress and it looked amazing on her, not sure I'll be able to recreate but I'm definitely gonna try it on and hope for the best! Also while looking through my links from the #bbloggers chat one girl had posted a NOTD Firework and I fell in love instantly! Cant remember which blog she's from though!:(

Saturday, 12 January 2013

New Year Project 50 Pan

Yes that's right, 50 pan. Generally Project Pan is 10 items including mostly makeup items however there are tons of body products I'm desperate to use up so I've extended it to 50 to ensure I get a good mixture of makeup and beauty products.

Some of the things I'd like to use up include:
- 4 Batiste Dry Shampoos
- Various Perfumes
- A small large amount of moisturisers
- Christmas gift sets
- At least one pan of powder, bronzer and blush
- Various mascaras

Now generally in Project Pan you put of spending any more money on beauty products until you've used to 50. However, as Christmas has just been and it's my birthday soon I intend on doing quite a lot of shopping. Instead of 'downsizing' I'm doing more of a 'replacement', using up the old stuff to make way for new. I probably won't buy too many body products, my purchases will be more makeup based. I'm gonna try and empty 50 products in 50 days, a challenge for me! I'll do updates depending on how much stuff I've used up so you can see how I'm doing and perhaps compare it to your own Project Pan efforts. My Project Pan deadline with be the 5th March.

Have you ever tried Project Pan? Was it a success?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Spring 13 Makeup Releases!

Maybelline Colour Tattoo Metal Eyeshadows in 5 extra shades
All shades are shimmery £4.99
Barely Branded - Pale Nude
Gold Rush - Yellow Gold
Inked In Pink - Pale Pink w/ Silver
Silver Strike - Frosted Silver
Electric Blue - Royal Blue

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquers
Lipstick and lipgloss hybrid
£5.99 January 23rd
8 shades nude to bright

Loreal Shine Caresse Lip Stains
A drugstore rival to the YSL 'Glossy Stains'
Released in France, soon to be in the UK
12 shades nude to bright

Urban Decay Naked BB Cream
Another product to the long chain of Naked products
Has already received many positive reviews in the US
UD are also releasing yet another Naked product, the 'Naked Flushed' sculpting palette
Both products arrive Spring 13

These are a few of the products I'm excited to see hitting the stores soon. Expect some posts and reviews featuring these products, especially the L'Oreal Wet Gloss stains, super excited for those! I didn't mention it in the post but I'm also pretty interested in the Chanel CC cream which has already been released in Asia but is supposed to be coming to Europe hopefully this year. Anybody else heard any news as to when its released?

Monday, 7 January 2013

Tag! | You're It!

Wow I'm on a roll with posting this week! Today is a personal tag, something I don't do enough of. I was tagged my the lovely Lucy from Lucy Rose! Do bare in mind the fact I wrote down the wrong set of questions and so answered the wrong ones. I've instead forwarded Lucy's questions over to you! Here are 11 facts about me, 11 people I wish to tag and 11 questions for them to answer!

1. What is your ultimate holy grail item?
My hair is my most treasured thing EVER, Batiste's Dry Shampoo in 'Blush' is a product I use everyday, multiple times a day.
2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years time I'll be approaching my 21st birthday (so soon?!) and in an ideal situation I'd be preparing to go on my celebratory trip to Las Vegas with my Sister, who will be newly married but has taken the time to fly to the US along with my Mother and high school friends. I'll be studying a degree in 2 of the 5 languages I'm now fluent in at an American University. I'll be enjoying the end of my all-American lifestyle before I return back to England the year after with my lovely American boyfriend who just happens to have a New Jersey accent. *Sigh*
3. I you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?
The children from Outnumbered ...just imagine!

4. Most treasured/ Favourite item in your wardrobe?
My Forever 21 leather jacket, man I love that thing!

5. What scares you?
Being underwater for more than 0.28473 seconds

6. Favourite childhood memory?
When I was 6 I visited some family in Australia at Christmas time, I remember being so confused by the idea of it being Summer during Christmas. My Aunt owned her own private beach and the entire family had a barbecue on the beach for dinner then collected sea grapes and sea sponges after.

