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 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.