Alicia Keys: The Many Strokes of Keys

Alecia Keys

We live in a world where we’re constantly being shown images on Instragram of instafamous beauty gurus, Youtubers, and magazine models telling us how to be beautiful. Endless products tips and tricks to help achieve the best appearance is the rule rather than the exception. So, of course, it would only seem natural that when someone like Alicia Keys decides to go makeup-free the world took serious notice.  Stripping down to display barefaced beauty may be reinventing the idea of beauty itself. We’ve become so accustomed to being told how to enhance or create beauty, that we perhaps overlooked considering that true beauty might just be found by rediscovering our authentic selves.

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Last year at the VMA’s, Alicia debuted her makeup free look, and the blogosphere went haywire. Some social media followers tweeted in dismay of her bare face, while others celebrated her natural look referring to it as glowing. Stunned by her flawless skin and Vaseline coated lips, some makeup artists were on the fence and even skeptical of Keys new look. Although makeup can enhance one’s features, some may use it to mask and disguise flaws, their personality, inner-thoughts, and feelings, in order to protect themselves from the world’s judgmental lens. When does this practice become detrimental to one’s self-esteem? Where does the line of “hiding” behind the benefits of makeup verses enhancing the beauty that is already there begin to get blurred?  Are we as a society really at the point where it is considered by some “bravery” (and lunacy by others) to go without makeup?  

While composing her latest album Here, Alicia attempted to answer this question in an essay she penned for lenny.com. In this essay, she describes an experience from her adolescent years, were she was ridiculed by her classmates for her hair’s appearance on picture day, and another instance when people in the entertainment industry questioned her sexuality because of the way she walked and talked. These experiences prevented Keys from embracing her authentic-self, in order to conform and appease the world. “I started, more than ever, to become a chameleon. Never fully being who I was, but constantly changing so all “they’s” would accept me.”

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Alicia’s perspective started to change while writing her latest album. She challenged herself to remove the world’s critical assessments, in order to reveal herself to the world. Through self-reflection, Alicia was able to realize how much she censored herself and embark on her journey to self-discovery. Instead of allowing others to control her image, dialect, and thoughts, she reclaimed control.

Alicia has displayed this by empowering women through her music, social activism, and natural beauty. She no longer feels the need to cover up her exterior appearance with makeup, saying: “[Because] I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my emotional growth. Nothing.” By tearing down the social standards of beauty, Alicia is helping little girls and women everywhere to embrace the person they were put on this earth to be!

Beauty Breakdown

Although some may disagree that Alicia’s new look isn’t completely natural, Dotti, her makeup artist, credits it to a combination of exercise, healthy diet, routine facials, and acupuncture. Get the keys to Alicia’s flawless “no makeup, makeup” routine in the beauty breakdown below.

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Skincare

Any makeup artist will tell you that it’s not the makeup, but the maintenance of a good skincare routine that gives a client a beautiful canvas. Alicia suffers from dry skin, so moisturizers with ingredients like hyaluronic acid are vital. Hyaluronic acid acts as a magnet by drawing moisture to the skin. A great option with this ingredient is Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Moisturizer. After applying your moisturizer, use Jani Marni SPF 45 to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Lips

Alicia lips have a glossy finish. To achieve a similar look try Lanolips.

Blush

Alicia’s rosy cheeks have the slightest hint of color. The perfect way to achieve this natural flushed look is to use a cream based blush like 100% Pure’s Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Tint in the shade Peach Glow. Apply this blush with your fingers, and pat it onto your cheekbones.

Tools

Keep your brows groomed for the gods like Alicia by brushing them in an upward motion with a Sonia Kashuk spoolie brush.

Now that you have all the keys to creating a no makeup-makeup look, what’s your favorite natural beauty product? Who has been your favorite beauty breakdown so far?