HOMEMADE ROSEMARY + COCONUT OIL MASK

New year, new you right? Ya Ya, we’ve heard it (and said it) all before. And while we all have goals and things, we want to do to better ourselves, we also understand that it doesn’t all happen at once. Let’s take our beauty routines for example. Refreshed and glowing skin is always at the top of our lists. But honestly, after the holidays who has $$$ to spend on new masks and serums and creams and whatever else we need? That’s why we did a bit of research and made our mask instead. It checks off a few boxes on our list of being better humans. Self-care? Check. Save money? Check. Take care of our skin? Check.

And guess what? You can probably make this with items already in your kitchen leftover from breakfast. It’s 4 simple ingredients with a few steps to a refreshing mask that you’ll want to make a daily habit (if we all had the luxury of time to treat ourselves to a mask a day!). We love it while we’re listening to our favorite podcast, reading a chapter in a new book, or even during a girls’ night in with a little rosé.

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Rich in nutrients including iron, calcium, vitamins, and antioxidants, rosemary in various forms —rosemary extract, rosemary oil, and rosemarinic acid —is effective for many skin types and is found in skincare cleansers, soaps, face masks, toners, and creams. This herb is used widely in aromatherapy as its stimulant properties refresh, rejuvenate and help you feel energized.

Rosemary is a potent antioxidant; it protects the skin and prevents signs of premature aging. Aside from its anti-aging properties, it’s great for acne, dry skin, and eczema. Not to mention you can also use this mask as a hair mask. 

When massaged into the face, rosemary oil can help lightens dark spots and blemishes on the skin resulting in an improved skin complexion. The anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary extract help to reduce swelling and puffiness of the skin. It also helps to heal burns and soothe the skin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 sprig of rosemary (finally putting my garden to use!)
  • 4-5 tbsp. Greek yogurt (more for a thicker consistency)
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • sugar (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Roughly chop rosemary
  2. Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan and mix in the rosemary
  3. Simmer this mixture for 8-10 minutes, rosemary will begin to lose its color
  4. Remove from heat and strain rosemary pieces from the mixture. Discard rosemary
  5. Add oil to a mixing bowl and let cool slightly
  6. Before oil has solidified but has had time to cool, mix in Greek yogurt + honey. The paste should be smooth so take your time mixing!
  7. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to ensure your mixture is cold
  8. Finally, mix in the sugar (use sugar if you are using it immediately, it will act as an exfoliant. if you are saving for later, don’t add until you are ready to use)
  9. Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks (we’d recommend using this mask 1-2 times per week if you love it!)

* Makes 3-4 masks *

Why am I putting this on my face?

  • Rosemary oil helps stimulate cell renewal, promoting healthy healing, while moisturizing and improving skin circulation.
  • Greek yogurt is full of lactic acid that helps smooth dry, rough skin and dissolves dead skin that clogs pores. Its anti-bacterial properties are great for acne-prone skin.
  • Honey can almost do it all. It promotes collagen building, it’s moisturizing, and its antioxidants nourish the skin which can assist in the healing of acne scars.
  • Sugar, as explained above, will act as an exfoliant if you are using your mask right away. When applying, lightly massage the mask onto your skin. If you are saving your mask for later use, do not add the sugar as it will dissolve. You can add if you decide to right before use.
  • Coconut oil contains vitamin E and saturated fats which moisturize, repair, and restore quickly as it is rapidly absorbed into the epidermis.

How to use it?

After you have washed your face, remove the mask from the refrigerator. Apply a generous amount all over the face, avoiding the eye area. Wait about 30 minutes or until the mask feels dry and rinse. We recommend following up with your favorite serum and/or moisturizer.

How did it work for us?

After this mask, we noticed that our dark spots looked more faded and our skin looked even, vibrant, moisturized, and was glowing. The skin felt so soft that we thought we were in heaven. Didn’t even need to add any moisturizer because the skin was already soft and hydrated! It’s going to be a go-to for a quick weekday refresh!

Warning: Always do an allergy patch test before applying anything to the face. What works for us may not work for you!

Is a skincare refresh on your to-do list for the new year? What masks have you tried making at home?

What I Wish I’d Known Before Working with Kids

Lee checking in Lee checking in!

With me leaving a job, this year I decided my next job will be in a field that I am passionate about. I enjoy helping kids and adults who can’t help themselves at the moment. It was between a private nurse, nanny, or teacher. The school that I am working at now kind of just fell in my lap. I needed a job and as a kid, I did want to become a teacher, so it felt right to try it out.

