Thursday, 27 June 2013

Importing Google Reader Following List To Bloglovin'

After the whole GFC removal scare I know a lot of other social networking platforms have become a lot more popular, the main one being Bloglovin'. It's basically just a reader, just like the 'reading list' here on Blogger. In fact, you can actually very easily import your google reader in to Bloglovin' at the click of a button. Simply sign up, use this link to import your google reader blog list and there you go! All the blogs you follow and their newest posts listed in the same format as Google, but on a safe and easy to use website. I've had an account on there for a while but never really bothered to put word out there purely because GFC did the job just fine. Just in case GFC does get replaces for Google+ (which in my opinion is pretty rubbish) my Bloglovin' link is below so you can keep up to date with all my latest posts!

Don't hesitate to send me your Bl' links!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

MAC Paintpot in 'Antique Diamond' Review & Swatches


When in Leeds, its obligatory to visit Harvey Nichols and when doing so, visit the MAC counter. Originally for my prom makeup I wanted  to go down the warm toned route as in my head, all cool-toned metallic silvers looked gritty and photographed awfully. And so, I was going to head straight for 'Bare Study' and pick it up and buy it without any thought. However, 5 minutes later I had somehow been persuaded to sit at the awkward MAC desks (those that cause knee dislocations, you know the ones!) and had one of the artists trying a few things out. After a few added extras (eyeliner pencil, greensmoke in the outer corner and patina in the crease) I was convinced that Antique Diamond was probably the right choice.

Antique Diamond is a really really unusual colour. In the pot its a grey with an olive tinge (hence why it worked so well with Greensmoke) however on my eyes it comes out a pale grey. The thing about paintpots is that they are really sheer, so don't expect thick pigmentation unless you're loading the product on in layers. Paintpots are designed to be used as a base to intensify the colour of powder shadows worn on top. Personally, I have quite small eyes so a heavy eye look doesn't always suit me and especially for a prom, its better to go with something lighter. I'll probably wear it on its own with definition added through liner and mascara. There'll be lots of photos I'm sure!

The formulation of the paintpots are again pretty unusual. They are firm enough to stand freely and be manipulated by brushes, but spread smoothly and evenly on to the eyelids. They are quite 'buttery' and don't drag like a few drugstore alternatives I've tried. They are comparable to the Maybelline Color Tattoos, I'm hoping to have a comparison post up soon.

I'll definitely dip my toes in to the pond of MAC Pro Longwear Paintpots again, 'Bare Study' and the rest!

MAC Pro Longwear Paintpot in 'Antique Diamond' £14.50 Harvey Nichols

Saturday, 22 June 2013

My Summer Makeup Essentials!

Recently I did a guest post for Danielle over at Miss Sunshine and Sparkle sharing my 'Summer Makeup Essentials'. Click here to read the post!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Prom Makeup Wishlist!

I'm getting sooo in to the prom prep after purchasing my dress. P,P,P,P can I get any more 'P's? My Prom is just over a week away and of course being a beauty blogger I favour makeup over shoes and bags and all the usual stuff you tend to buy first after the dress. As I'm a huge control freak I'm doing my own makeup and I'll probably use a lot of the products I already own and love (e.g Maybelline Falsies Mascara, Collection 2000 Concealer) but below are a few of the bits I'm eager to try, and fit in well with the look I'm going for - cool tones with hints of pink and lots  and lots of shimmer!

Some of the products pictured include Chanel Lipstick in 'Rose Comete', Nars 'Orgasm' Blush, Mac Eyeshadow in 'Vex' and Barry M Gelly Highshine Nail Paint in 'Lychee'.

What would be on your special occasion makeup wishlist?

