Alicia Keys on going makeup free: ‘Every day I’m challenging myself’

One of the funniest parts of Miley Cyrus’s stoned Elle interview was the shade she threw on Alicia Keys, also a judge on The Voice, for having a makeup artist when she insists on going makeup free. Miley said that she does her own makeup but “Alicia doesn’t really wear it. But she’s got a makeup artist and I don’t.” Then Miley made a bunch of excuses for why she does wear makeup and it made about as much sense as the rest of Miley’s interview.

Alicia has been going without makeup for some months now and while it seemed like a put-on at first she’s committed to it and she’s said that she’s not anti-makeup in general. This is just a choice that she’s making. In a new interview with Access Hollywood, Alicia talked about going makeup-free and described it as a kind of challenge to herself, although I think she was making a broader point. You can see the video on Access Hollywood and here’s what she said:

Gwyneth Paltrow just posted a photo on her birthday like ‘no makeup, holler at me now’ I just wonder if you expected that kind of response when you made the choice for yourself?
No. I didn’t even really think about it to be honest. I was just realizing, just like I was saying, this evolution of even realizing how I could just be. You can just emanate. Here’s me. And learning that is like a constant challenge. Every day I’m challenging myself like ‘come on Alicia, don’t forget.’

[From Access Hollywood]

I like this, I think it’s a nice point to make as long as it’s framed as a personal choice, which Alicia has done, and not as a challenge to all women. It’s also worth looking at how you present yourself and what your personal choices are regarding that, and how to be your most authentic self. For Alicia, that means not wearing makeup.

Alicia is promoting the music she wrote for the Disney movie Queen of Katwe, about a young Ugandan girl who becomes a chess master, starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo. She also has an interview with E! in which she talked about her sons with husband Swizz Beats, Egypt, six, and Genesis, one and a half. Alicia said that she’s trying to help protect their innocence. “I love them to just be able to be innocent… to create their world and what the world looks like for them.” She has such a unique way of looking at things.

Alicia Keys performs on the 'Today' show concert series


Photos credit: WENN and Getty

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98 Responses to “Alicia Keys on going makeup free: ‘Every day I’m challenging myself’”

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  1. Loulou says:

    I mean yeah if I had skin like hers… It would be a lot easier to jump on “makeup-free”.

    • Spittair says:

      Yup, it’s easy to go makeup free with a face like that. Great skin and beautiful. But some of us have tenacious acne, scarring, skin damage, etc.

      • marley31 says:

        In high school I wore lipstick and eyeliner in my 20’s I stopped and I’m now 45 I choose not to wear makeup because I come to believe it makes me look younger as I’ve been told plus I’m into natural beauty. And I believe make tends to age the skin. But to each it’s own it is my choice. Plus less fuss getting ready. In special occasion I do we’re lip gloss to make my lips shinny 😃 but I commend her for making a choice

    • Hannah says:

      I’ve read somewhere, don’t know if it was on Lainey or Jezebel, an interview with Alicia’s make up artist and it’s not like she don’t wear ANY make-up, she wear as little as possible, like a very light facial cream with some color, she still does facial treatments, so it’s kind of a lie to say you wear nothing.

    • Ennie says:

      She used to have bad skin, quite some acne. I understand her being so young when she started and working in the public eye, selling your music and your image, that would make her quite dependent on makeup.
      Just look around and see celebs and famous musicians. Even men wear it.
      I like that she reinforces that it is a choice to wear it, just after reading in the Zayn interview that he had to ask permission to even change his hair.

    • sherry says:

      If I looked like Alicia Keys or Nicole Richie without makeup, I’d do it in a heartbeat. This 53 year old has never looked good without some help unless I was in my 20’s – 30’s and had some sun.

  2. Laura says:

    LMFAO I’ve only worn makeup a few times in my life. Most days I just wear chapstick and MAYBE lip gloss. Why the hell aren’t I being called a savior and brave? People who care so much about makeup and wearing or not wearing it should get a life.

    And no, my skin isn’t particularly great and i’m not naturally a great beauty, I just have no desire to spend $$$$$ on crap that society tells me I need.

