Tuesday, 30 April 2013

April In Photos

My month summed up / house got destroyed then rebuilt again / some party / no idea what this is / Physics & Biology / My baby! / Finally Spring / On yet another vitamin programme / revision distractions / bought a prom bag / sunshine / perfection / first icecream of the summer! / 17 exams, woo! / hi!

April was probably the most boring month to date. Basically I've just been doing lots of preparations for my exams that start on the 13th. I can't wait to get rid of all of these books, me and my friends are definitely having a burning. It's been pretty unfortunate that I've not been able to enjoy the good weather as much as I'd have hoped to, but that's what you get for taking on 12 GCSEs instead of 9, isn't it? I hope you all do wonderful in any upcoming exams! I have my fingers crossed, but If my science results are anything to go by I'm sure survive unscathed!

What have you been up to this month?

Featured Blogger #8: April

featured blogger april bonjour luce beauty blog a is for ayla london uk bloggers

It feels like so long since I last did my monthly feature. This month, I've chosen a slightly more popular blog, Bonjour Luce. Bonjour Luce is a beauty blog with the occasional bit of (rather chic and inspirational) London lifestyle. As with all my featured bloggers, I can't recommend you go and take a look at her lovely blog enough, it's definitely one of my favourites! Luce has answered some questions about herself and her blog below.

In less than 50 words tell us a little about yourself and your blog?I'm Luce, a northern girl living in London! An apsiring PR girl spending her time interning and writing about beauty on the internet. My blog is mainly beauty as I work part time as a beauty consultant so I try to share what I have learnt through that, with the internet.

When and why did you initially start blogging?
I started my blog in August 2012. It was throughout the summer before I moved to London and as I'd always has some sort of blog before then, I decided I wanted to blog about beauty which is what I wanted to work with. I had this idea in my head that moving to London would inspire me a lot more to blog (which it has) so I started it up and it's just taken off!

Do you have any tips or ideas for someone wishing to start a successful blog?
Don't feel like you need to follow the crowd. I have read blogs for years now and I look up to many girls, such as Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup and Lily from What I Heart Today, and often I feel like I should be a certain way. I'm used to the blogging world and community now so I don't get caught up with it. Find your niche, something unique, rather than just reviewing every new product out there.

Do you feel you've taken anything out of being part of the blogger community?
I've realised that as much as blogging can be quite lonely from time to time, I've also met my best friends through blogging. You speak to people on twitter every day through the blogger community so I think it's a great way to meet people with the same interests.

What are your 5 favourite products right now?
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle, Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful, Tom Ford Lipstick in Pink Dusk, Clarins Liquid Bronze.

Who are your 5 favourite bloggers right now?
Charissa from www.charissarae.com
Jennifer from wwwthebeautyguide.com

Where can we find you?
Twitter: @bonjourluce
Instagram: @bonjourluce
Facebook: Bonjour Luce

Any final words of wisdom?
Just be yourself and have fun :)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

A Sneak Peek Of My Beauty Storage

makeup storage blogger beauty lipstick lipgloss cheap acrylic box nail polish drawers muji clear cube wide flip top review swatch stila natural collection lipsticks
makeup storage blogger beauty lipstick lipgloss cheap acrylic box nail polish drawers muji clear cube wide flip top review swatch stila natural collection lipsticks

The lovely Becki and Jess from 'Life Looks Perfect' are running a series called 'Inside My Drawers' showcasing the different collections and ways of storage beauty bloggers have. I'm the first in the series (woo!) I've got to say, these kinds of posts are really interesting reads, especially for those who are constantly adding products to the wishlist and reorganising their stuff, which lets face it is most of us! I was recently featured, to read the post (including tons more photos) and see how I store my makeup and nail polish, click here!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Guest Posters Needed!

