Gabrielle Union Swears By This “Yummy” $11 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner

Can you tell me how your beauty routine has evolved over the years? 

Oh, I was Basic Betty back in the day. My mom didn’t have an extensive routine, and my older sister didn’t, so I was literally washing my face with a bar of soap… whatever was in the shower. It was more when I got older and my hormones changed that I was like, “Uh-oh, what’s going on?” I had started using the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Cleanser ($10) that had salicylic acid. I must have mentioned it, because I became a Neutrogena spokesperson, so I was using all Neutrogena products.

As I got older and the hormone situation just kept changing and changing and changing, I started going to a dermatologist and trying to figure out how to combat hormonal breakouts and dark spots and blackheads and cystic acne. As we moved into high-def, I was like, “Agh! The world is going to see the evolution of this zit. How do we deal?” I’ve tried so many different things. I’ve just had to piecemeal my skincare over the years.

I use the brand Topicals. I use the Little Herbs Co. skincare line. I use 111Skin as well. I just keep switching it up. I’m blessed that people send their new offerings, so I’m able to try things and see what works and what doesn’t.

Are there any beauty trends you’re happy you embraced? Are there any you regret buying into—like, “Why did I do that?”

Let’s start with the “Why did I do that?” I was the chip in the cookie. I lived in predominantly white communities. There was a trend of wearing the Wet ‘n’ Wild frosty-pink lipstick for ¢99. Everyone was on the frosty-pink lipstick. I was like, “Yes, of course it’s for me,” and it was absolutely not for me. When you pair that with a powder blue eye shadow, which looked amazing on my friend, it didn’t play out the same for me. I regret thinking that every trend is created equally. I remember trying that frosted pink with one of my cousins, and she was like, “Girl, haven’t you ever heard of frosted brownie?” I tried it, and that was the move.

What I love and what I’m all about today is the darker chocolate liner with a lighter gloss or nude lipstick. I’m all in. Me and Maddy from Euphoria, we’re all in. I also never have given up on my cat-eye winged liner. I’ve been rocking that since the late ’80s. I won’t give it up. I won’t do it.

Oh, never give that up. It’s the most classic look. Speaking of makeup, are there any specific products you love?

I go with any of the eyeliner pens. I’ll use store-bought no problem. If I run out, I just run back to the store. I don’t see a big difference between the super-expensive ones or the drugstore ones. They’re about the same.

I don’t generally put on makeup every day unless I have to be fully presentable. I use the Pat McGrath Foundation ($69). I like to tan, so I have 24, 25, and 26, and I’m obsessed with her Concealer ($34). Those are amazing.

I only wear Fenty lip glosses, and I worked in some Mario glossy lipsticks…

I love those ones!

I use the Caramel one all the time. I’m not “I gotta fully beat for the cheap seats” every day, but when I do… Charlotte Tilbury has this Finishing Spray ($38) that I gag for. There’s a Glossier lip treatment, and it comes in different flavors. It’s kind of fire. 

I love the Balm Dotcom! They have a Birthday one that I’m obsessed with.

Yes! That’s the one I used today! I have all the flavors. I literally have a problem. I rarely shop online, but when I do… Yeah, it’s a problem. It’s a haul.

That’s how I am. Finally, what’s your Unfiltered beauty philosophy in seven words or less?

Do you. Do what makes you happy.

People are going to have a lot of say about everything for your whole life. You’re never going to make 100% of people happy. Start with yourself—start and end there. Don’t make excuses for it. Don’t explain it. Do what makes you happy. If you want thin eyebrows, bitch, you better go for it! It’s no one else’s business. 

Experiment. Try on different hats. Try on different styles. When you travel, if you see something you want to try out but you’re worried about what people might say, who gives a shit? They’re going to say something no matter what. Do what makes you happy.

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