Thursday, 31 October 2013

Haircare Routine For Growing Long, Healthy Hair

I've been reading Rachael's blog for months, and always enjoy the posts she puts up because it always seems like she's put so much effort into her posts! When Rachael asked for guest bloggers, I jumped to the chance because I wanted to be part of her blog! My name is Alexandra, and you can find me at To me, having long healthy hair has been something I've always wanted but was never able to tend to my hair properly. Ever since I cut my hair back in February, I've been taking extra care, and I think I've finally found the routine to ensure I have healthy hair and that it grows instead of always breaking off!

1. L'Oréal - EverCrème Shampoo & Conditionner
I've used the same shampoo almost all my life, and felt like it just didn't do anything for my hair so before summer started, I went on the hunt for a new shampoo, and conditioner. The EverCrème collection caught my eye, because of the fact that it is sulfate free, paraben free, and 100% vegan. The coconut-vanilla scent is just perfect to help me relax when I am in the shower. I've really been impressed by how it has kept the moisture locked in my hair ever since I started using it. My hair feels very soft whenever I use it!

2. L'Oréal - Deep Nourishing Masque & Macadamia Oil - Deep Repair Masque
The L'Oréal, and Macadamia Oil mask have helped me a lot, and are my two current favorite hair masks. They smell amazing, work fast, and always leave my hair feeling nourished, and soft! Even if my hair isn't looking dull, and I haven't used heat on it, I try to use a masque at least once a week, because my hair always looks and feels great after using it!

3. Macadamia Oil - No Tangle & Healing Oil Infused Comb
I have the worst hair possible once it is wet, because it gets knotted so quickly, which then results in me trying to brush my hair for at least 10 minutes. The No Tangle spray has been a lifesaver for me. Whenever I use it, brushing my hair becomes the easiest task, brings my hair extra nutrient, and since brushing becomes so much easier, my hair doesn't break off. I also try to comb my hair whenever they are wet, because it is so much easier, and is another way for me to prevent breakage. Now I don't really know if the comb has helped bring nutrient to my hair, but I know that when I use it, my hair pulls less, and gets the job done quickly!

4. Organix - Argan Oil Penetrating Oil & Lush - R&B Butter
This is my favorite part of my hair routine. I find that hair oil, and hair butter is that one product that gives me instant result whenever I use them. I like applying it in the morning before I leave my house to the ends of my hair to make sure the weather doesn't dry it up. The smell of these products is so perfect, and I quite enjoy the fact that it lingers on my hair throughout the day!

5. Hair Ties
The last step to my hair care routine might seem odd, but I find that whenever I use hair ties in my hair, my hair thanks me for it. I find that hair elastics pull too much, and my hair also gets knotted into them resulting in so much breakage. The hair ties are thick enough to hold my hair but never leave a crease in it. It also helps that they come in so many different colors, and patterns!

All of these products have helped my hair grow longer, and make sure that it doesn't dry, and break. I am quite happy with the routine that I keeping up at the moment but am always on a lookout for new products!

What do you think of my hair care routine? Which product do you like using to make sure your hair looks healthy?

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Blogging - "Am I Too Late?"

When I saw Rachael's post about guest blogging I jumped at the chance - A Is For Ayla is such a lovely blog and I'm really grateful for the chance to contribute! My name is Lily and you can find me at, where I blog about life as a 15 year old in north west England, my outfits, trips etc. and occasionally my original knitwear designs. I properly started blogging a few months ago, and I thought it might be nice to share my favourite aspects so far! So why blog?

