Ask Mama Cubana Week 7: Summer In Havana With Laura Mercier
People ask me all de time, “What should I see when I go to Havana?”
And I go, “Joo should see Home Depot – de whole place ees falleeng apart. Joo should see Versailles – der’s no authentic Cuban food anywhere. Joo should see cars resembleeng dos from de 21st century – but eenstead jool have to settle for romanteecizeeng 1957 Chevrolets. Sorry to be a downer but realeety ees what eet ees. Eef joo want to glamorize poverty and a communeest deectatorsheep, be my guest.
What joo can never see ees my Cuba, de sultry and sopheesteecated pre-Revolutionary paradise dat I called home for de first two-plus decades of my life.
Nevertheless, der are some ways to experience de idea of Havana, right der on joor own face. Laura Mercier, who ees French, and derfore, joo know, French, has eemageened a fantasy about a Cuban woman in her new Viva Cuba Colour Collection. I recently tried out everytheeng and though eet was meeseeng a few crucial Cuban items (wheech I weel explain), it was really great and I’m going to tell joo about eet.
Matte Bronzing Powder ($38). Dees compact powder ees embossed, of course – eet’s a high-qualeety one. Eet’s a beet dark for me – not all Cubanas are brown – but I liked eet. De texture ees kind of seelky. Eet comes een two shades and I theenk eet’s nice eef joor eento dat sort of theeng. Eet also has a very subtle fragrance, like some flower. Joo have to put joor nose eenside.
Liquid Face Illuminator ($38). I tested “Addiction,” de lighter shade. Eet looks eereedescent, like mother-of-pearl. Eet spreads nicely when joo put eet on de top of de cheekbones. Just a leetl beet geevs joo glow.
Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Havana and Chicas ($28 each). Havana ees a very vibrant fuchsia, and Chicas ees a very bright orange red. Both glide like dos water skiers and I theenk any Cubana would like dos colors because we are eento colorfool leeps and standeeng out. We don’t like naked leeps. Dat ees, like, so sad.
So. Laura Mercier. What’s meeseeng here? No Cubana would ever be caught dead weethout mascara, blush, red nails, and perfume. Joor mom would not let joo out of de house weethout dos theengs because joo never know whom joor going to meet out der.
Dees are my peecks:
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara ($5.99). Dees mascara has been my favoreet for jears and jears. Ees cheap and eet works on even dos teeny tiny lashes, and I could really joos longer lashes. Couldn’t joo?
Clinique Soft Pressed Powder Blusher in Fig ($23). I want to look cute, not striped. Dees blush lets me control de amount of color I want and becomes, like, a part of me. Everybody looks good een dees shade.
Revlon Nail Enamel in Revlon Red ($3.97). De perfect red. Why be snobby? Das so boreeng. I’m pragmateec; eef eet works, eet works. I’ve done my own maneecures for jears and I’m fantasteec at eet. I consider eet my weekly therapy. An old black-and-white movie, a macchiato, a Kool, and my nails -- das where eets at. Somebody else does my toes, though. I can’t reach.
Chanel N°5 Eau de Parfum Spray ($80 - $215). Here ees where I splurge. Ees a beeg deal because notheeng sucks more dan de smell of cheap perfume. Das so gross! Chanel Number Five -- joo can’t go wrong. Dees stuff ees, like, a total classeec, ees fabulous, complex, femeeneen, and even de bottle says, “I know what class ees, honey. Do joo?”