7. What is the worst product you've ever used?
Batiste Dry Shampoo in 'XXL Volume'. I thought it would be so good because I love their 'Blush' variety - how wrong I was! Like having sand in your roots, awful!
8. What was your first make up item?
First was an awful No7 bronzer that I used to slap on like nobodies business, I just looked like I had a dirty face! I was around 11 or 12 then. That soon followed with a Natural Collection Concealer, it seems I had a knack for buying shades that were way too dark. Thankfully I started blogging at 13 and got it together!
9. If you could have anyones hairstyle whose would it be?
Grace and Braver, visit that and you'll know exactly who's hairstyle I want
10. What was your favourite subject in school?
French, the guy I sit with constantly feeds me rosy apples like I'm next years turkey. Although my geography teacher gives me chocolate digestives or or or maybe Spanish, magic stars are good. Are you getting the general gist of my high school life? Eat during lesson, do work at Lunch and break. Weird.
11. Who/What inspires you?
I tend to look up to a lot of the older bloggers on here, kind of a "I wanna have your life when I'm ____ years old" thing. I don't know, everyone seems to have such interesting lives around here. I'm pretty sure without some of these people I'd sit around doing nothing and no doubt end up a nothing.
My Questions
Whats your main new years resolution?
What was your favourite gift at Christmas?
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Your favourite lipstick?
High street or High end?
Favourite memory of 2012
Your biggest inspiration?
Favourite beauty brand?
5 favourite products of 2012?
What advice would you give to your younger self?
3 things we don't know about you! 
I tag...
Lost In Lipstick
As Pretty As You Please
Nicolle Shelton
La Vie, Style et Beaute
 Aimie Victoria's Secrets
A Girl Called Julie
Lauren Loves Makeup
Natural Alley
Coco et La vie en rose

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Small Haul (Including Boxing Day Sales Purchases)

Denim Shirt New Look £23 £9 / Eyelash Curler Boots £4.50 (paid with points) / Neon Yellow Bracelet H&M £4 / Burgundy Pants Topshop £4 £2 / Raspberry underwear (set) Primark £4

I was actually so dissapointed with the sales this year. I went to a local shopping town which was strangely empty when we arrived at 10am on Boxing Day. I picked up the few bits you see above, most of which wasn't even on sale. I then went to the Trafford Centre on the Friday where it was slightly busier, but still not as busy as it usually is. I bought NOTHING while I was there. Well I tell a lie, I bought a flapjack which I ate within 2 minutes of purchasing. All the stock was awful, I think its probably because they've started opening up the sales on Christmas Eve, annoyingly. Topshop was probably the best place, although even then I let my best friend buy all the good bits because I'm a top friend. Overall I spent a teeny weeny £19 on Boxing Day!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

A Is For Ayla Product Awards 2012!

Apologies for the lateness of this post, I'm sure many of you will understand how annoying the image bug on Blogger is being. I know we're two weeks in to 2013 but this is my take on the '12 for 2012', a product awards post. I figured this was a little more fun to read and would give a general insight in to the things I loved (and hated) during 2013.

Best Face Product Of The Year Goes To... Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer
Runner Up: Bourjois Delice De Poudre Bronzer 52

Best Eye Product Of The Year Goes To... Natural Col. Eyeshadow Duo in 'Mocha Latte'
Runner Up: No7 Eyebrow Pencil in 'Brown'

Best Lip Product Of The Year Goes To... BE Buxom Lipgloss in 'Destiny'
Runner Up: Korres Lip Butters

Best Skincare Product Of The Year Goes To... Origins Super Spot Remover Gel
Runner Up: Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

Best Body Care Product Of The Year Goes To... Soap & Glory Flake Away
Runner Up: Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter

Best Hair Product Of The Year Goes To... Daniel Galvin Jr 'Hangover Hair' Shampoo
A Very Close Runner Up: L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil

Hardest Product To Photograph Goes To... Clarins One Step Cleanser (coming soon)
Runner Up: L'Oreal True Match Powder Compact (so bad I deleted the post)

Most Pointless Product Goes To... Bare Minerals 'Blemish Remedy'
Runner Up: Benefit PosieTint
The Product Makeup Newbies Must Try Goes To... OPI Nail Envy
Runner Up: Maybelline Falsies Mascara

Most Ridiculously Packaged Product Goes To... Soap & Glory 'Make Yourself Youthful' Serum
Runner Up: Stila Lipglazes (as much as I love the shades)

Best Brand Goes To... Natural Collection
Runner Up: Soap & Glory

Overall Best Product Of The Year Goes To... Batiste 'Blush' Dry Shampoo
Runner Up: Nars 'Laguna' Bronzer

Worst Product Of The Year Goes To... Nivea Natural Volume Gloss
Runner Up... Batiste 'XXL Volume' Dry Shampoo 

What are your thoughts on the products I've picked?

My 12 Favourite Bloggers Of 2012

I'm embracing the '12 for 12' as you've probably already noticed. I write one post then come up with an idea for another, annoying! You probably already know I enjoy sharing the love on Blogger, I know how hard it is to be noticed and I'm actually so so fortunate that I have over 500 followers and it didn't take me long to get there, but I know it's not the same for some. Below are my 12 favourite Bloggers from 2012, bare in mind I follow 289 blogs to this day so I'm only allowed to choose less than 5% of the blogs I follow, a super difficult decision to make! Please don't be upset or annoyed if you're not featured and I've told you in the past I loved your blog, I still love you, promise!;)

See the 'Inspiration' tab for more of my favourites!
Who are your favourite bloggers of 2012?

Friday, 4 January 2013

Top 12 Posts Of 2012

The other day I was messing around with the 'Popular Posts' widget you see in the sidebar and I realised that I actually still get a lot of views on some of my older stuff and a lot of it remains relevant to today. As 2012 is over, I thought I'd go through my 12 most popular posts of the year to ensure these posts aren't forgotten and can be seen by my newer followers as my new ones for 2013 come in. This might also be pretty useful for other bloggers as you can see the general topics Bloggers are interested in, Primark features heavily as you'll notice below. I grouped a few of the Primark ones and left the others out just to ensure the entire list wasn't Primark related!

Then of course theres my 'What I Got For Christmas Haul' but I wont add that purely because it's so recent! It was pretty interesting making this post, seeing how style has changed over the year and cringing at my old photos!

Have you thought about making one of these posts?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The "Goodbye 2012!" Tag

I found this tag on Tiffany's blog and thought the questions were pretty interesting, the made me think more about 2012 as a year. Although I did take a few questions out just purely because I'm weird and I don't like my posts being too long.

What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Spoke Arabic for the first time, knowing me probably the last time too! Arabic phonics + Western accent = DISASTER!

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't remember making any of 2012 but I'm definitely embracing 2013's! You can read my 2013 New Years Resolutions Here!

What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory?
31st October for an unfortunate reason I'm afraid, the last time I spoke to one of my most loved people!
What countries did you visit?
Scotland, Spain, Canary Islands.
St Andrews, Scotland.

What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
money would be fantastic

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finished my stats course, it doesn't sound that great but If you know me well you know that I don't do numbers, let alone manipulate them! I think I cried the moment I got the results sheet back with a big fat A* next to the exam grade.
What was your biggest failure?
Errrrrrrm is it bad that I can't think of anything? I'm a positive person, I see good in every bad situation!

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Well I found out I'm allergic to 3 more things, on top of the already existing 2. It was a pretty horrid process identifying them all as there were many tiring days of rashes and restricted breathing, as any of you with severe allergies will know! I also had some other bits of bobs that you might have already figured out if you follow me on Twitter (@aisforaylablog) but we don't need to go in to that now!

What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my camera, my blog would be pretty much awful without it!