Hi bloggeroonies! This is just a quick post to ask that if any of my lovely followers or readers want to guest post on A is for Ayla, I'm looking for some people to write posts between May/June when I might be a little too busy to post due to exams, prom ect. Of course there will still be some of my own posts, but if any of you would like to give your input, perhaps on a topic a little off beauty (fashion, lifestyle, cooking) I think this could be a perfect opportunity to get your writing out there as these days my blog has over 600 followers, woah! My last series of guest posters was a huge success and the posts even to this day are doing really really well. Anyone can post, so long as the idea is approved my me first. If you're interested please email me at aisforayla@hotmail.co.uk, don't worry about being formal in emails either! <3

Friday, 19 April 2013

Confessions Of A Beauty Blogger Tag

This has been floating around all over beauty blogs over the past 2 or so months so I finally decided I'd go for it. I don't usually do so many of these tags, but I guess this is pretty relevant as recently I've been getting lots of tweets about how I started and how long I've been blogging ect.

When did you start your blog?For a while I counted my blog birthday in May 2011 however a few weeks ago I was frantically trying to find the password to my Bloglovin' account in my emails when I stumbled across the first verification post for A Is For Ayla which was sent on the 2nd of June 2011. So I guess my actual blog birthday is the second of June, although I read lots of blogs for a few months before then.

Have you had any past online presence before (other blog, YouTube)?
Not at all! I knew nothing of blogs or Youtube accounts back. It was meerly a stroke of luck when as a 13 year old I came across a fashion blog through a Google search and the entire idea of a blog pretty much took over my life!.

Why did you start a blog?
I feel like people always have such heart-warming stories about how blogging helped them to overcome social anxiety or bullying however truth is I started a blog purely because the idea interested me. I'd always been pretty good at getting my words down on to paper so to put them on a blog was a new idea for me at the time. I was originally interested in fashion back as a 13 year old but eventually A Is For Ayla evolved in to a beauty blog as I learnt more about makeup.  

When did you become serious about starting a blog?
Its hard to define what a 'serious blogger' is. A money maker? somebody who posts everyday? somebody who puts their all in to their posts? If a serious blogger is somebody who tries to write frequent posts that they know their readers will be interested in or that will help people, then I guess from about the start of 2012. At first it was a place just to jot down a few thoughts, mainly for myself. I wasnt interested in followers (hence why I had 32 followers for about 4 months) but when I did start becoming more interested in stats and followers then I guess thats when more and more beauty came about and I started getting serious in my dedication to my blog.

What was your first post?
I dont actually remember. I deleted a lot (were talking about 50) of my posts a long long time ago, much to my regret now. No doubt it was probably something really cringey covered in stockfiles!

What has been your biggest challenge about blogging?
I'd say getting addicted. Sounds odd but it got to one point where I was constantly checking my stats, my followers number and comments. It was around the time my blog started rapidly increasing in size so I guess it was out of excitement. Around this time I almost forced myself to write a post a day, my earlier followers will remember the bombardment of post after post after post! It was really difficult to maintain and I'd almost be annoyed at myself if I wasnt posting at least once a day. Thankfully I'm over that now though!

Where do you see your blog in one year?
Its hard to say! In the past one year I've gained over 400 followers, worked with numerous companies and met lots and lots of blogger friends (I mean one year ago I didnt even have a blog Twitter!) all of which I never predicted. I guess I'll probably just carry on growing. I wont be leaving any time soon I can assure you that!

What is the most rewarding thing to you about blogging?
I'd say comments. Each and every comments always makes me smile, purely because I know how uncommon it is that I write on peoples blogs (probs my biggest blogger fault) so to know that other people have actually put that effort in to comment makes me really happy, more so when the comments are personal, naturally! I love talking to you all too, without comments 600+ followers wouldn't really be imagineable, I like to put faces there rather than a number!

What is the most discouraging thing that happens to you?
I'm actually so lucky in that I've never once had a nasty comment (I'm saying that now, someone probs will now just for the laughs) which has really helped. Blogger is mainly a happy place for me, infact whenever something outside of blogging has put me in a bad mood, A Is For Ayla is always a bit of an escape where I can just log on and talk to all my Blogger friends.