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Nars Laguna Bronzer Review & Swatches

nars laguna bronzer bronzing powder review swatch beauty blog highlight

Probably one of the most long overdue posts I've ever written tbh. Nars Laguna Bronzer has become on of my everyday staples for the last 6 or 7 months, and I LOVE it! Nars is a pretty controversial brand in terms of product and worth so this is a review (that will be followed up with another linked review) to maybe identify some honest pros and cons of the product, for anybody undecided about buying.

nars laguna bronzer bronzing powder review swatch beauty blog highlight
 nars laguna bronzer bronzing powder review swatch beauty blog highlight

One of my biggest peeves about NARS is their packaging. Yes, it looks awfully pretty and feels nice but as most of us know, rubberised packaging does not fair well in the makeup drawer. Dirt, foundation and especially powder will cling to the packaging, regardless of how much you try to protect it (I mean look at mine!). A lot of people compare it to Sleeks packaging, but the packaging is one thing you know you're paying the extra for. Its pretty thick and bulky, which although means the pan is technically safer, you've got to understand this thing is HUGE, its so easy to lose grip and drop it on the floor. Thankfully no pan smashes yet, but be careful! Another teeny complaint about packaging is the sheer amount of cardboard you get with the box, completely unlike any other high end product I've ever bought, just a little unnecessary and polluting really.

I don't want to speak too much about formulation as I have another post coming up not too long after this one that will cover all that. Basically, in the pan it looks a million different shades under different lighting. As you'll notice, it looks more like a highlighter in bright light. This is one of the things that can make buying this product pretty difficult, as we all know what beauty counter lights are like, it can really distort the shade so if you're looking to find honest swatches, beauty blogs are definitely your best bet. Below are some swatches of what the product will look like in natural light, a very golden bronze with golden shimmer.

 nars laguna bronzer bronzing powder review swatch beauty blog highlight
nars laguna bronzer bronzing powder review swatch beauty blog highlight
Unblended / Blended

The thing I was worried about when originally buying this is whether or not it would suit my skin tone. I have a really yellow-olive skintone and lots of bronzers can look really funny or 'dirty' on my face. At the time I suspected many pale people would have the same issue but after finally taking the plunge I can honestly say I don't think anybody would have a problem with this bronzer in terms or suiting skintone. Because of the super soft nature of the formula, it blends really easily, and so its hard still to go 'clown overboard' which is good in any beauty bloggers books.

Nars Laguna Bronzer £26 Selfridges

Thursday, 13 June 2013

A Special Post!

As some of you might now from my Twitter @aisforaylablog today is pretty special. Yes, grab your tissues and cue the tears as this is probably going to be one of my more cringey and cliched posts to date. If you haven't already figured it out by the image, today A is for Ayla turns 2! This time last year I made a post quite similar to this, I mentioned how at the time I had 225 followers and how happy I was to have you all behind me. This year, things are a lot different, I myself am a year older, my blog has morphed and changed and yet I still have you all behind me. Since then I've gained over 400 more followers, 400 more people who support A is for Ayla, which means so much more! My blog its self means a lot more to me now than it did a year ago, which makes me even more likely to be even more in love with blogging next year. This is basically one big thank you post to the 400 people that joined, the 225 that stuck through and the (thousands of!!!) people who tweeted me or commented on my posts. Also a big thank you to all the PR companies I've worked with, you've all been lovely and made my blogging experience so wonderful this year. Hopefully we'll have plenty more of these posts to celebrate in the future!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Featured Blogger #9: May

For my featured blogger for this month I've chosen something a little different. It's no big secret that I may or may not be slightly impartial to a good blogging duo! My featured blogger(s!) for this month are Becki and Jess, a sister duo from London and the faces behind Life Looks Perfect. Their blog covers all our favourite bases - beauty, fashion and lifestyle! I've loved their blog ever since I stumbled across it and was lucky enough to appear in their blogger series not too long ago. Now im ever so happy to return the favour and have their wonderful blog and lovely personalities feature in a post here on A is for Ayla! With double the people, we've got double the answers, even more reading to enjoy!
In less than 50 words tell us a little about yourself and your blog.
We are Becki and Jess, a sister blogging duo. We have been best friends and almost inseparable since we could walk and talk. We both write and run our beauty, lifestyle and fashion blog called Life Looks Perfect, which we only started this year and haven’t gone a day without blogging.

