If anyone’s gotten the hang of Zoom over the past year or so, it’s Vivica A. Fox. The multi-hyphenate spent most of the past year-and-a-half adding to her ever-growing IMDB page, and she scored yet another hyphen to her list of job descriptions: podcast host. When she’s not virtually running the aptly titled Hustling With Vivica A. Fox, she joins the talkshow Cocktails With Queens. In short, there was plenty to chat about when we connected.
Joining our call from the west coast, Fox has a glow and energy that radiates over Zoom. It feels more like talking with someone I’ve known for a while—and in a way it almost is. The actress, director, producer, and entrepreneur has been a staple on the big and small screen for years. From her turn in iconic films like Set It Off and Kill Bill (to name just a few), to starring roles and guest features on television, the pandemic certainly hasn't slowed Ms. Fox down.
When we caught up, she also gamely shared plenty of her wellness and beauty tips. From the beauty secret she learned from Nia Long, to the spa she calls her "fountain of youth," we got plenty of beauty wisdom from Vivica A. Fox.
How has the past year or so been for you? How do you feel with things opening up and more in-person events happening?
"Well, I'm gonna tell you COVID for me wasn't that bad. I sold my house, moved, got several shows, did tons of movies... I guess they found that one actress that was going to work doing COVID, and it was Vivica Fox [Laughs]. I'm in a new house now that I just absolutely love. I wake up to a beautiful view every day.
"Then, I have Cocktails with Queens that’s happening on Monday nights on Fox Soul. I have two shows Cocktails with Queens and The Screening Room that I host. Then I did a whole bunch of So Wrong It's Right films for Lifetime."
You started a podcast last year, what has that experience been like?
"My podcast Hustling with Vivica A. Fox has been an amazing experience for me because I had a talk show called Face the Truth, which really helped me with my hosting skills.
"Usually, I'm being interviewed. For me now to be an interviewer was challenging and fun. Hustling with Vivica A. Fox is all about celebrating careers from all different walks of life. My main thing is that I wanted people to know their journeys—not what you happen to see them promoting (a movie, or a television show). It's all about: How did you get started? Where are you from? What things would people be surprised to know about you?"
What’s one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from your guests?
"The biggest lesson I've learned from a lot of my guests is to enjoy the ride. I've gotten better, but when I first started acting, everything was about perfection. You had to have the right hairdo, the right shoes, the right projects, and now it's okay to just enjoy the ride. There are going to be some projects that you think are going to turn out awesome, that don’t. There'll be moments that you make mistakes, and the main thing is just not to beat yourself up over your journey."
Do you have a skin or hair care routine that you do before hosting your podcast?
"Absolutely, but baby, I still got to get my wig and everything together. Because you know, this is Vivica Fox Hair Collection. We got Britney over here today. During COVID, since a lot of women couldn't go to the beauty salon, guess what they were wearing? The Vivica Fox hair collection, yes honey! Thank you, queens!
"My routine is my girls come over, and they get me ready for the shows. I've got my hair and my makeup artists. Today we put on 'Britney.' I've got a whole closet of the Vivica Fox hair collection [for] each outfit, or what we may be feeling that week. On the show, we dress up, sometimes with themes. We've done everything from the Kentucky Derby to "lady in red" to celebrating birthdays. I always get to do the different looks from my hair collection.
"My skin thing that I love is this little thing right here."
Oh, the jade roller!
"From Aloisia, the Rose Gold Quartz Facial Roller ($30)... look at this little, bitty thing, it’s so cute! You can rub underneath the eyes and the forehead, and all that.
"I like to start off the day with Aloisa. They've got an excellent Purifying Cleanser ($38) that you put on and then they have these great little masks [for] every day, seven days a week. There are different masks that serve different needs for the day. Some are very hydrating and moisturizing. I just love these so I start off my day with a cup of coffee and my little mask."
Have you ever tried the jade roller with the mask on?
"No, I haven't thought about doing that! That's a good idea, like rub the products in. You go, girl."
You’ve done so many iconic roles, have you taken any beauty inspiration or lessons from the set or the characters you’ve played?
"What started me with [the jade roller], was when we were doing Empire. I would see Nia Long in the chair, doing this thing and I was like, 'Girl, what are you doing?' She's like, 'Oh my God, you've got to use one of these, they're so wonderful.' I put mine in my refrigerator because I like things to be nice and cold, so I learned about jade rollers from my girl Nia Long.
"When you get off of work, take off your makeup. That's definitely something [I took] from the set. All day, you're underneath lights, and they're touching you up. You've got to take care of this canvas, and you know that's where it starts."
What are your must-have beauty products?
"I love a good humidifier because I put my essential oils in there. I start off my day with my mask, cup of coffee, and humidifier. I love essential oils—eucalyptus and lemongrass—because it just opens everything up, and it seems like it's like really good energy for me."
What is your self-care routine like? How do you take time to prioritize yourself with everything going on in the past year?
"Self-care for me is protecting my peace. Learn to take 'me time.' I usually go to the Beverly Hot Springs, and it's a natural alkaline spa. I get in that water, and I steam. I get in the cold dip, I get my massages, and I swear by microdermabrasion, oxygen facials. So, it's maintaining the canvas.
"I love going to the spa. The Beverly Hot Springs is my definite must-have self-care. If you visit LA, I want you to treat yourself to the Beverly Hot Springs. They have this treatment called Body Scrub, Body Care. For me, it's like my fountain of youth. It really is... I've been going there since 1989."
Are there any hair or makeup trends you're excited to try for fall?
"Have you noticed lately that orange has become all the rage when it comes to hair color? I want to try an orange 'do. I also saw that kind of mohawk, kind of natural look—I want to do something funky like that as well.
"Fashion week just happened this week, it looks like a lot of sparkle is going to be coming up for the holiday season. Holly Robinson Peete posted [about it], and I’m loving all these new Black designers that are finally getting their time right in the spotlight at Fashion Week. Sergio Hudson had some beautiful blues, purples, and reds—that was just gorgeous. I'm missing being able to go to fashion week, I had to work this week. I’m glad fashion week is back, aren’t you?"
That was my last question and I would hold you here all day... But, do you have any final beauty advice?
"That’s okay, let me think..."
Tell me everything!
"Well, you know what I find works for my beauty is hydration. I tell my girls to make sure I drink a lot of water. The secret to drinking a lot of water is to put a little bit of lemon or lime in it just to give it some kind of flavor.
"I try to stretch. During COVID I started working with a sister, Kika Stretch Studio. Once we get older, it's so good [to stretch]. It's very zen to me. I'm not really into the whole yoga thing because I get bored kind of fast, you know what I mean? We would have my music on, and you could do it at home... Stretch, loosen up your back, crack your back a little bit if you can, but stretch."