What's your lasting inspiration or motivation?
I'd say most of my inspiration comes from other Bloggers or my followers as, as mentioned before, I'm more about writing for other people rather than myself (which I know a lot of people disagree with). Second to that I'd say general life as often if I see something interesting to me It'll provoke me to write a post related to it. I openely admit to walking around shops and thinking "oh ... from #bbloggers would love that" or "that looks like its come straight off ...'s blog", insane!

Have you done the confessions of a beauty blogger tag?

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Collection 2000 'Cream Puff' Moisturising Lip Creme in 'Fairy Cake' Review & Swatches

Collection 2000 'Cream Puff' Moisturising Lip Creme Fairy Cake Review Swatches drugstore coral pink stain lip swatch hand swatch flash blog beauty makeup boots haul
 Collection 2000 'Cream Puff' Moisturising Lip Creme Fairy Cake Review Swatches drugstore coral pink stain lip swatch hand swatch flash blog beauty makeup boots haul
Collection 2000 'Cream Puff' Moisturising Lip Creme Fairy Cake Review Swatches drugstore coral pink stain lip swatch hand swatch flash blog beauty makeup boots haul
 Collection 2000 'Cream Puff' Moisturising Lip Creme Fairy Cake Review Swatches drugstore coral pink stain lip swatch hand swatch flash blog beauty makeup boots haul

Collection 2000's 'Cream Puffs' are basically a thick but airy lip creme with high pigmentation at a low cost. I wasn't in a rush to buy one, but knew I wanted one of the nude shades (there are 4, 2 pinks and 2 nudes). I decided to pick one up as I couldn't think of anything else to get as part of 3 for 2. My best friend convinced me to buy the brightest shade there was, Fairy Cake, you know how best friends do! Its a pretty unusual shade really, in the tube and thickly swatched its almost a brick red mixed with coral, however it appears more of a powder pink on the lips, not as bright as I thought it would be. The formula is really really nice, a sort of mousse-y consistency that feels nice and natural on the lips, like you're not wearing anything! To say they have a matte finish, the 'Cream Puff' is really smooth and soft and isn't drying at all. My favourite part is the scent, literally smells exactly like marshmallow. It basically feels like you're putting American 'Marshmallow Fluff' on your lips, mmmm. My only issue is application. Applied straight from the doe foot applicator the products is a pain to work with as it applies unevenly and can sit in the 'cracks' of your lips. However I find that applied with a brush (I use Real Techniques Detailer Brush, works perfect!) and neatening up the lip line this product looks amazinggggg! A new firm favourite, I'm definitely picking up more!

Have you tried any Collection 2000 products recently?

March Favourites: Sleek, Soap & Glory, Hollister Ect.

march favourites beauty blog hollister sleek blush by 3 palette rimmel match perfection foundation soap and glory moisturiser real techniques eye brushes trevor sorbie yankee candle wax tarts

Apologies this is up so late in to April, you kinda lose track of the date when on school holidays, right?

Trevor Sorbie Beautifully Straight Conditioner & Smoothing Balm
Not gonna lie I'm absolutley terrible for looking after my hair. Pretty much everything bad you could do to your hair, well I've done it. Recently I've been obsessed with Trevor Sorbie's 'Beautifully Straight' line, weird because I've got wavy hair yes. I find its actually pretty good for wavy hair, stops it going frizzy! Anyway, back on topic! I use the conditioner 2-3 times a week on the bottom half of my hair after using DGJ 'Hangover Hair Shampoo' which I find work really well together. After hair drying I use the smoothing balm on the fiddly front bits of my hair around my face (if you've seen any of my post with my hair out you'll know which bits I mean). It just stops them from splitting, which if you have a centre part you'll know is probably the most irritating thing EVER!