There are literally thousands of UK bloggers, so what can I possibly bring to this party - latecomer that I am? The beauty of blogging, I think, is it's diversity. My taste is actually quite random, as I am equally likely to be found browsing the big lifestylers like The Londoner, as I am laughing my head off at Allie of Hyperbole and a Half. I especially love it when I find posts that are just soooo relatable. You know, when you have a real 'wow I'm not the only one' moment - anyone else get this? It's especially nice to come across someone a similar age to me and from the same patch, like Rachael. As the perks of blogging go (and there are many), the social element is by far my favourite. It's great when someone new drops me a comment, and it often amazes me how much it's possible to have in common with people you've never met! I swear there's some people I could've been separated from at birth. Do you have a blogger twin?

I've always liked to write, and blogging gives me the perfect excuse to waffle on about whatever I want. It makes a change to be able to write without worrying about the exam criteria! Take OOTD posts for instance - I like the chatty ones best where people share little insights into their day. No tiny detail is too trivial for me. Love it all For this reason I try to accompany all my OOTD photos etc. with little snippets of what I've been up to, as I really do feel that it's easier to get to know bloggers who share a bit about themselves. I think inside every blogger lurks a bit of an inner nerd. It's definitely given me scope to indulge mine. It's ridiculous how long I've deliberated over the exact shade of greyish blue for my background! Someone tell me I'm not the only one to do this? Rachael's 'Layout Tips and Tricks' can help here. It feels so techie tinkering with HTML and SEO codes and the like! I can't wait to finish making my little corner of the internet look exactly how I want, so here's to a load more faffing about!

I've read a couple of articles recently saying that blogland is reaching saturation point. It would be kinda disappointing seeing as I'm just getting into it haha! What do you think? Is there infinite room for new writers? What makes you return to a blog? I'd be really interested to know.

Thanks again to Rachael for lending me this space!
lily x

Monday, 28 October 2013

Drugstore Gems / Favourites

Hello! I'm Elise and I blog at I am here doing a quick guest post on the lovely Rachael's blog about my favourite drugstore products. Although I do love saving and splurging on my high-end makeup, makeup from drugstores like Boots and Superdrug will always be one I love experimenting with. Over the years I've found my top 5 holy grail drugstore makeup products, and squished them into this little post. So, here are my drugstore gems!
L'Oreal Superliner
I like to switch up and alternate with powder, gel and liquid liner to give different looks, but L'Oreal's Superliner is my best liner for creating a winged, cat-eye line. The nib holds just enough product and is the perfect shape for creating a thin or thick line with an easy wing.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
This will probably be nothing new to you whatsoever as it is a holy grail concealer in the beauty blogger world. It has a very full coverage and will cover anything from spots to freckles and red patches. For only £3.99 you really can't go wrong!

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express
This product was actually a funny one for me because when I originally bought it, I hated it with a passion. The formula was too wet and runny yet ended up clumping my lashes, but when I returned to it a few months later I loved it. It separates my lashes (without clumping) and adds and nice, even coat on my lashes.

Bourjois Colorboost
I remember a few months back, every man and their dog raved about these. They're almost identical to Clinique's Chubby Stick with 4 gorgeous shades. My favourite has to be 'Peach on the Beach', which is a beautiful light pink colour. They glide on with ease and are very luxurious and glossy. I also recently read that they're bringing out a few more shades for Autumn and Winter. Yay!

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
Yet again one of the most loved drugstore products, and rightly so it is. The perfect cheap powder for only a mere £3 or £4. It can look quite cakey if you overload it, but I suppose that's the same with any powder. It sets makeup and concealer nicely and stays all day. I really can't fault it.

You can visit Elise's blog by clicking here!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Featured Blogger #14: October

You might recognise Octobers featured blogger as she's appeared here on A Is For Ayla before now. She recently wrote a guest post on her favourite drugstore products which wen't down an absolute storm with AIFA readers and followers! You can read her post by clicking here! I've invited Elise back to be this months featured blogger as I've absolutely adored her blog for a long long time. Her photography is incredible and you can really feel her lovely personality shine through every post she writes - something that's pretty rare in the blogging community at the moment. I highly recommend visiting her blog, right after you've had a read of her blog interview below!

