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Vixen Chat: Yandy Smith Talks Pregnancy, Her Private Relationship and Missy Elliott

Last October, Vixen introduced readers to Yandy Smith: a proverbial peacemaker and business woman, whose main focus was her job and doing it to the best of her ability. Fast forward to today, and a lot has changed since her introduction to the world via Love & Hip-Hop. Yandy has cashed in on her celebrity and has walked away with opportunities in film production, an increasingly popular accessories line and new management ventures. But, none of these endeavors compare to her most recent journey, which has currently been into the realm of motherhood.

With a little under two months left until her due date, Yandy is ready to tackle this new experience, but questions her ability to balance a baby and a briefcase. But, whatever happens, this maverick promises to step out on faith, believing she’ll figure it out.

Smith chats about her pregnancy, her work with Missy Elliot, the ups and downs of reality television and more!

The last time we spoke, you were wrapping up production on Love & Hip-Hop. How do you feel after taping as well as watching yourself on the show?
I can’t say it wasn’t me. It was completely me. Every little bit of it was me. I wish they were able to go into a little more of who I am as a person and see some more of my characteristics, but I was very careful because I didn’t want my personal life exploited and on the show. I wanted it to be focused on business, but the way it turned out; it was focused on business either. I guess if I gave in a little on the personal side, all of the drama wouldn’t have been necessary.

If you were asked to, would you come back for a second season?
I probably would, if the money was right. If it’s something that my significant other wanted to do, I would do it. You know, because I have a family now and I wouldn’t want to put the message out there of raising this baby by myself since I’m not. So, it would have to be a family decision now since there’s more to my life and my family since taping the show previously.

As of date, you’ve been doing a lot of work with Missy Elliot. What can fans expect from her next studio album?
The album is incredible. Her and Timbaland came together and joined forces on this album. It’s like Missy and Tim reunited times three because it’s extra dope. It has some new flavor to it then a little of the old school funk to it. It’s crazy. They put their asses in it. They did the damn thing.

When can we expect that to drop?
I don’t want to give a date yet, because everything has to align, all of the ducks have to be in a row. We do have a possible date, but it all depends on when the single comes out as well, and how everything goes. There are a lot of factors that go into putting a Missy project out. So, I don’t want to say anything, and then I have the Missy stans coming for me when it’s not that deep [laughs]. It’s definitely in the near future when you’ll be hearing a single, a very near future.

What has been going with Everything Girls Love? Can we expect a new collection soon?
Everything Girls Love is doing very well, especially the magazine. On the jewelry front, everything is consistently going well. We’re adding new products every month. We recently added a lip gloss line called Embellish. We’re also doing jewelry shows around the East Coast. We had a couple jewelry shows this past month.

Tami Roman graced the last cover, what do you think of her whole stint on this season of Basketball Wives, especially after being labeled as an “adult bully” towards the end?
I can’t really speak for Basketball Wives, but I know with our show, a lot of times things were one-sided. People on my show were calling me the Don King of reality TV because it looked like I was setting fights up. Like I was setting Kimbella up when Chrissy [Lampkin] fought her, and I set Kimbella up with Erica [Mena]. A lot of times, it was situation I didn’t even know we were walking into. I happen to know Tami personally and she’s a really sweet person. I can’t speak about what Tami has done, because I know reality TV and I know how editing works.

If the participants know this about the editing style, why do you think they all keep coming back?
The positive by far outweighs the negative. I look at how much it’s done for my brand, my Everything Girls Love brand, how I’ve been able to become a writer for Black Enterprise, how many people request me to manage them, even the money I’ve been able to save. I basically have my son’s college tuition saved and that’s just from club hosting. I didn’t spend any of that money. I put it in the bank for him, so when I look at that, it’s great! I can’t take anything away from the opportunities it’s afforded me.

How has everything been going since your big pregnancy reveal?
As we speak, we’re getting the nursery together. It’s been a little crazy it the house. I’ve been driving my honey crazy. I’ve been reading up, where the last couple of months you get into this nesting mode where if everything’s not in order you go crazy. So, I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I just need the room to be ready and the house in order.

How has the experience been like overall?
It’s been great! People talk about the emotional this and that. I’ve been super happy! I haven’t had an emotional breakdown. The emotional breakdown is coming because it’s getting closer. I haven’t been able to sleep. I won’t be able to sleep unless this nursery is in order. It’s so much to think about and so much to do, but I love it. I love the special treatment I’m getting. I get back rubs and foot massages. I get breakfast cooked sometimes if he doesn’t have to work, so it’s been okay. It’s been good, really good.

Are you having a boy or a girl?
I’m having a little boy!

You’re a fairly private person when it comes to your personal life. Do you plan to continue to keep your relationship with your baby's father private?
In due time, it will reveal itself. Stay tuned to Twitter, Instagram, Love & Hip-Hop. I think it was important to establish myself as a business women first and not a woman who’s attached to a man. I love him tremendously and he’s been a support during the taping of the show and when I managed him initially. He’s been great. He’s been a great supporter. You know, the media and everyone else, they make up so many things and they can be so cruel, so I kind of wanted to shield him from that. Putting him out there, the baby out there, it’s just a lot that you have to think about. People are harsh and people are cruel.

How was it sharing your pregnancy with Kimbella? You two are pretty close already.
It was so fun. I couldn’t have picked a better situation. Any questions I had, she could answer. Every single thing I go through, I could call and ask her if this is normal or did you go through this. Even with our men. Is yours doing this or eating this or sleeping a lot? We’re going through a lot of the same things physically and within our relationships, so it’s been pretty fun to have a partner in crime.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve received about motherhood?
It’s from my mom really. She just says this is the time when you cannot control anything that happens. You have to put everything that you know; leave it out the door, but you put your faith and trust in God and that is it. I couldn’t determine what my baby’s sex was going to be. I can’t determine if my baby will come out full term or premature. I can’t determine if everything will come out perfect. I’m a control freak and a worry wart, so she said, 'You have to stop worrying. You have to stop trying to control this. Just let God do his thing.' That has been some really good advice.

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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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