Hollister 'Crescent Bay' Body Spray
I appreciate that theres not too much you can say about fragrance on a blog, purely because it's so hard to describe. This smells exactly like watermelon and poppy but it does have quite a lot of alcohol in it. Its very very strong for a body mist but the upside of that is that it lasts a long time. A scent so strong does take a bit of getting used to though. Reminds me almost of the first few times I wore Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb, I had like one constant headache!

Sleek Blush By 3 Palette in 'Lace'
I feel like I've babbled on so much about this. Basically its an orange-toned blush palette. The formula's good, pigmentation is good and they're not expensive at all! My only gripe is the shades as they are pretty bright, it's easy to make yourself look quite clown-like. Probably one for the light handed amongst us.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter
I've gone a bit crazy for Soap & Glory at the minute, I know they're insanely popular with bloggers. For a long time I hated the scent but recently I've kinda been converted. I love that the scent stays around for hours after you apply this. In terms of what its supposed to do: well, its not very good. I've definitely had better moisturisers and yet regardless, I'm probably gonna go and buy the whole Soap & Glory line following this post.

Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush
When I first got the Real Techniques Starter Kit For Eyes, I was pretty unsure what to use this brush for. Its suggested you use as an eyeshadow brush although to be honest its pretty awful at picking up a lot of colour. After a while I figured its actually pretty nice with powder highlights purely because it's not very good at picking up product, nobody wants an overly-shimmered face, right? It's not too dense and is the perfect size for highlighting with precision in areas like the nose, brow bone ect.

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation
I'm not a massive foundation wearer, usually I stick to Bare Minerals yet I managed to convince myself to buy this, you know how beauty bloggers do. I like that its not really heavy coverage and isn't really thick, it means its really easy to work with and is good for everyday wear. It's not super matte or dewy, you can kinda create any look you want with it, which is something you cant ever achieve with mineral makeup.

Yankee Candle 'Sweet Pea'
This is really unusual for a beauty blog I do realise but I had to post about the 'Sweet Pea' scent by Yankee Candle. Yankee Candles are obviously really really popular, especially amongst bloggers and so naturally I own about 50. 'Sweet Pea' has quickly become one of my favourites, I definitely need to find the large jars of these, I had to buy lots of tarts as I couldn't find the right size jar at the time. Once again, fragrance is really hard to describe, basically its just a sweet floral scent that isn't too strong but is definitely noticeable.

What are your favourites this month?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Top 15 Products Under £15: UK Drugstore And High End!

boots haul april may june summer 2013 spring makeup cosmetics top drugstore buys high end affordable beauty blog soap and glory best products essie korres eyelure origins benefit mascara nails hollister uk

Always one for a good drugstore dupe I decided I wanted to do a 10 under £10 post, although truth is I have way more than 10 drugstore favourites. In the end I settled for 15 beauty products I think are worth their under £15 price tag.

Soap & Glory Products
The whole of the Soap & Glory line are, in my eyes, worth every penny! 95% of their products are under £15. Famous for their scents, S&G cover everything from cosmetics and skincare to bodycare and bathing products. Some of my favourites are pictured, as you can see 'original pink' is definitely my favourite scent!

Hollister Body Sprays
Again a generalisation as in my opinion all of the Hollister body sprays are worth the £12 price tag. Me and my friends between us have every scent and we love them all! They're very strong and linger like an EDT and so are a perfect alternative to perfumes which can be expencive if youre wearing them daily.

Batiste Dry Shampoo
If I was allowed to use only one product for the rest of my life it would be Batiste's 'Blush' Dry Shampoo. I love the lightly fluffy texture and movement it gives my hair. Plus, for those who are lazy when it comes to washing hair it's main purpose is to absorb excess oils! Probably the cheapest and most effective hair product on the market at £3-£4

Garnier Intensive Aloe Moisturiser
I realised not so long ago I haven't ever posted about this amazinggg moisturiser by Garnier. It smells really fresh and clean and is the best and most intensive moisturiser I've used. Once applied after a bath it leaves my skin so soft! There are so many moisturisers on the market but I won't ever use another after this one! 400ml £5

Lush 'Snow Fairy' Shower Gel
A bit of an awkward one I can appreciate, but Lush's Christmas LE shower gel is probably my favourite (up there with S&G ones) and each year I stock up on Snow Fairy's sweet-candy scent. In terms of lathering and cleansing its pretty average but for me the scent itself is worth £10.25 (biggest bottle)!

