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The Vibe Vixen Editors' Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

With exactly one week until Christmas, the pressure to find the perfect gift is on like never before. We asked our editor's to pick a few items from their must-have list to give us some insight on what's hot in the streets. So jump the page and get to it, and find something for yourself while you're at it.

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Deena Campbell, Beauty Editor

Fred Segal The Blend Kit, $150, theblendfragrance.com

I have an army of fragrances at my home, and even in my desk at work, but, there’s nothing like creating your own signature scent. The blend kit allows me to never smell like anyone ever again.

royal-jellyRoyal Jelly Blaze Blazer, $275, royaljellyharlem.com

Nothing like a gorgeous statement blazer to kick off the new year.

blue apronBlue Apron, $9.99 per serving, blueapron.com
I’m always out and about, so I hardly have any time to stop at the grocery store for at home meals. But, Blue Apron changes the game and provides original recipes complete with detailed cooking instructions, and the fresh (pre-measured) ingredients needed to cook gourmet meals at home.

 Fitbit Flex wristbandFitbit Flex, $99.95, fitbit.com

I think I’m more active than the average person my age, but every now and then I need a little motivation to be more energetic. Fitbit Flex is my answer. During the day the slim wristband tracks my steps, distance, and calories burned. And at night, it measures my sleep cycle. Best of all it syncs to my computer. Seriously, goal setting has never been easier. 

mighty-pursemighty-purse

Mighty Purse, $95, mightypurse.com

Finally, a stylish purse that charges my phone.

huetiful-hair-steamerHuetiful Hair Steamer, $116.95, behuetiful.com

I'm no longer going natural, but steaming is great for infusing hydration to prevent breakage, and retain length. Oh, and the complimentary Spa Facial Steamer is the icing on the cake.

**gift card's are available for $99.95. It has a unique code on the gift card allows you to ship a hair steamer to anywhere in the US and it is transferable.**

bandaid ringShanel Odum, Content Editor

Esses Bandaid Ring
Because I want the best-dressed boo-boo on the block.
silver-suspendersLitter Unzipped Suspenders
$110, litersf.com
An impossibly chic way to combat impromptu sag-busting.
perfume-bagsChanel Perfume Purse
Price Available Upon Request,chanel.com
The perfect way to pay homage to both my signatures—scent and autograph.
number-necklaceMelanie Favreau I-Feel-Like-A-Number Necklace
I’m sure to stand out in the crowd rocking this statement-making, sterling silver pendant.
 security-badge-broachA+R Cast OF Vices’ Security Tag Broach
A unique way to ensure that my sense of style remains jack-proof.
paw-ringsMarty Magic Elfin Dragon Ear Wrap
Just call me Khaleesi Daenerys, Mother Of Dragons.
garlic necklaceBall and Chain Jewelry Garlic Vampire Repellent Necklace
Silver and garlic? That’s a double fang bang for my buck.
necklacesAlchemy 1977 Marie Antoinette Necklace
I almost lost my head when I saw this gorgeous guillotine.
plannerDiarrha N'Diaye, Social Media EditorKate Spade, Brightspot Avenue Large Debra, $198, katespade.comIt’s true: “The person who fails to plan, plans to fail.” I hold Frederick Douglass’ quote very near and dear, so every year I make it a duty to buy a planner. A fancy planner always makes planning that much more fun and for that, I always look to Kate Spade.
GloGLO Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device, $199, sephora.com

I am an avid coffee drinker, and unfortunately, my morning habit is taking a toll on my smile. GLO’s at-home whitening system is truly a wonder; I noticed a difference after three uses! I would certainly recommend it as the perfect gift for your coffee-loving friend. Afraid she may take it personal? Add a cute little touch with a gift card to her favorite coffee spot.

sephora-nail-kitSephora by OPI At-Home Gel Colour System, $159, sephora.com

I jumped for joy when I discovered nail art’s latest gel-mani craze. You couldn’t imagine my reaction when Sephora finally introduced their OPI beauty tech gadget. With this At-Home Gel Colour System, your loved ones can save few trips to the crowded nail salons, and more importantly, save money.

GlovesKenneth Cole Elbow-length Perforated Leather Gloves, $198, kennethcole.com

Elbow-length gloves are the perfect “insta-glam” winter accessory. Whether you’re pairing it with a basic tee, jean combination or your favorite holiday mini-dress, these gloves add a sassy touch to your chic, wintery look. 

caseCroc Traincase, $110, sephora.com

I am a beauty fanatic and it’s important to keep all my goods organized. This traincase would make my mornings much less of hide-and-seek game, and more of get-up and go routine.

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VIBE Vixen/ Jessica Xie

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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"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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