5.30.2011

Expensive Vitamin C... for cheap at home=)

This is L-abscorbic acid... the good stuff !
When I went to the skin place they told me to use a vitamin C serum under my moisturizer during the day and a retinoid at night.   That little vitamin C serum was expensive... so I started researching online. I found us a recipe to get to good expensive stuff... for incredibly inexpensive! SOOOO for all those people who wanted to rush out and buy the expensive stuff... you can make it at home for cheap cheap cheap.

Nerdy moment: some molecules go left... so go right. the L and D are opposites... so while L-abscorbic acid is good for your skin... D-abscorbic is not so much (actually not at all). Not all molecules have a left or right... but when they do the L and D are usually very different functioning/reacting molecules. I say all that to hammer in the fact that you can't get vitamin C power/tablets. You have to get L-ascorbic acid... sold often as Ascorbic Acid... because that is the version that has the properties that are good for the skin.

What does it do?!?! It is the one antioxidant that has repeatedly been proven to help fade dark spots and diminish the appearance of fine lines. Basically, it helps repair the damage you've done already and ward off the future problemos.

I got the ingredients at  Good Earth in Broad Ripple (for the Indy people) but you can get it at any vitamin/earthy store... or you can order it online. What I bought will last me a year or more... so waaaay more cost effective=)

I found the recipe on this . It's very simple.

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 tsp L-ascorbic acid (powder form) = about $10 for a big jar
  • 1 tsp glycerin = under $2
  • 1 tsp distilled water (I used rose water... it smells pretty=) at room temperature!!! = about $3
  • dark brown or blue vial
Directions:
  1. Clean your vial and mixing container (I used a small Tupperware for mixing). I learned back in organic lab that acetone (nail polish remover) cleans and evaporates quickly. Water that is left in the container could react in the solution (especially since this stuff is oxygen sensitive)... so acetone works better. A little goes a long way. Blow on it to dry it out if necessary.
  2. Mix 1/4 tsp L-ascorbic acid and 1 tsp distilled water (rose water) in the mixing container. Make sure it becomes completely dissolved before moving forward. I had to warm it up just a touch because my water was still chilly... 5 seconds in the microwave. It's better if you are just patient and let it dissolve. This will take a minute... I am not patient. You don't really want to heat it though because this causes the L-ascorbic acid to break down... no bueno.
  3. Mix the ascorbic acid/water solution with 1 tsp glycerin.
  4. Pour mixture into dark vial.
  5. Store in the fridge to help keep it longer.
***If it turns a yellow color after time... it has oxidized... meaning it is not gonna do anything for your skin. Dump it and make a new batch. I've been making one batch that last me a couple of days!

The benefit of making it yourself is that you know it's fresh... and you know you are getting the right amount of the active ingredient (L-ascorbic acid).

Why Vitamin C Serums are so Expensive
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) isn't stable. It has a short half life... meaning it spoils quickly.  While it's easy to make at home... in order to package and sell it in a store it needs to be preserved. Doing that is expensive. Even with all the technology... it still has a short life (and notice the dark vials you buy it in... same issue you have with your at-home... gotta block the light).

What causes it to spoil?
  • Oxygen... so just opening up the vial allows the little O's in.
  • Light/heat... creates a reaction which causes oxidation... makes it spoil faster. heat/light speeds up the reaction time... no bueno for our Vitamin C serum.
Good luck... hope you love it as much as I have=) Turns out the at-home stuff isn't as irritating on my sensitive skin, so I can actually use this one every day!!! yay!!!

***DISCLAIMER!!! I am not a skincare or chemistry expert. This is simply me sharing my personal experience with making at-home skincare products. Using too much active ingredient could be harmful... causing burning and damage to the skin.  The amounts on most at-home recipes are listed to allow a safe product, but every person has a different reaction so proceed with caution. Be careful. I've found working with what's worked well for others is best... but not fool-proof. Always test a small patch on your arm or neck first... and realize... if you make it at-home... you take the risk.

5.20.2011

One Boring Suit 5 Ways: The Grand Finale... Day 5!!!