Eyelure False Lashes
False lashes are usually reserved for special occasions for most people, however their 'Individual Lashes' in particular are a firm favourite for everyday wear. Eyelure are the only brand I'll ever buy lashes from, their glue is much better than others too! Depending on the style they cost between £5-£9 and I know of people who reuse their strip lashes 2 or 3 times, making them work out much cheaper even still!

Collection 2000 Lip 'Cream Puffs'
A pretty new discovery for me, Collection 2000's 'Cream Puffs' are light mousse-like lip colours that are incredibly pigmented and stay for hours. Its become a favourite product of mine, that says a lot considerring I'm a huge lip product hoarder! £3

Essie Nail Polishes
I know a lot of people have mixed views on Essie as they are on the higher side of drugstore nail polishes. I can agree that sometimes their sheer shades can be a bit of a waste of money yet their brighter or more coloured shades are some of the best nail polishes on the market. It was a hard decision choosing whether to feature Nails Inc or Essie in this spot, It's only the cost aspect that pushed Essie up a bit! My favourites (pictured) are Orange Its Obvious and Ballet Slippers.

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer
Another £4.20 staple for most bloggers. This concealer is thick in consistency and so covers blemishes better than anything else. Used carefully it also works well as un ender eye concealer!

Bourjois Delice de Poudre Chocolate Bronzer
I had a love-hate relationship as this product takes a bit of 'getting used to'. Once working past the initial 'film' on to of the product, it offers a smooth, pigmented and natural coloured formula. I tend to use this for contouring and Nars for bronzing purely because Bourjois is a little harder in consistency and so defines cheekbones and temples better, however the shades (52 & Laguna) are pretty much the same, amazing £9 dupe!

Maybelline 'Falsies' Mascara
My all-time favourite mascara! A definite drugstore holy grail product, this mascara lengthens, defines and curls my lashes amazingly without clumping or flaking. It lasts all day and is really buildable! £8

Korres Lip Butters
I know a lot of people aren't keen on paying big money for lip balms like Nuxe or Korres as many cheaper alternatives such as Carmex or Palmers do the job 'just fine'. I used to be exactly the same although after taking the plunge and paying £8 I hate using anything else! They apply easily and smoothly, offer slight pigmentation and tons of shades. I get asked a lot about sourcing, I buy mine at Waitrose!

Barry M Nail Polishes
Again another general product. Barry M nail polishes have always been a staple to most bloggers. For their strong pigmentation, ease of application and £3-4 price tag. Personally, I think they can be hit and miss. Having said that there glitters (my favourites) are better than any other brand I've tried!

Origins Super Spot Remover
I feel like the hype over this £13 miracle worker has drifted off. If you don't already own this spot treatment gel a) where have you been b) buy one, pronto! As a person with few spots anyway, this clears up my skin so much within 2-3 days!

Benefit 'They're Real!' Mascara
Okay this is a little bit of a cheat as the product pictured is a mini size costing £9, rather than the full sized £18.50. However, if you aren't a fan of paying high for mascaras, the mini size is perfect! I picked this one up purely just to try it out before committing to £18.50. It's a great, dark mascara however I'm not a fan of the plastic brush so I'd rather buy small tubes for £9 every so often than £18.50 plus a whole lot of product waste every 3 months.

What are your top products under £15?

