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Strange Beauty: 8 Unconventional Products That Get the Job Done

Forget the makeup and beauty aisles for just one minute! Have you opened your medicine cabinet or refrigerator recently??? There are many everyday household and grocery items that have been said to double as great skincare and cosmetic fixes. Here are a few unconventional products that get the job done!

Disclaimer: Everything is not for everybody, and we can not guarantee that each product listed will yield the best results for you. Try things out at your own risk, and see what works.

What are some of your strange beauty remedies?

1. Aspirin - Many people swear by aspirin masks as a means of achieving soft, supple, and even-toned skin. Aspirin contains Beta Hydroxy Acids, which are actually found in many luxury skincare products, and work to exfoliate, remove dead skin cells, and heal blemishes. Gradually, these BHA's can improve skin clarity, tone, and texture. A few tips: Uncoated, dissolvable tablets must be used for the mask. Many people opt to add a bit of honey or essential oil to the mixture to soothe. The mask should only be used once or twice a week max - don't over do it. And of course - do not try this if you're allergic to aspirin, silly!

2. Chafing Cream - Did you know that anti-chafing products such as Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel (Sheesh - that name is long) and Lanacane can actually double as foundation primer? Use a small amount all over your face, after moisturizer, to prep the skin for smooth, long-lasting foundation application.

3. Milk of Magnesia - If you struggle with extremely oily skin and nothing else seems to beat the shine, try Milk of Magnesia! This laxative liquid doubles as an extreme mattifier, and can either be mixed in with moisturizer, or applied with a cotton round all over the face right before makeup application. Tip: A few drops will go a long way with this product. If you use too much at once, the liquid can leave a dry, whitish residue on the skin. Also, be sure to use the original formula - veer away from any flavored or scented variations.

4. Lemon Juice - I'll never forget the year I asked my mom why I, as a brown skin girl, had darker knees and elbows than my, well, non-brown peers. My 3rd grade mind was so perplexed, and it just didn't seem fair. The next morning, as I was getting ready for school, she brought in a bottle of lemon juice and bag of cotton balls: "Here, put the juice on a cotton ball, and rub it on your elbows and knees every day before you do your lotion." From that point on, I was a lemon-juicing fool, ok?! A few days later, when my bottle prematurely ran out (I clearly OD'd), I took to the refrigerator. Bingo! Found a lemon, bust that thang open, and got to rubbing. Needless to say - my knees and elbows were shining that summer. The darkness had faded significantly, and they were much smoother. I also had some toned biceps from swinging off bugs and bees attracted to the strong tangy scent, but whatevs.

5. Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets - Struggling with unruly hair static? Simply rub a dryer sheet through your strands to tame the frizz. Or, if you've just returned from a long night at the club or bar - only to discover that your hair reeks of smoke (Egchk!) - throw a sheet in your bonnet or pillowcase as you sleep to neutralize and absorb the unpleasant odor.

6. Toilet Seat Covers - This might sound a bit unsanitary, but I heard it from a celebrity makeup artist and owner of a major cosmetics company: Toilet seat covers [unused, of course!] double as awesome blot paper for oily skin! Granted, public restrooms tend to be a bit sketch in general. But, if you happen to find an extra clean one, thumb through the back of the bin and tear off a piece. I betcha it'll seep that shine right on up! 
                 

7 & 8. Toothpaste & Neosporin - When dealing with unexpected breakouts, both of these medicine cabinet staples can double as quick and easy spot treatments. Use toothpaste overnight on untouched pimples to dry out the bacteria. If you couldn't resist messing with the blemish, try Neosporin instead to aid in healing and prevent the formation of dark scars.

- Chelsea 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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