Day 5: Shimmer Up the Night!!! It's the end of the week. Post-work, it's time to have a little fun... roll up you sleeves... head out with the girls. Enjoy the cool spring breeze. Life is good.


What you need for this look:
  • Sequin/Sparkly dress
  • Gladiator heels
Everyday Eva's Shimmer Up the Night:
  • Laundry by Design = $50 Marshalls
  • Gladiator studded heels = $50 Aldo
  • THE Antonio Melani SUIT JACKET  = $50 Dillards
This is a very conservative suit jacket... it's structured and I've been wondering if I could pull off the rolled up look with it. I tried it... and as long as the rolled up part is pretty wide, it looks pretty good.

I survived the challenge!!! whoop whoop!


    5.19.2011

    One Boring Suit 5 Ways: Day 4

    Day 4: On the Go! Some days it's just not about looking cute... ya gotta get work done! BUT you don't wanna look like a bum...
    I realize this picture is completely ridiculous for anyone who works with me. I use to lug the camera around. Thank goodness I don't have to anymore, but if I did... I'd wanna wear flats. =) Photographer Tim gave me an "Are you crazy?" look for touching his gear. Thanks Tim for not ripping it out of my hands... ya probably should have!


    What you need for this look:

    • Cute, colorful... but still conservative cardigan
    • Slim belt to create a more tailored silhouette
    • Fun, flat COMFY shoes
    Everyday Eva's On the Go!:
    • Rosette Cardigan = $20 The Limited
    • Silver skinny belt = $10 The Limited
    • No name green snake skin flats = $10 Ross
    • THE Antonio Melani Skirt  = $20 Dillards
    • Black sparkly tank = $10 TJ Maxx
    These shoes are probably my favorite flats that I own. They are comfy and they are green (my fav color).  I like that I feel like they have a sassy personality... if shoes could talk=) The belt keeps the waist cinched created more structure. Cardigans can look a little loose by the end of the day... so the belt helps sometimes give you a shape or the illusion of one.

    I didn't take a picture, but the tank is a striped black sparkly number. With spring/summer... I think you could pull off the cardigan and just leave the belt with the tank (it has wide enough straps) to wear in your car, at lunch... you get the idea.

    Layers... I know... again I'm going there, but staying covered up in the office is important. Seriously, this is the number one offense by interns and young straight out of college grads.It may be hot outside, but if you want to be taken seriously inside you don't need to show off too much. Look cute... but at least moderately covered.  Take the layers off when you have to deal with the heat. Your office should have AC.

    It's a simple outfit... but a useful one. I think I have it in a lot of different variations of colors and patterns.

    Tomorrow is my fav outfit of the week... it is shiny, sassy and oh so fun!

    Russian Adventure: OPI St. Petersburgundy

    It's supposedly Spring... but here in the Midwest it hasn't felt like it recently. I saw this color in my bag and it made me laugh so I  decided this was the color for me!

    Its part of OPI's Russian collection... "St. Petersburgundy' is a good deep dark red. I love it! It's not too dark that it looks black or brown and enough red that it makes you feel like being a little sassy. haha!

    I love OPI because it stays. It's the best I've found of all the polishes I've tried. It is worth the extra  money to not have chipped nails a day in... at least I think so. BUT the darker colors are harder to wear because they do chip more easily. I love this shade... but I give it a week's time and then it's time to change. I guarantee I will change before that... just because. Sometimes it's nice to be a girl.

    5.18.2011

    One Boring Suit 5 Ways: Day 3

    Day 3: A Splash of Fun.. some suiting with a little pattern... a little pop of color... and maybe some candy if you can find it too=) haha.

    NOTE: This suit is machine washable... Don't worry. I didn't wear a dirty suit to the office for 5 days. haha! Washing and Dryell... thank goodness.


    What you need for this look:
    • Simple dress with a little pattern
    • Bright color belt
    • Bright color shoes
    Everyday Eva's Splash of Fun:
    • Calvin Klein dress = $30 Marshalls
    • Red belt = stolen from my sister's closet a very long time ago... Eeeek!
    • Luichiny pointy heels = gift=)
    • THE Antonio Melani SUIT JACKET  = $50 Dillards
    I think that putting the bright belt around the dress under the jacket... adds a pop of color without being too overly obnoxious. Not that I'm opposed to being obnoxious. The pattern on the dress adds a little interest... still corporate black, but not solid.

