Here's How One Photo Shoot Convinced Alicia Keys To Never Wear Makeup Again

"I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams ..."

Alicia Keys recently penned a post for Lena Dunham's "Lenny" newsletter about why she never wants to wear makeup again.


In her post, she first talks about her life going to school and growing up in New York.

She cites a second-grade school photo day where she chose to wear her frizzy hair out, but all of her friends laughed at her.

She explained her insecurities only grew worse in junior high school when she saw all of the "pretty" girls wearing "lipstick and eyeliner and mascara."

She said it was a moment where a "piece of you realizes that to fit in or be thought of as beautiful, you have to cover up to be a bit closer to perfect." 

When she entered the entertainment world, she says she was judged even more.

Based solely on her New York look, people began coming up with generalizations about her.

They said things like "She acts like a boy, she must be gay, she should be more feminine!"

This is when she said she began, "more than ever, to become a chameleon."

However, one day when she left the gym, everything changed.

Keys explains she was on her way to a photo shoot for her new single with a photographer named Paola.

Instead of making Keys go through hair and makeup, Paola said, "I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be, too!"

Keys was a little unsure, but once Paola started to shoot, the singer said, "I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt."

Based upon that enlightening experience, Keys has now decided that she wants to be makeup free.

Once the photograph became the artwork for her single "In Common," people began taking photos with the hashtag #NoMakeup.

However, it's not just her face she doesn't want to cover up anymore.

It's her mind, soul, thoughts, dreams, struggles and emotional growth.

You can read her full Lenny letter here.


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