Latin Grammys 2018

Alicia Keys Talks Activism & Inner Beauty for 'Allure' Cover Story

Paola Kudacki for Allure
Alicia Keys in the Feb. 2017 issue of Allure.

When Alicia Keys penned a personal essay for Lenny Letter announcing her #nomakeup movement, her very personal choice to be bare-faced and makeup-free triggered an onslaught of criticism, from body shaming to conspiracy theories. But Keys, having braved the music industry for over 15 years as one of R&B’s greats, took all the Internet trolling in peaceful stride.

On Tuesday (Jan. 17), Allure released a cover story featuring Keys and her personal journey to self-acceptance.

“I’m not a slave to makeup. I’m not a slave to not wearing makeup either,” Keys told Allure about her decision to renounce the oppressive politics of beauty in the public eye. Her cover shoot with Allure is the first time she’s worn makeup since an editorial photo shoot in spring 2016.

Aside from her latest album Here and her philanthropic endeavors like the We Are Here Movement, counteracting bigotry in the impending Trump era, Keys delved into a more philosophical realm of beauty and style. “There’s definitely something powerful about the way your inner feels that reflects on the outer, on your skin,” she explains. “That, to me, is real beauty.”