    The best part... the dress is short sleeved so you can yank the jacket off in the heat and not roast in your car while you're driving to and from work! Layers in the summer are key to looking professional, but not dying or melting.

    Work It Girl! Gear to bust your butt in=)

    It's the unfortunate reality of my life. I have to work out... unless I want to become a blimp. I've been meaning to do this post for some time now... but I haven't gotten around to it... sorry.

    One of the benefits of going to cover the Super Bowl was the free gear. Let me tell ya... the life of a sports media member isn't too shabby. Lots of great food and free sports stuff... plus amazing games for FREE from usually pretty good seats. What more could you ask for?!

    Well at the Super Bowl Reebok was one of the sponsors... and they were showing off their new Zig gear.



    I gotta be honest... I haven't worn Reeboks since elementary school. I haven't thought about buying a pair of sneaks from them ever. I can't say why it never seemed a desirable thing... but just never thought they were that great.

    These were free... so I thought, why not?! I wore them around the gym at first just to see... only on lifting or cycling days. Then I upped it to eliptical machines days and finally I tried them out for a short run.

    I was surprised. They were very comfy. Very light! and all around a pretty decent shoe. I don't know if I'd risk running long runs in them, but I'm pretty paranoid about getting hurt and very careful with my distance running shoes.


    Zappos.com $38.00

    MY FAVORITE thing I got though... these new running shorts. OMG. I've been an avid Nike running short kind of gal, but these new ZigTech shorts are amazing. I couldn't believe it. I'm a running short snob... I'd never have guessed this.

    They have awesome pockets... sorta cargo short-like. But I love the waist band AND they have a small slit in the side that isn't too much. Some running shorts show too much side leg... you know what I'm talking about... it's bad. These are perfect!

    The other great thing is the fabric doesn't rub and they are the right length. Not all of us want every inch of our leg exposed while we run. I'm running for a reason... geez. Good job on these Reebok! LOVE!



    Zappos.com $40
    Finally... this new little ZigTech long bra top is pretty cool. It seems Reebok actually talked to women on this one. It's got multiple straps for some added support AND it's LONG!!!

    Back in my early 20s "accidentally" showing off my 6-pack abs was cool, but the abs left me when I ditched 2 hour long gym days for crazy hours at the office. So... I appreciate the longer top.

    My only complaint... the front straps sorta wrinkle on me. Not really a big deal...



    My Workout Favorites!!!
     These are the workout things that I just can't live without. They've made me able to run... they've made working out comfortable... and they've all around changed my health and fitness. No gym membership involved... just some sneakers, a little sensor and a good sports bra=)



     Finding the perfect running shoe is important. I made a little trip over to my local running store the Blue Mile and was "fitted" for the right shoe based on the way I run. I highly suggest doing this at least once to see what you should get. Then you can order them online.

    My shoe... is a Nike Bowerman series... and it has done wonders for relieving the aches and pains that runs can sometimes cause. I know when they are time to be replaced when my knees start to hurt.

    It has the little spot for you Nike+ chip in the shoe so you don't need to get a pouch for shoelaces.



     Speaking of Nike+... it has totally changed running for me. I can't run on a treadmill more than 2 miles. I can run a set route... but it gets old pretty fast.

    This thing allows you to run/walk where ever you want and know how fast you're going, how far you've gone and you can track your runs/walks all on the computer. If you're really ambitions... You can set up a coaching plan online for free... all right from  your iPhone or iPod nano.

    Now, if you have an iPhone you only need to buy the sensor. You can also get a more exact GPS version by paying a couple $$ for the app. Either way you put the sensor either in your Nike shoe or in a pouch on your shoelaces... and you can run/walk at your whim!!! Just don't forget how you got there, so you can get back... EEEeeek!!!


    The right sports bra makes a big difference. You need one that keeps you in place... and doesn't show anything you don't want people to see when you're working out. some are super thin... and that doesn't give me enough privacy.

