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Random Rundown: New Pop Artist Grace Valerie

grace valerie

Blonde beauty Grace Valerie is an upcoming pop superstar making her way through the music industry one single at a time. The Russian native decided to make her dreams come true when she travelled to America after she was granted an opportunity to work with Randy Jackson. Today, she is preparing for her debut album as an independent artist.

Grace’s most popular single recently hit 1.5 million views since she posted it on YouTube, which has boosted her online presence and increased he fan base drastically. Vixen chatted with the lovely freshmen about her style, the best advice she's ever gotten and her musical inspiration. Click ahead and get to know the pop diva. 

Photo Credit(s): Getty Images and Facebook

grace valerie

Vixen: What was one of your most rebellious moments?
Grace Valerie: I would say coming all the way from Russia to America. It was very brave and probably one of the craziest things I’ve ever done in my life.

Do you have any hidden talents or interesting things that you do in your leisure time?
I love to cook. I love to do make up and anything that involves beauty. I would say that it’s my hidden talent because I learn really quickly from the make up artists that I work with. I love to create on my own looks and do my own make up. Sometimes I’ll help my girlfriends out too.

What's your favorite “girl power” anthem?
The song by Beyoncé, “If I Were a Boy.”

grace valerie

What is an un-googleable fact about you?
I love to watch a lot of TV shows. I don’t ever talk about it, but when I have free time I love to stay at home. Sometimes I sit on my couch and watch TV shows and movies. That’s like my favorite thing to do. My favorite television show is Scandal—I love it. My favorite movies as of right now are The Great Gatsby and Side Effects.

Who is your biggest inspiration in music?
My biggest inspiration is Beyoncé. I love her music, I love the way she dances, and I love the clothes she wears. She definitely inspires me a lot and I follow her on a daily basis. I’ve learned a lot from her as an artist.

What is your favorite work that you’ve done as an artist?
My favorite work of my own was shooting the music video for the song “When the Lights Go Down.” It was very fun. A lot of great dancers came out and I had a lot of amazing clothes. There were just good people hanging out. My friends in L.A came out, my brother flew from Russia and it was just a lot of fun. I also want to say another one of my favorite things I’ve done was visiting a school. I really loved talking to the kids, playing with them, reading with them and dancing with them. It’s just so cool that you can talk to them and they’ll listen to you and look up to you. It makes them think about their own future and what they want to do or who they want to be. It was a great time.

grace valerie

What was the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
When I started working with Randy Jackson, he always supported me and he would always tell me that I should not be afraid of who I am. He always told me to go for it. I think that that really pushes me everyday. To hear such great words from such a great man and such a talented producer as Randy Jackson, it means a lot.

What was your first fan moment like?
I had a show in Chicago at a local gay cub and the fan drove from another state to see me. He was tweeting and Facebook-ing me about my show saying that he was there and how excited he was. I saw him in the front row singing my songs and after the show he came up to me and we chatted and took pictures. He told me that “When The Lights Go Down” was his favorite show and it was really sweet. I think I’ll remember that for the rest of my life.

What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m working on creating my own lipstick. I’m also working on a daily basis with dance routines and setting up dates for other shows. I am working on my first album and a lot of new music. I’m planning for some New York City press days in June as well.

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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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