Where did most of your money go?
MAKEUP! surprise, surprise

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Olympics I guess, I'm a watcher of quite a few sports that usually don't make it to TV so it was good to watch them all and visit a few of the arenas in Northern England & Scotland.
The Olympics rings, Edinburgh
What song will always remind you of 2012?
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know, nuff said!

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder?
Pretty sad come to think of it, although last week I had a bit of a pick me up thanks to someone special!

Thinner or fatter?
Richer or poorer?
Richer, I think that comes with age though!

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Go out more, you're only young once!

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being angry, I should really learn to control that!

Who were your best friends?
Wills, Shan, Caulay & Rob (and a few more)

What were your favourite TV programs?
Some Girls, Suburgatory, Made in Chelsea & anything with Cherry Healy in it!
What was the best book you read in 2012?
 If you read my 2013 Resolutions you'll know I never read by choice. I did read 50 Shades of Grey, can't say I enjoyed it though?

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Bastille, AHHHHHH!

What was your favourite film of this year?
Harry Potter, what else?

What did you want and get?
A place at a competitive school for next year!
thanks to plenty of this!

What did you want but did NOT get?
A place on a Mandarin course that would have helped me a lot, apparently because I'm under 19 I'm incapable? They clearly don't understand the idea that you pick up language more the younger you are!
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 15 and I went to the Trafford Centre, nothing special really!
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A job therefore money therefore more opportunities to do stuff!

What kept you sane?
Blogger and Twitter, even when everything else changes I know exactly where to go and what to do to find people I know will make me feel normal again!

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Anderson Cooper. Yes, I am aware he's homosexual, does this affect my ability to wish I was married to him? not in the slightest!

What political issue stirred you the most?
US Presidential Election, I get waaaaaaay to in to that shhhhh-ugar!

Who did you miss?
Family in Australia, the recession means neither sides have the $10,000 it takes to come over!
Who was the best new person you met this year? 
I became friends with someone at school I had never really had any interest in, turns out they're now a massive part of my life!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learnt in 2012.
Don't give all your attention to one person and neglect the people who 9/10 will be there for you much longer!

I'd love to see your analysis of 2012!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Palmers Cocoa Tummy Butter For Stretch Marks

Don't ask me why I buy products designed for pregnant women at the grand old age of 15, I just do. I've been getting in to Palmer's since I borrowed my friends lip balm not so long ago. Generally I'm not a fan of cocoa butter, The Body Shop well and truly put me off it. However after falling in love with the formulation of the lip balm and checked out a few more of their bits, 'butters' have always intrigued me. Only I was pretty surprised when I got home and tried it out, it's not a butter as you'd expect, it's very waxy. The 'butter' is pretty hard and you have to sort of melt it with your fingertips to pick up the product, which I like surprisingly. It has the most amazing scent everrr, and it lingers too! (Although you'd think that would irritate pregnant women, no?) I can't really comment on how well it fairs with stretch marks but it was pretty average on the moisturisation scale. Theoretically this product does nothing for me, but I for some reason love applying it, it feels so luxurious, It's weird!

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Butter £5.60 at Boots.

January 2013 In Photos!

NYE outfit / my Birthday Cake! / snowwwwww / casually doing the Peter Rabbit dance while taking blog photos / my dilemma / the collection is growing! / untouched snow / neon nails <3 / believe it or not theres hills somewhere underneath all that / snow day / yes I am still wearing Christmas pjs in January / aw pretty / birthday lipstick / ... / cute card / BEST PRESENT EVER / I think she got it wrong... / blog photo outakes / pretty snow / yet again monging out while trying to take blog photos

I kid you not all 20 photos could easily have been me weirding-out while attempting to take blog photos, every. bloody. time. Anyways this month was pretty interesting with NY and my 16th birthday involved. I barely took any NY photos purely because I spent most of it parting / recovering / partying / recovering (I think you get the jist!) My birthday celebrations go underway next week so you'll probs see those in my feb photos. Thank you all so much for the Birthday wishes, unfortunately I didn't get a snow day *sigh*

I hope you all had a wonderful start to 2013!