    This one I found years ago in an "older model version" and I love LOVE it. It doesn't rub when I run... it keeps everything where it should be... and it's comfortable!

    If you get it in the store... you will PAY, but ordering it online has been the way to go for me. It's usually pretty true to size... so not much guess work here to do.

    For me the freedom the Nike+ has given me has made running tolerable. I would say it's enjoyable for me yet... but makes it more entertaining. The shoes make it not painful. Running unfortunately is the only thing that keeps me fit. I wish something else would work... but for now I will keep lacing up my shoes!

    5.17.2011

    No Chip Nails? Putting OPI Axxium to the Test!

    UPDATE: So... sorry for this delay. This nail polish lasted less than a week. Grrr. It chipped. So no go on the 2 week guarantee. Plus, I was in Mexico at the time so it wasn't like I could go back to the store... and even if I was in town I wouldn't have felt comfortable going back a week later.

    So I'm going to try another one of these stay longer type nail polishes... will try to report back soon!

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Original Post: Friday, March 4, 2011

    Bright and early I was sitting in my local nail salon this morning... had to get my nails done before I left on my vacay. I couldn't help but overhear this girl talking about the Axxium gel nails. I keep reading about this everywhere, but I'm cheap. My normal manicure costs me $12 and it stays on good for a week... so what's the point, right?

    Well I'm going to be gone for a week... and most likely will be crazy busy when I get back... so my head started spinning. I wonder if it will stay... At my nail salon the Axxium gel is $25 so I thought... why not?!

    I'm rough on my nails... so I'll let you know in a couple weeks how it holds up. They're supposed to last for at least two weeks... we will see...

    OPI Axxium French Manicure

    Here is what they did with the gel... she painted on this thin coat of gel first. Then you stick your hands in the UV machine. Next you put on the polish. Hands go back in the UV machine. The special top coat goes on... and your hands go back in the UV machine. When  you pull your hands out... they're totally dry... no worrying about smudging nails... no need to be careful... you are good to go!

    I also decided to get my toes done... I'm going to warm weather... I will be showing my toes! Yay! soo excited to have my toes out=) The color looks more orange than it really is... it's actually sorta pinkish.
    OPI Dutch Tulip
    I'm going to be stepping out of the "work" clothes box next week... since I'm vacationing! I'll be relaxing... and aiming to be comfy!


    One Boring Suit 5 Ways: Day 2

    Day 2:  All Suited-up... boring black requires a little pizazzz!

    This is maybe the messiest my desk has EVER been. Those that have worked with me and seen my OCD know this means I am soooo swamped in work. I keep telling myself... the month of May will end eventually;)

    What you need for this look:
    • Fun ruffle top
    • Big black belt
    • Girly shoes
    Everyday Eva's Suited-up:
    • Romeo & Juliet Couture top = $20 Marshalls
    • THE Antonio Melani SUIT = $70 Dillards
    • Steve Madden rhinestone heels = $40 DSW
    The great thing about this outfit is that it is layered. You can take the jacket and belt off and wear a sleeveless top underneath... that way you don't die in the heat. And boy did I need that!

    I get to work and I was doing a nice community story about a program that is helping families be healthy when I get a call from the assignment editors. Time to get out in the heat and get my hands dirty. Literally. What did I end up doing at the end of the day? Digging through the trash.

    Don't believe me... pictures are posted below. Proof. 


    Yep. Welcome to the glam life of a reporter. haha! It was worth it for the story... but geez. I took like 5 showers. I didn't think I'd ever get clean. Even now I still get the creepy crawlies thinking about it. eeek!

    5.16.2011

    One Boring Suit 5 Ways: Day 1 of the Challenge=)

    Let the suit challenge begin! The suit is a boring, standard black skirt suit... but my goal is to wear it 5 different ways.



    Day 1: SKIRTING AROUND!
    This is a simple look that you can have fun with by getting a sassy shirt and really cute shoes. I love shoes... and this is really an example of how shoes make a simple outfit look a lot cuter!