When and why did you initially start blogging?
Becki had started blogging last year, as she is an avid beauty blog reader and misses the days of writing essays and learning- Yes ladies and gents as much as you hate school, college or uni at the time, if you love learning you really do miss it when its not something you do everyday. So that’s how Life Looks Perfect began.

As both of us are into fashion and well basically all things girly, we decided to re-design and both write Life Looks Perfect together at the beginning of this year. We weren't sure at the start, what our blog was going to be as we were complete newbies. But since then we have soon found our own unique way within the blogging world and now our blog is growing from strength to strength.

Do you have any tips or ideas for someone wishing to start a successful blog?
Well as we have only been blogging fully for four months, we still class ourselves as newbies. We feel we couldn't say our blog is successful, as it is completely up to the author, what equates to success. For us, we just love writing and love learning about beauty. It is something neither of us had ever thought of doing but it has become a real passion. So our tip is be yourself, don't compare your blog to anyone else and make it your own space to share what you love. 

Do you feel you've taken anything out of being part of the blogger community?
Yes! We have learnt how to shop hehe! Only joking, we knew how to do that years ago hehe. We are contantly learning about beauty from lots of fabulous blogs out there, which are real genuine opinions. That you can't get from anywhere else in our eyes. But it does mean we occasionally get sucked into buying their recommendations! We hope to progress as bloggers, gain more readers that love the way we write and hopefully be able to make new friends.

What are your 5 favourite products right now?
Becki: Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel mask, Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer, Nails Inc nail varnish in St John's Wood, Pixi Glow Tonic and Caudalie Divine Oil. (I have so many more products I love! That was tough!)

Jess: Nails Inc Leather Effect nail varnish in Ladbroke Grove, Kiehl's Creme de Corps body lotion, Palmer's Natural Bronze self tan, Trevor Sorbie Intensive hair treatment and... can my Phillips Juicer count hehe?

Who are your 5 favourite bloggers right now?
Lily Pebbles- What I Heart Today, Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess, Kate- Ghostparties, Ruth Crilly- A Model Recommends and the ladies over on Domestic Sluttery.

Where can we find you?
You can always find us over on twitter @Life_looks

Any final words of wisdom?We find that we are a bit too young to be giving words of wisdom hehe but in terms of blogging, use your blog as place for yourself. Don't worry about followers or get caught up in receiving pr samples, your blog is for you. The fact that other people are now following, commenting and reading LLP makes us so happy everyday. We read and reply to every comment and hope all of our readers enjoy what we are sharing. But honestly we are so proud of our blog. We love it! And hope to be blogging just as much for years to come.

Like our grandma always used to say to us before bedtime...

100 Blogger Goals | 6 Month Update

I can't believe we're 6 months in to the year already, that means only 6 months away from next year! If you remember, back at new year I set myself 100 Blogger Goals, almost like a year long bucket list. It consisted of not only blog themed goals, but things I wanted to try, places I wanted to go ect. As were 6 months in I've decided to do a little update post so you can all see how I'm getting on.

To this date I've managed to complete 46 out of 99, so I'm pretty much on track for the date. Having said that, I have pretty large doubts in me actually completing everything off the list, fluency in 2 languages is pretty difficult to achieve, as is not using heat on my hair for a month hahah! I'm pretty thankful I've managed to get a few off my list like finding the perfect prom dress, getting 500 GFC followers, and trying lots of new, different things.

If at any other time you want to see how my challenge is progressing, click on the tab in the side bar called 'blogger goals' and you can have a look at my goals and how many I've done!

Have you ever done a similar challenge?

