Commander In Chic Commander In Chic

Beauty Bar: A Chat with Mikki Taylor on Skincare and Makeup

Fashion and beauty books are common place. But, where’s the blueprint to help you pull off looks for every occasion and suggest ACTUAL beauty products? Enter Commander in Chic: Every Woman's Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady ($26.99) by Mikki Taylor, former Beauty and Cover Director at Essence Magazine. Finally, a book after our own heart that teaches us to have style and class like Lady O. It’s filled with almost 200 pages of Mikki-isms and tidbits that even our grandmothers don’t know, so I had to sit down with her to get the scoop on all things beauty-related. Her reason for writing the book? “I wanted us to have a book that makes sense in our life,” she says. “Not a coffee book, but a book you live with and will guide you in your day to day.” Love it!

DEENA: What impresses you most about Michelle’s style?
MIKKI TAYLOR: Michelle is very clear about what works for her and is not trying to be anyone else but herself. She is a true role model. I’m amazed how she mixes [high and low] designers and I love that there isn’t a place in the world you will see her not working her own dress code. And, her ‘classics with a twist’ theme allows for experimentation, but is never off track.

D: Tell us what we can learn about makeup in Commander in Chic?
MT: Women tell me all the time “makeup is too confusing!” Well, in CIC I’ve given you the best picks. There’s no way I could write a book and not mention products. Women know that I know the best products and I’ve provided tips and actual brands that work best for our skin.

D:What types of makeup and skincare products do you keep on you at all times?
MT: Beauty is about having smooth skin and I love a foundation that has a skin-like finish. I also keep an array of nude lipstick—espically ones that allow me to put it on whether I have a mirror or not. A great long-wearing mascara is always great too. Working women can have days that last from 6am to 10pm; you need to have mascara that needs very little touch-up. Finally, you need a great set of tools. Honestly, you can wear makeup at any price point with a great set of tools.

D: In chapter 2 you state, “A chic sister is always modern and effortless in her appearance.” What’s the most effective way to look effortlessly georgeous?
MT: It’s all about mastering your own look. Sometimes cosmetics counters will give you a look and you’ll ask yourself, ‘How will I do this in my day to day’ or ‘who is this woman? This is not me’. You have to discern what’s for you. Anything that takes you out of your comfort zone and doesn’t have your DNA in it is your first indication that look isn’t for you. When your look is effortless, your make up is not the standout, YOU are. If your face is shouting make up, that’s not the message you want.

D: What are the top three common misconceptions on skincare? And what’s the truth we need to know about them?
MT: 1. African American’s tend to think we don’t need sun protection, but we do. Of all the women on the planet blacks are the primary ones trying to keep skin even and keep hyper pigmentations at bay. The truth is, you must use a moisturizer with sunscreen everyday.

2. Women have a tendency to shop labels. But I’ve told women for years that you really want to understand your skin and shop accordingly. Identify what your skin needs and your inner desires. Sometimes the performance of the popular brands may have nothing to do with what you need.

3. Everyone thinks that skin has to be squeaky clean. But, you don’t want to strip your skin completely of natural oils. You want to be clean, but don’t destroy your moisture balance with over-cleansing.

Thats all ladies. But, catch Mikki Taylor tonight at Hue-Man Bookstore 2319 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York, NY 10027 (between 124th and 125th Streets) at 6pm for a Q&A moderated by Bevy Smith.

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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