Party Beauty: Spanish Babes Vs. Swedish Babes

In Barcelona, the locals and la Suecas come together for a huge Monday-night bash, but their looks couldn't be farther apart. Naturally, I tried both.

Imagine a party that's so big that every week for the past nine years, without fail, all the pretty young things from all over the city line up by the thousands at midnight to pay for the honor of being packed into a sweaty dance floor hosted by the self-proclaimed worst DJs in the world. On a Monday night.

Only in Barcelona could a party like Nasty Mondays exist. My friends, Max and Sören, may or may not be the world's worst DJs but they sure as hell throw the best party.

The first time my husband (then novio) brought me home to Spain with him six years ago, I landed sleep-deprived on a Monday morning. After dropping my bags at his apartment and meeting his Yaya (grandma), he promised me I could nap after having lunch with his parents. I agreed, not knowing that lunch in Spain is several hours long and even longer if you are meeting future in-laws for the first time.

After "lunch" ended around 8pm, I only had an hour until his friends came by to meet me and drink Ballantines with Fanta Naranja. Sleep was further denied because it was Monday night in Barcelona, and Nasty Mondays was mandatory.

Of course, that venture ended in me crying on La Rambla at 1am from sleep deprivation, but I managed to take in a few things then and over the years that still remain true to this day about Nasty Mondays.

The party is filled with Spanish skaters and surfers covered in tattoos and colorful vintage clothing. The pretty young girls found draped over these Spanish hunks can be split into two unfair yet true stereotypes: Spanish girls and las Suecas, or Swedish girls. Of course, there are other ladies there who don't fall into these categories (see: me, the token American) but the majority (at least at Nasty Mondays) fit quite nicely.

Spanish girls wear makeup and do their hair. Shocking, I know. Back in 2008, every Spanish girl wore a bandana in her hair and dressed like Amy Winehouse. Today, they've ditched the bandanas and gone for more classic yet modern styles. They still favor red lipstick and smoky eyes. Most wear their hair straightened or heat-styled in some way--natural is not the goal.

They put effort into their look and it pays off. The no-nonsense Spanish girl knows how to grab attention.

For a matte complexion I used Revlon Photoready Concealer and a Maybelline loose powder. I added a spot of Benefit Hoola bronzing powder in the hollows of my checks.

I used my go-to favorite Revlon ColorStay Liner to make a large cat eye and smudged MAC Fluidline on the outer corners of my upper and lower lids.

For my lips, I used a classic bright red lipstick from Sephora.

Las Suecas seem to be a favored companion and rotating arm candy mainstay to the inner circle, aka the Nasty Mondays Crew. These crew members spend their days riding around on Vespas and buying robots or weird kitsch paraphernalia on eBay (and having it shipped to my house! Stop it, guys!) and they never seem to be far from flaxen-haired, gazelle-like girls, impossibly (and annoyingly) effortless in their hotness.

The Swedish girls go for the no-makeup makeup look, a tan, and lots of highlighter. They favor a slightly sporty look, often wearing sneakers with their mini skirts on nights out.

I don't think I've ever seen a pale brunette Swedish girl in Barcelona so this may be a stretch for me to pull off, however I do favor a less-is-more makeup look nowadays.

To recreate this look I used Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat under my eyes and Benefit Watts Up on the inner corners. I applied NARS Orgasm Illuminator generously to my cheeks and brow bone.

Finally I used L’Oréal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Pink Perseverance, which looked cute but wasn't the best idea to combine lip gloss and a walk on a windy day.

The consensus from the peanut gallery that is my enormous, Spanish extended family is that the Spanish girl look suits me more. Unfortunately, I just can't handle wearing all that makeup, so I tip my hat to the chicas that manage to put in the effort to look that fab every damn day.