Monday, 3 June 2013

Benefit Mascaras: Bad Gal Lash vs They're Real! Review

benefit mascara theyre real bad gal lash vs comparison review swatch brush price size amount worth it duo offer blog beauty

Well hello there lovely readers of Rachael's blog! You're probably all smarticles and have already realised that it isn't Rachael here today, it is instead, me. I believe I'm the first guest poster in the series whilst Rachael studys for her exams in the weeks to come (Good Luck!). Oh, and I'm Anabel from Anabel Kate  my fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog. Today I thought I would treat you lovely lot to a little Benefit mascara comparison!
benefit mascara theyre real bad gal lash vs comparison review swatch brush price size amount worth it duo offer blog beauty

So as far as I'm aware, Benefit only make two mascaras; 'They're real!' and 'Bad Gal Lash' and I have them both here to review today. I love both of these mascaras even though they are pretty different. I must confess though, I do a have fairly long lashes to work with anyway so I don't know how much of a miracle these will be on shorter lashes.
benefit mascara theyre real bad gal lash vs comparison review swatch brush price size amount worth it duo offer blog beauty

When I first looked at the 'Bad Gal Lash Mascara' it reminded me of the 'Rimmel Scandal Eyes Mascara' which I absolutely despise so I wasn't expecting good things out of this at all. Despite the large brush wand (which can sometimes make things a little messy - especially if you're in a rush!) this mascara gives a lot of volume as well as actually separating the lashes which I think is hard to find within a volumising mascara. However I do think the curl this gives droops slightly throughout the day.
And the world's most raved about mascara goes to... Yep, you guessed it! The 'Benefit They're Real mascara' and to be honest I'm not surprised! This little baby is the perfect all-round mascara! It may not have as much volume as the 'Bad Gal Lash' but if you're looking for 'I just got out of bed and my lashes looked this good' type of look then you have just found the mascara of your dreams! This is honestly the best mascara I've ever tried - it gives length, volume and curl that lasts all day. It is a plastic wand which I know some people were sceptical to try but the little spiky ball at the end wins it for me. Although I think this mascara is better when it's dried up a bit (It's quite watery at first, this gives it time to thicken up a bit) it is definitely worth the wait!
So overall, I'd pick 'Bad Gal Lash'  for instant volume but 'They're Real' has to win, it's just so easy to use yet makes them look so natural! I hope you enjoyed this little guest post! If you'd like to take a little look at my blog, click here!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Teenage Beauty Blogging Advice & How I Started

nars laguna bronzer teenage beauty blogging advice uk how i started blogging tips

I love finding out how other people got started blogging so I decided to steal a few of the 'Beauty Blogger Tag' questions and explain a bit more about the start of my blog as obviously a lot of you weren't following me 2 years ago, in fact, most of your blogs probably didn't exist!

Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging for?
I started blogging on the 2nd June 2011 after stumbling across a fashion blog (that unfortunately no longer exists) and being completely amazed by the idea of having your own personal blog to share your style on, from that I then found beauty blogs and A Is For Ayla was born very soon after!

Whose blog did you fall in love with first?
Well the original one I first found doesn't exist any more but was called 'Glam Vs Grunge'. After that it was blogs like Tiny Bow, Birds Words and Tilly Glitter. A lot of the blogs around at the time have dropped off and no longer post unfortunately, blogging can be hard to keep up.

What was the first blogosphere hyped about product that you bought and was it worth the hype?
Oh my gosh it's been such a long time I can't even remember exact bits and pieces. I remember everyone first going crazy over Boots Natural Collection products which is where the hype over their blushes came from. Then of course there was the crazy dash to buy NARS Orgasm and MAC's Trace Gold because apparently Kim Kardashian used it, I remember crying to myself at night because I was 13 with not a penny to my name (ok so I didn't actually cry but it was still pretty emosh!)
What are your favourite five things about blogging and being a beauty blogger?
Most definitely the people. Of course when I first started blogging, being just 13 I was one of very few young young bloggers (of course there are tons more now, but back then it was all uni students!) and I remember all these older uni students taking me on like their little sister and welcoming me in, I loved it! Then there's also the actual writing part of blogging, which always comes in handy when in education. I'd say blogging has helped me in such unusual ways, thanks to Chanel and YSL my French vocab has been rather impressively increased (yes maquilliage came up on my GCSE exam!), I've been persuaded to buy bits of makeup that I never knew would make me feel like such a happy, positive, changed person and of course having photos and passages written by my younger self that I can look back on to notice how much blogging has turned me in to a well rounded person.
What have you learnt from being a beauty blogger?
Organisation and dedication, both of which come in great use in everyday life! Being a blogger that posted 6/7 times a week takes great dedication and motivation to want to see an end product, I find seeing projects through until the final mark a lot easier now, before I often 'ditched' an idea as soon as I started getting bored.
Have you changed anything since being a beauty blogger?
Well other than my layout about 976837563 times, my attitude towards money has changed drastically. The days of impulse purchasing have gone completely as I know somewhere in the Bloggosphere someone can give me honest advice on the worth of products.

