Almost two years into her decision to no longer wear makeup in public as part of her journey toward self-empowerment, Alicia Keys is still committed. At 2018 Grammy Awards, the “Girl on Fire” singer didn’t wear a drop of makeup as she posed for photos on the red carpet and presented an award during the show, and her skin looked more glowing than we could ever imagine.
Keys, who has won more than a dozen Grammys for her work, walked Sunday’s red carpet with art-loving husband Swizz Beatz wearing a long-sleeve blacktop with a plunging V-neck, sheer sides, and geometric cutouts. She tucked the top into high-waisted black velvet pants and accessorized with dangling silver and black hoops. She wore her hair in two tight braids separated into small sections with black zip ties and appeared to wear nothing but a good moisturizer, a little lip gloss, and some brow gel — essentially, your fresh-faced weekend go-to look, but elevated.
The 37-year-old explained her decision to stop wearing makeup on red carpets, at concerts, on the cover of Allure, and during tapings of The Voice in early 2016. “I hope to God it’s a revolution,” she wrote of her #nomakeup pledge in a May 2016 essay for Lenny Letter. “‘Cause 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 struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”
Later in 2016, Keys’s (no-)makeup artist Dotti spoke to W about what gives the singer her incredible glow. “Alicia gets regular facials, does acupuncture, and she eats healthy and exercises,” Dotti said. “She knows you have to invest internally for your skin to look great externally. It’s also about how you process your energy. She comes from a very strong place and she comes from a very kind place. That in itself is super important. But it’s about the choices she’s making and the products she’s using. It’s the work of a good team.”
Beyond a good attitude and healthy regimen, Dotti revealed that she often preps Keys’s beautiful skin with a combination of an ice-cold jade roller, cucumber pulp, natural oils, and the occasional mask. She also clarified that “no makeup” doesn’t necessarily mean “product-free”: Dotti said she sometimes enhances Keys’s eyebrows with individual lashes, plays up her freckles with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, brightens her cheeks with Vita Liberata Self Tanning Anti-Age Serum, and cuts shine with Mally Ever Colour Poreless Face Definer Mattifier — but other than that, it’s all Alicia.
The Evolution of No Makeup Advocate Alicia Keys
Arriving at the ‘The Concert…20 Years with AIDS’ Benefit in 2001, Keys wear her locks in a side pony with tight braids and a golden smokey eye.
Keys shined at the Clive Davis Pre- Grammy Party with pink frosted embellished eyes and rosy cheeks. At the 44th Annual Grammy Awards, Keys took home 5 Grammys for album Songs in Minor.
At the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year event in 2004, Keys attends with her hair in a sleek up do with florals, a classic smoky eye and a glossy lip.
With slick straight hair and a dark smokey eye, Keys arrives at the 36th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fall Awards Induction in 2005.
Keys attend the 2005 Fashion Rocks event with luminous skin and coral eyes, lips and cheeks.
Backstage at MTV’s Total Request Live in 2006, Keys rocked her newly chopped locks with bangs and a turquoise eye.
With big voluminous curls and a glossy red lip, Keys arrived at the BET 106 & Park Studios in 2007.
At the BET Honors Red Carpet in 2008, Keys wears a full top bun up do with classic black eyeliner.
Keys arrived at the 2008 American Music Awards with a frosted blue eye and a nude lip.
With a sleek half up do and full lashes, Keys arrived at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009.
Keys wore her hair in natural curls with classic black eyeliner at the Jenesse Silver Rose Gala in 2010.
Keys attended the Keep A Child Alive’s 8th Annual Black Ball in 2011 with her hair in a swept back up do with creamy skin and a bright coral lip.
Keys opted for a romantic look with big soft curls and a natural face at the Proenza Schouler Spring 2012 show.
At the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, Keys stepped out in a playful braided up do with a natural eye and a red lip.
At the 40 Principles Awards in 2012, Keys wore a dramatic cat eye with a heavy contour and her curls in a tousled up do.
Staying true to theme at the 2013 ‘PUNK: Chaos to Couture’ Met Gala, Keys wore her pink highlighted hair swept over with a dark smokey eye.
Arriving at the Gordan Parks Foundation Awards in 2014, Keys wore her hair in a chic swept over style with a grey smokey eye.
Keys wore her hair in tight braids underneath a hat at the Social Good Summit in 2014.
Keys looked soft and pretty keeps with a nude pink lip, a sleek bun, and an embellished veil at the Keep a Child Alive Black Ball in 2015.
Embracing the “no makeup” movement, Keys’ natural beauty shined through at the NBCUniversal 2016 Upfront Presentation.