If you ever spent time in a Caribbean country, you know that you can expect temperatures in the high 80s (even the 90s) in the winter months.
Before I jetted off to Cuba on my first international solo trip, I knew I wanted to capture great memories of my experience in Havana, however if you're alone you get stuck having to ask your fellow travelers to snap a picture of you — but you can't always count on a stranger to get your angles right. Instead of winging it, I booked an experience with Manuel, who is studying photography at the Instituto Superior de Arte, through Airbnb experiences.
The forecast let me know the weather on average would be in the high 80s with 85% humidity. With that information in mind, I questioned whether or not I should wear more daily tinted moisturizer or pack my full coverage Fenty foundation.
Full disclosure, I am not a fan of wearing full coverage foundation in high temperatures because my skin usually gets excessively oily, and once the oil gets into the mix, the foundation ends up on everything and I almost always end up with a pimple. Always. But I packed my Fenty Pro Filt'r foundation in 420 and 440 and decided wearing the foundation for the three-hour shoot shouldn't cause my skin to freak out too badly. Not to mention, Fenty has served me well on long audition days.
On the day of the shoot, I woke up early, did my makeup, and got dressed. Since I wanted to keep my makeup as light as possible given the humidity, I only used foundation, MAC's Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Wear Concealer under my eyes, and my favorite lippie, Lady Danger.
Even with my waking up early, I looked down at my phone, my phone said 3:00 (the time we were supposed to start), and I still had to walk two blocks to catch a cab to Old Havana, which was about a 12-minute ride from my casa. After flagging down a cab driver, I hopped into the car and was on my way. One thing to note is that many of the cabs in Cuba don't have air conditioning, and we all know that isn't a great element for keeping your makeup looking fresh.
When my cab driver dropped me off at the El Capitolio, I frantically ran to meet Manuel and the three other people that we were a part of my experience at the Capitolio steps. By the time I got there, I was a sweaty mess, but when I pulled the tissue out of my red fanny pack to blot, there was no makeup transfer, and I wasn't oily.
Seriously. I couldn't believe it either.
Moments later, we started our walk around Old Havana, and Manuel stopped to take photos of each of us along the way. I'd be telling a story if I said I wasn't worried I was going to look a hot mess in my photos based on the chaotic journey it took to get there, but I went with it. About an hour and a half into our tour, we met up with a driver to take us around Havana, and Manuel took us to take photos in a classic car in front of the historic Hotel Nacional de Cuba.
On the way, I took a little video footage, and my face was still matte, with no touch-ups or blotting.
How sway? How?
A week later, Manuel sent over the photos he'd taken of us on, and before I opened the G-mail folder, I just knew my face was going to be beaming like I had on a face full of highlighter, but to my surprise, my makeup was still intact.
Thanks to Fenty Pro Filt'r foundation, my skin wasn't the oily mess I was expecting, and I ended up with some awesome photos from my trip. Win win.
Do you have any beauty products that proved to be the GOAT during your travels? Share with us below.
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Featured image by Bianca Lambert.