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Beauty Class: 10 Ways to Maintain a Flawless Face, 24/7

Vixens, we know you're busy gals. You work, go to class, hang out with friends, date the boo, raise the kids, run the company, and everything else in between! So, you certainly don't have time to be worrying about your makeup moving, creasing, fading, and bleeding throughout the day. To ensure a face that stays beat through breakfast, the board room, Happy Hour, and date night - try a few of these simple steps.

1. Know Your Skin
Knowing and understanding your skin type is key to selecting products that will work best and last the longest. A woman who tends to be very oily, for example, will not benefit from foundations that boast radiance, luminosity, and a dewy glow; Nine times out of ten, you'll be an oil slick by mid-morning! Regular consultations with a dermatologist will help you gain an understanding of your skin, especially as it changes throughout the years (and even season-by-season). Know your skin so that you can make the most out of beauty product selection.

2. Prep
You can't expect to get the most out of your makeup today if you're applying it to skin that still bears yesterday's dirt and grime. Cleansing and gentle exfoliation are where it all begins. Removing dead skin cells and excess debris will give the skin a fresh new start. Clean skin is happy skin, and it does a better job of receiving and holding on to the skincare and makeup products that you apply to it.

3. Hydrate
Moisturizer is one of those things you just can't pass up on if you expect to stay flawless from morning 'til night. Hydrate your skin with a lotion or cream suitable to your skin type. If you suffer from extremely dry skin, a rich day cream with spf may be your go to. Oily skin types may opt instead for a lightweight, mattifying lotion. Whichever you prefer, be sure that your skin is getting it's daily dose of hydration via good skincare, so that your makeup doesn't have to work twice as hard.

4. Prime
Just as we apply a base coat to our nails, or prime a wall before painting, the skin must be prepared as well. Foundation primers even out the skin and allow your foundation, powder, etc. to be applied more smoothly, stay true-to-color, and last longer throughout the day. Primers are the bridge between your skincare and makeup, and really help products to stay in place even hours after application. Please note that there are a variety of primer types, based on the area of your face you'd like to prep; foundation primers are for the skin, eye primers prevent creasing of shadows and help pigments appear more vibrant, and lip primers smooth the lips and prevent feathering.

5. Invest in Good Tools
Good tools are just as important of the products they're used to apply. If you find that your makeup isn't lasting very long throughout the day, it's possible that you're not using the right tools to put them on. I often hear women complain about the seemingly high price of professional makeup brushes, and certainly I understand this concern from a frugal viewpoint. But, from an artist's perspective, I can honestly attest to the fact that quality brushes do most of the work for you, pack the product on more sufficiently, and can last for years on end if properly cared for. For good brushes on a budget, try brands like EcoTools, RealTechniques, and Sonia Kashuk. I'd also recommend adding a quality velour puff, eye lash curler, and set of anti-bacterial sponges to your kit.


6. Take Time With Application
I know ladies - we're busy - and in a rush. However, if you want your makeup to stay in place, you have to invest just a little bit more time and effort into the way you apply your "beat". Simple tricks like stippling your foundation on or applying concealer and lipstick with a brush for more precision will truly make the difference. It also helps to set each step of the face as you go, as opposed to waiting until you're all done. For example, try apply a loose dusting of powder after foundation and concealer, then again after blush and bronzer; it ensures that each layer is locked in place. Just don't go overboard, and be sure to sweep away any excess.

7. Layer
Layering is a secret gem in the professional makeup artists' bag of tricks! If longevity is what you want out of your beauty products, start using them together! If your fave lipstick color is wearing off too soon, try applying it over a lip that is lightly lined and filled in with a complimentary pencil. If you find that your powder blush seems to disappear after a few hours, use it over top a creme blush or liquid cheek stain. If eyebrows are your thing, consider reinforcing your brow pencil with a gel, or setting brow powder w/a wax. All in all, there is power in layers. You wouldn't just get one coat of polish at the nail salon, would you?! Exactly.

8. Waterproof
For an active woman on the go, waterproof (or water-resistant) beauty items insure the look, and give you an added few hours of wear. I, for example, live by my black waterproof YSL eye liner pencil, because it never smudges or creases on my oily lids. These days, everything from liner, mascara, foundation, and even lip gloss (crazy, right!?) come in varieties that combat water. The only trade off is finding the right products to take them off - gently - when all is said and done! There are plenty of makeup remover wipes, oils, and creams that do just the trick for long-wearing cosmetics. Estee Lauder's "Take it Away" towelettes are one of my go-tos.

9. Set
The final step in a flawless and long-lasting face is setting everything into place. If powder is your thing, try applying with either a dense, fluffy brush or velour puff in a patting motion, which really packs the product into the skin. If you prefer a more dewy look but still want staying power, try a finishing spray like Urban Decay's "All Nighter" or one of the five different sprays offered by Skindinavia [http://www.skindinavia.com/index.php].

10. Touch-Up
Once you've left home to hit the streets, be sure to stay strapped with a few key items that'll help your face look fresh throughout the day! Your lipstick is one of them, though you'll rarely have to pull it out if you've lined your lips fully. Blotting papers and/or pressed powder are other great things to keep in the stash, just in case a bit of shine surfaces. And, should any imperfections peek-a-boo when you're least expecting them, keep a small concealer stick/pen on standby. They won't catch you slipping!

What tips, tricks, and tools do you use to keep your makeup in place 24/7??? We'd love to hear them…

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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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