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.
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
One thing about Megan Thee Stallion is that she’s going to motivate you to stay active. From afar, she seems like the perfect gym bestie, and up close, it looks like her workouts would have us gasping for air. But hey, she doesn’t call her routines “bootcamp” for nothing.
After an extended break from social media and the public eye, the Houston Hottie is back sharing the high-energy workouts that are keeping her lean and she’s happy to report that “the results have been resulting."
The 28-year-old rapper dropped an Instagram Reel, detailing the workout routine that’s putting her endurance to the test. With the help of her personal trainer, Megan has one word in mind when it comes to her progress and that’s: “Consistency.”
The “Savage” artist has been traveling, making “hot girl moves," and after returning from a trip to New York, she expressed that her trainer is pushing her to keep the same energy back in the gym.
“I had just gotten back from New York and I told my trainer, ‘Look, friend, I was having a time. Can you please take it easy?’” Megan said. “He said, ‘Hmm, I’ve seen you doing all that hot girl s—, so what you need to do is get in that gym and have that same energy.’”
Her trainer then instructed her to do jumping squats with an exercise ball and resistance band around her legs for an extra burn. “I put my thing down, flipped it, and reversed it and that’s what happened. This sh– burned like a motherf—,” she teased in the video’s voiceover while executing both forward and backward jumping squats.
It’s clear that when it comes to Megan’s fitness, her trainer doesn’t play around about pushing her to her limits. In the next set of her cardio moves, we see the Grammy-winning artist jumping rope and moving on to a combination of mountain climbers and lateral jumps over a speed hurdle.
“Right here, that’s when I realized: I’ve been saying my trainer’s crazy but I know he’s really, really crazy because he must think that I’m trying out for the Houston Texans or something,” she joked.
To finish her workout, Meg hit two more barbell exercises, one being a set of cleans with 10-pound weight plates on the barbell. She then closed out by doing lunges with the barbell racked on her shoulders.
Of course, the best way to close out a workout is to nourish yourself with a balanced meal. Meg showed off her delicious post-workout plate with salmon, a sweet potato, and assorted veggies.
With so much of her public life being shared on the internet, it’s nice to see her letting us in on her progress in a fun and motivating way. “I just want to be transparent with y'all. Working out hurts, but it’s really a mental thang, so go do it!”
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Featured image by Taylor Hill/Getty Images