    • Zan says:

      @Laura, I agree with you! “Everyday I don’t wear makeupI’m challenging myself” try walking miles in the desert to go get water or run a marathon, that’s challenging yourself! It’s juste makeup!! On another note; I enjoy going at Sephora, gazing at the alleys of shinny products and sometimes I buy something, but after that I never wear it 😛 It feels just to good to rub your eyes in the middle of the afternoon after hours of computer.. And not dreading the mascara mess!

    • Astrid says:

      I don’t wear makeup either. I can’t believe this is a “thing” to celebrate. I have bigger fish to fry then talk about how brave I am to not slap on spackle every morning. I’m not anti make up. It’s not for me.

    • Cherry says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Laura. I felt the same way when I read Miley’s interview the other day. How the hell did we end up at this point where NOT WEARING MAKE-UP is considered brave and nonconformist? It’s a ridiculously superficial point to make. It says a lot about Miley and Alicia and the little bubble they apparently live in that they actually believe that.

      Ladies, not wearing make up does not make you ‘brave’ or a rebel or a hippie. It’s still you. Just with no make up on.

      • isabelle says:

        There is a long history of women wearing make up. Think it was actually worn more in the past than currently. Especially in the 20s, 30s, 40s where they especially laid it on thick. Victorian age and yes even the Egyptians. Its been a long long tradition for women.

      • Pine Cone says:

        Right On! I had taken Alicia’s new look to be just a re-invention of her image.

      • Mae says:

        I feel the same way, but it seems many people really bought into this beauty standard, so for them it really was a big deal. If someone spent so much time and money on choosing products and finding their style that it became a part of their identity, I see why it would be brave from their point of view. Presenting a certain type of appearance is very wrapped into many people’s sense of self, so choosing a different appearance (even thought it’s just your own bare face!) can seem like a major change. It does seem bizarre from the outside point of view. I don’t bother with makeup because that’s time and money I could be spending on something else. Complete no brainer.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      But if you wear lipstick most days, you are wearing makeup. I only wear mascara but I can’t say I go makeup free.
      Edit- I misread chapstick as lipstick. So no, you are going makeup free. My apologies.

      I think it is brave. Going makeup free is brave for some people, especially if you have insecurities, and especially in a appearance obsessed industry like the one Alicia’s in. Bravery is different for different people. Just because it isn’t brave for you, doesn’t mean it isn’t for someone else.
      I think people who hadn’t had severe insecurities, or haven’t been insecure about that particular thing, can’t emphatize just how much it can affect a person.

      • perplexed says:

        I would view it as a personal challenge for herself, especially in a looks driven industry, but I would hesitate to use the word brave.

        I don’t consider myself brave for striving to either live up to or failing to live up to a certain beauty ideal. There’s some other word that probably fits, but I think of bravery in terms of being heroic. I think of myself as just living my life, and so is she.

    • shewolf says:

      It’s probably because to her, wearing makeup every single day and being in front of the camera the majority of life makes it a big deal.

      I wear makeup every single day and have done so for as long as I can remember. I also work from home so I don’t need to. I gave birth with a full face of makeup twice haha. For me, this would be an enormous decision to make and a big deal.

      I never would though… makeup is amazing. I just wish everyone would stop with the highlighting fad it’s so awful.

    • Bluesky says:

      I would like to cosign on this. Chapstick and maybe lip gloss is the extent of my makeup regime. No one goes on and on about me being brave either. Please, it’s not like she’s going into some dangerous war zone helping refugees. I don’t understand why it’s being made into some revolutionary thing. She’s a beautiful woman anyway, give me a break!

    • swak says:

      The most I’ve worn is mascara and blush and now don’t even do that. For me it’s a challenge to wear makeup!