In less than 50 words tell us a little about yourself and your blog
My name is Elise and my blog is predominantly beauty based, with the odd lifestyle and fashion post thrown in for good measure. I am an aspiring makeup artist, and soon to be a makeup student! Makeup is my passion and I hope to share this with like-minded people :)
When and why did you initially start blogging

I started blogging originally on Tumblr, and then migrated to Blogger (which I must admit I think is the best of the two!). I’d been reading blogs like the likes of Zoella, Lily Pebbles and ViviannaDoesMakeup for the past few years and never had the courage to start up myself. In November last year I made my Blogger blog and have stuck to it ever since!

Do you have any tips or ideas for someone wishing to start a blog?

Remember that there are no rules for blogging! Post as often or infrequent as you like – you’re blogging for yourself! Post as often as you like and post what you like. Blogging is meant to be fun, not a chore!

Do you feel you've taken anything out of being part of the blogger community?

I feel like I've learnt that every person in the blogging community is so supportive and helpful. If you ever have any questions, post them on Twitter with the hashtag #bbloggers and your question will be answered!
Who are your 5 favourite bloggers right now?

Rosie from The Londoner
Ellie from Ellalogy
Celine from 
Vintage Teapot
Anna from 
Fash Boulevard
Milly from 
Pearls and Poodles 

Where can we find you? (twitter, lookbook, bloglovin' ect.)

You can find me lurking around the #bbloggers Twitter feed, or on my 
TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

Any final words of wisdom?

Love your blog! If you’re not happy with it, change it. If you don’t want to post, don’t. Your blog is not a chore!

You can visit Elise's blog by clicking here!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Cheap Drugstore Makeup FOTD (Perfect For Everyday!)

I appreciate how frustrating it can be when bloggers reel off posts of high end cosmetics, the majority of which the average person wouldn't be able to go and out and buy based purely on their recommendation. I admit sometimes I'm guilty of doing this but always try to balance it out with drugstore products. It's especially important as I know the vast majority of my readers (and some of my followers) are younger girls who don't have jobs or constant income to go splashing on high end makeup. This all inspired me to do a Drugstore FOTD (Face Of The Day) - or make up look to those from outside the #bbloggers world!
All the products used were from the drugstore and are listed below. Although still on the lower end of makeup, its possible to do looks much much cheaper. I was thinking I might do a really really inexpensive look for those who don't like to spend too much, almost like a 'lets see how cheap I can get a good full face of makeup without compromising on the quality' kind of post. Would you be interested to see that? 
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation 100 Ivory
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in shades 1 & 2
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Sandstorm
Bourjois Delice De Poudre Chocolate Bronzer in 52
Sleek Blush in 'Guipure' and 'Crochet'
Seventeen Highlighter (cant find a name - sorry!)
Collection Eyeshadow Pencil in Hot Chocolate & Vanilla
Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof Mascara
Collection Extreme 24 Hours Felt Tip Liner in Black
Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 001 Dark Brown
Natural Collection Eyeshadow Duo in Mocha Latte (brows)
Natural Collection Lip Stick in Autumn Sunset
P.S please excuse the eyebrows (aka the bane of my life) they're in the process of being reshaped;)
Remember you can follow AIFA on Bloglovin' and Twitter!

Blog Layout Tips & Tricks #6: How To Make A Blog Button & HTML Grab Code

Along with how to make 'tabs', how to make a blog button is the most frequently asked question in my email box. It's one of the easiest demos to do and is a good way to 'ease yourself in to' HTML if you're not very confident. In my experience, when I've button swapped with a lot of bloggers, I'll ask for their code and their reply will be something like "code? I don't have one of those?" but in honesty, swapping buttons using a hyperlink is a bit tedious for bloggers, especially when you swap with lots of people. You'll appreciate how quick and easy 'grab codes' can make your life once you've learnt how!
For this particular tutorial I'm using Picmonkey and Mycoolrealm, although there are lots of different programs and sites that can recreate the same thing. These are the sites I personally use and find the easiest to follow.