A school reached out to me and was impressed by my resume. I was informed of an opening working as a daycare teacher that takes care of kids who are 3 weeks to 2 years old until they head over to Preschool. Perfect. Right?

Not entirely. Whilst working with kids can be a massively rewarding job, it certainly has its hardships which I wasn’t quite prepared for. I received training during the starting of my new role, but what this training could not prepare me for was the often stressful, often hilarious, crazy things kids get up to. Here are some of the things I wish I’d known before taking the plunge.

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You’re not going to get paid a lot.

When I started as an assistant daycare teacher, I quickly learned that typically daycare teachers usually make $10 hourly. The salary only bumped up a little when you become the main classroom teacher or the director. That’s not a joke: As of Mar 20, 2022, the average annual pay for a Daycare Teacher in Miami is $19,611 year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $9.43 an hour. This is the equivalent of $377/week or $1,634/month. It seems like the salaries are getting a little higher as people recognize how important early education is, but you have to love this job because you’re not going to be doing it for the money.

The cuteness wears off fast

Tiny little people running around is cute for the first few hours, maybe even days. However, this wears off pretty quickly. It takes just one child bursting out into tears or misbehaving to reduce all cuteness of the collective group of children. For me, the nail in the coffin had to be one girl deciding to deliberately (yes deliberately) soil herself in an attempt to garner attention.

It’s so very tiring

10 hours a day, 5 days a week takes its toll, let alone doing this on your feet practically all day, ensuring the safety of 12+ kids whilst keeping them entertained. Early nights are a must.

You seem to be hungry ALL the time

There’s something about running around after misbehaving kids all day that works up an appetite. Bring plenty of food to work because there’s nothing more painful than watching all the kids eating the overly excessive amounts of food their parents have packed them in the morning, lunch, AND afternoon whilst you’re sitting there starving.

Most of them have no concept of personal space

Sometimes funny, sometimes annoying; kids just don’t seem to care about anyone’s personal space, including yours. Whether it’s sticking their noses right up against yours to talk to you or braiding your hair and decorating it with daises, having known you for merely a day (yes, I happened to be the unlucky victim, and yes, these kids don’t understand that you just don’t put your hands in a black woman hair, especially with dirty hands).

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Everything you do is being watched.

Not to sound too creepy, but kids are like sponges at this age. They’re watching everything you do and, as a teacher, you’re modeling how to be a human being. That means I need to be super aware of what I wear, what I say, and how I act around the kids. It doesn’t mean I need to be cheerful and happy-go-lucky all the time. Most of what we’re teaching kids at that age is how to handle their emotions in appropriate ways, so I think it’s OK to demonstrate how to deal with negative emotions too. If I stub my toe and it really hurts, it’s perfectly acceptable to explain to a 3-year-old how I’m feeling and why — like, “I feel frustrated, because my toe hurts.”

The lotion will become your best friend because you’re going to wash your hands a million times a day.

It’s simply a fact that preschool classrooms are germy, and — going back to the modeling thing — you have to be an example of good hygiene. That being said, daycare teachers get sick like every other week because of the kids. Every daycare has cleaning procedures regarding toy-washing and classroom clean-up, and while your kids are going to get runny noses, teaching them how to wipe their noses becomes part of your curriculum.

Teamwork is key to surviving the day.

There will be days when you don’t feel energetic or entertaining, and that’s where your team comes in. Every daycare has support staff, so teachers aren’t stranded by themselves when things get chaotic in the classroom. If I’m having an off-day, I can always ask one of those people to take charge of circle time while I do something more mundane, like washing tables, or to watch my classroom while I take a five-minute break. 

Kids are hilarious

It’s safe to say that by the end of it all, you’ll have many stories to share, and most of them are funny. Anyone who works or has worked with kids will know that kids do weird and wonderful things, and regardless of the struggles of working with them, you can rest assured you’ll be entertained daily.

You have to be OK with making a complete fool of yourself.

This is a big part of the job: You can’t take yourself too seriously. Sometimes you’re standing up singing a ridiculous song or pretending to be a monkey in the jungle, and you have to be able to get out of your self-conscious adult brain for a minute and play. Sometimes that’s hard for people, but those are the times you connect with the kids, and it’s absurdly fun to play like a kid again.

You’ll miss (some of) them

Despite many of them giving you a hard time for weeks, there are some kids that you become accustomed to brightening up your day somewhat, and I would be lying if I said it isn’t the slightest bit sad to see them go. Kids get attached easily, and it’s just as sad to see them struggle to say goodbye to you.