    • Darlene says:

      I was raised in a house where my mom didn’t even step a toe into public, not even the corner tiny store, without a full face of makeup. My grandmother was the same way. Very old school red lip, clean eye, painted nails kind of esthetic. I am now a mom of a teenage girl, and I have struggled since she was born to present makeup as an option/choice for her, not a mandatory thing. I most definitely don’t feel beautiful without my “face” on, but making it through elementary school with her helped me loosen up about it and now I will run to the store or an errand with nothing at all on. And if my mom sees me she squints and says things like “did you forget to put on your mascara today?” LOL Truly, I have to LOL or I would be sad. 😉

      For me, it’s totally “brave” to go out bare faced, but for someone who wasn’t raised similar to how I was with regard to makeup probably just doesn’t have the same issue. For that person, maybe it would be more brave to dress way up and wear some makeup? I have no idea, we all have our personal issues. I am extremely hopeful my daughter won’t get this one, though. She has a tiny interest in lip gloss, but nothing else. The teens are young though, so time will tell.

    • Wren says:

      It’s because you’re not famous. Makeup is expected for famous women, especially at public events. To go without is noteworthy because wearing it is the norm. It’s such the norm that’s jarring enough to cause comments when a woman isn’t wearing it.

      I don’t wear makeup either. I will put on mascara when I have to get fancy, but that’s it, and I don’t get fancy all that often. But I’m happy that this is becoming “cool” to talk about. I’m sick of the beauty industry, I’m tired of being told I need to buy things to be beautiful, and I’m beyond over the fact that ads for makeup pervade every single form of media directed at women.

    • NeoCleo says:

      Hey Laura:

      I’m in your corner. I stopped wearing makeup about 10 years ago and it’s been truly liberating. I still spend money on skin care and most importantly on sunscreen but not having to deal with all that other stuff on a daily basis has been heaven and very helpful to my budget. And quite frankly, though I look better when I wear it, I’m just so over the routine.

    • pcruz says:


      What is the big deal? I LOVE make-up, but don’t wear a lot of it and often go totally without it (out of laziness). I certainly don’t feel I HAVE TO wear it. My skin isn’t the greatest and I’m not a great beauty. No biggie.
      Alicia looks great, her skin looks great and good for her. I am sure it is harder in her industry than for us normies. But it’s ridiculous that this is supposed to be brave and challenging. I think it’s time for some perspective here!

    • Tris says:

      Totally! Personally, I’m a Burts Bees gal, not Chapstick.
      I think people who wear makeup day to day look kind of silly, TBH. Same with fancy fingernails. All I see is an exhausting amount of money and effort and waste. But that’s just me. Fresh-faced and judgemental! 😉
      Alicia is beautiful, as is Goop, and so of course they look lovely makeup free. As does everyone, I think. I’ve never seen a soul who looks BETTER with makeup. Different, maybe, but always better without.

    • iseepinkelefants says:

      I don’t wear it either. Sometimes I’ll define my brows and put on mascara but most days it’s just chopstick. And I live in Paris. Most girls don’t wear a lot of makeup. It’s kind of more an American thing to spend all of your money at Sephora. I’m American but I’m lazy as all hell. I can’t be bothered. Plus I look harsher with it. I have Scarlett Hohanson/Angelina Jolie’s lips so I try to wear some color on my lips but chapstick is all I can muster.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      It’s great that you are good with that, but sadly, society does pressure females to wear make-up. If this was no big deal, then she wouldn’t be getting the coverage for it. But it is a big deal because it is UNHEARD OF for women on camera.

    • ConcernedWoman says:

      I think it is a much different choice when you’re photographed on a regular basis and expected to conform to the norm of Hollywood and the music industry. For those of us just living our life – it really doesn’t matter.

  3. aenflex says:

    I like that she’s doing this for herself. It’d be great if it did spread a bit. Something about looking at a woman without makeup makes me look harder at her, and what makes her really beautiful.

  4. Nicole says:

    I rarely if ever wear makeup and I don’t have flawless skin. I’ve ever been into it. Now I try to wear foundation, eyeliner and mascara every day but I don’t always. It’s about being comfortable and I guess I’m comfortable with or without. Plus I used to wear a ton of makeup as a dancer which is why I was a late bloomer on makeup outside of that

    • ab says:

      I was going to make a similar comment. I used to dance and all the heavy pancake stuff you use for the stage gave me such horrible breakouts that I would just avoid wearing makeup at all when I didn’t have to. now I’m just used to not wearing makeup on a day-to-day basis. if I’m going out or doing something special I put on some eyeliner and mascara, but then I tend to rub it all off my eyes before I even get to where I’m going. lol.

