The singer, who recently came out with her seventh album, Alicia, shared her relationship with makeup over the years: "Makeup was a big thing for me; I had been wearing it since I was, like, 16 years old," she told Glamour. "And then, as I got into the music world, it was what you did every day to do your television or to do your shoot. So I did it because I thought that’s what you’re supposed to do. And I realized I became addicted to it; I didn’t feel comfortable without it."
Back in 2016, Alicia penned a powerful essay for Lenny Letter called "Time to Uncover" to publicly share her journey of embracing natural beauty. She also launched a social media campaign, #NoMakeup, to challenge society's judgement and imposed beauty ideals for women.
After choosing to not wear makeup for several events that year, Alicia later shared her decision to wear makeup again — in her own way: "I’m not a slave to makeup. I’m not a slave to NOT wearing makeup either. I get to choose at [any] given moment. That's my right."
In her recent Glamour interview, Alicia also shared how she stayed true to her own identity even with the pressures to change her style at the beginning of her music career: "As a new girl — all New York street vibes with braids, playing the piano in pretty pants or jeans, Timberlands, and leather jackets — it was definitely not something that you had seen often, this kind of soul thing mixed with that energy. But I never felt like I wanted to change."
"The pressure to try to [get me to] wear more dressy things…that just wasn’t who I was, and it will never be who I am. And even as I grow now and can truly feel comfortable in multiple ways and styles, I still am who I am. So, I was happy that I was pretty strong from the beginning. And my management early on was always very supportive about that."
Now, she's launching her own lifestyle and beauty brand, Keys Soulcare — which is inclusive and cruelty-free — and she shared her journey of previously feeling "self-conscious" and going through the pressures of constantly using makeup to cover up bumps and scars: "I struggled so much in my skin and really even being clear about my self-confidence and self-worth."
For Alicia, the line, which she calls "a dream come true," has a deeper meaning: "I’ve been thinking about the concept of Soulcare and what it means to take care of yourself — your mind, body, soul, and spirit; to create a ritual to uplift yourself. We need that now more than ever."
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You can read Alicia's full Glamour interview here.
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