What advice would you give to a beauty blogger just starting out?
Be patient! We all started with 0 followers and we all move onwards. Don't spam people, it only winds them up. You don't need fancy cameras or CSS coding to make people want to follow you, just be yourself in what you write and people will naturally keep coming back.

Name your top five brands...
Maybelline, Nars, Bare Minerals, Korres and Soap & Glory.

Recommend your top five favourite beauty products... 
Real Techniques brushes
Collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer
Origins super spot remover gel
Batiste 'Blush' dry shampoo
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb perfume
Tag other beauty bloggers to do this tag...
I tag anyone who reads this to do this tag! If you do have a go yourself, please send me the link in my comments so I can have a read :)

Saturday, 1 June 2013

GP: Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Review

Hey! I'm Becky, you may know me from MyBeautyEdit  or you may not know me at all, so let's get started!

real techniques core collection blog beauty uk review uses brushes face

The Real Techniques Core collection brush set it made up of four brushes,  the contour brush, the buffing brush, foundation brush and finally a detailer brush.

At first I was slightly sceptical to buy them, simply because they were a tad pricey and you only get 4! But maybe thats just me being picky haha. Although I had heard some brilliant reviews about them, 'top quality!' and 'So dense and soft!' I just had to give them a whirl! So after bustling around in boots gathering all my money at the counter, they were in my bag! I went straight home and couldn't wait to try them out! I have to agree with the reviews they're so dense but not in the way they don't glide nicely but they weren't flimsy. They're smooth and really give a flawless look.

real techniques core collection brushes orange face review beauty blog uk contour brush bronzer highlight

Let's begin with the contour brush shall we? I personally use this brush for blush, it is a really dense, small-headed brush, good for contouring with any powders that take ya fancy. The tapered end makes it precise for application. Some people say this brush is too dense, although I disagree, It glides over my skin well and isn't difficult to apply product.

real techniques core collection brushes buffing face brush foundation

The Buffing Brush is a fantastic brush, it is well-balanced in density and flexibility, which makes it perfect for blending liquid foundations. This brush is great for a natrual, flawless look that blends out product evenly. 

real techniques core collection orange face brushes pointed foundation brush uses concealer foundation sam

Onto the Pointed foundation brush, although a lovely soft brush, I find its too small for me.. I personally would use this for blending concealer or perhaps even creamy eyeshadows. All in all, a good brush although it mainly sits in the brush pot for me... 

real techniques detailer brush core collection boots samantha chapman face orange brushes uses detailer highlight lipstick

The Detailer Brush, what a little wonder! I use this for the inner corners of my eyes or to apply subtle lip product, as I always mention- I don't use lip products often, so I mostly use it for a little bit of shiny, silver/white powder to go on the inner corners of my eyes. I occasionally use this for concealer if I'm feeling a little artsy fartsy with my make up but, brushes are such an effort to clean! Am I right or am I right? 

For £21.99 for a set of brilliant 4 brushes, its fantastic! although if I could pick and choose, I'd probably swap the foundation brush for another Real Techniques brush. My favorite has to be the buffing brush, the queen of all make up brushes.

I hope you enjoyed my little post! Thank you Rachael for letting me write to your readers, I hope I didn't babble too much :/ If you'd like to please do check out my blog

Becky xoxo