  5. BeBeA says:

    I personally don’t mind her no make up movement like you said, she isn’t pushing this on all women, it’s just where she is and what she is doing for herself. Unfortunately every media outlet is going to ask her about every detail and that’s when hearing about it over and over again gets annoying. I can even see why she may have a makeup artist, maybe this person is a skincare tech, just because your makeup free doesn’t mean you need to seen on national TV all shiny or dry. It’s OK to have a team, and putting something on your face doesn’t make it makeup.

  6. Lucy2 says:

    Do what works for you.
    It is easier if you are as naturally pretty as Alicia though!

  7. Sixer says:

    It will be nice when nobody even considers this a significant choice. But I suppose until nobody does, we will have to continue have these navel-gazing conversations. WHY DOES ANYBODY CARE WHO WEARS MAKE UP AND WHO DOESN’T?

    I rarely wear make up. It’s not a particular choice. It’s because I can’t be bothered. I might suddenly find myself bothered tomorrow – although I doubt it, I’m not ruling it out.

    • BritAfrica says:

      I’m the opposite. No makeup = no going out!

    • Wren says:

      I don’t know why exactly but in America you do NOT see women without makeup in the media. Not on TV, not in magazines, not in person when a famous woman does a public event, not even in pictures on most websites. Women wear makeup, full stop. The idea, though rarely explicitly stated, is everywhere.

      As a woman who does not wear makeup, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of seeing women in makeup in the media no matter where I turn and no unpainted faces. It’s a relief to see Alicia’s natural face, just like it’s a relief to see Ashley Graham, both of whom represent a facet of me that is very rarely given any space, much less considered desirable or beautiful.

  8. Little Darling says:

    I feel like such a clown in makeup. But, as I said on an earlier thread, makeup free isn’t realistic for a lot of light skinned fair people, who feel washed out in public, something I never really understood because I have dark eyes dark long lashes and nice olive skin that is pretty kind to me. So I never felt the need.
    Also, I work with newborns and makeup is pretty much not worn while I work, so as to not rub on them etc. which is pretty much the norm in my industry.

    When I go out I wear a bit of Chanel foundation with SPF Moisturizer (separate items and one tiny little dot of foundation to a blob of SPF) and then I have one Mac and one Chanel blush each that I put on my cheeks and lids and one mascara (yes they’re real is the name I think- AMAZING) and that’s kind of full face for me and really makes my face get more attention than I’m normally comfy with.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      Little Darling….lol I am one of those light, fair skinned people. Whenever I go makeup free, inevitably, someone will say to me “are you feeling okay, you look so pale”….needless to say, I usually wear at least a little makeup!

      • prettylights says:

        Same here! Fair skin, blonde hair (brows and lashes too) and pale lips. I don’t mind not wearing makeup if I’m just at home, camping, etc. but for work I do wear it because I think it makes me look more polished (I’m an Office Manager, so I like to present myself nicely) and less tired or sick looking, which is what people at work ask me about if I don’t have it on.

    • Kitten says:

      That’s my fave mascara too, LD!

      • Little Darling says:

        And I’ve been subscribed to The New Yorker for 20 years!

        Seriously both are the best!

        Hope your heart is okay <3

    • Veronica says:

      I’ll go makeup free quite often because I live a very busy lifestyle and my job requires it sometimes (sterile IV room), but I am a very fair skinned woman, and I admit that I’m always slightly self-conscious about the (natural) dark circles under my eyes. I consider myself a decently attractive woman, but especially in the winter when I’m more or less ivory-toned, they do make me look very tired – particularly if I AM tired.

      (I really like Chanel’s foundation, but they don’t have a shade light enough for my winter skin tone. I’m a big fan of NARS tinted moisturizer, and Korean BB cream is amazeballs.)