It's sort of 'customary' for your blog button to be either 200x100 or 200x200, a sort of unwritten blogging 'rule'. However don't feel like you NEED to stick to this. I believe mine is slightly bigger on one measurement as the text wouldn't fit on to a 200x100 box. It's also advised you use a white background if you round the corners of your blog button. Otherwise, those with coloured sidebars will have annoying white borders around the images. Using Picmonkey you can make the corners transparent so look out for that. If not, maybe try and stick to white for the convenience of the bloggers you are swapping with, remember they may be quite a 'perfectionist' about their layout, so try to keep things as pretty as possible, even if you aren't too bothered.

To start, I create a simple box shape with the attributes 200x100 (or 200x200) and save. Mine is coloured grey in this demo so it stands out against my white post background. I use Photoshop software to create the box, although simple, free, Paint software does the exact same thing. You could definitely create the entire button image on Paint or PS very easily. For those who want it a bit more fancy or with different fonts, Pic Monkey is a simple, free*, online editing website. Upload the simple box image to Pic Monkey, add in the text, images and effects you want and save!

Upload the image to photo-album style site. An account on one of these sites is essential if you are to do any kind of blog design work yourself. I use Photobucket, it works perfectly for what I need. Upload the image saved from Pic Monkey and view it. Find and copy the 'Direct Link'. On Photobucket this is on the right hand side of the page. By clicking the box it will automatically copy it for you. 

Go to Mycoolrealm and fill in the boxes with your blog URL and title. Paste the 'Direct Link' we took from Photobucket in to the Image URL box. Play around with the options below the boxes to get a style right for your own personal layout. Press Preview > Get Code > Scroll Down > Copy The Code. Go back on to Blogger > Layout > Add Gadget > 'HTML/Javascript' > Paste The Code > Save. Now view your blog and notice the button with grab code sat in your sidebar! The code is the part other bloggers will copy in to their own 'HTML/Javascript' gadgets to add your button! No hard work for you once your grab code has been created!

Remember you can follow AIFA on Bloglovin' and Twitter!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Whats In My Makeup Bag?

Hey world, I'm Noor from Noor's Place  -A lifestyle blog with bits from my life as student and as most talkative person on earth. I am happy dappy to be guest posting on this blog today, I met Rachael on Twitter chat and it's been great fun. If you don't join chats, oh c'mon you deffo should.

I'm not a make up guru but I am totally a lover. All things pink and sparkly just catch me. So my make up stuff is usually full of pink or shiny, shimmery eye shadows. Today, I am sharing some of my favourite items of my "pro" make up bag. Well, when I say pro, it means the stuff I use while going to totally fancy events like school functions, parties or wedding. Truth ended!

1- Maybelline mascara : If I say I can't live without mascara, you must believe me. Maybelline mascaras are thick in texture, the lashes created with them are long lasting. Though I feel their brushes could be more better. All the tubes I own are either twisted or got loose. In anyway, they're best .

2- Lip shades : Again comes the Maybelline but with MAC. Baby lips and MAC lip sticks shades are the easiest and stylish thing.

3- Daisy from Marc Jacobs : I don't know if somebody else keeps a perfume in a make up bag and then proudly states that? Tell me if you're with me. I think first smell is the last smell (revamped the first impression is the last impression). Daisy from Marc Jacobs is probably the best scent of 2013.  I had been using Chanel 5 but that's too serious for a sweet sixteen.

4- Brushes : I mainly use a blusher and a standard sized brush for eye shadows. So I hardly have good brushes. Okay, that happens when you know nothing about brushes. I am still learning brushing tips so perhaps in future, I might be able to show off some good brushes. PS. But I like brushes with cute patterns, ha!

5- Black pencil : I have big eyes that ask so much pampering. I use a dark, black pencil to enhance them.