    What you need for this look:
    • blouse with some personality
    • skirt
    • killer shoes
    • fun jewelery


    Everyday Eva's Skirting Around:
    • Leopard print blouse = $20 Ann Taylor Loft
    • THE Antonio Melani SKIRT = $20 at Dillards
    • Platform wedge = $75 Aldo
    • Gold necklaces = $10 Forever 21

    These shoes are uber comfy!!! The top breathes so even though it's got sleeves it doesn't make you feel like you're dying. It's sheer... you have to wear a tank under it... looks like more clothes than it is=) If your office is a suit jacket always kinda place... just toss on the jacket. it's cute with it all too. I'd leave the jacket open though so you can see the necklaces;)

    I like the flowy, soft look for the office with edgey heels... the shoes are my little statement... proof that I'm not totally boring!

    5.15.2011

    Mango at JC Penny?! and French Connection at Sears?!

    OK. So let's be honest. I haven't been in a Sears in years... like years and years. I was shopping with my girl, Livy today and we decided to just look. I'm really not sure why and I remember thinking this was going to be funny.

    Sears is still Sears... but in a corner I found a major surprise. Sears is now selling a cheaper line of French Connection!!! It's call . It's well made. It's cute. It's pretty much amazing. AND right now there is a sale... so go!

    AND more than that... ! If you've never heard of Mango... it's a great little Euro store. It has everything from tailored to boho... cute bags... sassy jewelry. It's nuts! I can't believe it's there!!!

    Now a little warning: MNG Mango's a little pricey for Penny's, but they are always always having sales... (almost everything there ends up going on sale) so, look for the sale to kick in and then it's really a great place to find some super cute things for a steal.



    So Penny's (as Grandma calls it) has really changed a lot. Not only is there Mango, but now there is a mini Sephora, I Heart Ronson, Allen B, Nicole Miller, Bisou Bisou... just to name a few.



    Who would have ever thought... the places your grandma used to drag you would now have such cute things?! These lines aren't like "brand new" at Penny's and Sears... but I would never have stepped in there to find out they were there, so I thought I'd help spread the word. It's worth a look... at the very least. Hold on to your wallets, ladies... this could be dangerous! ha!

    Heart of Gold Ball: Red Dress Needed... Eeek!!!

    I was privileged to be the emcee for the annual Heart of Gold Ball for the American Heart Association. It's a great cause that affects EVERYONE... heart disease is still the leading killer of Americans. Needless to say I was excited to help. The event raised thousands of dollars that will hopefully save people's lives.


    The only issue was this year the event was a "red tie." They wanted people to wear red... nails, purses, something. Since I was going to emcee, I figured it was only appropriate that I wear a red dress... not just a little red tossed in. Major issue: red is not a color for this spring or summer. It's corals and stuff... def not red.

    Heading out the door... in a hurry. It was pouring rain outside=(
    I searched for weeks. Nothing. Last night, literally hours before the event I found three dresses. Whew!!! Now, let me say this... I wanted to spend about $60. Unfortunately, that did not happen... and about two weeks ago I added to the budget... upping it to $200 to be safe. I wanted new shoes... but since the dress was not going to come in at my goal price... no new shoes for me. =(


    My lesson in shopping: buying with the colors of the season... or better yet, last year's colors will save you money. Trying to find a color that hasn't been "in-season" for a while... no bueno. I didn't have a choice... but if you do... I saw A LOT of beautiful black dresses for a steal. Black is always in=)



    TODAY'S OUTFIT:
    • Red Adrianna Papell dress = $150 Nordstrom
    • Gold JLo lace heel = $30 DSW
    Dresses with a little draping are perfect for hiding imperfections. This dress helps create a defined waist, while masking any stomach issues that may or may not be going on. I think it also makes the hips look smaller because the draping distracts you from seeing width and pulls your eye to the one side.

    Plus... it was comfortable. Always important when you're gonna have to be moving (climbing stairs, sitting and standing a lot, and overall wanting to breath=).

    So... it took a hot second, but I found a dress... and more importantly, the event was a success!

    5.13.2011

    Cheery Colors... a Pick-me-up

    So I knew this day was coming... I didn't want to go. I had a doctors appointment that I'd been dreading and only half paying attention. The doctors visit was pretty much terrible... which I knew would be the case, but I figured I should wear a bright color to try to feel better.



