You've just landed in Spain, and you'll be here for a while. It's time to find some essentials, like for example, makeup! You're skeptical because, well, you live in Europe and it's amazing, however that doesn't mean that you want to walk around these streets looking like Casper because your makeup is too light for your complexion.
Is it difficult to find makeup as a WOC in Spain? Not necessarily, but in can be expensive or tedious if you don't know where (or what) you're looking for.
After years of trial and error, I present to you the best places to find makeup in Spain as a WOC:
Budget Friendly: Clarel
If you're looking for the drugstre brands you used to rock in the US (or UK) such as Maybelline, Max Factor, Cover Girl or Rimmel this is the place. It's basically a one-stop-shop for all the essentials. This store is a subsidiary of Día brand grocery stores, and you can find them throughout Spain. You won't need to read some complex instruction manual to navigate the aisles of Clarel and overall, it's a relaxing, non-intimidating experience. (Anyone else intimidated by the intense cat-eyes in Sephora? My Goodness!)
If you can elbow your way past the aspiring beauty bloggers and Instagram influencers in NYX, you'll be happily surprised with the amount of variety they offer in terms of both products and shades. The NYX on Gran Vía is always packed, but there's another on Calle Fuencarral in Madrid that's a bit larger and less overwhelming. The lipsticks and highlighters palattes are perfect for darker skin tones. You'll be glowing in no time!
They've just opened an enormous Sephora in Sol in Madrid and it's popping to say the least. If you're a beauty guru and looking for specialized high-end products, you'll be in heaven, trust. That said, with great makeup comes great... prices? Personally, the way my budget is set up, Sephora is a stretch; however, you'll be guranteed quality and products that you know and trust.
When All Else Fails: Fenty
This needs no further explanation. You can find Rihanna's Fenty beauty line at Sephora stores all over (the world) but more specifically, Spain.
El Corte Inglés is also a great place to look for brands that you know and love. They're a standard department store with a flair for the luxurious. You can find everything from Mac to Dior to Maybelline! There are at least 3 Mac stores in the center of Madrid, and there are other smaller locations located in some of the shopping centers on the outskirts. If you're a Make-Up Forever fan, there's a store right in Plaza de Luna near Callao in the city center too.
When you're making the decision to stay abroad long term or short term it's often these tiny conveniences that matter most. Although finding makeup may seem trivial, as WOC feeling that we are seen and represented is critical. When you enter a store and feel that you have a variety of products to choose from, something changes.
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful husband. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.