A New Comer Beauty Adventure.

In a new series of articles, black women living in Europe share their views from the inside. In our second article, Thania Moore shares her hairy experience in Madrid, Spain. 

One of the things you don’t imagine when you decide to move to a European country probably to settle and spend the rest of your life is living an authentic adventure when it comes to maintaining your normal beauty standards.

I moved to Madrid five years ago with the assurance of moving to one of the most exciting cities in Europe, where there is always something to do, where people are passionate about life, hip, happy and friendly. So how did my beauty adventure get started?  Eventually I found myself running out of cosmetics and having to find a beauty salon, so I went out one day looking for my perfect foundation which I had been using for more than five years. I went to two stores in my city and didn’t have luck, instead I realized I was the only black girl in my neighborhood, or at least it felt so. Later, I went to the most famous and biggest department store in the city. To my frustration, I could only find three options which didn’t suit for one of two reasons: quality and pigment. Some  salesgirls told me with condescending looks that  it was not worthy to bring those colors and brands because there is little clientele for them. So I had to start looking online in London or US.  Something similar happened when I decided to go to a beauty shop to treat my hair; I found myself going to beauty shops in which I felt denigrated, bothered and misunderstood, not because of the language, it was our different cultures. It was really uncomfortable for me having to go to either a place where African descendants are loud, vulgar, and only appreciate women with light skin and have what they call “good hair” or having to go to a place where they only know how to braid hair and were not familiar to new techniques and styles. At moments I felt like calling Naomi Campbell to ask her where the hell she finds a good stylist and makeup artist when she comes to Madrid. It was just frustrating, you see all the locals looking gorgeous and you don’t feel like looking less than that.

Things have changed since then, it’s amazing how in five years Madrid has changed in this regard. There are a huge variety of good quality-reasonable price cosmetics with a variety of pigments, tones and features. And there is also a lot for Afro textured hair. Regarding the beauty shops, like in any other country, you will have to look around to find the one for you and it might take years.  Anyway I’m a DIY (do it yourself) gal now. And thanks to good old YouTube I only visit a local beauty shop once in a while. I have no problem finding my cosmetics now. I feel complete! And it’s fantastic because every gal deserves to walk about Madrid without looking like a hot mess.

Thania Moore
Thania Moore












Thania Moore was born on the Caribbean side of Panama and now lives in Madrid, Spain. In addition to teaching English and pursuing her own studies, she is a wife and the mother of a beautiful 9 year old. She enjoys music, arts, traveling, nature and writing.

Next month Lucie Buissereth gives in to the Swedish countryside.

Sisters sharing knowledge – Health and Hair

From Lori van Echtelt in the Netherlands

The two are interconnected. Sometimes a change in your hair texture or the amount of  hair loss is the first symptom that something is wrong in your body. That is one of the reasons to pay attention to your hair. It can give you invaluable clues over your health.

I have been plagued with allergies since my 20’s. I later developed asthma. I stopped smoking but the allergies still continued. I came to accept it as a way of life.

Fast forward 20 years later, my sinus problems, allergy problems, and more health issues began to arise. I changed over to a vegetarian diet, thinking that was the solution. The health problems continued so I started to consume meat again. My blood levels showed that I was deficient in many key vitamins.

I changed over to organic meat and vegetables. I started to feel somewhat better but I still felt something was wrong. In fact I knew something was wrong. My stomach was always extended. My skin was not glowing. I felt tired no matter how much sleep I got. I started to get tingling feelings in my hands and feet that were excruciating. This confirmed that something was seriously wrong. Also my hair was not growing as fast as it normally does. My hair looked great but I was aware that the growth of my hair had slowed down. The same with my body, I could not seem to shake the weight off.

I decided to try to go gluten free. It was very hard in the beginning because there are so many food products that contain gluten. I had to read every single label. I started to notice that I wasn’t sneezing all the time. The first time in over 20 years. My skin started to clear up. The tingling in my hands and feet was reduced. My hair started growing at the normal rate. I had taken a picture of myself and I could not believe what I saw. I looked alive. People who have seen me, asked me what was I doing; that I looked great. I tell them that I have been juicing and avoiding gluten. I knew I was lactose intolerant but it never occurred to me that I had a gluten sensitivity.

As I did more research, I found out that gluten is responsible for 265 symptoms; such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Also the testing for gluten sensitivity or celiac disease has not been standardized. Celiac disease is when all the villi has been damaged and this is confirmed by a biopsy.  It makes sense not to wait. Some say , “well my ancestors ate bread and there was nothing wrong.” There is 50% more gluten in the wheat, rye and barley products that we consume today.

With the hair products that I use from Mariposa Import and a modified diet, my hair length is to the middle of my back. I had to share this personal story with you.

So please take a look at your diet. Try going without food that contains gluten and see how you feel.

You can have the best hair products in the world but if your diet is deficient, it will show up in your hair.

Now for the product feature of the month:

Bee Mine Curly Hold Butter

Bee Mine

The Bee Mine Curly Hold Butter gives you great shiny curls without a stiff feeling. It is 100% natural so you can also use it on kids hair. Great for also smoothing down the hair line or creating twists and braids.

Love Your Hair!


Mariposa Import

Lori van Echtelt

Lori van Echtelt is the owner and founder of Mariposa Imports (MI), based in the Netherlands. She was on the Black Women in Europe™ 2010 Power List. Mariposa Import started in February 2004. It is the first and original shop focused on curly and frizzy hair in Western Europe. MI specializes in unique, high quality, hair and skin products from America and Afrika. We only sell products we ourselves use. The products we sell do not contain mineral oil or petrolatum, ingredients which block moisture absorption by the hair. We select products is based on our personal experience and that of our friends.

Invitation Opening Natural Wellness Boutique


You get more than a hair or body treatment

The new ‘Natural Wellness Boutique’ in the center of Amsterdam gives customers the opportunity to step away from the hectic day to day life and to surround themselves with some peace and quite. Visit us for a good conversation or for a hair or body treatment. Our specialty is African and curly hair. We serve customers who want to embrace their natural hair but don’t know how to do it. We provide them the methods and products they need to get where they want. We are also specialized in treating people with damaged hair.

If you are frustrated with your hair, whether it’s relaxed or natural you are at the right place in the “Natural Wellness Boutique”. We are famous for our herb and clay treatments such as ghassoul-treatment, detox-your-scalptreatment, henna en tash treatments. All these are used to promote healthy hair growth and happy customers. Treat yourself with our body packs and massages. We can also lengthen your eyelashes and can provide you of different body waxes.

We believe that everything we need, can be found in nature and that nature brings us back in balance. The ingredients we use in our products are carefully selected and won’t hurt your hair and skin. Everything we use on your hair and skin is tested on ourselves first. Janine van Throo started this philosophy with her company Sisay International. She has been one of the pioneers in promoting natural hair. She believes that we should not hide our hair behind weaves and relaxers. Its our natural hair that’s shows our African heritage. She notes that we should be proud of that. For these and more activities she received and Africa Roots Award last March 1st . At the Natural Wellness Boutique you get more than just a hair or body treatment. Besides that we provide you of several cups of herbal tea and a light healthy lunch. That’s how we do it. Time, love and care is what you get in our salon, because you deserve it”, says Janine van Throo. Janine van Throo invites everyone to visit the ‘Boutique’..

Natural Wellness Boutique/Reguliersdwarsstraat 49-2 Amsterdam
For an appointment please call Janine 0629384659 or Chantal 0641049219
Website: http://www.herbalhair.web-log.nl/