Let's face it, Gabrielle Union pretty much hasn't aged since her role in Bring It On in 1999—how is she 44 years old?! A beauty icon in every sense of the word, it was only a matter of time before the actress launched her own product line, and that she did. Enter Flawless , a 10-piece collection of hair care essentials for women with textured strands, which is something Union says was missing from the market. We spoke to the star to find out what influenced her to create the brand, her tips for maintaining a youthful look and her motivation for staying fit—and no, it's not her NBA All-Star husband.
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On what inspired her to create Flawless...
"I was inspired by my own experiences, as well as those of other women with textured hair who I worked with. You wake up at 5 a.m. and go to work to do one of the most glamorous jobs on the planet, and there may or may not be hairstylists there who know how to work with textured hair. So when you're all done up and you finally have your moment to shine, you just feel and look nuts...and that’s happened to me, and other people I know, over and over again.
So, I created a line that I wanted and needed—I wanted to have all the products I loved in one place. I'm not saying there aren't great products out there for textured hair (there are), but you have to go to a thousand different places to find them all, and none of them met all of my needs. Textured hair needs moisture, moisture, moisture, so I added a three-oil blend— argan , avocado and marula—that I hadn't seen on the market, to all the products to make them incredibly nurturing and moisturizing.
I was my own lab rat for testing the products, but I also looked to my costars on the show [BET's Being Mary Jane ] for feedback to make sure the oils that absorbed well into my hair also worked on other types of textured hair. I think there are a lot of people out there like me who want bigger, badder, better, and I feel like I created that here."
On what she attributes to her ageless look...
"It's funny because when I was younger, no one would have thought that having oily skin would be good genes—you would have thought it'd be a curse, like ugh, I inherited this T-zone from my mother. But, having oily skin has really been like embalming fluid—it’s kept me looking a lot more youthful, but granted, I'm getting powdered down to the ground at work all day every day because I have oily skin. However, I guess you could say it’s kept me well-preserved over the years.
Another thing, is in my early 30s or mid-30s, I started drinking a gallon of water every day, which has been, by far, the best anti-aging secret . It should be written on banners that fly across the sky. It's the cheapest and best beauty product ever, and it’s been the best thing for my hair, skin and nails. It also gives me a little bit of wiggle room if I opt not to be on a strict actress diet . I can actually be a human being and eat a smothered pork chop with gravy and stuffing and a few cocktails , because if I’ve had my water, it just keeps things moving. It aids in digestion and helps with weight maintenance. I also add lemon, lime and cucumber to my water every day and it feels like I'm at a spa, but I'm really at work."
On what motivates her to live a fit, healthy life...
"Having a career that encourages magazines and blogs to circle your fat and point arrows to it has really been the most inspiring thing to keep me living a healthier lifestyle—the public scrutiny is what gets me. You would think that coming from a family with a history of diabetes and heart disease might be the inspiration that keeps me health-conscious, or having a husband that’s 10 years younger and a professional athlete and looks like he’s literally been carved from chocolate, but no. It’s being caught on the beach and having some asshole circle my fat and draw an arrow to it—that’s what keeps me motivated. And then there are those people that say ignore the haters, but sometimes you just can’t, and if those haters keep me healthy, well, then they’ve served a purpose I suppose."
If you live in the Miami area or you'll be there this week, head to ULTA Beauty in Kendallgate Shopping Center to meet the actress and learn more about her new hair care collection. (Beginning Wednesday, May 3, the first 200 customers to purchase two Flawless products at that location will receive a voucher to meet the star at the store on Sunday, May 7.)