It’s very rewarding

As tiring and stressful as working with kids can be, the rewarding nature of the work ultimately outweighs all the negatives. There are not many better feelings than knowing you’ve sent a child home smiling. I don’t think I fully appreciated or expected the feeling of fulfillment gained from the knowledge that you have positively impacted upon a child’s life in some way, however small or brief, and this makes all the hard work worthwhile.

GOING-OUT STYLE ESSENTIALS for 2022

Is your nightlife style stuck in pre-COVID times? Or are you a little too comfortable wearing matching sweatsuits out at night? Same. While there’s nothing wrong with dressing for comfort over style, if you’re looking to bring it this season and update your going-out essentials, we got you. 

With the help of @ShopCider, we’re sharing four trends straight from the early ’00s to give your wardrobe a hot-girl boost. Friendly reminder: refreshing your closet can also help shift your mood. So, if you’re lacking the motivation to go out, or not feeling confident these days, a little shopping spree could be just what you need. 

See which items made our list plus styling tips to add to your 2022 outfit lineup below. 

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Bustiers

“I love styling bustiers because of their corset construction. It creates such a structured waistline and lift.”

Bodysuits

“Bodysuits are sometimes the smooth line we need. Whether it’s under a jacket or worn solo, because of its taut nature it’s a minimal form-fitting solution.”

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Open-Back Tops

“Being sexy isn’t about showing it all, and the back is one of the most unexpected exposures in an elegant way.”

Tube Tops

“Tube tops don’t get me started. One of my favorite clean lines. I loved them then and I love them now. Collarbones and arms!”

The Dress

“As if dresses weren’t effortless enough, tight-fitted style is the key to maximum style with minimal effort. We’re happy to report that bodycon dresses will forever be a thing; we’re already pairing ours with heeled boots, jewelry, and the like”.

The Little Black Slip Dress

” We dare you to think of a single occasion for which a slip dress isn’t appropriate—seriously, we’ll wait. Wear this ’90s-inspired staple with a plain white tee or a cozy sweater, or dress it up for one of the 15 rescheduled weddings you’ll be attending this year.”

Up next, be the first to know our weekly content and sign up for our BeautyLeeBar newsletter.

6 Portable Makeup Brushes You Can Take Anywhere

We’ve done our makeup in plenty of questionable environments: while sitting on a towel at the beach, in an airport bathroom stall, and inside a moving car. Thankfully, we always pack our bags strategically, knowing that a makeup moment can arise any time and any place. To prepare, we usually rely on the help of dual-purpose makeup stickstravel-size products, and portable makeup brushes. 

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Travel makeup brushes are surprisingly helpful, take up very little room in your bag, and will calm the nerves of every makeup lover who gets antsy when separated from their everyday makeup brushes

Ahead, we’re rounding up some of our favorite portable brushes, featuring retractable options for the beauty guru with the bag that’s bursting at the seams, the sleek pink set your friends will ask to do their touch-ups with, and the palm brush for seamless, your-skin-but-better coverage.

IT Cosmetics Your Superheroes Full-Size Travel Brush Set

For those of you who just can’t live without all of your brush essentials, this set of six brushes comes housed inside a cute metallic makeup case. Pack it in your beach bag, store it in your carry-on or bring it in your purse to the bar — no judgment, ever.

EcoTools Retractable Brush

At under $10, this retractable brush is super affordable and will help you apply powder and bronzer in seconds. It includes a cap to make sure your brush stays safe from whatever has collected at the bottom of your makeup bag.

Artis Elite Mirror Palm Brush Mini

If you’ve tried an Artis Palm Brush before, then you’ve witnessed how beautifully these brushes blend makeup into your skin. The coolest part is, you could realistically use this mini palm brush for your entire makeup routine which is ideal when on-the-go — just don’t forget to wash it afterwards

lilah b. Retractable Crème Foundation Brush

Prepare to fall in love with this brush’s super soft, dense bristles. It makes application fast and easy leaving practically zero room for error. We love pairing it with PRO FILT’R SOFT MATTE POWDER FOUNDATION.

Easy-Taken Travel Makeup Brush Set

This blush-colored case comes complete with five mini brushes and a mirror so you can perfect a full face en route to wherever your busy schedule may take you.

Fenty Beauty Portable Contour & Concealer Brush 150

Who would’ve thought that a portable makeup brush could leave you at a loss for words? This one was designed for portability — to conceal, contour and touch up no matter where you are.

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