What We Have “In Common” with Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys Picture

To makeup or to #NoMakeup?

By Elizabeth Campos Contributor, Photo by Intel Free Press

No one ever thinks that someone as beautiful as Alicia Keys would feel the same insecurities we all battle from our teenage years all the way into our 20s. 

Being a public figure, she’s under the common rule of having to look perfect and feel amazing, or at least pretend to.

Keys, however, recently wiped off the pretty-in-pink hues and glitter from the glamorous life and introduced “#NoMakeup” in a personal essay “Time to Uncover,” which she published in Lenny, a weekly online feminist newsletter. 

Keys makes clear in her article that the insecurity and pressure of looking flawless does not end in high school and assures that while in the Hollywood world, she too has reached a threshold in which she accepts her bare beauty. 

In “Time to Uncover” she writes, ‘‘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.” 

Well that’s a whole lot to cover. 

Maybe it’s because I’m not under the Hollywood spotlight, but if you feel like makeup completely strips you from all you are, then there’s something wrong.

I understand that she’s trying to send a positive message about natural beauty, that I agree with. But for others, make up highlights and adds an extra oomph to all they are.

Sometimes I go a little extra on the bronzer and highlighter to have the natural light make me look radiant, and it works.

Aside from the gold tones, though, I don’t use makeup to cover my emotional growth. 

Keys also wrote that she “would approach things differently this time” regarding her image and allow her real self, as is, to come through. 

And that’s really what it comes down to.

To approach things differently is subjective. Even when I wear makeup or do my hair in a way different from the usual, I feel much more comfortable with little or no makeup.

To me, makeup has never been a thing I can’t live without. Those who know me know that I wear minimal make up and that I’m far from being an expert on the contour and highlight realm. 

In fact, winged eye liner is still pretty difficult for me to achieve. 

When I scroll down on Instagram and see makeup gurus, part of me wants to learn how to make eyebrows look “on fleek.” The other part me of thinks of the irony of “no-makeup” looks. 

For other people, however, it means another thing. Whether you’re supporting a local brand or an organic makeup brand, it all comes down to how you feel. 

It doesn’t need to be one side or the other; it’s not black or white. Enhance your beauty. Highlight it with glitter or coconut oil, go nude or Ruby Woo, let the wings of your eyeliner guide you. 

If that’s what makes you feel comfortable, go ahead. 

But keep in mind that paint will not change who you are. You shine more from within than from the pigments you apply on your skin. 

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