  9. barfly says:

    She rubs me the wrong way. She says these things to sound ethereal and whatever but she’s no different than any other chick going to work, raising a family and not wearing makeup. She’s also no different in the sense that she dated/slept with a married man, he divorced his wife and Alicia was pregnant and walking down the aisle as soon as the papers were signed. But she doesn’t wear makeup because she’s being “different”. Please.

    • Snowflake says:


    • JudyK says:

      Another “this”…and I’m frankly tired of looking at her w/o makeup. She looks tired and drained. She’s on a national televised show and looks like she doesn’t give a damn. But then, I’m also tired of looking at Miley’s childish, clownish outfits.

      I once had a freak accident, had an ulcerated cornea for a month and couldn’t wear makeup on that eye. I still had to go to work every day and remember my best friend saying to me, “I’m so tired of looking at that naked eye.” I thought it was funny. I’m tired of looking at Alicia’s naked face when I’m watching The Voice.

      • Naya says:

        Lol. Maybe look away when she is onscreen? I love looking at her “naked face”. Sate yourself with the thousands of made up female faces on TV everyday and let this one natural beauty be.

      • Wren says:

        Well I’m tired of looking at pictures of famous women in makeup, so where’s my accommodation? Oh wait, this is pretty much it, this one woman. Who I don’t even particularly like as a person, but who, just by daring to be on TV without makeup, illustrates just how pervasive the idea that women somehow need makeup is in our culture.

    • QQ says:

      Bwahaha This is where I’m at she sounds both High and Corny and too cute by Half, Discuss how you got your skin to THAT point from what it used to be which is NOT Proactiv (i’d be super interested in that!) and Also No cookies from me for wearing at Least concealer and BB Cream and Light Mascara and telling us you are ethereally Makeup free

      If Miley is Peak Insufferable Alicia Is Right at Level Orange Eyeroll

    • isabelle says:

      Some MU free people come off like the crazy Vegans. Give off the “my way is more ethical than your way” and you are the devil for doing it. Seriously know a MU free woman that just trashes I mean trashes women that wear MU. Some have the holier than thou attitude.

  10. Michelina says:

    I scoffed at this at first but then I thought about the fact that this isn’t the case of an average woman deciding not to wear makeup, it’s an international celebrity doing that and that’s pretty awesome considering the expectations that are heaped upon her and the fact that celebrities are expected to be aesthetically perfect.

    The makeup vs. no makeup debate is completely exhausting to me. In my experience I’ve found that many women who don’t wear makeup unfairly and harshly judge women who do. 95% of the women that I know don’t wear any makeup on a daily basis. Most of those women talk a ton of crap about women who do their hair and makeup on a daily basis. It’s a matter of preference, and that’s all it should be. I don’t like how some offices and places of employment have created “makeup free days” because again, this directly implies that women who do wear makeup are secretly insecure and hate themselves deep down. Some people just enjoy it or find it fun.

    • Kitten says:

      You covered everything nicely here. Nothing else to add.

    • Granger says:

      “Some people just enjoy it or find it fun.” This is so true. I have a good friend who’s really into skin care and make-up, and just has a blast researching products and trying new trends. And she’s good at it. She never looks caked or weird — just herself, with a little extra going on.

      Anyone remember the televangelist, Tammy Faye Baker? She was ridiculed constantly for wearing ridiculous amounts of make-up — like, massive eyelashes caked in mascara, crazy eyeshadows, blush you could see from a mile away. She looked like a joke — until you found out why she did it. She grew up dirt poor and never got to have any fun, much less any fun with make-up. So as soon as she had some money, she decided to spend it on her face. She was a wacky lady (and her husband was totally corrupt), but a good reminder that we don’t always know what somebody’s motivations are, and we have no right to judge what makes someone else feel good.

    • Wren says:

      Look at it from the other side. “Makeup free day” implies that for the rest of the time you’re expected to wear makeup. That wearing makeup is the norm and not wearing it is inappropriate under normal circumstances. That is what bugs, the entrenched notion that a woman not wearing makeup is unprofessional somehow. Why? Why do we think that? Isn’t that kind of strange? I’m all for personal choice, but the choice not to wear makeup is often looked down upon. I wish it wasn’t a big deal, in fact I think it’s rather stupid, but the fact remains that wearing it is expected and with THAT I have issues.

