FITNESS: How did you connect with Philips Sonicare?
Gabrielle Union: Well, I got put on with Philips Sonicare products from my dentist because I wanted to make sure that my smile was as bright and white as possible. I've been obsessed with oral care ever since I got my braces off in the eighth grade! With the start of filming in high-definition, everyone can see everything and the one thing that we all have and use to make a great first impression is our smile. Ever since, I started using Philips Sonicare. They're the Rolls-Royce of toothbrushes!
FITNESS: Besides maintaining a beautiful smile, what's your best beauty secret?
Gabrielle Union: The trick is to keep adapting to technology. So, going back to having to film in high-definition, it used to be that you could kind of put on a great face and with the untrained eye you looked pretty good. But with high-definition, you need to really take your time and make sure your concealer isn't caked on, that your skincare is on point, and that your smile is bright. What looks like super white teeth to the untrained eye looks "eh" on high-definition. Philips Zoom QuickPro, for example, whitens teeth up to four shades in five minutes. So you need to stay ahead of the curve. Look for the latest trick to sort of beat the haters who are always searching for ways to dissect you.
FITNESS: What's your top anti-aging tip?
Gabrielle Union: Water! I started drinking a gallon of water a day in my mid-thirties and some people have called me a vampire or that I'm using embalming fluid, or other crazy things. But honestly, my hair, skin, and nails all changed once I started drinking a gallon of water a day. It's something that we all have available to us, but we don't take advantage of it. And it doesn't need to be the fancy, super-expensive water. Most of the time, especially in New York or Los Angeles, I drink tap water. I'll add a little lemon to feel fancy, but it's just important to get the water in. If you can replace sugary drinks, or coffee, with water, you're still ahead of the game.
FITNESS: When you only have a few minutes, what do you do to look pulled together?
Gabrielle Union: A topknot! I try to make it look as sleek as possible. I'm living in both LA and Miami where, whenever you leave the house looking fantastic, the humidity and heat hit you and you end up looking like the bus driver from South Park. A topknot can make you look cute and casual during the day, or sleek and sophisticated at night. I also use Tancho Stick, which is a deodorant in Asia, but here in the US we use it for our hair! It really keeps your edges tame, and gives you a sleeker, chicer look.
Also, I always make sure to keep my brows neat. That has become another obsession of mine. Take your time to match your brow pencil to the color of your brows—not to the color you wish they were, but to the color they actually are. And never overpluck! I think the best anti-aging tip for your face is a thicker brow. The thinner your brow, the harsher you look and the older you look. So let those brows grow in, and take your time doing them in the morning. Even if you only have five minutes, use four of them to do your brows. This is such a huge trick for your face to keep it looking young and fresh.
FITNESS: Let's talk about your NBA star hubby—Dwayne Wade. Does being married to an athlete encourage you to exercise? What are your favorite workouts and how do you stay motivated on days you don't feel like working out?
Gabrielle Union: Once again, high-definition has actually motivated me more than my husband! I've always been in shape, but I try not to be obsessive about it, I'd rather just be healthy. Filming on high-definition will make you a fitness fanatic because you can see literally every little thing on your body. Whether it's bra fat, an armpit bulge, or all those other things that in real life aren't that bad ... on high-definition you're horrified. So I've become a little more diligent about targeting certain areas of my body. I'm actually 45 minutes away from my workout today and I'm absolutely dreading it! But I'm trying to just overall tighten it up and to not over-emphasize any one body part. In the past I have said things like "I want that high-cut in my thigh" or "I want six-pack abs." But it's more about using my whole body to just tighten everything. I'm focusing on just not letting it fall, not my ass, not my arms—nothing!
FITNESS: How do you keep your diet in check?
Gabrielle Union: If I want cupcakes, cookies, or a short stack, I don't deny myself. And I certainly don't deny myself bacon! But I just stay active, and not let it get too out-of-control. I eat more vegetables, and just as I love the occasional ribeye steak, I do try to cut down on the actual portions. I don't need the 12 ounces that I'm used to; I'll go for 6 ounces as a happy medium.