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Alicia Keys Wears Makeup in an Editorial Shoot for the First Time in Nearly a Year

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys Courtesy Allure

She’s looking on the bright side! Alicia Keys wore electric eyeshadow and liner for her February 2017 cover story in Allure magazineher first time wearing cosmetics in an editorial photo shoot since last spring, according to the publication.

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The “In Common” singer, who announced her plan to go bare-faced in a May 2016 Lenny Letter, appeared to go without cosmetics on the cover of the issue, where she posed in an Alexander Wang bikini top layered over a Max Mara long-sleeve shirt, jewelry by Paula Mendoza and Esteban Cortazar and one of her own headscarves. But in images within the issue (and seen on, the 15-time Grammy Award winner enlisted longtime makeup artist Dotti to swipe on a thick teal cat eye in one shot, exaggerated black lines under her eye in another and streaks of vivid purple paint around her eyes in a final photo.

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“I’m not a slave to makeup. I’m not a slave to not wearing makeup either,” Keys told writer David DeNicolo. “I get to choose at [any] given moment. That’s my right … I think makeup can be self-expression. I have no intention to shame anyone at all [who chooses to wear it]. No one should be ashamed by the way you choose to express yourself. And that’s exactly the point. However, if you want to do that for yourself, you should do that.”

The mom of two, who’s married to Swizz Beatz, also reflected on her reason for taking a break from the blush, lipstick and mascara. “I started at 20 years old in this ridiculously invasive world [the music business] in which everyone covered me in makeup and then threw me under tons of lights, so I’d sweat for two or three hours,” she said. “It took me so long to finally say, ‘Whoa! Who am I under there?’ That is just my own personal quest.” 

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