6- Nail polishes : My favourite shades are from Essie and Top Shop. I only wear pastels or shimmer colours but some times, red & orange rocks everything .

7- Eye shadows : Victoria Secret and L'Oreal's are my favourite eye shadow brands. I go for natural colours as base and shimmer up to it. Sounds much old buuuttt it works best all the time .

8- Hair brush : Oh god, who doesn't put a brush in a make up bag? You know hair matters.

9-  Mirror : Though I usually use front camera while doing make up ( high five to technology) but having a mirror packed with me is never a bad idea . You can lend it to someone, be nice .

10 - Bobby pins : How could I go without them? I have almost frizzy hair so I need tons of them.

So what does your make up bag contain? I could have included a photo but it's all a mess right now #BloggerProblems. You can read my blog here, I am also a blog designer so gimme a call if you need one . Meanwhile, let's hang out on twitter!

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Remember you can follow AIFA on Bloglovin' and Twitter!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Blog Layout Tips & Tricks #5: How To Save Your Layout Design Template

In the last post I spoke about how important exporting your blog is. Saving or 'backing up' your blog template layout design is equally as important. If you make a big mistake when attempting to edit your blog layout yourself that you later regret, you can undo it by uploading your old blog design. It's even more simple than exporting your blog so there's no excuse!
Go to Template > Backup/Restore > Download Full Template > Save
Like exporting your posts and comments, the template will save to your hard drive so you can access it whenever. You can then upload or 'restore' your template in the same way to reverse any new changes. As I mentioned in the last post, I use backing up and restoring my layout designs to make my test blogs more accurate. They can help you get a clearer image of what changes to your template will look like on your 'real' blog, without disturbing readers or making dangerous, hard to reverse changes.
Remember you can follow AIFA on Bloglovin' and Twitter!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Guest Posters Wanted!

This is just a quick post to ask for guest posters. I've been neglecting my blog a little bit and you all know I'm keen to featured other peoples blogs here on AIFA. The topic of the post would be completely up to you, I don't like to be too controlling with this sort of thing. Preferably the posts would be published within October/November as I will be with limited Internet access for at least 2 weeks towards the end of the month. If you're interested in guest posting don't hesitate to tweet me @aisforaylablog or email me at 

Rachael xx

Featured Blogger #13: September

A million apologies for the lateness of this post, we're already 13 days in to the next month! As you know I've been super super busy over the last month adjusting to a new routine. I've got lost of amazing opportunities and information coming up which I'll share with you in the coming weeks. I'm hoping to get right back in to the swing of things with lots of new posts. What better way than to start with a happy post celebrating the blogs I love! It's been 1 YEAR! since I started doing the Featured Blogger series (can you believe it?!) how time has flown! For the month of September I've chosen a teenage blogger, of course an area of blogging that's very dear to me. I was 13 when I started blogging so I'm really excited to share Jessica's blog with you, it really reminds me of the earlier days of A Is For Ayla. Her photography is incredible and I love the clean(?), pretty, girliness of her blog, it's so uplifting and a joy to read!As always, I've pestered (hehe) Jessica to answer some questions so we can all learn a little bit more about her!

In less than 50 words tell us a little about yourself and your blog
My name is Jessica and I'm 15 years old, my blog is my girly haven, based predominately around beauty, where I love to write about all products I'm loving or lusting after as well as sharing all other pretty, girly things I adore!

When and why did you initially start blogging
I actually created my first blog in Winter of 2011 I believe however after many name changes and having a few different blogs and temporarily being blog-less etc I created my current blog in March 2013 and actually took it seriously and started a fresh. I wanted to begin writing a blog as I got into beauty products and began watching Youtube beauty videos and then went on to reading blogs. I loved reading beauty blogs so decided to create my own as I really enjoy writing too.

