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The Ultimate Beauty Lovers Holiday Gift Guide

kate sommerville kit

Christmas is around the corner and the gift-giving anxiety is real. Everyone seems to have everything these days, so finding a good gift (let alone perfect) is a lost art. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled the best gifts for all the beauty girls on your list—even the know-it-all friend that has everything (yea, we hate those types too). Click the next page to get started.

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Kate Sommerville, $38, katesomerville.com

Combat the signs of aging with these intensive exfoliating treatments created to clarify and polish your skin.

Ciate-Tree-Trinkets-Holiday-2013-nail-polish-collectionCiaté Tree Trinkets, $30, sephora.com

Gift Ciaté this year under the tree or on it, with this limited edition gift set. Nestled inside 6 Christmas ornaments are small colorful Paint Pots sure to make a big impression. Gift individually or to gift as a whole set.

red-door-gift-cardRed Door Spa Gift Card, reddoorspas.com

With every $200 gift card purchase, guests receive a complimentary $30 spa card.

 

urban-decay-naked-palette-3Naked 3, $52, urbandecay.com

Try these rose-hued neutrals—from pale, shimmery pink to deep black matte with rosy red micro-glitter just in time for your New Years celebrations.

moroccan-oil-candleMoroccan Oil Candle, $52, moroccanoil.com

Handcrafted in France, this signature Moroccanoil scented candle instantly relaxes your mind.

le-couvent-des-minimes-soap-quatroLe Couvent des Minimes Soap Quatro, $22.50 usa.lecouventdesminimes.com

These vegetable based soaps gently cleanse without over drying.

vaselineBejeweled Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips, $45, shopkitson.com

Adorned with fine European crystals, these portable bejeweled Vaseline jars add a little sparkle and pink hue to your lips. The perfect stocking stuffer.

Anthony logistics kitAnthony Logistics Essential Traveler Kit, $48, anthony.com

Is the guy in your life always on the go? Get him a kit filled with Papaya Enzyme Peel; Pro-Collagen Marine Cream; Skin Nourishing Shower Cream; Soothing Apricot Toner; Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser, Hand and Nail Cream and Illuminating Flash Balm.

butterfly-shaversButterfly Pro, $105, skullshaver.com

Shave your legs in a quicker, more efficient manner with no water or lather required.

Clarisonic PediClarisonic Pedi, $199, clarisonic.com

Transform overworked heels and toes into beautiful, sandal-ready feet.

 

Sally Hansen Gel Starter KitSally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Starter kit, $50, sallyhansen.com

Why spend time at nail salons when you can get the same results at home?

Iluminage pillowIluminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase, $60 bergdorfgoodman.com

This fiber-infused copper oxide woven pillowcase has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while you sleep.

OPI_Mariah_Carey_holiday_setOPI Mariah Carey Mini 3-Pack/Liquid Sand, $9.95, opi.com

New mini’s that are perfect for holiday travel.

michael-jordan-legend-setMichael Jordan Legend Set, $50, macys.com

Give the guy in your life a scent that’s woodsy and filled with notes of bergamot, lavender and anise.

urban-decayUrban Decay Face Cases, $44, urbandecay.com

In addition to having everything you need for a perfectly beat face, this silver and gunmetal packaging looks gorgeous in a small bag prepped for a night on the town.

the sitota collection

The Sitota Collection’s luxurious home fragrance candles, $55 (Petit Excursion Candle Quartet), thesitotacollection.com

Inspired by her love of travel, these fragrances are reminiscent of a personal journey by founder and music industry vet Yvette Davis Gayle. “My world is a global landscape,” said Gayle. “And like a painter who paints his past, I create luxury products to recall my most precious memories. My luxurious candle fragrances highlight my very personal experiences, including a remarkable journey that led me to my daughter, Sitota.”

cocotiqueCocotique, $20 monthly/$58 for 3 months/$112 for 6 months/$220 for 1 year cocotique.com

Each month, you will receive a Cocotique Box with 5-6 expertly curated beauty and lifestyle samples delivered to your door filled with a variety of samples from skin care, hair care, fragrance, nail and lifestyle companies.

touch-up-and-glowPer-fékt Beauty Touch Up & Glow, $55 perfektbeauty.com

Enjoy skin perfection CC creme broad spectrum SPF 30 and cheek perfection gel that will leave your skin with a smooth, airbrushed appearance.

MAC cosmeticsMAC Stroke of Midnight Eye Bag in Gold, $39.50, maccosmetics.com

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VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk Podcast: Meet Peppermint, The Boss Using Her Gifts For Good

VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk podcast amplifies the voices of women and she/her-identifying individuals in their respective industries as they discuss their journeys toward becoming the bosses we know today. From their demeanor and confidence and persevering through life’s pitfalls to make a name for themselves in their own way, being a boss is much more than 'just running sh*t.'

Miss Peppermint started as a staple in the New York nightlife scene, and after appearing as a contestant on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, she’s continued to make a name for herself.

Outside of the show, she's traveled the world and is hoping to release her third album, which she hints will be influenced by the '90s, R&B, and neo-soul. She's also planning on re-releasing her debut album, Hardcore Glamour, for its 10-year anniversary.

"I'll be doing a lot in New York this year for World Pride," she explains to Boss Talk's host, J'na Jefferson. Pride takes place throughout June. "The last album I dropped was 2017... I'm excited about that, I'm writing it now. It's just poems, but I'm excited."

Peppermint, who was the first openly transgender contestant on the Emmy Award-winning show, was also the first transgender woman to originate a principal role on Broadway for her role as Pythio in Head Over Heels. 

 

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A post shared by Head Over Heels (@hohmusical) on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:26pm PST

"On paper, it shouldn't make sense... it's hard to explain what it is," she says of the musical, which combined a loose adaptation of 16th-century piece The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia with the music of the new wave group, The Go-Go's. It closed in late-2018.

"The better way to explain it now that it's over and closed is 'a revolutionary show about dismantling the patriarchy...'" she says about Head Over Heels. "I knew that they wanted to cast a trans actor... I wanted to put as much as I could into it, and try to do our non-binary siblings well and proud... [the show] became something I really believed in."

Peppermint continues to share her love of performing all over the world and is also an activist, who aims to promote the importance of LGBTQIA representation and advancement. She has worked and supported organizations such as The Point Foundation, which aims to help LGBTQIA students attend college. 

"People are just starting to catch on that having queer voices is essential and inevitable," she says of further representation of LGBTQIA individuals in media and entertainment. She praises Pose creator Ryan Murphy for showcasing trans people of color both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes.

"Giving [trans people] the power to speak for themselves, rather than slapping the community with stereotypes or archetypes... we're past that," she continues. "We're not in the phase where they're feeling comfortable to be who they are, but I think we're getting close."

Listen to the full episode below.

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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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