Kim and Friends

Five’s a Crowd: How to Keep it Cool with the Outer Circle

Have you ever noticed how well La La gets along with Po and Dice on La La’s Full Court, or when Kelly and Serena come to hang out they never have any problems? Now compare that with the drink-tossing, fist-throwing drama on Real Housewives, Love and Hip-Hop, and Basketball Wives — see the difference?

Part of the reason for the change is the fact that La La actually knows the girls she’s hanging with and isn’t forced to meet up with random women for the sake of good TV. What we see on these shows is exactly what tends to happen when there’s a “new girl” in the group or you’re hanging out with women who aren’t your closest BFFs.

We all know about Evelyn Lozada’s infamous “circle,” but do you know how to get along with the outer circle—you know the new associates and friends of friends—without being a mean girl? Here are a few tips.

Stay open-minded
I’m the worst at this because I like to segment my friends and hang out in small groups. Whenever I know someone else is tagging along, I get a little iffy about how that may change the dynamic, but in my experience that’s been an unnecessary worry the majority of the time. If you go into a situation expecting not to like someone, you’ll be sure to find a reason not to and you could miss out on a cool friend or even a professional contact by being too standoffish. At least give the relationship a friendly try in the beginning.

Keep a tight lip
On the other hand, you don’t know these women so there’s no need to tell them everything about you. Remember, when you meet someone new, you’re being sized up just as much they’re making a first impression on you. It’s best to keep a lid on the deep dark secrets only your closest girls need to know (Kimbella), and definitely limit the gossip—it’s not a good look.

Meet in a neutral place
The time to hang out with women you don’t know too well is not when you’re stranded on an island for a week with no exit strategy. A huge, all-girls vacay sounds super fun in theory, but too many women can turn what was supposed to be a relaxing getaway into a drama-filled weekend where no one is speaking to each other at the end. You wouldn’t go out of town with a new guy too soon so you should follow that same rule when it comes to the outer circle. (See Basketball Wives Miami’s trip to Italy as Exhibit A or Basketball Wives LA’s Hawaii trip as Exhibit B if you need more help understanding this one.)

Limit the alcohol
Drinking can either loosen your nerves and help you be more of yourself, or turn you into a completely different person. You really don’t want either one to happen with people you don’t know too well. The first option doesn’t sound so bad, but for the same reason you need to keep a tight lip, you need to have a cocktail limit if you have a tendency to develop diarrhea of the mouth when you have one too many. As for turning into a completely different person—nobody likes an angry drunk or an emotional one. You don’t want to be that girl when you’re out with people who will have no problem never speaking to you again. And as someone who has been stuck babysitting women who’ve had too much to drink while their real friends were off partying more times than I care to recall, you also don’t want to be the girl who can’t hold her liquor. Plus, the less drinks there are, the less chance one ends up getting thrown.

Do you have a big group of friends or do you keep a tight circle? How well do you get along when you’re hanging out with extended friends or new girls?

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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 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!

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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