On one hand in the world of fashion and cosmetics, the Kardashians are building a make-up empire, and Kylie Jenner is a makeup maven selling enormous numbers of her popular Lipkit. On the other hand, VMAs winner Alicia Keys is selling the bare face look, and her “no-makeup movement is gaining momentum.”
The 35-year-old has begun to regularly speak out on her decision to “ditch cosmetics,” first telling fans about the naked look in an essay published in Lenny Letter last May. The Daily Mail wrote that Keys’ “take-me-as-I-am attitude” got her lots of “praise and support” from people who are getting fed up with the pressures put on women by the huge cosmetics industry.
There are others, of course, who aren’t so impressed with Alicia’s VMAs no makeup campaign, but Keys herself doesn’t think of her actions as a crusade. The “Girl on Fire” singer is just trying to make space for women to have a chance to be real. Keys says she’s “hoping to help people embrace who they are.”
On September 2, Keys’ movement got a big boost from the Today Show. Alicia went on the show to talk about the VMAs, makeup, and other things, but the hosts of The Today Show turned out to be so interested in the cosmetics switch that they wanted to try it themselves.
Right there on live television, Tamron Hall, Bully Bush, and Al Roker all went for it and happily “stripped naked” – their faces that is! The Today Show hosts agreed “to wipe their faces clean on camera.”
Toofab wrote that when Alicia arrived at the Today Show with her face bare of any makeup, “a braid down her side and a bandanna around her head,” Savannah Guthrie was super impressed by Keys’ VMAs look and told her so during the interview. Guthrie also noticed that the beauty she saw in Alicia came from both inside and outside.
“You’re looking gorgeous. It’s internal, but it’s external too.”
Savannah told Alicia that she’d “started a movement here… Not wearing makeup.” There was a funny moment when she went on to point out that Alicia doesn’t look so good in makeup anyway. “And I mean, first of all, you don’t wear it so well,” she said, but the singer didn’t seem to mind. Keys explained that going bare-faced feels “‘really empowering” and “really freeing” and she realized she wanted more of that feeling in her life.
“‘I think it came from, because we put so many limitations on ourselves,’ she said. ‘I think we put limitations on each other. Society puts limitations on us. And in a lot of ways, I’m sick of it. Over it, to be honest.'”
Alicia’s biggest motivation for promoting the makeup free movement is how people feel about themselves.
“‘It would be so amazing to just embrace each other how we are,’ she added. ‘I think the most important thing is you do what feels good for you.'”
Keys obviously inspired the Today Show hosts since they were ready with “a packet of makeup wipes ready in order to join her fresh-faced movement.” Alicia was really encouraging to her host at the Today Show, and after helping Tamron to clean her face, Keys complimented the TV anchor on her beauty.
“You’re so beautiful, look at you. You don’t even look like you have makeup on anyway.”
Alicia assured the others that “she isn’t totally against makeup,” but she’s against feeling “forced to wear it.” Alicia sometimes just takes a break on the foundation and mascara, but more and more often, as she did for the VMAs red carpet.
The girl on fire herself has inspired many women with her no makeup movement, especially since the VMAs. It takes a lot of courage to show up without any makeup on your face to an event like that. What do you think? Would you go totally without makeup at a big event, or would you at least be willing to try it at a small party with your BFFs?
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]