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Collective April Clothing & Beauty Haul 2013: Boots, Primark & Others

primark haul april 2013 lace cutout dress leopard river island cream cami spring clothing
Leopard shirt: Primark / Mint Cropped Pullover: H&M / Cream Swing Cami: River Island / Navy Lace Keyhole Dress: Primark

primark haul april 2013 lace cutout dress leopard river island cream cami spring clothing
Hair Pins / Hair Bobbles / Tights: Primark

primark haul april 2013 lace cutout dress leopard river island cream cami spring clothing hair pins accessories accessorize cute girly pearl crystal bow owl flower
Hair Pins / Bow Hair Bands: Primark

primark haul april 2013 lace cutout dress leopard river island cream cami spring clothing boots haul soap and glory rimmel eyebrow pencil barry magenta glitter nail polish cream puff collection 2000 fairy cake
Soap & Glory Hand Sanitizer / Collection 2000 Cream Puff in 'Fairy Cake' / Barry M 'Magenta Glitter' / Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil: Boots

primark haul april 2013 lace cutout dress leopard river island cream cami spring clothing
Shoes: Marks and Spencers

Went to Preston yesterday with the intention of going to Waitrose for more DGJ and Korres (which was 1/3 off - bonus!) although stupidly managed to miss all of this off the haul, oh dear! Regardless, I never post clothing hauls so I figured I'd put this up anyway. I've been quite good this month, I've barely spent anything I've only spent £70ish which isn't that bad considering that includes clothes hahah! Probably the most interesting part of this haul is the shoes, which I bought for my prom. I say I bought, I didn't, my Mum did otherwise that £70 would have rocketed to £120. Now that I've bought them I must admit I'm doubting my choice, the heel is a lot lot shorter than I would usually go for and they have no platform, AT ALL! *cry*

What have you been buying recently?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

February & March In Photos!

Pancake Day feels like it was so long ago / favourite brushes atm / cheeky / had my hair cut off:'( / heres some hills / he tried to imitate my eyebrows - SCOUSE! / love this campaign in Company / snow / I think this was a party face / it took like 10 days to melt:'( / sunset / prom dress sneak peek / so warm indoors, heaven / my school photos came back - tragic / cutest easter treats ever / fotd outtakes / might have pulled a few sickies / my empties were unreal this month / neon pink lips / favourites sneak peek!

Some of these photos feel like they were so long ago but I merged the photos for February and March together, short month, exam season and all that. Highlights include: Shrove Tuesday, Finished Project 50 Pan, Buying my prom dress and Easter! The worst bits: snow, my tragically photoshopped and unrecognisable school photo and having about 7 inches lopped off my hair!

How was your month?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

FOTD#1 Prom Makeup Trials

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer
Natural Collection Eyeshadow Duo in Mocha Latte
No7 Heaven & Earth Palette
Benefit They're Real Mascara
Nars Laguna Bronzer
Natural Collection Lipstick in Sorbet
Buxom Lip gloss in Destiny

I appreciate that its way off my prom yet, but I'm looking to buy my prom makeup pretty early so I can spend lots of time practising to get it just right. I wasn't sure whether to go down the warm or cool neutrals route as the colour of my dress is quite awkward makeup wise. In this trial I used warm neutrals and although I loved the look, I don't think it was right for my dress so I'm gonna do some digging in to the best products for cool-toned eyes. Having said that I do definitely love the coral, I think Destiny will definitely be used on the day, it's always been my favourite lip gloss and its perfect with my dress. P.s do excuse the eyebrows, I'm 'growing them out'.

What do you think?

Monday, 1 April 2013

Primark Summer 2013 Collection Look Book



This will probably be the last Primark look book until next season, so make the most! Once again I love the photography and model choice, but not so much the styling, whoever styles these shoots needs *ahem* shooting themselves! For the THIRD! season I'm once again not crazy about most of Primark's Summer 2013 collection, the whole casual, retro, sports trends aren't really my style. Having said that I do love the print of the co-ords in the first picture, I'll probably pick up the shorts and the printed wedges too!

What are your favourite pieces?