      • dana says:

        ITA, all your comments on this post are on point.

      • Mae says:

        Exactly. If there was no expectation then there would be no problem about people making their own personal choices about their skincare. But to me, it seems to tie into women needing to be ‘decorative’ as one of their defining characteristics. The judginess of non-wearers may partially be a backlash to this expectation, at least in some cases. (I don’t mind if someone wants to wear it, I just don’t want there to be an expectation that women should have to wear it. Which there is, in many settings.)

    • isabelle says:

      Good statement and yes some of MU free women have holier than thou attitudes about their choice.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    If Alicia had a round white face with no natural rosiness, stubby blonde lashes, and colorless lips, as I do, I might be a bit more impressed with her “I don’t need makeup” attitude.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      My lips are the same colour as my skin, and I’m super pale. But I hate the way lipstick looks on me, because I have quite full lips and I feel like lipstick is just too much. I tried coloured lipbalms, but they’re a hit and miss so now I kinda just made peace with the fact that I look slighty ill all the time.

  12. Bex says:

    On a tangentially related note, Queen of Katwe looks like a wonderful movie!

  13. Almondjoy says:

    Obviously it’s no big deal for most of us to go makeup free. But for someone in Alicia’s industry it actually IS. Name one other celeb who has gone makeup free for as long as she has and I’ll join in on the “I don’t see why this is a big deal” comments. And she’s on tv and goes makeup free to big events at that.

    With that said Alicia annoys the heck outta me 😩

    • Wren says:

      This. Exactly. All of it. And the amount of attention she’s getting for doing it just shows how much of a big deal it really is. If it wasn’t a big deal nobody would talk about it or even think to comment.

    • Moneypenny says:

      Exactly. Unless we have some undercover celebs on this board, our situations are not in any way the same. We’re not talking about her not wearing making while running to CVS. She is appearing on TV and on red carpets without makeup. I am generally not on red carpets or on TV. It is a big deal in her industry.

      And you can see the differences, appreciate her talent and still think it isn’t cool that she got with Swizz while he was married (though again, that was HIS commitment, not hers).

  14. Josefina says:

    This is such a first world problem to me. In this side of the world you’d have to live an extremely priviledged life to think going makeup free is anything revolutionary.

    • Kitten says:

      This. Who cares? That being said, she looks gorgeous without makeup.

    • pcruz says:

      This. It’s the very definition of first world problems. Wear makeup, don’t wear makeup. Who cares?

    • Moneypenny says:

      I kind of disagree that this is a first world problem (at least as represented by Alicia): this is a celebrity problem. Even celebrities in the third world wear makeup on TV.

  15. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    We get it, Alicia. Now please move on.

  16. Lala says:

    Omg these people are so out of touch, she doesn’t wear make up so what?! woman of the year award? Most days I don’t even have the time to put it on.

  17. Jennet says:

    I’m a teacher and I work with many amazing women who don’t wear makeup. I wasn’t aware this is such a big deal. Lots of women don’t wear makeup…

  18. Sullivan says:

    Well, I guess if an actress can go without makeup and anticipate an Oscar then a celebrity/singer can expect a badge of courage for baring her face.

  19. Micki says:

    Very amusing. When Angelina had her breasts removed and went public there was a discussion whether that’t brave (some said no) and why she took the “easy” way out compared perhaps with bread-water-prayer route perhaps.
    Now going without make up ( a completely personal choice) is being banged up and down.
    I wonder if someone admits to hate kale chip will that be a bravery too?

  20. Lucy says:

    Good for her. She’s a beautiful woman, always has been.

  21. dana says:

    Revolutionary? Maybe not.

    But there’s a good amount of research out there indicating that both sexes tend to rate women who don’t wear make-up as less competent, friendly, trustworthy & hygienic than women who do. And that employers are less likely to hire a female candidate or promote a female employee who doesn’t wear make-up.

