Alicia Keys wants you to stop wearing make-up

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  • She says it's a game changer

    Writing a Lenny Letter is a bit of a Hollywood rite of passage. After working in an industry that still largely sees women as Barbie dolls, it’s hardly surprising that some of the world’s most famous faces have some cold hard truths to share.

    From Jennifer Lawrence fronting up for equal pay, to Emily Ratajkowski opening up about being an early developer, the email newsletter is leading the way for big-name women to have their say.

    This time around it’s Alicia Keys’ turn to share her thoughts, and the Falling singer chose to discuss her relationship with make-up. ‘We all get to a point in our lives (especially girls) where we try to be perfect,’ Keys writes.

    ‘How about in junior high school? Where all the “pretty” girls are wearing lipstick and eyeliner and mascara, It’s another moment where some 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.’

    Alicia fully admits that she was nervous about being bare faced in public, writing: ‘Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on make-up: What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.’

    But she’s putting her money where her mouth is. At Alicia’s most recent performance at the Champion’s League Final, which was broadcast to 380 million people, she went totally bare-faced. And if that wasn’t commitment enough, she shot the artwork for her latest album In Common without cosmetics, and has appeared on a glossy magazine cover without make-up.

    People have been quick to call Alicia ‘brave’ for her stance on make-up. Now, it might sound strange to tell a beautiful woman that she’s brave for going out with mascara on, but the truth is, most of us have been relying on at least a little bit of product for our entire adult lives, and stripping it away? That’s pretty scary.

    Keys maintains it’s worth it though, telling Lenny readers, ‘I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.’

    Even if you’re not planning to chuck your make-up bag away any time soon, you could always try stripping it off and seeing how you feel, even if it’s just for a day.

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