Do you have any tips or ideas for someone wishing to start a blog?
My number one tip is to stick with it, something I definitely didn't do but should have! When you first start it definitely seems like no one is reading and can sometimes feel a bit like 'what's the point?" but over time readers will come and your blog will grow if you do put effort in and it's all about patience! Don't be afraid not to 'follow the crowd' with what you blog about and also make sure you know your camera well to get the best out of it and take the nicest pictures you can! 

Do you feel you've taken anything out of being part of the blogger community?
Yes, I think it's great to talk to like minded people who you can relate to. I have learnt lots from other bloggers and taken inspiration from them for my own blog. I also think my writing skills etc have improved. I definitely hope my blog will be something that can help me improve my confidence and meet new people too.

What are your 5 favourite products right now?
Blistex relief cream - totally unexciting and my least prettiest lip balm but I recently had a cold and had really dry lips and this literally sorted them out straight away.
MAC Sweetie lipstick - I love the formula of this and it's a perfect summer to winter transition colour (and one I will be wearing lots over A/W!)
Origins GinZing moisturiser - I use this every single day and it has become my holy grail moisturiser! I love everything about it but the gel formula is why it's perfect for me, it sinks in so quickly and makes my face so soft.
OPI 'Silent stars go by' nail polish - I recently bought two polishes (the other being 'my favourite ornament') from the new OPI Mariah Carey Christmas collection and love them! I love the whole collection and will definitely get a couple more.
Soap and Glory Smoothie Star - This body 'milk' smells amazing! It reminds me of cosy nights in with maple syrup and almond notes and sinks in really quickly and makes me soo soft!

Who are your 5 favourite bloggers right now?
1) Sophia Meola
2) DippyWrites
3) Ellie's Ramblings
4) Belle Mode
5) Becca's Fashion and Life

Where can we find you?
- Twitter @jessicasjblog
- Instagram @petaldreamsboutique

Any final words of wisdom?
Stay true to yourself, blog about what you want to blog about and remember blogging is a brilliant experience so make the most out of it and remember your blog will grow with time and effort! :)

You can visit Jessica's blog by clicking here!

Remember you can follow AIFA on Bloglovin' and Twitter!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

My First Experience With Makeup? Games For Fashionable Teenage Girls!

Technically (you'll appreciate the pun later) my first experience with makeup and the whole application process was through those girly online games where you can dress dolls up and give them their own identities. Now, its been a good 6 or so years since I last visited one of these sites, up until I was introduced to Games For Girls! Games for Girls features hundreds of virtual games perfect for young people with an interest in everything to do with fashion and style! 
The one thing I really love about Games For Girls is that every genre of game (whether it be hair, makeup, fashion, decorating, cooking ect.) are all in one place. The manicure section is a personal favourite, you know how I love my nail art! A lot has changes since I used this sort of site and one thing I was really impressed to see was the Forum and Blog for Games For Girls. I've never seen this sort of feature on a games site before and it's what, in my opinion, sets Games For Girls apart from the rest! So not only can you spend time playing the games, you can also read posts (just like Blogger!) on similar topics, and share your views on the forum with other young people!
I really wanted to post about Games For Girls as I know the majority of my readers (and in fact most of my followers) are all young people. I was obsessed with this sort of site at the age of the many of my readers. It's such a good way of practicing makeup technique by trying out new looks and applications. It's perfect for developing your own personal style too! I know I went through every 'phase' possible in my early teens, lilac glittery lipgloss, thankyou, but no thankyou! With a bit of virtual experimentation, it's easy to find just what you like and what suits you best! 
I really enjoyed re-living my preteen years exploring the site, even as a 16 year old. Let me know if you were introduced to the makeup/fashion blogging world through online beauty games, I love reminiscing with people! Also let me know what you think of Games For Girls*, I'd love to know if you appreciate the One Direction and Pretty Little Liars games like I do, hahah!

Remember you can follow AIFA on Bloglovin' and Twitter!