After publicly announcing she would no longer wear makeup earlier this summer, Alicia Keys appeared sans cosmetics last Sunday night on NBC’s “The Voice.” The 15-time Grammy award winner described her decision to abandon makeup in Lena Dunham’s “Lenny Letter” in May, writing that she didn’t “want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”
Keys said that after years of wearing makeup she began to feel that “as I am, I was not good enough for the world to see … Every time I left the house, I would be worried I didn’t put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture?”
The confidence to ditch the cosmetics came, Keys said, during the photo-shoot for her new single, “In Common.” After arriving for the shoot fresh from the gym, her face “totally raw,” Keys wrote, her photographer told her that he had “to shoot [her] right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!” After the photographer overcame Keys’ initial reluctance, the singer said that the resulting shoot was “the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.”
Despite the intense scrutiny focused on their appearance, a number of female celebrities have taken to appearing without makeup recently. During a March show in Los Angeles, singer Andra Day removed her make-up on stage, commenting, “As my face got cleaner, my relationships got cleaner.” Actress Mila Kunis also appeared on the back cover of Glamour’s August issue without make-up, telling magazines that not wearing makeup is the norm for her, assuming she doesn’t have a shoot. “I don’t wear makeup,” said Kunis. “I don’t wash my hair everyday … I’m just not that person. So to go to a shoot and have my makeup artist put on face cream and send me off to do a photo, I was like, ‘Well this makes life easy.'”
Read the full story at The Washington Post.