Alicia Keys shares why she stopped wearing makeup in public

Photographer & Director: Olivia Malone

If there’s one thing Alicia Keys will do, it’s prioritize a healthy mind-body connection. 

What the 15-time Grammy winner won’t do is cover her face in makeup. It doesn’t matter what the event or occasion is, Keys takes pride in leading a beauty life in line with the standards she sets for herself. 

In 2016, Keys famously renounced makeup on red carpets and even album covers, in an act of rebellion against societal standards. In a recent cover spread with InStyleshe delves into why she made the decision. 

“I went through my own experience of really feeling rebellious about what people were telling me, what the world, society was telling me, what I was supposed to look like because I fell into that, I subscribed to it,” she said.

Keys said she was “just getting to know herself” during that crucial time in her life and attempting to figure out what boundaries to establish.

“It’s not about makeup or no makeup. It’s not about mascara or no mascara. It’s not about lipstick or no lipstick. That’s not what it’s about,” she recalls telling herself back then. “What it’s about is, how do you want to express yourself, and what space do you want to claim for yourself. And what boundaries do you want for yourself?” 

What started as a personal decision to defy the norm turned into Keys’ beauty and skin care line, Soulcare. It’s mission is to “unlock the beauty that is already inside,” according to the brand’s website. 

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