    And that consciously or subconsciously, we have different expectations for women – for example, when people complain about barefaced women “needing” color. It’s not that these women are really washed-out/lacking color in any objective sense, it’s that we expect women to have greater luminance contrast (i.e. the extent to which facial features like eyes and lips stand out from one’s skin) than men and feel like something’s missing when that contrast is too subtle.

    And, of course, that we judge normal “flaws” like uneven skin tone, visible pores, fine lines & other physical signs of aging far more harshly than we do on men.

    So, yeah, Alicia Keys isn’t doing the most amazing!thing!ever!, but bucking cultural expectations when it comes to performing femininity must be particularly rough in an industry where your looks are scrutinized, up for public discussion/criticism, and regularly photographed in HD. Good for her.

    • Candela says:

      Thanks! exactly!
      i feel like most women are conditioned to appear as presentable as possible, almost all the time. (“maybe her body isn’t perfect, but at least her make-up is nice = so she cares = as women should”)
      it’s nice that so many celebitchies don’t see the need for make-up, but I think the pressure is real, especially for younger women.
      it’s not the biggest deal ever to go makeup free (and I don’t think that Alicia herself would put it like that), but it’s just refreshing to see a female celeb go about her buisness without make up, and I can’t think of many other women in the public eye who do so.

      • Wren says:

        Actually I think the women who do wear makeup and enjoy it don’t really feel that pressure. The industry and media cater to their interests so why would it be a big deal? They’re already doing it and it feels normal to them, so being shown that wearing it is normal is pretty much business as usual. Nobody questions a message that already agrees with what they think and often they don’t even see it or understand why those who don’t agree would be bothered. It’s obvious from so many of the responses on this site.

        For those of us who don’t wear makeup, we’re surrounded by messages that what we’re not being a woman in the right way. We’re not as beautiful, we’re not as “put together”, and we’re lacking because our own natural features aren’t nice enough on their own, they need to be enhanced. Of course it isn’t a big deal to makeup wearers, it never is when mainstream views align with your own opinions and media images show you what you already think is normal. But to me, being told implicitly in nearly every form of media that my natural face is somehow lacking, it is a big deal. If we’re going to make it not a big deal, we need to shift how we view women, how we portray women and how we react to woman who choose not to wear makeup, especially famous women.

    • m0sha says:

      @dana this is a marvelous comment. thank you.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Agreed. To me she manages to get her point across about her own choice about not wearing make-up without coming off as self-righteous. She’s not implying that women who do wear make-up are somehow less intelligent, aren’t strong, or don’t have as much integrity (arguments people have actually made). It’s a little surprising to hear that employers see women who don’t wear make-up as less competent, less friendly, less trustworthy, and less hygienic. With the hygienic part, you can almost see the logic behind that one (even though I don’t agree with it at all) because they’re probably going based on the assumption that if someone’s going to put in the effort with make-up, they must put in a lot more effort into hygiene. But I don’t how people would think it makes someone more competent, friendly, or trustworthy.

  22. CarrieUK says:

    I haven’t worn make up daily since I left work 3.5 years ago to have kids (3rd one brewing) I wore very very little then anyway, curled my eyelashes, lip balm. I wore it on my wedding day and if (ha if) I ever go out!
    I enjoy make up I just don’t see the need for it to be honest, I’m lucky my skin is ok, I also see how it can be a very useful tool for confidence and think it’s all about personal choice.
    Don’t take my eyelash curlers away though!!

  23. Sahra says:

    my eyes were mildly irritated by those green cucumber make up remover wipes and so I went without makeup to work today and immediately my boss was like “wow you look awful.”

    and my boss is a man in his mid 30s.
    honestly, I have good skin and just normally wear a lot of eyeliner and smoky eye so it looks different. but not awful. I love that alicia is casually taking a public stance.

    • prettylights says:

      Same thing happens to me when I got to work without makeup. I have fair skin, light eyebrows and lashes, and blue eyes so especially if I am not wearing eye makeup I always hear that I look ‘tired’. It happened to me from 2 different people the other morning – “You like tired, are you ok? Are you sick?” Kind of frustrating, ha ha!