    TODAY'S OUTFIT:
    Yellow Lilly Pulitzer dress = $50 Marshalls
    BCBG sandals = $40 Marshalls

    It was super important to be comfortable for this day... and this dress is definitely that. It's a great summer dress... probably spent more on it that I would normally for a summer dress, but it's really well made. It's the perfect afternoon on the porch dress or tea or lunch with mom kinda thing... I wore it to the docs. The shoes are all bejeweled... which I love. Makes me feel like my toes get a little color too!

    Boring Suit Challenge

    Starting out we all do it... we buy the obligatory boring black suit for work/interview/to look grown up. The problem is that over time we have stop wearing said boring black suit OR we have to wear a boring black suit every day and it gets old fast.



    My fav boring black suit is this Antonio Melani suit from Dillards I bought years ago. At the suggestion of one of my friends, next week I will wear the "boring suit" 5 different ways. It's boring... on the surface, but there is def a way to spice it up.

    Let the challenge begin!

    5.10.2011

    Naked Nails: Sally Hansen Polar Bare

    Clearly I'm looking for natural looking nails... and light and fresh... springy. You get the idea. It seems like an easy thing, except these colors are not the easiest to paint yourself and can risk looking streaky.

    I decided to try the Sally Hansen professional line again because it seems to stay on well. 'Polar Bare' required 3 coats to look solid... giving a nice white nail color. It's a good clean look.

    This line stays as well as the more expensive named stuff for a few dollars cheaper.




    Damage = $7

    Worth it? eh. not bad... not exactly what I wanted. I wanted something a little sheer, but I'm not good at polishing so... that may be more me than the polish. ha! Its stayed well, so it was worth it not to have to redo... at the very least.

    The Long Hunt is Over... Tank Dress Found

    It seems like it'd be easy to find... but it is not. Trust me on this one. A tank dress is a must for your closet, but find one... well that's a grrr.

    I bought a dress two years ago that is adorable, but see-thru. Double grrr. I thought I'd just run out and buy a little tank dress to wear under it and all would be well in the world... except I couldn't find one!

    On side adventure to the formal dress search... I found this in a couple of colors. I chose white because it's a coral dress. I wanted nude... they didn't have that.

    So if ya need one...

    Purchased at: Pitaya
    Cost = $12



    I was pretty happy about this grab. Now, if I could only find what I was actually shopping for... haha! Oh well. Life isn't just about getting there... it's about the adventure, right?!

    5.09.2011

    Skinny Cow?! Shockingly yummy=)


    OMG!!! My new fav snack. It's chocolate. It's caramel. It's something crunchy that I'm not sure about... but don't care that I don't know what it is. It's DELISH! AND the best part: it's only 120 calories. (2 points for my Weight Watchers folks)

    This is for real. I'm in love. There were five little clusters in the bag. It's definitely enough to give you a good taste and feel like you're getting something that should be bad. But you can enjoy this because it's not!

    Damage = 65 cents for one bag... they do sell boxes with multiple bags ;)

    Worth it? ABSOLUTELY... no question... soooo glad I impulsively grabbed this at the cash register.

    AMAZING.

    5.08.2011

    SLAP WATCH!!! Blast from the past... reinvented=)

    I'm in a mood. Generally I eat when this happens... but I was forced to go shopping for an outfit for a special event I'm a part of next weekend... forced. =)

    It caught my eye from across the room... instantly I was intrigued.



    IT'S A SLAP BRACELET WATCH!!! I could hardly believe it. It's like a grown-up version of my favorite elementary school accessory. For the Indy folks I got it at Pandaology in Broad Ripple (I was on a detour... haha... Pandaology does not sell formal dresses. ha!)

    Damage = $25

    Worth it? Yes! So do I really think it's worth 25... nah. But it did so much to lift my mood... right now that is worth A LOT!

    I did a quick Google search for all you guys...

    Now I should give this disclaimer: these are the "rip off" or "knock off" version of the slap watch. I thought $25 was a lot of these fun little gadgets... so I'm def not going after the expensive one. No chance.

    These are a fun... I'm glad I found it=)

     
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