Gabrielle Union Just Made Extreme Side Bangs a Thing

They're sleeker than they sound.

Gabrielle Union in a crop top

Gabrielle Union

As someone who follows trends for a living, I can attest that TikTok trends, in particular, can cause mental whiplash. One day, my FYP can be riddled with videos detesting a trend, only to promote that same trend weeks later. Earlier this year, TikToker's were expressing their distain for the side bang, only to celebrate its resurrection this fall, with stars like Dua Lipa and Kylie Jenner entirely on board. As Gabrielle Union stated in a recent Instagram post, "It's a Strange World. And we're just living in it." But, this is a strangeness I can get behind—the side bang was a critical part of late Y2K fashion, and Union-Wade is the newest star to rock this look on the red carpet.

Gabrielle Union in a pink gown on the red carpet


Union arrived at the premier of her latest film, Strange World, on November 15, alongside husband, Dwayne Wade, and daughter, Kaavia James. The trio came in matching black and pink outfits, with Wade wearing an all-black suit with hot pink sneakers, and Kaavia wearing a black dress and a hot pink handbag. Union's stylist, Thomas Christos Kikis, dressed the star in a bright pink Valentino gown with faux roses stitched to its plunging neckline. Her accessories, although minimal, screamed glamour—she wore Tiffany rings, and matched the dress with a hot pink clutch. Nail artist, Thuy Nguyen, broke up the brightness of Union's gown with a baby pink mani.

Gabrielle Union and her family on the red carpet


Following in the softer tones of her manicure, Union's makeup featured a neutral glam courtesy of makeup artist Fiona Stiles. Stiles first prepped Union's base by sculpting the skin with the SolaWave Wand ($149), then dipped into the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Foundation ($39), Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Concealer ($95), and Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Setting Powder ($39) to even out Union's skin tone. Next, she added a flush of color to the star's cheeks with the Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush ($22), and brought light to the high points of the face with the Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Highlighting Powder ($45). On the eyes, Stiles used a combination of shadows from the Pat McGrath Mothership X: Moonlit Seduction Palette ($128) to create a hazy, smokey eye.

Gabrielle Union extreme side bangs


Union's full glam is nothing short of stunning, but the true star of the show is her sleek side bangs. Celebrity hairstylist, Larry Sims, pulled the actress's hair up into textured top bun, reserving a few pieces in the front. Her bangs were swept to the side and swooped down her face, with a single lock of long, pin-straight hair sitting atop them to add an extra Y2K touch.

If you're feeling the side bang revival, you can take notes from Union's dance with the trend. The standout feature of her bangs is their sleek, swooped shape—as opposed to traditional 2000s side bangs with a choppy cut. Union's side bangs are long enough to create a seamless line of hair all across her forehead, and that one extra strand only emphasizes their sleekness. If you don't want to set this look in stone by heading to the salon, you can easily recreate their shape by laying the front pieces of your hair over your forehead and pinning the ends behind your ear. 

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