      • HK9 says:

        Why do people always feel they have to tell women they look ‘tired’? I would never say that to anyone even if I thought so. What do you think the person is going to do, pack up and go home to get some sleep? The ‘faux’ concern isn’t masking the fact that all they’re telling you is that you look bad, which is in no way helpful.

      • Snowflake says:

        Yes, it’s like why the f@ck are you telling me this? It’s not a compliment and it’s not like I could go home and put makeup on if I felt self-conscious, so stfu.

  24. annaloo. says:

    Apropos of nothing, but Gwyneth saying “no makeup, holler at me now!” like she’s some sort of hero? Please, have a seat. No makeup, but I see that Instagram filter!

  25. Moon says:

    I went makeup free a few months ago because I moved and couldn’t find my usual brand/shade, and I was just lazy to apply makeup in general. My skin’s gotten SO MUCH better and to be honest I just enjoy not having to wake up earlier to spend that 10 mins making sure I look perfect or hitting the bed straight when I’m back late.

  26. Tanya says:

    She’s a woman in the public eye. She is judged every single time she gets photographed, and she gets photographed a lot. Check the comments section of almost any website if you don’t believe me.

    I’m not at all famous. I had a small write up in a trade publication. The very first comment was about my nose. It made me feel awful, and I’m not even professionally pretty. I can’t imagine how it would feel like if I were.

  27. m0sha says:

    if you want to wear makeup, do it.
    if you don’t want to wear makeup, don’t do it.

    either way ladies, I support you.

  28. NGBoston says:

    Didn’t Miley just out her as still having a make-up Artist on set for The Voice? Oh, what- to give her the “natural no-makeup
    look” makeup?

    Ugh. Whatever with all these stories on the new no make up gimmick. To each his own but with all that is going on in the US and the World–not sure this is relevant news even on a Celebrity Gossip website more than once.

    And no, no one pissed in my Cornflakes today I just am over this story of Alicia’s.

    • Amyday says:

      When I was in my 20’s I always felt more confident with makeup, and I also found it super fun to play with… kind of like an art project. However, I never looked down on women who were make-up less. I actually envied them a bit, they usually has clear skin and didn’t need it for their confidence. I’m actually very surprised to see so many comments of women saying they are looked down upon for not wearing it. As much as I’ve always loved makeup, I’m now at age (37) where I feel wearing make up makes me look older so I’m going most days without it. Anyway, I like Alicia Keys’ music, and she isn’t pushing this, she just keeps getting asked about it that’s all. Why is everyone getting so irritated about It?

  29. Veronica says:

    I go makeup free all the time, particularly since I work in an IV room fairly often and can’t for sterility purposes anyway. But I also own a ton of expensive product and will sometimes wear full face just for the hell of it. Never bothered me much to go with or without, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with women who do wear it all the time. This being said, I do recognize that being able to go makeup free is easy when you have good skin, and I might feel differently if I suffered from serious acne or a similar problem. Alicia Keys is also a very lovely woman, so she very much has that in her favor, too.

  30. Katie says:

    I don’t actually think it’s a big deal given the type of music she makes and image she tries to present. She’s not a pop star ala Katy Perry or Taylor Swift, she’s a singer/songwriter who aims for a more mature audience and to be taken a bit more seriously. She’s beautiful and that’s certainly helped her, but her image is about her sitting behind a piano singing, it’s not about how fierce she looks or how many times she can re-invent herself.

    Outside of pop there’s no shortage of women who don’t wear make-up or wear very little (as Alicia is usually doing, look at that first picture then look at her pink lips and cheeks in the ones further down), not to mention women who wear purposefully unflattering make-up.

  31. virginfangirl says:

    AT 49 years old, I just started wearing makeup, only powdered foundation, blush, mascara and eyebrow pencil. My 14 yr old daughter is really good at applying makeup and encouraged me to wear it and chose those basic items for me. It most definitely makes me look better, and as odd it it seems, the eyebrow pencil makes the biggest difference.

  32. naomipaige says:

    I didn’t recognize her. I had to do a double take. Wow! She’s so beautiful!