How Tracee Ellis Ross and Gabrielle Union celebrated star-studded 50th birthdays

If you didn't know, Black Hollywood royalty Tracee Ellis Ross and Gabrielle Union both turned 50 on their shared October 29 birthday.

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Halloween weekend can bring on serious FOMO, especially when our favorites celebrate big. But this year, Tracee Ellis Ross and Gabrielle Union didn’t need to don costumes to show us what a good time really looks like. The actresses (and longtime friends) both turned 50 on October 29 and each celebrated in an epic and unique style. While Ross held a star-studded dinner party in Los Angeles, Union cut a rug with friends and family in Zanzibar. 

Gabrielle Union Tracee Ellis Ross 50th Birthday
(L-R) Gabrielle Union and Tracee Ellis Ross both celebrated their 50th birthday over the weekend on October 29th. Photo: Getty Images

Well-known as a fashion icon, Ross treated Instagram to at least one of her birthday looks in a post that featured the actress in a sheer and sleeveless gown in the signature yellow shade of her PATTERN Beauty line, layered over a black bodysuit and paired with oversized mirrored shades. For her birthday dinner, Ross played hostess wearing an elegant crimson-colored gown. 

Speaking recently about reaching the milestone, Ross told “Today” show hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager that she was “very excited.”

“I’m very excited about it. I have always loved getting older. Like, I really have,” she said. 

The actress also got real about how getting older is both a physical and an emotional journey. 

“There’s certain things that are really strange. I am in perimenopause and hot flashes come up like a personal summer just entered from the inside,” she shared, adding, “But I feel like I am wiser, I’m more comfortable in my skin.”

Union, who gave a shout-out to her birthday twin on her own Instagram story, let followers in on the fun she was having on the East African archipelago of Zanzibar in Tanzania. Dressed in a gold and black strapless and asymmetrical dress, Union, husband Dwyane Wade, and family and friends danced the night away outdoors to a surprise performance by Lisa Velez — also known as Lisa Lisa.

According to Union, she wasn’t in on all of the surprises scheduled for her celebration.

“I’m still processing the level of effort and planning that went into pulling off such an unbelievable 50th birthday party in Zanzibar Tanzania and keep the details a surprise from my nosy self. I’m beyond grateful for all of my loved ones who flew around the world to celebrate with me. How @dwyanewade @ronndarocksevents @dauniedaune got THE @lisalisall77 to come all this way to perform was unreal,” she wrote. 

Union also hinted that the intimate celebration was just one stop on her milestone tour. 

“I’m just floating on gratitude and to know this is just our 1st stop on the #wadeworldtour2022 🌍 Edition, I’m the happiest seasoned gal around. 🇹🇿 #ScorpioSeason #BirthdayGirl 🎉🎂🥳 #tanzania,” she concluded in her post. 

Despite their birthdays falling during Halloween weekend, neither star seemed to celebrate the holiday with a costume this year — though that didn’t stop at least one reveler from trying her best. Kim Kardashian attended Ross’ birthday dinner in full body costume and makeup as “X-Men”’s Mystique and embraced the moment on social media. 

“That time I showed up to a birthday dinner in full costume when it wasn’t a costume party! Happy Birthday to most beautiful kind soul,” Kardashian wrote in an Instagram tribute to Ross, per People magazine

Perhaps Kardashian was simply double-booked, as she also made a same-night appearance as Mystique at legendary party host Diddy’s Halloween party, where costumes were very much encouraged. 

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