Thursday, January 21, 2010


Today I went to Matas to buy some Labello lip balm. Mata is a chain similar to drug stores like Walgreens, but without the drugs, food, stationery and a lot smaller. It pretty much sells drug-store makeup and hair products. Labello is the Chapstick of Europe.

While I was there, I looked at the makeup. The brands at Matas are: L'Oreal, Rimmel London, and similarly priced brands which I can't remember now. It's basically drugstore makeup anyway.

I noticed that each of these lines only carried five or six shades of foundation, be they liquid or powder form. In America, these would be the lightest five or six shades of a line totaling a dozen or so. But here in Matas, they're the only shades of foundation.

This isn't to say that there aren't darker skinned people here in Århus. There are. I see them every day walking around the city center, going to the grocery store, but they're not going to Matas to buy foundation. 

Admittingly, this may or may not reflect all makeup for sale here because I haven't been to the makeup counters at Magasin, the major department store. (It's comparable to Macy's.) I believe makeup lines there are able to carry a wider selection since their spaces are bigger than the teeny Matas store I went to. But they are also upscale brands like M.A.C., Clinique, and Elizabeth Arden. Even if they had more darker foundation, they'd cost more.

In many ways buying makeup in Denmark is like that in the States. Pretty much the global brands are available in both countries, but it's details like the shades of foundation that remind me that this is a very different society. 

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