The thing I was most curious about when I went to Cuba was what makeup and skin care products were available there. You know me. Well, it turns out the stuff is pretty hard to come by.
I didn’t see many women wearing makeup. The only Cuban women I noticed wearing makeup were those working in our hotel. According to a hotel employee named Yoana, to get makeup, you need to have people send it to you from places like Spain, Mexico City, and the U.S. Or if you are a maid in a hotel, guests leave some for you in their rooms as part of the tip at checkout. (We left a few things for our maid. I also gave Yoana some samples from blogger goody bags for being nice enough to answer my questions.)
Cuba operates on a cash-only economy, so if you have some sort of side (or even a main) hustle to earn the Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUCs) available to tourists, you might be able to buy whatever is available in a few smaller stores. You can read more about the currency system in Cuba here.
As for me, I MacGuyvered my way through the weekend. (See pic above.) Since luggage had a weight limit, I pared it down to La-Roche-Posay Anthelios Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60, Wander Beauty On-the-Glow Blush in Coral Rose, Smashbox Blendable Lip and Cheek Color in L.A. Lights, NYX High Voltage Lipstick in 05 Flutter Kiss, and Maybelline mascara.
I also brought Chapstick with SPF and ROC eye cream. At night, I used sample packets of Goddess Garden Dream Repair Cream. And after a long day of walking around and sightseeing, I got the sweat and grime off with Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub. Oh, and I always had Supergoop! hand lotion SPF 40 in my bag.
I never tried La Roche-Posay before. I loved it! It contains antioxidants so its good for your skin, and it feels nice and light, like Neutrogena Dry Touch. Thanks to the La Roche-Posay, Supergoop!, a big hat, and sunglasses, I didn’t get burned.
Last year, Cat Quinn O’Neill wrote a blog post for Allure about going to a Cuban perfumery. You can read about her experience here. Pretty interesting!
Writing this post got me thinking. If you could only take 3 beauty products to a desert (or Communist) island, what would they be? Tell me all about your must-haves in the comments!
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